The C Word

Cancer.

Something you think about from time to time, feel sympathy for, not understand, something that happens to other people and their loved ones but not something that could ever really happen to you. Wrong.

A couple weeks ago, I went into the doctor’s office for a normal check up, no big deal. Then I had some test results come back as abnormal. The doctor calls me up and says “It could be cancer.” I’m 26. I am extremely active, healthy, have never had any major medical issues, this couldn’t be happening to me.

They referred me to a specialist. My appointment was this morning. Uncomfortable, terrifying, horrifying that this was actually, really happening.

The initial prognosis is pre-cancerous cells. They took biopsies and sent them off to the lab. Hopefully they will be back by friday. If it is something, it is in the very early stages. But even if it’s not cancer now, it can potentially turn into it later. Or it could all clear up on its own and go away.

I’ve never understood what it was like to have something uncontrollable in your life until now. It’s not something I can see or feel yet, but it’s still there. Never really guessed this would happen to me or I guess so early in my life. But I guess cancer doesn’t really take that into account.

I don’t understand why this happening. There is still so much more in my life that I have left to do. I’m not done living yet, whatever the results may be. I’ve never been one to ask for people to send positive thoughts my way, but if you could, please do. I know I have my family, friends and Team in Training community behind me in this.

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When the Wheels Come Off, Keep Going

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Beautiful view from my run this weekend.

After the disappointment of Ironman Lake Tahoe getting cancelled, it was past due time for a little R&R. I enjoyed a week and a half off before getting in some unstructured, fun, whatever the heck I wanted to do work outs. To be honest, it felt quite amazing. I did a little rowing, some yoga and even a fun group run with a local running group. But now, it’s time to get back to business.

The past couple of days, I have been doing some test sets, so my new coach Craig Paiement, knows where I’m at and where we can go from here.

My first test was on Saturday in the pool. It’s been a while since I really swam fast, so I didn’t know what to expect. The set was a 200 all out, 1 minute of rest, 800 fast, 5 minutes rest, and 5 100’s as fast as I could go. I was surprised to discover that I can still go under a 1:10 in a 100 freestyle. It’s been years since I went that fast. The results were 2:17 on the 200, 10:07 on my 800 and then 1:09, 1:10, 1:10, 1:11, 1:09 respectively for the 5 100’s. It didn’t feel absolutely great, and it definitely felt like I was spinning my wheels on the 800, but it was good to know I can still go fast and that I can build off this.

Next, was an FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test on the bike on Sunday. This was done to determine some better training zones for my bike. This was all done on a Computrainer, indoors, and on my bike, so we could control as many variables as possible. First, was 5 minutes of 100+ rpm. This really got the heart going. Then, was a minute ALL OUT. Dang, I’m not so great sprinting on the bike. Then it was 5 minutes at a 6% grade as fast as I could go while maintaining my speed. But then came the real meat of the whole test. A teeth grinding, face sweating, white knuckling 20 minutes maintaining a zone 4 out of 5 effort level. It was a rough 20 mins where I swore I would bike harder than ever before if it could just be over. I all but fell off the bike. And testing was done for the day.

Last but not least was the bread and butter of my triathlons, a 5k for time. With the exception of Age Group Nationals, I really haven’t run fast in months. So I knew this was going to hurt. But maybe not how bad. First, I did a little warm up, some dynamic running and a 400 all out just for good measure. My stomach felt like it was going to fall out. Despite how I felt, my 400 was under 5:17/mile pace. The fastest I have ever run in my life ever. Then it was to the dreaded 5k. The first mile felt great, and then the wheels came off. I realized how out of shape I am for going that fast to that degree. But if I really want to get faster, I need to be uncomfortable and do some work and just keep going.

So what does this all mean? It time to build some speed back into my training. On top of that, I still need to maintain some of my Ironman endurance over the next few months. Here we go!

Keep-Going