As D-day (surgery) draws nearer I’ve been thinking about my recovery and other things.
R reminded me yesterday that I could write about other things on my blog. (She doesn’t read it, I think she’s afraid to look just yet.)
By other things she means, my swimming, cycling and running endeavours as well as my mission to make my environment as healthy as possible. I’ve become quite interested in health promoting behaviour over the last few months, even before my cancer diagnosis.
A large part of my life has been devoted to exercise. I swam competitively as a child from the age of 6 years until I was nearly 23 years of age and then took up some masters swimming and dabbled in multi-sport for several years. When I finally became a consultant after training as a junior doctor for almost 12 years I started looking at participating in triathlon properly again, namely distance triathlons. Therefore for the best part of the last two years I’ve been fully immersing myself in the triathlon game and have participated in several sprints, olympics, half ironman distances and the ultimate Ironman goal was accomplished in May 2017. Ironman Lanzarote. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and went for it last year.
Ironman Copenhagen was to happen this year in August but I don’t think it’s to be this year. Not until I know what I’m fully dealing with here. Good news though – I can defer until 2019!
One of my big concerns regarding what I’m up against next is my method in returning to fitness.
I am currently swimming like a shark, the fastest I think I have ever swum in my adult life. I’m knocking out 1:20/100m in my endurance sets, it feels like ironman pace to me. If I could continue that kind of conditioning then I would be doing the ironman swim in 52 minutes!
It feels slightly frustrating, like rubbing salt in my wounds, but it also means that perhaps being at this level will mean I won’t fall so hard after a few weeks of not being allowed to swim.
Also it makes me think I would like to do open water swimming seriously, really give it a try and see where it takes me. These are things that are fuelling my desire to get back at it and recover well. All positives.
Biking and Running
Just as I was anticipating seeing the end of the endless indoor turbo training for a few months and getting ready to enjoy the great outdoors on the bike – I’ve been cruelly brought back down to earth.
On the positive – my turbo is going to be my saviour after my operation and during radiotherapy.
Although I’ve bought appropriate sports bras for after my operation I doubt that I will be able to run aggressively and put any pressure on the wound for the first few weeks anyway. I plan to get back on that turbo and make the legs go. I don’t have to do anything with my upper body apart from exercises to prevent lymphedema (that is persistent swelling in the arm after the lymphatic chain has been disrupted by removal of lymph nodes in the armpit.) The turbo it is then.
That is until I give myself the clear to start to run and cycle outside.
When I say ‘I give myself the all clear’ I mean it. I’ve researched this – and there’s nowt on the internet about how to get an athlete back safely to exercise after breast cancer surgery. I’m my n=1 on this one.
So, when I decide to talk about ‘other things’ this is mostly what I will be talking about. My journey back to health and fitness, but not just any type of health and fitness – Ironwoman fitness! 😉
PS I do plan to write about health promotion too but just thought I’d leave it there for today.