Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hello my name is Amy, and I'm addicted to running

Running has become more than just what saved my life, it's what is allowing me to keep living.  I'm not a crazy runner who has to lace up everyday and log every mile, obsessively track my times and chart my progress, nope, because of my old lady arthritis I'm only able to run 2-3 days a week.

I'm not going to lie though, I am an addict.  I get such a strange feeling of anticipation about every run I go on.  I wake up earlier than my alarm almost every time (who knew!) and I get butterflies and a nervous stomach.  And that's before EVERY run, not just on the rare occasion that I "race".

But in my heart I do race every time I run.  I race myself and I race cancer.  I have recently been training for my first ever half marathon.  I registered last spring, long before I ever knew I would have breast cancer.  Ironically, it's an event that benefits Komen Oregon.

I set a goal of a sub two hour half, weeks before my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.  I took one month off from running after my surgery and my first post-op run was August 10th. I logged 2.25 miles at a 9:30 pace.  OK, I AM one of those people who obsessively tracks their time.  You got me.

But those 2.25 miles were the greatest miles I've ever run.  I was told I wouldn't be able to run pain free after a month.  But guess what?  I did. Suck it cancer.  I was told I wouldn't be able to swim after a month.  But I did.  That same weekend.  And it felt AMAZING.

I am not trying to brag about my accomplishments, I just want you to know.  I really just want to tell you that cancer never got me down.  I didn't miss a beat.  I got back on that horse.  All those fun little catchphrases. 

And, I've been running ever since that 2.25 miles.  Most recently I logged 10 miles in 1:34.  And the route we took was a VERY hilly course.  (again, not bragging, I just can't quite believe I could do it)

The doctors to me there were lots of things I couldn't do, but I proved them wrong.  Unfortunately no one told me I wouldn't be able to post a sub two hour half marathon.  So I don't have anyone to prove wrong, but all the same I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it. 

Before when I set the sub two hour goal it was just about saying my first half marathon was a sub-two hour time.  Now, quite frankly, it's about me giving cancer the symbolic middle finger.  Yes, indeed, I don't care about being able to say my time, I only care that I can reach a goal I set before I was sick so I can shout a big, huge F YOU to breast cancer.

I don't usually blog about running, mainly because this blog has always been about being a mom, but quite frankly running has become something that is such an integral part of my life AS a mom.  I never knew what I was missing all those years I didn't run.  Honestly, the chaos part of the blog is my life in one word.  Bliss now includes snuggling with the kids and my husband, and running. 

My head is still pretty messed from the whole cancer thing, tamoxifen has done a number on my emotions and I'm simply a total wreck.  But with every step I take in my Nike Zoom Structure Triax shoes, with every hill I run, every race I finish and every time I obsessively log and track I feel just a little more like me. 


Jen H. said...

You have so much heart. I admire you so much and wish for even half of the courage you possess. Some days are long, hard and stressful. I feel worn down and low. I gain courage and strength from knowing you. I love to read your words. They are a delight and the dessert of my day. Thank you, and I love you so much. Keep on lacin"!

Amy Little said...

Aw, you make Tami cry! I love you inspire me too. You are more courageous than you know my dear. When you're feeling low, remember I love you and all you need to do is get those runnin' shoes on and pound it all into the pavement. You are an amazing woman.

Randy H said...

Amy, sorry it has taken me a little while to get back to you after RFTC Portland. I was both honored and humbled to run with all of those extraordinary women, but, especially you. Never once through this entire to process did a hear a "Why me?" or any complaining. You tackled this with the courage, determination, and, certainly, the sense of humor that I would have expected from you. I am so very proud to call you "my family." Let every time you lace up your running shoes remind you of what is truly important in life. And it really is all about "the little things." Let me know when you're ready to tackle your first Half Ironman, and I'll suit up with you and hit the course on race day. Thank you again, just for being you. I love you!!! Randy

Amy Little said...

Aw Randy, you made me cry too. Darn your family! :) Thank you for the kind words, I was so happy you guys came to spend the race with us. I am not sure a half ironman is in my future, but never say never. Let me get through my first sprint tri next summer and see if I survive it! I love you and am so glad to have you in my life and as part of my family.

AJ Sanders. said...

If you love running as much as it sounds like you do, you will love triathlon just as much or maybe more. I fell in love with tri after 6+ years of running and am now training for a half ironman in summer 2013. You go girl!! I will be thinking of you when we run the Spokane half marathon on October 14- just a couple weeks to go!

Amy Little said...

AJ - I'll be runnning my half on the 14th too! YEAH! Git-er-dun! Oh, and I was set to do my first sprint tri on July 28 but got cancer instead. I'll be back at it next summer though! I do love running, but I think that I'll probably do the tri thing, I'm gettin' old and my limbs don't like a lot of long distance running! :) I don't see myself running a marathon, but I DO see myself doing a full tri someday. SOMEDAY. XOXO Good luck girl!