January turned out to be a pretty good month, running-wise. As I mentioned in my last post, I've joined a half marathon/marathon training group organized by the local running store. Today was the 4th group run, but I missed last week's since we went to Chicago to celebrate my birthday (last one in my 20s!). So far I'm really enjoying it and I like the weekly accountability and companionship. They also offer yoga classes on Sunday mornings - tomorrow will be my second. The first was great, so I'm really looking forward to it.
Looking back on the month, the thing that sticks out at me the most is how much my pace has dropped - it's quite a bit lower than I was expecting for this point on my comeback tour. I ran about 51 miles in January (not sure of the decimal, my log rounds off and I'm just that lazy) and cross-country skied between 25 and 30. I would have liked to ski more, but there's not much I can do about the utter lack of snow fall. Unfortunately I can't say I've been any better about core work in the past couple weeks, but I do think yoga and skiing are helping in that area, so at least there's that.
Otherwise, not much has changed. I have enough hair to get some really crazy hat head after nice sweaty runs and I'm still having trouble focusing and motivating to get my school work done.
There are a couple things that are still bothering me with my health. When I start to drift off to sleep, I get this feeling that I'm falling but don't jerk back awake like you would normally expect - I just keep falling. It's disturbing and it's starting to cause anxiety and interfere with ever actually falling asleep, so my oncologist referred me to a neurologist. That appointment should be sometime in the next couple weeks. I'm also having pain and tightness in my right arm (cancer side) that seems consistent with Axillary Web Syndrome (though fortunately not as serious as in that picture), so I'll also be setting up a physical therapy appointment. I'm not really sure how that's going to effect yoga tomorrow morning, as it started last week when I didn't attend yoga, so I'll just have to pay close attention to my arm and make sure not to aggravate it. I'm obviously frustrated by both of these things and would really, really love to just move on already, but apparently my body isn't ready for that yet.
And on that note, I read a great NYT Well Blog entry on recuperating vs. recovering - of all the things I've read, this comes closest to describing where I am right now....and will be for a while, I guess:
After surgery and treatment, my 21st-century synapses and neurons wanted to believe that the cancer had been no more than a bump in the road toward a bright future — just a particularly nasty frost heave.
But the deepest analog part of me understood that having cancer was a life-changing event. As much as I thought I wanted to forge ahead, surge into the whirlwind of dailiness, I needed to slow way down.
The scar on my gut might have faded a bit — I had indeed recuperated — but I still needed to recover.