Update on Running for Tracy

As I catch up with blog posts, I thought it fitting to have my last post of 2012 be an update on the Running For Tracy story. Early this year I found out that an online friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Something about her diagnosis and story really spoke to me. I discussed it with her, and decided to dedicate my year of running to her. Since she couldn’t be as physically active as she wanted to be, my running would be for her. The initial story is here.

The year has ended, and I am beyond excited to say that she is doing amazing!! I interviewed her for the update post:

1. What treatments/surgeries did you undergo?  I had 3 surgeries this year. 1st one was a lumpectomy on Feb. 3rd. The pathology came back with unclear margins so I decided at that point to have a mastectomy rather than re-excising the lump. The mastectomy and 1st stage of reconstruction happened Feb 28th. I had tissue expanders placed and they were filled twice a month through a port with a needle, this whole process was very painful. I had the 3rd surgery on September 21st. This was phase II of reconstruction. I had silicone implants placed. So much more comfortable than the hard rigid expanders! As for treatment, I had 4 rounds of AC (the red devil) bi-weekly followed by 12 weekly rounds (3 on 1 off) of taxol for a total of 16 treatments over about 5.5 months. I will also have to take tamoxifen for 5 years.
2. What helped you pull through on difficult days?  I think the thing that was the hardest and also the most helpful was having a toddler in the house. No matter how shitty I felt I HAD to get up and care for him and that kept me going.
3. What are your future plans?  My future plans are to go back to work (starting on the 31st!) and start an RN program in January. I have wasted enough time, I have to get this stuff done.
4. How did your children make a difference for you during everything?  My kids were my rock. I relied heavily on the older ones for help because they were my only feasible resource. They stepped into the role graciously and took care of me when I needed it and helped with the small ones every day. I couldn’t have done it without them.
5. How did this experience make you stronger?  Nothing gives you perspective quite like realizing you’re mortal. I now see exactly what I need to do and where I need to be. I’m not afraid like I used to be. If I made it through breast cancer with 5 kids, a shitty husband, and zero family support, I can do anything. And I will.
6. What is next for you?  Next I just plan on going back to “normal” life. This time unafraid. I am setting small goals and making things happen. I will also have at least 2 more surgeries next year, a hysterectomy and a revision of the last reconstructive surgery, but I’m not in a huge hurry.
7. What are you most proud of from this past year?  I’m just proud that I’m on the other side of this. I’ve always considered myself a weak person, a weak person couldn’t have made it through this ordeal. I am strong and that makes me proud.
8. Anything else you’d like to add?  On a personal note, I’ve decided to stay in Vegas. I am seeing a therapist who’s helping me disengage from the abusive cycle I’m in so I can peacefully coexist here while I finish school which should only take me a year.  As for the cancer, it was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through, but I wouldn’t change it. It has changed me in so many ways and mostly for the better. Sometimes you have to go through something horrible to realize what you need to do in life. Before cancer I was stagnant and lost, now I am motivated.  🙂

I would like to add that Tracy also took and passed her NCLEX exam while going through treatment. She motivated me throughout the year and always will! Writing this follow-up brings a smile to my face. You never want to see anyone suffer, but to know that she fought and became stronger throughout this ordeal amazes me. Tracy, I am proud of you. You are an inspiration and an amazing mother!!

And, I am back!

Our Christmas Photo

Our Christmas Photo

Took a bit longer than expected, but wanted to do it right… I am officially self-hosted. I attempted to move over my subscribers, but please verify or resubscribe just to be safe and so that you don’t miss anything!!

A HUGE thank you to my husband for his patience and assistance in helping me understand html code a little better. Please let me know your thoughts on the new blog… more pics of me will be added soon, I am working on some professional photos for the main image.

This will be a busy week getting all the posts out that I am behind on. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Changes…

Hello! This is just a quick note to everyone that I am starting the switch this weekend to self-hosting. Sole Sister on the Run has had a great year, and it’s time to grow and expand! I have many great posts and reviews lined up and ready to go with the new launch. New Year New Blog!! A sneak peek into what’s upcoming:

Rest Days and Learning to Love Them
Running for Tracy year-end update
Reviews for: Choice Teas, Yogi Clothing and Energy Bits
A guest post or two…
Volunteering

Wish me luck through the transition! I have taken tips from many bloggers, so hopefully the transition is smooth and painless! I hope to have the blog back up before I leave town on Sunday afternoon.

“… I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side….”  (Bonus points to anyone that can name that tune & artist!)

My Holiday Decision


Holidays are an interesting time of year. Travel, family time, parties, tons of unhealthy foods… As someone who works in health education and strives to lead by example, I always find this time difficult. There are always tons of posts, sayings, etc. about ‘never regretting a workout’, making time for fitness, and so on. While I wholeheartedly believe those statements, I also believe in balance. Let’s face it for a lot of us the work/family/life balance can be a daily struggle. Heck, I don’t even have kids and it is a struggle for me. 
I work 40 hours a week, this week is finals week for me so I have two projects due for school. I have commitments in my personal life. I try to keep up with the social media component of my life. Add to that baking for parties, attending parties, traveling to see family, etc. and something needs to give. By my own admission, I am not a fitness “elite”. I workout, I enjoy it, but, I do not workout daily, I do not do “streaks” for any activity, I, like so many of you, have had to struggle and rearrange and try again to find my niche in the fitness world for me. I am a runner. This helps because I can run anywhere. I do yoga, and do that at home if I can’t make it to the gym. I can squeeze in fitness when needed.
As I trained for my first half marathon I was diligent on my training plan. Never missed a run, would skip out on things if I had an early morning run, etc. Then, I hit a running slump this past year. It wasn’t fun when I made it more like work than an activity I enjoy. I know me, if I do not enjoy it I am not going to put the effort forth to do it. I needed to find balance, to fall back in love with running and stay fit.
So, this holiday season, I am going to live life as it comes. I will not turn down a party invite solely because of scheduled training. I will not give up cookies. I will have cocktails. I will spend time with family, friends, and myself. I will relax. I will enjoy each moment. I will bake. I will exercise, but will not feel guilty if, during this week of finals I don’t make it to spin class because I need to study or revise a paper. I will run (a half marathon Saturday), but not give in to the “you aren’t dedicated” commentary if I miss a run or two when traveling across time zones and my body says sleep in versus wake up early and run. 
Does this mean I am lazy or not as motivated or dedicated as others? Not to me. To me, it means I have found my balance for my life. I understand the importance of fitness and the role it plays in my life. I have made it work for me. I have found that depriving myself of anything, be it fries, cookies, time with loved ones, exercise, etc. does not work for me. Will I sometimes choose dinner with my husband or friends over a workout? Yes. And I will love every moment of that time with them. The road will be there later for my run and I will feel great running because spending time with those I care about puts me in a great mood and motivates me. 
I admire those people that workout daily, admire their dedication, and let’s face it, their rock hard bodies. I admire those that seem to never have a time management issue and can “do it all”. Someday maybe that will be me. This holiday season, remember, be active in some way (a walk with family, a short run, yoga in the AM or before bed, etc) but enjoy the moments, the joy and the laughter. Most importantly, have that treat (just not the whole platter). 
Have a wonderful Happy Holiday Season!!!!

Shower Pill


I was recently given the opportunity to review the ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes. The company sent me a few wipes to try out and review. 
My first time using them was on a busy Saturday. I went to spin class at 8:00 AM and afterwards had an appointment for haircut and color shortly after. If I took the time to shower, I would have been rushing to get there and had no time to grab my post-workout breakfast and coffee. So… perfect time to try the wipes.
My first reaction when I opened the package, was that this was no ordinary wipe. Not a baby wipe that they pass off as an athletic body wipe. It was sturdy, thick, and had a slight exfoliation feel to it. The wipe stayed moist the entire time I used it, and was able to use one wipe to clean my whole body. There is no perfume scent, and I can honestly say I felt clean. Normally I hate going anywhere in public if I don’t shower after working out. This solved that problem. I had time for breakfast, then sat in the hairdresser’s chair for over 2 hours… and didn’t offend her.
After seeing how great they worked after a workout, I thought they would be a great thing to carry while traveling. It goes in spurts with how busy my traveling is, and November was hectic. I traveled to Atlanta for work, then Philadelphia for the half marathon. My trip to Philly was a red-eye flight, which meant way too much time on planes and in airports. Plus, once I landed, I was getting picked up by one of my besties for a day of fun in the city, then dinner! Nowhere to shower. 
So, I packed a ShowerPill Athletic Wipe for use after I landed in Philly. Granted airport restrooms aren’t the greatest place to cleanup, but, I managed to use the wipe to cleanup and feel refreshed. A change of clothes, and I felt like a new person.

These athletic wipes are now in my travel bag and gym bag all the time. That way, I can feel refreshed after a good workout and not have to worry about times when travel takes longer than planned.
Check them out on their website and DEFINITELY try them!!

Here is there information on the wipes from their website:

ShowerPill™ The Athletic Body Wipe™

  • Premium, 9×8 inch, thick and durable wipe that is individually packaged for true on-the-go versatility
  • Put it in your gym bag, purse, pocket or backpack
  • Proven to kill germs1 yet safe on sensitive skin and infused with moisturizing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E
  • Quick dry solution, does not require rinsing or extra dry time
  • Light fresh scent is not overpowering or “perfume-like”

 *Although I received this product for this review, the opinions are mine and not influenced by ShowerPill. 

What’s in a number? What’s so special about 13?

Well… everything!!

As promised… here are my 2013 RUN GOALS. All other goals will be listed in a separate blog. But my 2013 run plans are epic, and deserve their own blog.

So what is all this talk about numbers and 13? Well….

1. Next year is 2013
2. I turn 39 (shocker I know) which is 3 x 13
3. My favorite race distance is a half marathon: 13.1 miles

What does all this mean you ask? Well… my 2013 run goals are….

13~ 13.1 races in 2013!!!!

You read that right! I am committing to running 13 half marathons in 2013, the year I turn 3×13(39).

Here is my tentative list:
January: Running From an Angel Half Marathon***
February: Surf City Half Marathon*
March: Six Tunnels Half Marathon
April: Hollywood Half Marathon
May: Orange County Half Marathon*
June: San Francisco 1st Half Half Marathon**
July: Bryce Canyon Half Marathon
August: ET Half Marathon***
September: Twilight Half Marathon***
October: Long Beach Half Marathon*
November: Veteran’s Day Half Marathon
                   Philadelphia Half Marathon
December: Hoover Dam Half Marathon***

*Completing these three will also give me the Beach Cities Challenge Medal
**Completing this, after completing 2nd Half last year will give me a progressive medal
***Completing these four will also give me the Calico Slam

So… a little crazy, but, I am confident that I can do this both mentally and physically. I am choosing to not set any weight related goals this year, so that I don’t worry about that, but focus on my physical health to be able to complete this challenge.

Also, I am most likely not setting any time goals on these races, I would like my time to get close to 2 hours, but, my goal is to train wisely and complete these races healthy and happy.

Any support, words of wisdom and ongoing encouragement will be welcomed! Here is to making 13 my lucky number!!

Why this is important: I completed 5 so far in 2012, one more scheduled for Dec. 15th. This summer I hit a huge running funk. For awhile, running wasn’t fun and I wasn’t sure why I bothered, but still drug myself out there hoping my love for it would return. One day, it did. I usually set mediocre goals for myself, nothing too far out of reach. This is big for me. To some people, this is a drop in the bucket, but to commit to this, and so publicly, is big…. this is a challenge for me, and I look forward to conquering it, for me, to prove to myself that I can do this. 

PS: this list does not include any shorter distance races, obstacle races or bike races. Those will happen, and I’ll determine them as the year goes on…

90 Day Contract Conclusion

Well…. it’s been an interesting last week or so of the 90 day contract. Thanksgiving was GREAT! My best friend and her family flew into town so I got to spend tons of time with them and their daughter tired out my dogs. I didn’t over eat that weekend, went for a run on Thursday and spin class on Saturday. A good week post half marathon.

Then, I woke up Monday with a sore throat. By the end of the day, my whole body hurt and I had a horrible cough. After heading to the doctor, turned out I had an upper respiratory infection. This is still lingering in my chest, which has kept me on the sidelines with exercise. To make it better, an ongoing eye issue flared up Thursday, and after an emergency eye doctor appt, we may have some answers, but, have medication drops for that, and I have to be careful not to get something in my eye (keeping me indoors for the weekend). So… after a great Thanksgiving weekend… a very blah and uneventful week.

That said… overall, the 90 day contract went very well. The past three months when things got hectic I was able to stay on track and focused. 80% of the time I kept my eating in check. I exercised regularly and fell in love with spin classes. My weight has maintained but my body fat percentage has gone down. Outside of fitness and eating goals, I have been reading more, spending time with my husband and enjoying down time. I have set some lofty but exciting goals for 2013 (that post coming tomorrow). I have entered into December focused, determined, and despite the respiratory infection and eye issues, healthy.

Goals I didn’t meet: smoothie a day. Honestly, I thought about them, but have been hesitant throwing a bunch of things in a blender and drinking. I am eating lots of vegetables every day, so I guess I feel that they aren’t essential to my health.

Thanks to everyone for the support and keeping me on point the past 90 days. No hardcore goals for December, just to maintain exercise, enjoy the Hoover Dam half marathon, and most importantly, enjoy time with family and friends for the holidays!