What’s happening?

It's been a while since I wrote and two months since my race. I'm still super bummed I didn't finish the Keys100 but more bummed that I haven't gotten my running mojo back.

Just before the race, I had blood work done through my doctor. First, how about a little back story?

If you've followed any runner, for any amount of time, you know we don't hold back when it comes to sharing. Is very similar to being a medical professional: there's nothing off-limits to discuss in the lunch room. Anyway…most runners talk about their typical training/race rituals. They usually include (upon waking) light breakfast and coffee, bathroom visit (thank you coffee), hydrate, run. Add in women's issues and you have even more bodily functions we have to deal with. This backstory will be no different. I've never had regular cycles and after my youngest turned three, my menstrual issues got worse. No real reason for them to either, so I implored the help of a new gynecologist. Both of my children were born with midwives so I knew I wanted to get established with a more local doctor for routine labs and such. So I went in to discuss my issues and the conversation went to "Pelvic ultrasounds, possible birth control options (for hormonal regulation), and the like." I casually mentioned that my mom, a 2-time breast cancer warrior had recently gotten the BRCA blood test. At the time, I want sure which one (BRCA1 or BRCA2) and my doctor wanted to find out so we could discuss options.

The next week I had my ultrasound done and the results were clear. Yay! But I also had the privilege of telling the doctor that my mom's BRCA mutation was BRCA1. I had already decided that I would have the same genetic testing done to see if I did too. She asked if I was sure and I eagerly signed the consent form.

By May 8, I had my results: BRCA1 positive. The race was 12 days away. So, I had more motivation to pound the pavement. And think, and think some more. As soon as the doctor told me, I knew what my choice would be. You see, there are basically three options for mutants like me
1) Semi-annual MRIs/Mammograms/Ultrasounds
2) Take an anti-cancer drug (Tamoxifen) for 20+ years
Or
3)A prophylactic bilateral mastectomy

There was never a doubt in my mind that I would be choosing #3. I have two young children and refuse to make them go through me being sick with breast cancer and subsequent treatment. This way, they are just seeing me recover from a night at the hospital (in the simplest terms).

From the gynecologist, I immediately marched to the end of the plaza and made an appointment with a surgeon to discuss my options.

The worst thing I did was join all the BRCA "support" groups I could. Ugh. So many women in various stages of recovery/surgery/hate/love/etc. It was all too overwhelming. I have since connected with a select few groups and individuals who, I feel, are most supportive of my wants and desires.

Anyway, first was a baseline mammogram. I'm going to be honest. This was a piece of cake. But DAAAANG. That solidified my not wanting to have semi-annual imaging done. I can not imagine the anxiety that accompanies these tests. Every. Single. Time.
Waiting to go back

These choir member "robes" are all the rage this year

Praise the lord my results were clear. However, I found that I have dense tissue and once the mammogram came back clear, I was still required to get an ultrasound. Yay…more random techs squishing the goods 😒

Next up was meeting the general surgeon (GS). This was about a month after my results came back. He was jovial, real, and cut to the chase. There was no BS and my husband liked him. That was half the battle. He then referred me to a plastic surgeon he works almost exclusively with and ordered a breast MRI.

During all this, I was running off and on, and trying to get in some walks when I could. But, really… the motivation was gone by now.

A couple weeks after I met the GS, it was time to meet the plastic surgeon. His office staff was amazing and he had a great air about him as well. I was warned he might have an "off" sense of humor, but I felt nothing off about the visit. We decided on a reduction (yay!) in conjunction with the reconstruction.
Side note: a mastectomy with reconstruction is NOT a Boob job. There will be no breast tissue left. It will only be implants.
In doing a reduction, the excess skin can be used to help sling and support the implants. I'm ready to be able to easily purchase a sports bra off the shelf and not have to order it!

A couple of weeks later I had my MRI. What a crappy experience. There were no issues, really, and my results came back fine, but the supine position with your arms above your head, while your breasts are cradled in their own little cages, and the majority of your upper body is being supported by only your sternum SUCKS!!! And you end up with some excellent face creases. NOT! lol
another choir robe…pink this time

Originally, I was told that the surgery could be 4-6 weeks from the initial surgery consultation. That would have been last week. However, between the doctor's summer vacation (he, too, has young children) and our vacations, it was difficult to plan follow-up appointments. But we got them planned

Tomorrow is the day we schedule everything. I really want to go for a run, but now there's a tropical storm blowing across the state. So now you know a little more about why I've not run as much. Sorry the post was so long. But I don't think I could be a very good advocate for health, wellness, & fitness or be a good PT, if I didn't share the importance of preventative medicine.

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Race recap Keys100 

If you follow my Facebook group page, you know that I did not finish the Keys100 50k. In fact, it was a month ago today. 

My crew


My training was pretty sound, nutrition on point (thanks Relentless Dietetics), Swiftwick socks kepts my feet dry (along with my Anti Monkey Butt powder), Engo patches were decreasing friction, and my Nuun hydration was hydrating, but the race gods were not on my side. The first 2.67 miles was full of self-doubt and the next 10 miles I developed a nagging hip ache that just wouldn’t stop. 

The course view did not suck


The aid station volunteers were amazing and even asked if I wanted to have them stretch out my hip. Unfortunately, had I gotten on the ground to stretch, I don’t think I would have gotten back up. 

Knowing what I do, I knew that had I continued to run, I would have been injured. So, I conceded and had my first DNF ever. And while I did shed a few tears, I know I did the best I could at that time. 

Thinking back on the weekend, I still absolutely LOVE this race, but I really feel like I would be more happy as a volunteer. So, next year…who knows?!  Until then, I’ll run for fun and fitness and focus on other health issues going on (more on that in a later post).  

The end of this journey and the beginning of another

Happy running!!

465+ 

The last two weeks of my challenge had me going through all the house to find items. I’ve now got two empty dresser drawers and I could probably fit the remaining things into even few drawers. I got rid of over 465 items. 


I’m sure I’ll continue to purge over the next few weeks/months. 

But in purging everything, and ultimately finding more space for running gear, I came across a TON of greeting cards and photographs. While I realized that I loved running across them, they have all been sitting all over the house, in bins, baskets, boxes, etc. and not being enjoyed. So…my next challenge, will be a purge of these “memories.”

Wait, though. I’m not just going to throw out my photos or recycle my greeting cards. I have a plan for them. I’d love for you to follow along with me in this journey. If you’d like to do this challenge with me, be sure to tag me using the hashtag #PicOrToss and my Instagram @willrunforsweettea

I’ll explain more tomorrow and there won’t be tasks every day, especially since I’ll be in Key West for a few of those days. 

Even Less is Even More 

Week two of my minimalist challenge has come and gone. I’ve cleaned out over 100 items and made room for almost all of my running gear. It’s still on the floor in my bedroom, but there’s less stuff on the floor with it. 


My husband even noticed there was less stuff. That’s a start. This morning we took four bags of clothes and two boxes of household items to a local church’s thrift shop. It always feels good to be able to help out the community! The kids hopped out and took bags in too. This is an especially great time of year to start over and to help others have a new beginning. I mean, with Easter tomorrow, I’m extremely humbled to be starting fresh and it’s not even a fraction of the fresh start Christ provided us at Calvary. ✝️

So, if you’re following along with my journey, on Instagram, or just the updates here, I hope this can be a blessing to/for you. 

Less is More 

I finished the first 7 days of my minimalist challenge. If you aren’t familiar with this challenge, each day of April, I get rid of the number of items that correspond with the date. So, on the first I got rid of one thing, one the second..2, and so on. By the end of the month I’ll have gotten rid of over 600 items! 

Again, what does this have to do with running? Well, former, I’m finding that my running gear (shoes, socks, foot kit items, first aid, night gear, etc.) are most important to me right now. The problem is, they take up a lot of room. Well…not a ton of room. But enough that I need to clear out some clutter. 

So, I’ve gotten rid of 28+ items in a week and I’ve been able to downsize even my running stuff that’s worn out and past its prime. 


Here’s to week two! 

Minimalist Challenge Day 1

I’m sure you’ve heard of all the recent “movements” regarding tidying up, clearing out clutter, and otherwise downsizing the stuff in our lives. 

Now wait, I know you’re thinking “this is a blog about running and fitness?!?” Just hear me out. 

As I get closer to my Keys100 race, I’m finding it VERY easy to think about shifting my training or cutting scheduled runs short. It’s not because I don’t want to do them. I actually do. However, when I get home from work and see how much laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. needs to be done. It’s overwhelming. I’ll start putting on my running gear and then get sidetracked trying to put away a bunch of stuff I don’t even use. 

So last month, I followed the minimalist challenge attempted by an instagram friend. Basically, you get rid of the number of items, daily, that correlate with the date. So, on the 11th, eleven items (for example). That’s over 600 things by the end of the month!

I feel that by getting rid of these seemingly insignificant things, I can better clear my mind (and home) in preparation for this race. 
Think you have what it takes? Follow my journey in Instagram and if you decide to try the challenge for yourself, be sure to tag me!

10 Weeks and Counting 

Back before I started actively training for the Keys100, I researched a LOT of training plans. There are plans for 5K, 10k, half & full marathons, but nothing really past that (that were free and readily available online). So, I found a 30 week Marathon plan and just went through and added 18% to all the distances list, since my 50k is approximately 18% longer than a marathon. 

I am now in full blown panic mode. I only have 10 weeks left before the big day! From here on out, I’m not running any other races until May 20. Instead, I’m investing that money into gear I need for the big one. 

I’ve also been reading “Fixing Your Feet,” by John Vonhof. It’s a great read to help racers be proactive instead of reactive, come race day. It talks about blister prevention, and how to pre-tape areas of concern. If you have any issues with your feet, I highly recommend this book. 

For now, my training consists of tempo runs and longer, slow runs. Mileage should start ramping up and I believe the most I run, to train, is between 21 & 27 miles. I’m also slowly putting together a race kit and a foot kit. That way I can be thoroughly prepared without overdoing it. 

Family walk to/from breakfast. Our 5K time was less than 53 minutes…walking!

I’m happy with where I am and even more excited about where I’ll be in 10 weeks!