The past week or so has been a bit of a struggle against fatigue; an element of my situation I find extremely frustrating when there is so much I want to do and time is so indefinably short. Before I became ill I was an extremely active person; I'd walk for miles, run further and ride even further.
In 2009 my job meant I channelled a lot of my stress into physical exercise which at its peak consisted of twenty minutes interval training or weights alternating mornings at 6 am, followed by a couple of miles brisk walking with the dog before work, then a 5 or 7 mile run in the evening. This was a minimum, on days off I'd up the times and add in more and on holiday I would go to the venues gym and swim lengths. I was an addict but I loved it, the more I did the more of a buzz I got. That's a definite trend with physical activity you have to push through the first stage before you enjoy it but once you do you really reap the rewards!
When I was ill later that year I fought against it but I became so weak that I had to concede defeat after defeat. My body just couldn't do it and as a result my mind suffered. After surgery on August 17th I had to heal, then learn to sit up, to walk, to move. To say it was hard is a massive understatement. It was December before I could run and I vividly remember doing so. I had received news of my first clear CT scan and Chase and Status' version of Heartbeat played on my ipod -
I sprinted about 100m down the road, just because I could. I felt the pull on my muscles (especially the scars), my heart bang against chest and my lungs burn. Something so easy before but then it provided the painful pleasure I needed to feel alive. To quote Lance Armstrong "If I could move I was alive..".
Shortly after this I started a preventative drug regime of Mitotane, a drug that caused me a lot of fatigue and headaches and hence my attempts at running fell away until one day I barely made two miles and stopped, I felt like I was running on empty and I couldn't take another step.
I have only taken up running again since I signed up with for Race for Life with Team Imagine It. It has been hard going especially since the last series of Chemo. This morning I went out in the rain and managed maybe a mile and a half in laps around the local playing field I might have gone further but Toast decked me by running straight under my legs and I slipped landing right in the mud. I have to be careful not to push too far or too hard in case I do more damage than good.
Having been so fit and so strong at certain points in my life it can be hard to rationalise my current weakness. The way I have found to help is multiplication; to explain, this means that anything I achieve I times by at least 3 to give a more true reflection of what I have done. For example climbing Ben Nevis is my equivalent to Everest.
By this theory I ran four and a half miles this morning - something my mind tells me is far more on a par of what I should be capable of and that keeps me happy :). Although on the other hand, that does make RFL over nine miles... but then I know that the group I am running with more than understand this and the very fact I am even attempting it whilst undergoing treatment is a mark of strength. I have my kryptonite, my excuse but it won't stop me... my challenge to you is will yours stop you?? :P