No more ‘Mrs. Nice Girl’

It’s been a while since my last post. I started a new one last week. It’s a curse being as technologically illiterate as I am. I can’t get my phone to send photos now. By the time I finally managed to get an image from my phone to my iPad, my blog post of 500 words had disappeared. I got a little mad at wordpress and it has taken all week for me to get over it. ūüôā

I’ve had some time now to analyze that marathon I ran last month and for once, my talent of over thinking things may have paid off. I’ve come to some conclusions about how I might have done better. I’m not sure I was quite ready to run my goal that day. I do know, I could have done better.

During my long training runs, I developed a little habit. It didn’t happen every time, but often enough to interfere with developing the mental toughness I needed for 26.2 miles. Some times, I just stopped. I stopped and thought for a moment. “I don’t want to run anymore.” “I need a break”. “I’m not having fun”. “This is awful.” “This isn’t race day, I don’t really have to do this today.” I would force myself to get started again, and sometimes I could regain my normal pace, but the damage was done. I was giving into feelings that I wouldn’t have time to feel during a race.

I thought that the adrenaline of race day would take care of things. I know now when the time came that I needed to be really tough, I wasn’t able to do it. I may not have been able to do it in any case. It might not have been my day. But I do know that I had not practiced what I needed to do. When push to shove, ¬†I didn’t push.

Looking back, I think I know where this mindset was created. When I first started running after the transplant, it was really hard. I had posted here that I knew I needed to be nice to myself. I tried to stay positive and not beat myself up, because I was really slow and it would have been easy to give up. That was a good way to be at the time. Then I came back. I started running more like I used to. I started seriously training again. And I needed a little meanness back. Sometimes, you have to push yourself. And you can’t always be nice and forgiving. Sometimes the Kim who wants to achieve things has to yell at the Kim who wants to take it easy.

I’ve talked to my coach about this. It’s about figuring out what I want and why I’m out there, ¬†about being prepared to answer back with the right answer when your body and mind are questioning what you are doing.

So, for the last several weeks, I have been answering the question, whatever it may be, with “Hell yeah, I want this!” There has not been any stopping, other than for a traffic light, or to retie my shoe. I’ve been focused and driven. It may still take time to get to where I need to be. I have two upcoming races and I can’t honestly say I will be exactly where I need to be. If I am not there, however, it won’t be because I stopped on the trail and had to talk myself into running again.

Me Tahoe

(Above: Recovering after completing a 13 mile run at Lake Tahoe, 6200 ft of elevation, where I did not give in to those wimpy feelings even with a 300 ft climb in the last mile)

In other news, because this blog started as a way for me to balance my medical adventures with the rest of my life, I have an update. It’s my hope this is nothing more than a little blip on the radar, but I have another bone marrow biopsy coming up. I had what I was hoping was a routine check up with my oncologist last week, where he would throw me out of the office, saying, “Don’t come back for three months!” But that wasn’t the case. We discussed the fact that lab values indicating the protein being leaked from my kidneys is at an all time high. This doesn’t indicate that I’m not in remission anymore, but he does want to pursue some more testing to see where we are. I have an appointment to see my nephrologist, that’s the kidney specialist, on the 29th. And that bone marrow biopsy, that’s Tuesday the 14th. Not my favorite procedure, but it’s what I signed up for when I picked this disease. Silly me.

I am confident all will be well. But if it’s not, I’ll deal with whatever comes. There is an opportunity for good in everything. If it’s another opportunity to develop mental toughness, then I’ll just have to take that and run with it. Literally. ūüôā

Double Life, Part Deux

(And you thought my French classes were being wasted)

So, I spent a good chunk of last week as a patient advocate for my rare disease. It felt good to contribute and it was a good distraction. I needed one. Because I always get really nervous the week before I run a marathon!

I had tried to keep quiet about it, only posting a few times on Facebook about my long runs, without mentioning what I was training for. ¬†That would be because by this point in time, I had been feeling like there was some sort of jinx on me. My quest to run another marathon, this would be number 9, had been going on for 2 years. ¬†I wrote about the highlights in my post in November, titled, “Driven.”

After sweating out every ache and pain, worrying about getting sick on the plane, and just making myself slightly crazier than I already am, I did actually make it to the start line in Sunday morning in the beautiful town of Calistoga. I ran, and so as not to keep you in suspense, finished the Napa Valley Marathon. Yes, 26.2 miles.

I can truly say it took a village. My husband, Howard, once again put up with my long training runs, even accompanying me on the bike to provide support. My coach, Andy, guided me through a well¬†thought out training schedule and made sure I knew that he believed in my ability. ¬† My friends cheered me on. One in particular, Erin, provided the backdrop for the weekend, reserving an amazing place for us to stay and enjoy the whole weekend. And my kids….well, it was, “Where are you going now, Mom?”, when I left for the weekend. I don’t think my race was on their radar screen, and that’s OK!

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It was a tad chilly at the start as I contemplated removing my pull over and long pants. The start line was surrounded by vineyards, as was much of the course. Beautiful!

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But I had to get down to a single layer. I figured I could use the extra encouragement that my shirt would provide. ( And it did… 59 times… hey, I had lots of time to count.)

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And we were off! ¬†Sandwiched between two days of overcast, Sunday was a beautiful day! The sun was just rising and for a while it was blinding us as we headed down ¬†Silverado Trail. I really only had one thing on my mind, though, and that was 9 minute miles. I began the race with the thought that running for four hours plus is a long time, but put in perspective: four hours is small amount of time compared to all of the hours of training. And if four hours was all that was between me and my goal, I could do it. I made the decision. The course was a little more ‘rolly’ than I had anticipated, but for the first 8 or so, I maintained a sub 9 pace. I could tell I was slowing as we got into the middle miles. As I crossed the one timing mat on the course, at 13.1, I was still very much in the game, at right about two hours. My goal? A 4:10. I wanted it very badly. I stayed on track, even as my pace slowed to around 9:30. If I didn’t slow too much, and could maintain a 10 minute pace through the last 10K, I could do it. I had committed to it, but there just are not any guarantees in 26.2 miles. ¬†It wasn’t to be. It’s as if a light switch was flipped at about 19 and I couldn’t push anymore. My 4:10 turned into a very long 4:41. I knew there were people waiting at the finish that were probably starting to worry. But it wasn’t a choice at that point in time. I simply didn’t have it in me that day.

I could say it was heartbreaking, but it wasn’t. Heartbreaking was last year, when I was training far better than this cycle and I didn’t get to run because of my injured hamstring. In spite of how disappointed I was, and how much I had wanted that 4:10 to qualify for Boston, at least I had gotten to try! I failed in one sense, but I am incredibly grateful to be able to cover this distance just 6 months and 10 days after my transplant.

Any way I look at it, it’s a PT PR. ( Post transplant personal record) Not that I want to use any excuses for not achieving my goal! I ¬†will work hard and I will try again. ¬†But if I gave one person hope for what is possible after an SCT, then each of the 281 minutes and 10 seconds was worth it.

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I love this guy, he’s always proud of me.

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Thanks for waiting, everyone!

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Yeh, this one means a lot to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Life, Part One

And now for something a little different.
About a month ago, I was contacted by a friend of mine in the Amyloidosis community, who is also on the board of directors with the Amyloidosis Foundation. She asked if I would like to go to Washington DC to attend Rare Disease Week as a patient advocate. I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
I had been hoping to be able to contribute to our cause and this would be an excellent opportunity. And I would get to go on a trip!
That week was last week, from the 23rd, through the 26th.
There were five of us from the foundation: Len, Isabelle, Mary Ellen, Dena and me. Len, Isabelle and I all were patients. Dena and Mary Ellen have lost loved ones to the disease. We also spent a lot of time with Spencer, who works for Prothena, a company working on the development of a new drug targeted at Amyloidosis.
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This, above, is a suit. I scoop litter boxes for a living, so I have never owned one. But I went out and got one!
We arrived on Monday and attended a cocktail party and a screening of the film, “Rare”.
On the schedule for Tuesday was a legislative conference with all kinds of information on what we would doing on Wednesday, which was “Lobby Day”. It was packed with details on the legislative process, new bills being introduced in the House and all about interacting with those in Congress.
That meant I needed to get my Tuesday run in early. The coffee in the lobby was not available until 6:30. I did not get on the treadmill until 7. No, that’s not that early, but it was 4 am California time and I’m not even sure I was awake yet. The streets were too icy for me to have safe run, I figured, so I got my 4 miles in the hard way!
Wednesday was an amazing day! I had no idea how many buildings there are that house the offices of our Representatives and Senators. We had six meetings with staffers. While we did not meet with any of the actual elected representatives, their assistants did seem to take a very real interest in getting the word out to their bosses. The purpose of our meetings was to share our personal stories and ask that they support legislation that supports getting new drugs to the marketplace. There are many roadblocks to getting new drugs developed and put into use for rare diseases. For example, often a large number of patients is needed for clinical trials. It can be next to impossible to find enough people who qualify for a trial when you have disease that affects only a very small percentage of the population. Yet, together, we were strong this week! While we were all representing diseases that are rare, together these diseases affect a lot of people, as there are over 7000 rare diseases. This affects 30 million people! One in ten Americans!
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From left to right: Dena, me and Allyssa, who was representing a type of muscular dystrophy. We were waiting for Nancy Pelosi’s staffer.
I was nervous at first but I quickly relaxed after the first meeting. I like to share my story and if there is one thing I’m an expert on, that’s me. So, I had nothing to worry about.
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In the Hart Senate Building, where Barbara Boxer’s office is.
On Thursday, I had most of the morning free, but I did have another running assignment to get in. I had noted on Wednesday that there was not as much ice on the sidewalks as before, but I awoke Thursday to snow fall. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had really wanted to get to the White House. After assessing the conditions, I determined it should be any more dangerous than running in the rain, so I made a little jaunt to Barack’s house, which was less than a mile from our hotel. I finished the run on the treadmill, but I later regretted that I didn’t stay outside. It wasn’t that cold once I started to run and I was thinking I could have found a route with fewer street crossings. But it’s all good! Any run is a good run!
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We had one more meeting to attend during lunch on Thursday, and  posed for a group pic with all the attendees of Rare Disease week. Then it was off the airport.
It went by fast. It’s almost a blur now, but it was a fabulous time!
And why my double life, you ask? Well, of all my experiences as a patient, this was a big event and just a few days later, I had another big event of a totally different kind. More on that tomorrow!

Gratitude

Tonight I was in the store and I had one of those moments. I went in for milk and garlic bread. Then I was wondering if I needed anything else. Because there were thousands of items on the shelves and I could afford almost any of them. Not quite like the lottery commercial where the winning guy ¬†says. “I could totally afford all this cheese. ” I could not afford all the cheese in the store. ¬†But if I needed one more thing, chances are, I could buy it. I couldn’t even think of anything I needed. I threw a few cans of cat food into my basket so the cats could have a treat. I realized, once again, how blessed I am. I have all that I need. I like those moments because they make me happy, which in turn, makes me live in the present.

I’ve always tried to live in the present, but it became more important to me when I got my diagnoses. I was scared at the time and although I’m not frightened about it any more, I try to hang on to the lessons I’ve learned from it. When I first found out what was wrong, I had not had symptoms for very long….just a few months. I had no idea if I was going to spiral into a life of feeling sick or dealing with side effects from treatments, or what. I wrote in my journal that I had read long term survival was 10 years and that I could be dead in two years. It’s all the information was available to me at the time, before I could see the next doctor who would help me sort things out. ¬†Fortunately I was told not long after that I would probably be able to live a long time with this. I was relatively young and healthy and I would most likely do well for a long time.

Now it’s a year and half later and I’m doing great. I wanted to use my birthday to celebrate my good fortune. ¬†It was quite a milestone, too. I turned 55. I was exactly half way through my 50’s. It was day 150 since my transplant. And it was exactly one and half years since my diagnoses to the day.

I ran 19.60 miles on Friday, January 16th, my actual birthday. I rode 55 miles on my bike on the next day. On the third day, I went to the pool for 55 minutes…they are only open 2 hours on the weekends so that was about the best I could do. Over the course of the weekend, I also ran and walked an additional 14 miles to end up with a total of 55 kilometers (34.1 miles) on foot.

I want to thank everyone who participated.  Kerry, Erin, Pete, Mike, Andy, Bill, Margaret, Howard, Randy, Christy, Paula, and Joanne! It was a lot of fun.

I am just so happy I could do this. That was what it was all about. I can do it. So I did. I’m so grateful for my recovery. I have more adventures coming up. I can’t wait to see how things unfold.

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The biker gang at the start

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The runners

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Biker gang at the end

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Aid aid station by Joanne and Randy on Mt Diablo

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Route markers

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and last but not least…

Breaking Bad cupcakes by Paula!

 

Happy New Year!

Here we go. Another year. It’s not as if years are packaged into little separate baggies. It’s just the calendar turning over. January 1st is one day after December 31st, just as December 1st comes right after November ¬†30th. But we can’t help but see the new numbers as a new beginning. It’s human nature, isn’t it?

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My tradition since 2010 has been to run a Brazen trail race on New Year’s Day. The photo above captures a special moment. It’s been a long time since I’ve crossed a finish line with my good buddy, Randy, who is also my brother-in-law. It’s the little things that make racing fun.

What is ahead for this year? I’m trying to envision smooth sailing. Remission. All year. Running. All year. ¬†That’s my hope. And I expect to be with family and friends all year. Because I know they will be there, the best part of my life.

2014 was amazing. One could look back and characterize my year into three parts: getting ready for the transplant, having the transplant and recovering from the transplant. That would be true. But my year was so much more. ¬†When my life changed in 2013, I began thinking and feeling so much deeper than before. It’s as if my senses became acute to the life around me. I chose to focus on all the wonderful things around me. There are a lot of wonderful things!

I haven’t been able to come up with big changes I want to make for my life this year. It’s not because life is so perfect or I have evolved into someone needing no improvements. Of course not. I do however choose to focus on what is right and along the way, I’m going to try to work on the things that aren’t, as they affect me. I’m not one for big resolutions, although I usually like to challenge myself in some way. I’ve tried to come up with some goals, but I have realized that I’m doing what I need to be doing right now. I’m working on my fitness and business goals, ¬†I’m trying to stay healthy, and I’m aspiring to be a better mom and wife.

I know I could do more. I’ve thought a lot about my good fortune in my recovery and whether there is any possible reason for it. Perhaps I was meant to use it as a tool. I’ve come to feel a responsibility to help educate and promote awareness about my disease. The wheels are turning in my head.

For now, I’m starting small. I’ve got a birthday coming up. It’s a big one for me…55. Starting on Friday the 16th, my birthday, I plan to spend the weekend running, cycling and in the pool. It’s called “I Can’t Drive 55”. ¬†(So I’ll run, bike and swim!) I’ve told my friends, no gifts please, although a donation to Amyloidosis.org would be OK if one feels they must do something! If you’d like more info about “I Can’t Drive” , please leave a message here.

Thanks!

A Little Kindness

Last month some time, someone on Facebook mentioned about doing some kind of “random acts of kindness challenge”, for the month of December. I don’t remember what it was or who suggested it. There was a mention of reporting in with what everyone had done, and I do know that I said maybe we should keep it a secret until it was all done. I’ve searched for it. Naturally, I couldn’t find it again. December started. I don’t know if anyone else is doing it. On the first of the month, I realized I could just do my own thing.

I decided to try to do one kind thing for someone each day. Anything. A small thing. Preferably for someone I don’t know, but it’s OK if it’s not a stranger. It’s my own little thing. ¬†I figured I could make up my own rules. The one thing that’s not OK, for now anyway, is to talk about it. I’m talking about it in general terms now, because I would love to have some people join me. But I’m not going to talk specifics. I thought about it and realized that detailing what we have done could turn it in to a contest.

Last year in November, I participated in a planking challenge. I was going through a rough patch and I desperately needed a distraction. In addition to completing the required number of seconds for my plank, I came up with interesting locations to perform it. It fed my competitive nature to try to come up with something new and different every day. I had some good laughs, planking on my son’s teacher’s desk, (Thanks Susan!),¬† and in various spots around town.¬† In spite of all the fun, I still got the physical benefit of the challenge. The antics did not take away the whole point, which was to develop my core strength.

SusansClassPlank ConcordPlank

But with this new challenge, it could then become about who came up with the most creative thing. The real meaning would be lost. The real meaning is to help someone. To make someone’s day. To make someone smile. To perhaps instill in them the idea to do the same. As corny as it sounds, it’s about making the world a little bit better. It should come from the heart, not because we want to brag about what we have done. If the motivation comes from the heart, the act itself is the reward.

That’s not to say we can’t talk about later, sometime in 2015, because we could give each other ideas going forward. But the beauty of it now is just to do some beautiful things.

I’m going to try to keep it up through December. Perhaps you could too. Or pick the next 30 days. Or longer. But I think it’s always nice to start small and develop habits. I’m hoping this will become a habit for me.

Will you join me?

And please note, I did a whole blog post without mentioning running¬† even once. That’s because I did 14 miles today and I’m too tired. ūüôā

 

A Little Tanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day was big for me this year. It’s always special but this year meant so much more. Not only do I have a lot for which to be thankful, but November 27th was my Day 100 post transplant. It’s supposed to be a big milestone in recovery. I don’t know that it was for me, in that I have been doing so well all along, but I love round numbers and if someone tells me this is special, then I am happy to feel it is!

I’m pictured below with Pete, Karen, Andy, Erin, Bill, Christy and Pauline.

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Since it was a holiday, it wasn’t hard to find a race to celebrate the day. ¬†I wasn’t quite ready to run 6 miles hard, but I thought I could hang on for 3. While most of my buddies ran the 10k, I chose the 5. Hoping to break 27, I had a satisfying 26:27. I still have a way to go, but I’m getting there. The best part, was just being there with my group. Running, watching my friends come in, having coffee after. ¬†Those are the best days for me. I loved every minute of it.

And the day was just beginning there. We still had the celebration at Joanne and Randy’s house to look forward to. But not before some serious chicken holding took place. Randy’s sister Nan, and his mom, Ferne, came over to experience some close encounters of the clucking kind. I’m only too happy to facilitate that.

Below is Nan, whom I affectionately refer to as my sister-in-law-in-law, holding Lucy.

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And her mom, Ferne, holding my new girl, Fern! ( Just a co-inky-dink on the naming thing!)

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It was a fun day all around. I have a family and extended family that I really do love to spend time with. We even captured a pic of all six of us Tanks together at the same time.

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Later that day we received word that a new little addition to our family would be ready to come home over the weekend. We had made arrangements to adopt an Australian Shepherd from the SPCA for Monterey County the week before. However, she had had complications from her spay surgery so her future was unclear. Our very thankful day was complete when we learned “Stacy” would finally be joining our family.

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So much to be happy about! May all your days be thankful!

Driven…

It’s about time. My life has settled into a routine. Running my office, working out, doing the dishes, and apparently, ignoring my blog. In an effort to make sure said blog didn’t become an endless list of workouts, I set it aside completely. But I’m back.

So, let’s just get this out of the way now. In the last month, I celebrated Day 60 with a 60 mile bike ride in Davis, the Foxy Fall Century. (I chose the metric option, just 100K, not miles, I mean…. I’m not crazy) I rode with some great people….Marie, Dorene, and my new friends Cathy and George. An organized ride is a great way to enjoy a long ride because they feed you. A lot.

A few days later, my buddies Margaret and Renate and I rode all the way to the summit of Mt Diablo. We knew we could do it, but I have to tell you, the last few hundred yards are very steep…just what you want at the very end. But what a blast! I felt like Queen of the World!

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On the running front, life has continued to move toward normal. I was hoping to achieve a 3 mile run in under 30 minutes and I managed to eke that out in the first week of November. I’m doing some intervals on the treadmill at the gym, which is forcing me to run faster for very short periods of time. ¬†Although I walked more than usual, I did a 10 mile trail run on Saturday. It’s coming back and it’s sooner than I had originally hoped. I’m really happy.

You might ask why all of this is so important to me? What exactly IS the rush? Why does it all matter how fast or how far I can run?

Like many runners, it is my passion. I love setting goals, I love running in races and I love running with my friends. I love being part of things. ¬†It’s just who I am. Obviously, I want to have what I had before. It will happen. But….

I’m not very patient. I don’t think I’ve ever been. The last couple of years have not helped me develop that virtue. A little history might help explain.

In 2007, I started running and by the next year, much to my surprise, I was fast enough to qualify for the 2009 Boston Marathon.  Although I repeated that enough times to run it in 2010 and 2011, those two years were not good for me. I was in a running slump. At the beginning of 2012, I found a solution. I began training with my wonderful coach, Andy. After spending most of 2012 getting back into shape, I was fired up at the beginning of 2013 and planned to run a spring marathon. Not only did I want to qualify for Boston again, but my dream became to run it with a couple of very dear friends of mine, Paula and Erin, who I had met about the time I met Andy. But trouble came along. I had plantar fasciitis in my right foot, which was so painful, I stopped running for almost 5 months. By the time it was better,  I had gotten my diagnoses of Amyloidosis and was starting chemo. Fortunately, I was able to run during treatment, but just as I was training for another marathon in the fall, I was diagnosed with a condition in my neck and told not to run until I had surgery. This would not likely take place until I was done with chemo. Two opinions later, I was cleared to run but my marathon had passed. So I found another one in March of 2014.  I was back running again, and in spite of the interruptions in training, I was cranking out some of my best training runs ever. Unfortunately I pulled a muscle two weeks before the race and it took eight weeks to heal. By the time it did, we had decided to do the stem cell transplant in the summer. I developed a pain in the other leg. It was clear there would be no marathon before the transplant. It would have to wait until after. And there was no telling how long it would be before I would even be able to train.

Now, it’s ‘after’. ¬†I was told it could be a long recovery, but I am running now. ¬†What could have killed off any desire to keep going, has only made me more determined. ¬†I should be patient to let nature take its course, but I will be honest here. I’m hoping for some smooth sailing for a while, but I have learned to expect the unexpected. More than 2 and half straight months of running would be a dream come true. I’m hopeful. But I’m scared. But hopeful. Mostly hopeful. Very determined. Some would say obsessed. I prefer ‘driven’.

As for now, I try to just keep moving forward and do something every day to advance me toward my goals, even if that means a rest day. I know I have to keep working toward my goals. I know I have to believe in myself.

I am. I do. I am driven.

 

The Post Transplant Patient

I’ve ¬†been home as long as I was gone. Exactly one month. That milestone occurred yesterday, so I celebrated it by, what else? Making a trip to Stanford!

The trip west yesterday was all about complications, not the actual transplant. I  had two appointments. One was to see the skin cancer doc because last week I found a little bump on my side, and one for a repeat ultrasound to check on my blood clot.

They biopsied this little bump, that sort of popped up last week, because I’m a post transplant patient. ¬†Yesterday I got a call from the doctor letting me know it was a ruptured cyst with a little bit of infection. It’s not a big deal. They were going to put me on antibiotics, though, mostly because I am a post transplant patient. I wouldn’t need to see the cancer doctor after all. That appointment had been made by mistake. That was a little sigh of relief. ¬†Do I need skin cancer too? I may have already lost my hair, but seriously, I don’t have TIME for that too!

I was down to one appointment then. All I had was the ultrasound. I hope it’s getting smaller. I’m injecting myself daily with a blood thinner and although I have gotten really good at it, I wouldn’t mind stopping. The imaging technician mentioned that they rarely treat ones in the calf, but of course, but I finished her sentence. I know, it’s because I’m a post transplant patient.

When I’m not making trips across the bay, I’m keeping pretty busy at home. I have plenty to do without pet sitting visits. Working out, drinking coffee…it all takes time. I always used to joke that when I was younger, I wanted to be at a stay-at-home-mom without any kids. (No longer true of course…now that I have given birth to my precious munchkins, I wouldn’t change a thing) But you get the idea. Anyway, I’m liking my life. It doesn’t matter how I got here. I still like it.

Running is getting slightly easier. I’m alternating walking and running and I find myself feeling just a little bit more normal each time. I can run a tenth of a mile at my normal pace. Now I ¬†just need to string together a whole ton of those and I can run with my friends again. I am very determined to get there!

I do have a cycling event coming up, so I’ve been mindful that I might actually want to train for it. I mean, most people do. And after all, I am a post transplant patient. ūüôā I rode up to the “junction” of ¬†Mt Diablo last week with my friends, Margaret and Renate. It’s a reasonable stopping point before pushing the final 4 miles to the top, but it’s not exactly easy to get to, either. It’s about 2500 feet of climbing over about six miles. You have to like ‘up’ or it’s not a lot of fun. And a tip, have good brakes for the ‘down’!

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We planned another trip up the mountain Tuesday but when we got to the state park gate, I couldn’t seem to clip in after a brief stop. That would be because I didn’t have a pedal! We found part of it nearby, but the bottom section must have fallen off somewhere else on our four mile trip out there. I was going to buy a new set but without the luxury of time to order online, it was going to be pricey.

Margaret thought she had a heard a noise somewhere and texted me, suggesting we go looking for it, just as I was thinking the same thing. We walked along Citrus Avenue, about a half mile from her house. There it was in the street, and Margaret spotted it….3 more pieces anyway. When I got home, I could see I was missing one more piece and one screw. Another trip out to the gate was fruitless. Until I thought about it. Maybe the last piece was still stuck in the cleat. Bingo! I was good to go with a 47 cent screw, as opposed to $115 for pedals.

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I feel like I lead a charmed life. Well, most of the time, anyway.

I’ll be posting about the event on Saturday which will celebrate Day 60 post transplant. It’s a bit of a milestone. I can quit wearing my hepa mask, even in a medical facility or around a construction site. I thought about tossing it away after my appointment, yesterday. But that was Day 57. And I had to get through today and tomorrow before I reach Day 60. And what with me and complications, well, I am not tempting fate. I am a post transplant patient, after all. ūüôā

Active Recovery!

Now that I’ve been home for almost three weeks, I have an idea of what recovery is going to be like.

I have a nice little routine. I get up in the morning, drive Joel to school, and go into my office to take care of any pressing needs of the business. Then…it’s time for fun. I mean, exercise. Because being able to work out is totally fun.

I was told that recovery can be long and slow. So I tried to prepare for that. But it’s not working out. The first morning, I walked two miles. By the weekend, I walked a 5K trail race, complete with a couple of good hills. ¬†I feel really good while walking.

On Tuesday I had an appointment in the ITA. Lenny said I could do anything but bungee jump, so I went for a little run when we got back into town. ¬†If you can call it that. ¬†I mean, there were periods of time when both feet were off the ground at the same time. That’s the definition of running in the dictionary. It’s not my definition. According to me, I wasn’t really running yet. I had to walk a little. My legs felt like cement. I felt like I could barely breathe. Howard was with me. He ran backwards part of the time. ¬†I still had trouble keeping up. It was about a 15 minute mile. (My happy pace is about 6 minutes faster.) ¬† It was horrible. ¬†And wonderful. ¬†I loved every miserable second of it.

 

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I decided to scale back and try short quarter miles jogs every two or three days. The magic has started to happen. I don’t feel quite as bad while running now. I can run a whole tenth(!) of a mile at a 9:30 pace and today I tried another mile. It was better. About a 12 minute mile. I have surprised myself with how patient I am being with myself. Positive affirmations R Me! I know I am so lucky to be doing anything. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’ve got a long way to go. I don’t think I’m going to get there by being mean.

Last week I decided it was time to take my bike in for a tune up. For the first time in a year, I’m riding my “Bluey” on the road instead of a trainer. I was concerned for about a minute about riding. But you know what they say about riding a bike…it’s just like riding a bike! Today, I did 23 miles.

Yeh, I have something up my sleeve. I have a reputation to keep up.

So the recovery thing… I’m not good at it. ¬†I guess I don’t know how to do it right. ¬†But I’m OK with that.