The "New Normal"

Anyone who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer and made it through treatment has heard the phrase "new normal." I am a little bit more than 4 months out of treatment, and 4 months since I was told I was in remission, and I feel like I am well on my way to my "new normal." 

Let me start with my fitness routine. As of yesterday, I have completed 53.39 running miles since completing treatment. I have been an active participant in the Cancer to 5K running group. The group meets twice a week (once on Wednesday evenings and once on Saturday mornings). I have only missed 2 session up to this point and they were both due to a scheduling conflict. I recently purchased a Polar 400 heart rate monitor because I signed up for the Train Like a Mother Club Heart Rate 101 challenge. I used the Half-Marathon Challenge from Train Like a Mother when I was training for my first half-marathon, and I am an avid listener of their podcast, so when they said they were going to put together a heart rate training plan that is meant to help recover from injury and build stamina, I figured this was the one for me. It is an 8 week training plan which combines easy runs where I am supposed to keep my heart rate below 140 (which isn't as easy as it sounds!), with short strength circuits 3 times a week. Since I just started week 1, the only thing I can really tell you is that keeping my heart rate under 140 has been quite a challenge!!

This past Sunday I ran the 5K portion of the Chicago Half-Marathon and 5K for #TeamTeal. #TeamTeal supports the fundraising efforts of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). In exchange for a discounted entry into the race, I committed to raising a minimum of $300. In exchange, I got some neat swag and a special #TeamTeal running shirt to wear the day of the race. I ran the half-marathon portion of this race last year and I didn't do well. I had previously though that the reason I didn't do well was because I hadn't been training enough, but in retrospect, I suspect it was because I had already developed cancer. My final time for the 5K was 45:47, which had me at a 14:11/mile pace. Not where I was before treatment, but definitely improving. I ran about 80% of the race.

I restarted my Weight Watchers membership about two months ago. I have finally started taking it more seriously. As of my last weigh-in, I have lost 6 of the pounds I gained while I was on chemotherapy! I have been eating better, and started drinking a Shakeology every morning. I am definitely feeling better, have less fatigue and more stamina than I have had before. Baby steps!