Learning To Run…

Last Chemo Roadtrip! / TiffanyAOlson.com

Last Chemo Roadtrip! June 2015

June 6, 2015 was my last chemo treatment. It has been almost 3 years. Three years ago Mr. Wonderful and I went for a walk. We lived in an area surrounded by hills. I was thrilled to be done and out in the fresh air with the person I love most in this world. As we walked we marveled at all we had been through so far that year and all that was yet to come, (I still had 6.5 weeks of radiation to go). I remember getting to a certain part on the hill, the steep part. Mr. Wonderful started pulling ahead because I was weak and tired. He reached back for my hand and began to pull me along. He reminded me that all I needed to do was put one foot in front of the other and to keep moving. We were not in a hurry but each step I took would help me to grow stronger.

This morning as we got ready for the day, Mr. Wonderful leaned in, gave me a kiss and told me how proud he was of me. Why? Because in 3 weeks I will run my 1st Marathon. He’s still encouraging me, cheering me on and providing a shoulder to cry on when the days get rough. And friends? I’m not going to lie. Some days have been rough.

Like I said we (my friend Debbie and I) are three weeks out. Okay, I’m 3 weeks out. Debbie is flying out next week to run The Boston Marathon (for the 5th time) and then she will come home and fly with me a week and a half later to run the Mt. Charleston Marathon. Leading up to all of this we have run 20 miles twice and 22 miles once. 4 days a week I arise at 3:15 am and hit the road by 4:00. We’ve run through freezing temperatures, dumping rain and howling wind. A few occasions its been all three at the same time! My 5th run of the week is usually on a Saturday when I allow myself the luxury of sleeping in until 7:00.

Tiff n Deb 1st 20 miler

1st 20 miler… I was a hurtin unit…

I have paid close attention to my body, my gear and my coach. A few weeks back I discovered there was one area I had completely overlooked… fuel. The world of pre-workout drinks and midrun pick-me-ups was completely foreign to me. 14 miles into our 1st 20 miler, I was exhausted. My legs were sore and hard to pick up. By mile 17.5 I was in tears and when we finally hit mile 20 I was relieved and discouraged at the same time. It’s hard to be proud of yourself when you can barely move. Each step was a monumental effort. All I kept thinking was … “I have no idea how I am going to add 6.2 miles to this in a few weeks.”

I couldn’t figure it out, all this training, all this time. I expected it to be hard, but not like this. My legs fully recovered within 48 hours so I knew there must be something else going on. After lots of questions and a little research, I armed myself with gu, water, sports drinks and tabs that taste like Sweettarts. We ran another 20 the following week and I ate before the run as well as used all of my new found treasures. What a world of difference it made! It was a completely different run. I didn’t cry, I just ran. I smiled while I ran and marveled at the grace of God for allowing my body to do this.

Fuel. Nothing runs without it. Not you, your car, your favorite motorized vehicle or your life. All of this fueling reminds me to take stock of what I am filling my life with. What am I eating, reading, watching and listening to? Are these things propelling me forward or holding me back? I am learning that running is a lot more than just getting out the door.

I have come a long way in 3 years. I still have a long way to go but I am open and willing to learn the lessons as they come. As I write this we are in the final two weeks of tax season. I don’t prepare the taxes but I fill in all the gaps at home so Mr. Wonderful can do all that needs to be done for our staff and our clients. Because of this my posts have been a bit thin as of late so I can be where I need to be for my family.

I have much to fill you in on… next up… the other people I could not run this race without.

Have a beautiful day my friends!

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