Archive for August, 2013

MP_no stress kid

Today I was mandated to work overtime for a day totaling 14.5 hours. At least I brought my medication with me. I was told I need to pick up more shifts over my 32 hours per week plus coaching job of 10+ hours per week. Apparently, my employer does not care if you have cancer. These 7 out of 8 days are not going well. Massage tomorrow, MRI Thursday and neuro-oncologist on Friday unless I get mandated to stay on Friday.

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MP_bike

A.  EMOM – 10 Mins

2 x Snatches 45#

B.  10 Min AMRAP

10 x Wallball Push Presses #14

20 x Sit-ups

30 x Single-unders

6 rounds + 3 reps

 

Advice for referees and everyone anywhere

Advice for referees and everyone

anywhere

Soccer assistant referee one 90 minute game in 90+ degree heat.

MP_limits

Rochester 5K:  3′ run, 1′ walk repeat until 2.75 miles then run fast to finish. 34:40

Instructions: take one WOD daily and as needed for weight loss, muscle toning, gaining strength, and energy

Instructions: take one WOD daily and as needed for weight loss, muscle toning, gaining strength, and energy

I will be posting each of my WOD’s and some statistics on my blog along with a motivational photo.  In addition the blog has a new domain name http://www.braintumorwod.org.

My USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship Experience

MY MOTIVATION

TRI-UMPH

TRI-UMPH

 

The day was Sunday August 11, 2013. Place Milwaukee, WI.  I had been waiting for this day since last Fall. I am a former elite triathlete and triathlon coach. This was supposed to be a race to be competitive and do well but the plans changed with my diagnosis of anaplastic astrocytoma and 7 hour brain surgery. Brain cancer was not going to stop me from neither starting nor finishing. In the back of my mind, I knew I was doing this for a cause, the American Brain Tumor Association and for those who cannot. It had been 11 weeks since my brain surgery and just over a week since my last oral chemo dose and radiation treatment. I had been unable to train much because of post-surgical restrictions, slowed recovery from chemotherapy, and fatigue from treatments. I reminded myself with a quote from President Obama at the Boston Marathon Memorial Service, “Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn’t know we had, and we carry on, we finish the race.”

PRE-RACE

Pre-race Reminder

Pre-race Reminder

My morning started with getting my race kit on, my chip on, my race number tattoos on and drinking my meal replacement shake mixed with coffee.  Off to the race, just a 15 minute drive from the hotel to the Milwaukee lakefront. I was one of the first in transition, but where is my chip. Oh, we cannot leave transition bags in transition. One minor problem, my chip was gone. I spent over 15 minutes getting a new chip and renumbered. Where was I going to put my fancy transition bag that I won at a Duathlon a few years ago if I did not connect with my Mom?

Well I met up with my Mother then gave her my bag. I put on my wetsuit on and she zipped it up. The national anthem played, but I still had over an hour before my wave would start. Next, I headed over to the swim start and stood by the railing overlooking the harbor. I talked about the race and triathlons with other racers. We watched wave after wave begin.

SWIM

Done with the swim

Done with the swim

Finally, my wave was called. I walked down to the dock with other triathletes in my age-aroup and crawled into the cold Lake Michigan water. We had about 10 minutes to warm-up. My second open water swim this year. My third time swimming since my surgery in May. We lined up next to the dock and the horn went off. I started slow, kept it steady, and concentrated on my form. While swimming, I got a little dizzy from turning the head to breathe but that was not going to stop me. The swim went under the bridge, around the buoy and back under the bridge to the swim exit which was a metal ramp with wooden rungs. There were catchers to assist. My time was 17 minutes for 750 meters swimming, which was when I crossed the timing mat so it included some extra running.

T1

Thoughts for T1

Thoughts for T1

I was so excited that I finished the swim I ran into transition put my bike gear on. My bike gear did not include my aero helmet as I wanted to make sure I had a secure helmet. Under my helmet was a sweat cap to protect my bald spot from radiation therapy and surgical scar from the sun and my helmet. Next I ran with my bike out of transition. Someone was ahead of me. I tried being nice and letting them go first but they were too slow. This is the ten seconds that cost my one place in the Athena under 40 division or maybe it was the ten seconds that I choose to put sunscreen on after the bike.

BIKE

Up, down, and around

Up, down, and around

The bike was relatively flat. I kept a high cadence and built the bike portion. Not taking it out too fast and finishing stronger during the last few miles. There was a small hill before the first turnaround and a ramp to a bridge that we went up and down one way and reversed on the way back. I was able to remain seated in the saddle on these hills thanks to my CrossFit workouts. My average mph was 16.7 over 12.4 miles.

T2

Motivation for T2

Motivation for T2

Came in on the bike to run transition and continued to run my bike into transition. I put my running shoes on casually and took off putting my hat and number belt on the run.

RUN TO THE FINISH

Keeping a slow but steady pace

Keeping a slow but steady pace

I ran the first mile without a walk break. During the second and third mile I took 1 minute fast walk for every 3 minutes of running. Racers were passing my left and right and some with names and USA on the back of their tri suit saying “good work” and ”keep it up”. I kept my own focus throughout the run.  Once I heard the finish I continued to run it came up so fast. When I got to the carpet I was filled with tears. I took off my TriRochester cap and pointed to the bald area on my head while I heard Karen Smyers say, “Dawn Johnson from Rochester Minnesota still top 10 in the Female Athena division” I had finished my first triathlon of the year and my first triathlon since my brain cancer diagnosis. To top it off, I was honored to have Chrissie Wellington hand me my finisher’s medal. Overall, my run was 37:01 for an 11:55 min/mile pace. Here is the link to the finish video http://www.marathon-photos.com/scripts/event.py?event=Sports/CPUK/2013/Age%20Group%20National%20Championships&match=4178&name=Dawn

POST FINISH

FINISHED

FINISHED

 

 

I stayed long enough to get some food and wait to get my bike out of transition. Since I had placed, I was upset that I could not stay for the awards ceremony.  I had to get back to Rochester, MN to work night shift at my nursing position. My plans are again to race and place again at the National Championship event next year. Maybe even earn a spot to Worlds. The sky is the limit.

~dmj

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming weekend

This weekend was a true water stop. I spent almost the whole weekend at the Rochester Recreation Center Pool shadow officiating and coaching the Regional Age Group Championships. Friday I came from radiation to the pool to shadow. The pool was hot and I had sweat dripping down my back. I felt dizzy and like I was going to fall forward into the pool. The experience was good, and I am more prepared to be a swim stroke and turn judge.

Saturday morning I went to the Rochester Brains Together for a Cure brain tumor support group. A nice little group that meets on the third Saturday of the month, but it freaks me out every time I attend. I shared my experience with aromatherapy and massage. Plus shared my dislikes and fears that I had to go back to work on Monday.  Saturday, I spent the early afternoon Olympic weightlifting at CrossFit Progression for a PR challenge and lifted about 85% of my former PR. 72.2 lbs for snatch and 95 lbs for clean and jerk. Next I headed to the rec center to get some coaching experience. I have not been at a meet coaching my current team, so I thought that this would give me some experience. Was a good experience and I got to meet some of the older swimmers on the team since I usually only work with the younger swimmers. I learned a lot observing the other coaches interactions with the swimmers and got to cheer my club on at the meet.

Sunday morning I woke up with a kick butt headache. This was my first headache in some weeks. I think it was over lifting on Saturday, but I cannot say for sure. I decide to sleep until the headache resolved and possibly even missing the first session of shadowing. The headache quieted enough where I decided to go to the pool. I got some good training from the referee and starter. They were very interested in helping me be successful and they let me have two lanes of the pool to judge while they observed me. I still felt dizzy like I was going to fall in the pool and I had to stand by the diving board base to hold me up. In time, I did not like the idea of leaning over the pool. Well, I survived the weekend and it was back to my nursing position Monday night.

~dmj

Snatch

Snatch

CA_accomplishment

Swimming

Swimming

I have new goals to work on through the first part of October.

October 5 is the Luther College Alumni Swim meet and new aquatic center dedication. I plan to focus on swimming to get ready for this meet and master swimming meets later in the year. Focus on backstroke and middle-distance freestyle. Starting masters practice in September. Still having problems with flip-turns after surgery since starting to swim again a few weeks ago, so I hope this resolves.

October 12 is the Minnesota Open Olympic Weightlifting Competition.  While my max is still at 85% of my PR’s and my PR’s are far below the competition in my weight division I am going to give the completion a try just for the experience. Unfortunately this competition is after I work a night shift. Going to start attending Olympic lifting classes again at my CrossFit gym and do lots of bar work. I have a good coach so I hope I make progress.

Also plan on participating in Whole Life Challenge. A wellness incentive program that focus on a Paleo diet, exercise, mobility, etc.

Since my energy is limited and recovery prolonged by chemo medications and not being allowed to take antioxidants.  I will have to devote my time to these to activities and only CrossFit 1-2 x/ week.

~dmj