THE ARTISTIC LIFE – Living the creative life in everything we do

Posts tagged ‘10K’

Why Run?

So, as I was thinking about my recent fun and successful 10K race and my desire to run more races and even work my way up to a half marathon, I was thinking more about WHY I am running. Of course, there’s the obvious health factor. Not only the cardiovascular benefits, but keeping weight down, boosting the immune system, and (hopefully) minimizing my chances of a recurrence or another kind of cancer (after my thyroid cancer and radiation, I’m at higher risk). However, continuing with the cancer theme, as one goes through the diagnosis and treatment phases for a serious condition like cancer, one feels dehumanized. I became a piece of meat, a pin cushion, a set of lab numbers, an appointment slot, another seat in the oncology waiting room…This isn’t to say that I didn’t like the care from my doctors and nurses overall. In this situation, it’s something that can’t really be helped, when you’re in a sterile environment (both literally and figuratively as you’re sitting in a clean, white medical room without personality), focusing on your bodily functions and measurements, and not on your soul, mind, or personality. While running does focus on your body, it also focuses on your other aspects of humanity as well – your mind, your determination, your drive, your goals, your enjoyment of your surroundings, your musical taste as you listen to your choice in music, etc. It is a way to control your body after a time of losing control and also rejoining your body with your mind and soul.

Also, having racing events to work towards can get you through the tough times. In the near future, I will be getting more medical tests done and seeing doctors to try to decipher if my cancer has been successfully and completely treated. I will admit I am nervous about this and not looking forward to it (although I do blissfully dream of hearing the words “You are cancer-free!”) However, I’m thinking of signing up for an 8K race that’s 2 days after a big medical appointment. Is this a good thing? Well, I figure, if I receive bad news during the prior medical appointment, this will be a way for me to cope and not dwell on the bad news. If the appointment goes well, it will be a joyous way for me to celebrate! I even may sign up for a Half Marathon in the Fall, not knowing for sure if I will need any more medical treatment (RAI or surgery) during that time period. Worst case scenario – I’m out 70 bucks if I can’t run the race. Best case – I stay in top physical shape, with this goal keeping my mind busy through the tough times, and I reach the goal of completing a Half Marathon.

Running is also good at forcing one to seize the day and make the most of each moment, which is something that many cancer patients learn. When life is short (and it is for everyone, not just cancer patients), make the most of what time we’ve got. Running involves counting minutes (even seconds), timing oneself, and celebrating the big finish – what a great way to live in the moment!!

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Survivor Sticker

Cancer Survivor Euro style sticker

Cancer Survivor Euro style sticker

As I’ve been training for my first race ever (Monument Avenue 10K) as a previous non-runner, I’ve been thinking about my journey for the past 5 months from “Couch” to 10K. The first time I ran (2 weeks after my high dose of 150 mci of Radioactive Iodine for my thyroid cancer), I could barely run 1/3 of a mile. Now I can run 6.2 miles. It has been a journey full of challenges (including cancer, asthma,  and reactive hypoglycemia, just to name a few). I was also thinking about those Euro style “26.2” and “13.1” stickers (they even have “6.2” versions!) that race finishers often (deservedly) show off. It certainly is a milestone and a wonderful accomplishment, especially for those with health challenges and other obstacles. However, I was thinking that for me, at least, my journey with dealing with a diagnosis of cancer has been so much more challenging than this 10K. Why not show off the accomplishment of being a cancer survivor with a “Survivor” sticker?! For many, this will be the greatest challenge of our lives. Although I found many ‘survivor’ decals and stickers offered online, I didn’t see any of these Euro-style accomplishment stickers for survivors, hence I designed one (check it out at my CafePress shop).

Congrats to all the race finishers and cancer survivors out there and be proud of what you have accomplished!

 

10K or Bust

Happy Friday! Hope you have some fun/creative/productive plans for this weekend! As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been running as part of my strategy of overcoming cancer and other health issues. Well, we’re almost 2 months away from my first race, Richmond’s Monument Avenue Ukrops 10K. I’ve signed up with my husband and some Richmond-area friends for this fun event. Training during the Winter months has involved using the treadmill at the local Y, but I’m looking forward to when there’s enough daylight and warmth in the evenings to run outside again. It’s a lot more fun to view neighborhood scenery than to just stare at the row of treadmills in front of me at the Y (or worse yet, whatever cheesy show is currently on USA Network on the gym TV…).  My goal is to run the whole distance. I haven’t been able to work up to the full 6.2 yet (came fairly close when I ran 5 miles outside a couple Saturdays ago when it was really warm.). With more mild temps expected this weekend, hopefully I can squeeze in a nice long run outdoors and get closer to my goal!! Hope you all set or reach some of your goals (big or small) this weekend too!

Wooo! 10K or bust!

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