Monday, May 27, 2013

Half Marathon

It was tough, but I did it.  I ran the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon.  It feels like a huge accomplishment.

With all that time spent training, by the last two weeks before the race, I began thinking what did I sign up for?  I remember telling Mitch during one of our last long training runs "I don't even like running right now" and named one of our maps on mapmyrun "My horrible idea."  I was a bit negative before the race; I think it was just nerves.

Race weekend came and I turned it around.  We went to the WPS kids run.  The girls LOVED the chance to run in their first race.  They cherish the medals and wore them all weekend long.  It was hard for Aila to understand why she couldn't wear it to school on Monday morning.  It calmed my nerves a lot to see the finish line and run a small portion (0.62 miles) the day before.  We enjoyed our free tickets to the pasta dinner at Lambeau Saturday night and were all set for race day.

On race day we made it there in the morning with plenty of time, did zero warm up or stretching (why do you need to add on a mile warm up before you run 13 or 26 miles?), and made our way to the start.  For some reason we had "preferred start" bibs.  I'm not that fast.  I didn't deserve one.  I have a feeling the person who registered lied to say that I ran at the same pace that he did.  It was intimidating for me to be in there with runners who are much better than me.  I would rather start at the back of the pack with people my own pace or slower and work my way up instead of being passed by thousands of people.  Despite this, the first 5 miles were good.  I kept a 9 minute mile pace.  It went down hill from there.  I knew a lot of people who would be in the crowds from mile 5-9, so I was a bit distracted and combined with some inclines, slowed down.  Knowing that these people were there cheering kept me going though!  Thankfully what goes up must come down and the last few miles were down hill or level.

As we made it into the Lambeau parking lot, we got passed by a wheel chair racer and then inside Lambeau was passed by the winning marathoner completing his full marathon.  We finished in 2:19.  This was about 4 minutes off of my goal for finishing in 2:15, but I was able to accomplish my main goal of running the entire thing.

Unfortunately, we have almost no pictures of ourselves before, during, or after the marathon.  We didn't think about it before because I ran with my ipod shuffle rather than my phone.  During the race pictures didn't quite turn out (however, I have a lot of pictures of my daughters cheering people on).  And then after the race, we had a hard time meeting up with my parents so when we finally did, taking a picture didn't cross my mind.  Hopefully I can find some online so that I don't have to pay for the official ones just for a little evidence.

I will admit that I was quite sore for the next few days.  It was the worst whenever I went down steps.  Mitch said that the noise was too loud during the entire thing so that he didn't have to hear my squeak.  I am left with a pretty disgusting toe that has a huge blood blister at the top of it and a nail that really needed to just fall off.

One of my biggest concerns prior to surgery was what it would feel like to have an implant in me.  Would I ever feel so comfortable with it that I forget that it is there?  Yes, at 10 miles in forcing my legs to keep going, my fake boobs didn't cross my mind at all.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Movie Star, Me, and Marathon

Many have asked me this week.what do I think of Angelina Jolie?  So here are my thoughts:

Am I surprised she has the mutation?  No. She has a family history.  She chose to adopt so many kids.  Many women with BRCA mutations struggle with the decision to have kids and potential pass the gene onto them. There are several other celebrities who have the mutation--Christina Applegate, Sharon Osbourne, Kara DioGuardi.

What do I think of her choice?  She's obviously a smart woman! Here's a link to here actual article.  Her explanation sounds like she went through the same thought process that I did.

Do you think it was a good choice to share?  ABSOLUTELY!  She was incredibly brave to publish that article.  Her publicity will make so many more women consider this as an option.  That doesn't mean that everyone needs to go out and get the genetic test or have a mastectomy.  But it will help people think about their family histories and just consider their options

What do you think of the media's response?  I don't know how I would feel to be her and have my choice be headline news. But I think that the media response to it has only helped the cause.  Many people didn't know what a BRCA mutation was or didn't understand the long hard thought process that went into my decision to have a mastectomy.  Many people probably didn't know that there is a Supreme Court case against Myriad Genetics, makes of the genetic test that made all this possible, for claiming to patent their discovery which is really our genes not an invention.  All of the reputable media outlets that I have read have portrayed accurate accounts and correct facts about this.  What I don't like are the ignorant articles or responses that have been posted online saying she's crazy, over-reacting, or just seeking attention.  If she wanted to do that she would have posed nude showing off the scars to share this decision rather through a well written article. All of the judging responses are really bothersome. It is a very personal decision that nobody else needs to understand.  I found this comic for those who still say her decision is too drastic:

Now onto me

Just like Angelina stated in her article, mastectomy was the first step.  I am inching closer to my second step.  My next step is going to be the removal of my fallopian tubes on June 14th.  I have checked out several doctors opinions as to what I should do to reduce my ovarian cancers risks.  All doctors, including one particular "Hot Doctor," have said that I need to have my ovaries removed.  Unfortunately this surgery has major side effects that I am just not willing to undertake right now.  There is new research that is showing that ovarian cancer may actually start in fallopian tubs and then move to the ovaries before it is detected.  Because of this and my refusal to remove ovaries yet, one doctor recommended removing my fallopian tubes instead. This allows me to have some protection for now, and then when I am ready I will remove my ovaries and be able to have complete protection.  The surgery should be very quick with an easy recovery and within a few weeks, I'll be back to enjoying summer vacation with the girls.

Finally, the marathon

It's finally time.  Mitch and I are running in the half marathon this weekend.  I've been training for what feels like forever.  I'm ready. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I originally had a time goal in mind, but now I just want to run it all.  I still have my squeak.  It used to only happen after a long run; now it's squeaking during runs usually starting around mile 2 and going right up until the end. I just turn my music up louder.  Sorry if you end up running next to me. After the marathon, my running partner wants me to get it checked out. We'll just see :)