Monday, September 14, 2015

Fitness over fatigue

I am attempting to win my battle against fatigue. As June and July were filled with insomnia, something good a few weeks into August starting happening. I was sleeping 6 hours consecutively with minimal disturbances. And with the ability to hold thoughts in my head again I decided to do something I hadn't done since before I was diagnosed with cancer.

I decided to run 5 days a week.

My fitness has been very inconsistent and seriously lacking since we got buried this winter. And really I haven't consistently run 5 days a week in 3 years. But, I decided to Woman up and make my fitness a priority and fatigue be damned. And achy legs and joint stiffness you should be damned too.

Before cancer (and let's be real before I really got into my 30's) I would work out for hours after work. I could run track workouts later at night and still pop out bed the next morning. But, around last December while attempting a track workout at night I was only the third interval into my workout, and although the first two intervals went well, my energy level completely bottomed out. My time plummeted and my pride hurt to read the time on the watch. I packed it in and slugged my way home. I was tired and my legs hurt and I just wanted to go to bed instantaneously. I was beyond tired. It was that workout that I realized that I couldn't sprint anymore. The last 6 workouts had ended the same way. Sometimes I am not a quick learner. I was no longer "Sara the 400 m runner". I realized that for the time being I would have to break up with organized track and field.  I'm still holding out hope to return when I'm 80 and sprint once again.

Once the snow thawed, I started to try to jog part of the way home from work, with the hope of turning myself into a distance runner and being able to run the entire way home. It never happened throughout the Spring or Early summer. My legs were so stiff that I was jogging so slow it was difficult to finish my runs. It also sucked all the fun out.

This summer I ran here and there, but I let my fatigue dominant whether or not I would go for a run or go to the gym. And then I started to run in the morning. And then I fell. Twice. {Ok well in fairness I tripped over the same root twice, again not always the quickest learner}.

And then came August. I stopped falling and found a little groove running. 3 days in a row. Then 4. And by the end of August I was up running 5 days a week. I find that being able to take the weekends off has helped me recover more. And that I am less tired. And I sleep more through out the night. And I'm ok that sometimes I go to bed at 7:45 pm. I'm up at 5 am, everyday. But I get my 3 slow miles in.

But, I am running. Take that fatigue.



Saturday, September 5, 2015

Blame and Empathy

After posting about practicing comfort in and dump out  one of my colleagues sent me this great animation of Brene Brown, PhD explaining the difference between sympathy and empathy. My favorite part is where she explains how awful it is to say to someone "At least..." It is so natural for people to try to find the silver lining, but it is usually not helpful.


One of the concepts that get in the way of being an empathetic person is looking for someone or something to blame. Often people become so wrapped up in finding what to blame for people's problems that they can't empathize. Brene Brown totally nails it in the following video:

Who hasn't done it? Fascinating to look at it.

But, I'm not gonna lie I am still going to blame tamoxifen for a whole host of things. Maybe, I'll work on this a little bit more.