Tag Archives: cancer

Staggered Sign-Ups and Long-Term Physical Training

I’ve got a handful of pet causes for which I like to do 5k walks (my body isn’t up for a run yet at all). Now that the weather is calming down after another blazing summer, reminders have been going out for my favorite events, each peppering a different weekend from now until the end of November.

I don’t want to overextend myself through commitment to things I’m not sure I can see through, I don’t want to hassle friends and family for donations, and I don’t always have the cash on hand to register right when I think of it, so I’ve had to set up email reminders in Google Calendar to remind myself of when to register for events. But I’m excited to participate in them, not only for the altruism and community-fostering aspect, but also for the accomplishment of performing a physical feat.

This fall, I have plans to participate in:

  • The Undy 5000 colon cancer event
  • A non-Komen-affiliated breast cancer event
  • St. Jude Children’s Hospital Give Thanks. Walk.

As I have said, my plans to participate in running (not walking) events of any kind are contingent upon my preparing my body to be able to run without further injury. My running will only happen after I’ve worked to ensure that my core is strong, my shoulder is rehabbed well enough to allow me to wear a sports bra without pain, my feet are regularly stretched properly to prevent plantar fasciitis pain, and my knee is well-supported and protected by muscles and my continued weight loss.

To those ends:

  • I’m resuming my 3x/week 45-minute shoulder physical therapy routine at home.
  • I’m adding small parts of my pilates exercises to my routine, evaluating how much further to go based on the presence of pain the next day.
  • I’m getting back on the total paleo-ish eating plan again, since I put on several pounds from emotionally-driven and laziness-driven cheat meals.

I am sorely in need of physical activity again, besides taking the stairs at the office. After my first physical therapy workout in months, my arms have been sore from all that lifting and manipulating three-pound and five-pound weights and stretch bands. I would be more embarrassed about my weakness, but at least I intend to do something about it, and I have the tools, knowledge, and motivation I need to do it.

It may be next spring before I can run in an event, but I want to use the cooler weather months wisely, as my training period, and make myself ready to face whatever challenges I present to myself when I feel I’m ready.


Walk for a Cause, Walk at Random, But Hey, Walk

My knee’s been old and busted ever since I tore my meniscus in my early twenties, so it’s been difficult for me to run for any length of time for a little over a decade. Days of remorse usually follow a lengthy jog. I gave up on Couch to 5K in the second week because it hurt so much. I will run to chase after an escaped dog, which happens more often than you’d think (looking at you, boy dog).

Walking, however, is completely all right, given I’m wearing my knee brace and my ankle sleeve. One of my favorite things in the world is to get kitted up and go wandering around my neighborhood in the spring and autumn. Music is completely optional. I’ve usually got my cell phone; I send out occasional tweets, I take pictures of the sky, and I keep it on me to make it easier to track my whereabouts if I disappear into the back of a windowless white van or space ship or whatever. Long walks are one of the few opportunities I have to listen to music in a fairly quiet setting, given how loud my old sedan is getting. I love the wind in my face, seeing the moon if I’m walking at night (which I used to do quite a bit), enjoying the nature around me. I’m glad that I’ve found such a low impact sport that’s good for my joint health and that I enjoy. When I get to be a little old lady, as much as I can stand to, I’m taking myself and my little fluffy, yappy dogs to the park every day for walkies.

Because I am an aspiring (if usually broke) philanthropist, eager to offer information, money, and effort to the causes I support, I completely get behind races and walks for charity organizations. I’m not really great at fundraising, but I try to contribute most of my fundraising goal myself and concentrate on enjoying the event. I’ve participated in two events yearly for the last two years. In 2012, I plan to double the number of walk participations I’ve done and perhaps add more. Because the heat in Dallas is so awful during the summer, I’ve tried to stick to events in non-summer and non-summer-adjoining months.

The events I’ve done:
Komen for the Cure for breast cancer screening/research

A woman in outdoor walking gear wearing a race number for the Komen Race for the Cure.

Dallas Komen for the Cure 2010


Give Thanks. Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Close-up of a woman outdoors wearing a t-shirt for a St. Jude Children's Hospital charity walk.

Dallas Give Thanks Walk 2011


The walks I plan to do for the first time this year:

  • Get Your Rear in Gear, a colon cancer event. I’m participating, perhaps against my better judgment, in the June 23rd Dallas/Fort Worth event in Fort Worth. The heat will probably be completely miserable, but I’ll deal with getting myself into that situation come June. Other events in the U.S. are listed in the right sidebar.
  • Twitter Road Race, an event this coming Saturday, January 21st. It is a self-motivated 5K without a cause, open to Twitter users around the world.

At this point, I hope you’re not rolling your eyes and thinking, “Ooh, look at me, I’m Eve with her stupid fitness blog self-promotion, I go OUTSIDE and do THINGS that are more important than anything anyone else has going on!” I really don’t want to be that person, rubbing my participation in charity events or fitness events in other people’s faces. I am not better than anyone else for doing these things, nor do I want to come off that way. I just get excited about being helpful, because I’m a dork, and I get exuberant about exercise, because I love being active. These are things that make me glad to be alive.

A cartoon of Twitter's Fail Whale in red sneakers mid-air.

Twitter Road Race unofficial fan art. (Please don't sue me, Twitter.)

I know a couple of people in meatspace who are doing the Twitter Road Race, which is an event that has no cause, has no entry fee, gives no t-shirt, and has no official ribbon color. Its mascot may be a sneaker-clad Fail Whale, for all I know. The event doesn’t mean much, perhaps, except to the participant, who takes away a sense of accomplishment at having fulfilled a commitment to themselves to be active. But it does have its own cause to support. The blog writer who started the Twitter Road Race asks his readers why we run. Here’s my answer:

If I could run, I would. Injury has made me know how important it is to keep the machine that is the human body working correctly and how much I took it for granted in the past. I walk and exercise in order to improve my health and to keep myself as fit as possible for as long as I’m on this earth. I participate in these walking events because my life has been touched in important ways by the diseases they fight and by the people fighting them, be they friends or strangers. I walk alone on dark week nights or sunny Sunday afternoons and with strangers on the other side of an internet connection because each of us is our own caretaker; we’re investing in our own long-term health.

We can’t predict, control, or stop every awful thing that time, disease, and accident do to our bodies, but we can fight the good fight as long as we are able. Allons-y.