About Me

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I'm a Jesus loving girl who is blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful children. At the age of 23, while pregnant with my firstborn I noticed a dome shaped nodular area on my left hip. It started growing larger and eventually started bleeding. After the birth of my baby girl and my 24th birthday I decided to get the ugly bump checked. The result was Stage III nodular Malignant Melanoma that had extensions into my lymph nodes. I completed a year of Interferon chemotherapy. a year later I became pregnant with my second child. After his birth I developed two more melanoma primary tumors-- stage 1 2010, and stage 2 in 2011. Since then I have made it my mission to advocate and educate to bring about melanoma awareness in hopes that it could save others from this deadly disease. Thankfully, I am very healthy and doing very well! I have No Evidence of Disease and I'm showing Cancer Who's Boss by staying fit and healthy. I plan to blog about my adventures in running over cancer during training for my first Full marathon Fall 2014. Remember to love your skin, protect your skin, and check your skin. Share the love and spread the chemical-free lotion!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My First Half Marathon

Friends, I finally did it!!!  I finally ran my first half marathon! First and Foremost, I want to Thank our Heavenly Father who pulled me through this race.  I cried out to Him and held on to his promises throughout the race.  He Truly "Renewed My Strength" to get through those 13.1 miles and I give Him all Praise and Glory!

Scripture I wrote on my hand

 Those of you who  follow my blog know that I've been trying to run a half marathon since this past spring, but seems like I always end up injured and always end up pushing my plans for the half back.  I've been battling IT band syndrome off and on since last January.  Each time I would take about 4 weeks off from running and build back up to around 4 miles and be injured again.  I finally went to a Chiropractor, who is a runner, that said "Alicia, you'll keep battling this IT band until we find out what's causing it."  He came to the conclusion that my bunion on my Right foot is causing me to over supinate (roll my Right foot outward) causing an imbalanced gait, and putting increased pressure on my IT band.  He also said, I can't continue just running, I must start strengthening my Glutes to help with the imbalance as well.  In order to correct the misalignment of my first metatarsal, it would require surgery that has a 6-8 week non weight-bearing recovery period.  Not what a runner wants to hear.  At this point I'm leaning more towards Not having the surgery and trying a more conservative route.  I've been taping my toe in the correct position while I run, which in turn has helped take some pressure off my IT band. It's a temporary fix, but It's helping me get longer mileage in before I have terrible throbbing sharp pains in the lateral side of my RT knee.  I also wear a Cho-pat strap around my knee to give my IT band a little hug of support, and it does seem to help.

Bruised foot
Hallux Valgus, and rotated metatarsal

Now lets talk about how I finally decided to go for the half.  I became part of  a local online running group and met some amazing runners, who run around the same pace as me.  We started doing early morning runs together this summer and started increasing our mileage.  By the end of August I ran my longest run ever, 9 miles.  It was a hilly route and I ended up having terrible IT band throbbing pain on the side of my knee around mile 4 but I was determined to finish the 9 miles.--side note-- NEVER RUN THROUGH TRUE PAIN, unless of course you are in a race.  I continued to run until we reached 9 miles and by the end I was having throbbing hip and knee pain, and I'm not talking about muscle soreness, there was something wrong.  The next morning my Right hip was red, swollen and very tender to touch.  I couldn't even bend my right knee, without terrible throbbing pain.  I went to the chiropractor and he diagnosed me with Great trochanteric bursitis of my Right hip and ITB syndrome.  He told me I had to take two weeks off from running to let the inflammation go down, then I could only run until I had felt pain.  After two weeks I tried to run and could only make it 1.5 miles until I felt the throbbing, sharp ache in my knee.  The whole month of September I spent only running 1-2 miles, which made the half marathon on NOV 10th look nearly impossible.  After several visits to the Chiropractor for therapy and weight training I could finally run 4 miles the first week of October.  I had literally, only 5 weeks to train for this half Marathon and I was still battling an injury.  The second week of October I did 5 miles, third week I did 6 miles, fourth week 7 miles and the fifth week I did 8 miles.  I noticed at the 5th week I was starting to have ITband pain around the 7 mile mark but, I also stopped in my tracks due to running over a nail that went thru my shoe and into my foot.  Thankfully, my friend Hattie pulled the nail out and it didn't go into my foot too deep.

Two weeks before the Marshall half, my friend Sara encouraged me to go ahead and sign up.  I was having doubts because I hadn't even ran farther than 8 miles in the last two months.  With her encouragement, I finally signed up and I'm so thankful I did.  The week leading up to the half, I did one 3 mile run and the rest of the week I decided to rest my legs.  I took the advice of several long distance running friends the two days leading up to the race.  On friday I ate carbs all day long..  I had doughnuts, chinese noodles, pasta, I ate a whole bag of sour patch kids, and sipped on water all day long.  The day before the race I had biscuits and gravy and an egg and cheese biscuit, a whole bag of sour patch kids, spaghetti for lunch, fettucini for supper, and I sipped on water all day long.

After Packet Pickup the night before the Half Marathon

The morning of the Marshall Half, things didn't go as planned.  Thankfully, I woke up on time, at 5 a.m. Got my running gear on, drank my coffee, took my potty break, wrapped my foot, got my knee brace, and put everything in my little bag that i would need.  Around 6a.m. (we had 10 minutes to get ready to leave) I went to put my running watch on, that I had charging all night, and it wasn't fully charged.  I checked my iPod, that I also had charging all night, and it was completely dead!  I was panicking!  The only charge my iPod got was the time we left my house until the time we got to Marshall Stadium, which was about 25 minutes.  My kids were also not wanting to get up and we were rushing to get them dressed and in the car.  I teased my friend, that I would probably get there right as the gun went off.  I literally got to the stadium within 10 minutes of the gun going off, found my friend Molly without even having to search, and as I went to the Porta potty I found my friend Hattie.  Everything fell into place perfectly.  The music was loud and so was the crowd at the starting line, it was magical!  Most of the run was a blur, I just took in all the sights and sounds and felt the rhythm of the run.  I dedicated each mile of the race to someone special to me and it truly helped me get thru each mile.  I've heard runners say, "never trust the first mile, It's a liar."  Well based on my experience, I would say, "never trust the first 6 miles, It's a liar."  My first 6 miles were terrible!  I was in pain the entire time.  I could see the pacer runners holding their sign that said "goal 2 hrs" or goal "2:10" pass right by me.  At that point I was wondering if I was going to cramp up and even be able to finish, I mean the farthest practice run before the race was 8 miles. The throbbing knee pain hit me at mile 6 but something amazing happened when I got to the 10K point.  They had a timer and a loud crowd of people cheering us on.  I was praying and quoting scripture the entire time.  A nice stranger ran up beside me and said "we are almost half way there, we got this."  Adrenaline kicked in at that point and I could immediately see my pace increase and My pain went away. I knew I was going to finish in under 2:10 when I approached the 2:10 pacer and passed her.   I was definitely feeling the "runners high" and I was on top of the world.  My music died at mile 10, so I took my ear buds out and high fived all the soldiers and little kids standing on the side of the road.  I met another stranger, and we finished the last 3.1 miles together.  This was her first half too, and I'm so thankful for her!  Her encouragement and fellowship helped me more than she will ever know.  What an amazing feeling to finally run into the stadium at Marshall Football field, to feel the turf beneath my feet and to hear my name called over the loud speaker and to cross that finish line!  My amazing friend Molly, was at the finish line waiting with a banana and bottle of water.  Then I saw my husband and kids.  I'm not going to lie, I could barely walk after I crossed the finish line and Immediately felt the crunching sound and throbbing of my knee.  I gave it all I had and had nothing left to give at the end of that race.  Thank you God for your promises and for strengthening me.  Thank you God for the amazing opportunity and ability to run.  What an honor and a privilege it is to finally cross that finish line.  Thanks to all my friends and family who encouraged me and prayed for me during all my crazy adventures!  I'm not sure what my next goal is, but I know God will strengthen me and you all will be cheering me on.  It was so nice to have something else to shove in cancer's face!!!

Finish time: 2hrs and 8 min, pace: 9min, 45 seconds.

I love the hardware!!!

Hattie and I resting our blistered feet after the 13.1 miles

The reason I run!!!  I love my family


1 comment:

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