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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


  The Merry-Go-Round goes around and round...

  Pace is the place where inexperienced & experienced runners alike can struggle. The average new runner thinks that the more they run, the faster they get....they don't understand that by doing the same run at the same pace, each and every day will do nothing for their pace. They remain stuck at that pace, and it can be a hard and frustrating place to be until they are willing to learn.

  So what happens if you are an experienced runner & coach, & you know all about pace...how to get faster...how to build endurance for different types of runs....and now you face an unfamiliar and new life where you have no control over pace...

  I have been stuck in all realms of my daily life since June 10th when I had a lymph node dissection of my pelvis for cancer. I was stuck in that damn hospital looking out at what was probably a $350 day per night view overlooking Boston Harbor....watching the duck boats go by...stuck. Anxious to return home, I was then, stuck in bed/on the couch for two weeks of rest and recovery...which meant I was also stuck in my own head.

  My recovery continues, and I still feel stuck...I feel like that inexperienced runner...stuck in a pace that is not where I want to be, but not quite sure what to do in this new place, how to improve. I am tired of doing everything I am suppose to do in my recovery, only seeing minimal improvement...moving at a snail's pace while the world passes me by.

  Worst of all, I feel emotionally stuck ..this world of metastatic melanoma...where there is no cure...no guarantee...only hopes of days, weeks, months, & god willing, years of N.E.D....no evidence of disease. This is a lifetime...so how do I continue moving forward when I have no control over it....I can't do a damn thing...other than to show up to my doctors' appointments, get my mri's & pet scans...get my blood work drawn...for the rest of my life...that is it...this world of cancer...a pace and a place I am not comfortable with.

  Like all runners...sometimes you do have to look back and reflect upon how far you've come in order to take a step forward & realize your pace has in fact improved. I remember being that inexperienced distance runner and having some races that were just plain awful. I learned from those difficult times, and eventually had that perfectly paced half marathon that rewarded me with a personal best. Soon after, I was able to draw upon that race to have a near perfect full marathon.

  I can also look back on some tough days in this race against cancer... that day I really felt like I might die, of excruciating pain...when I physically couldn't push myself off of the bathroom floor. And, I thought more than once...how much longer do I have, how far has it metastisized. I have, in fact, come far. I'm not stuck on the floor or on the couch..I went for my first walk around the block yesterday...granted, fair to say at this pace, it still was with a slight limp...but it was a step forward.

  In running and life, keeping pace emotionally is more difficult than physically. The piece I'm struggling with is keeping my momentum...I need to keep moving forward, while facing this new reality day in and day out...while the rest of the world continues on their hectic merry-go-round ride...I am on the bench watching...trying to be optimistic and moving forward...but afraid of being stuck with no pace...or worse, going backwards...

But perhaps, like that new inexperienced runner...I've been wrong about pace all along...maybe, just maybe...while it goes round and round...maybe I'm right where I should be...maybe the best pace and place depends on me ditching the garmin altogether and enjoying the only run we are all given...taking it all in...enjoying the view off of the merry-go-round.....

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