My Crossfit Workouts During Treatment

“Crossfitting through Cancer” is one of the websites I came across when trying to figure out if I could continue visiting my local crossfit gym 3x a week during my planned course of chemotherapy. The blog starts in Nov 2008 and continues until August 2014 following one women’s experience with crossfitting through her battle with breast cancer, and more interestingly to me specifically – her discussion about crossfitting during when she received chemotherapy.

Looking at her blog I determined that she’s MUCH more of a serious workout person than I am! Her info was so inspiring to me to read. I was very happy to find her blog and be able to learn from her experiences, but I wanted more. The “more” I wanted, and couldn’t find on any blogs or websites, I want to provide to you. I want to share my crossfit experiences during my treatment though my blog/journal. I like details. It’s part of who I am. I am sharing my experiences to help mentor others who may follow or already be on a similar, unplanned path in their lives.

The Crossfitter that I am

I’m not one for pain. If I’m working out and that evil, black card of doom floats over my head, I call it quits. I’ve learned that the evil thoughts come when something is off whether it be 1) the lack of proper hydration, 2) the lack of sustenance in my system (protein), or 3) me pushing beyond my body’s comfort zone.  A guy I work out with loves to get right in this uncomfortable zone and ride it through his entire workout, pushing so he’s on the edge of throwing up – it’s when he feels he gets the most out of his workout. In contrast, I like to end a workout stronger than I began it. If I have a long run I want to have energy left at the end to turn on the throttle and really sprint all-out to the end and really hit that max-effort zone and then be done. Not riding the “max effort zone” through the entire workout is how I de-stress. I get to that happy 65-70% effort and ride it safely and comfortably. I also show up 3x a week, and showing up is 95% of succeeding at any workout routine.

As you can imagine if you are familiar with Crossfit and have read above, I scale workouts as I feel I need to. For some scaling is shame (usually guys who want to hit the beloved “Rx” button, meaning he is completing the workout exactly as described). For me, scaling workouts is a way of life. I show up to enjoy hanging out with the amazing Crossfit 5 am family at my local gym. The demographic of the 5 am group I’m in is mostly 30-50 yrs old, married, educated, with kids (anywhere from babies to high schoolers), at the gym to stay strong.

My coach has caught onto my love to scale and has learned that I do sometimes need that little extra push to try a little more weight or more reps – and I really do appreciate the kick in the pants! Over time I now can do most of the full number of reps on workouts though I still rarely ever “Rx” a workout since they prescribe specific box heights or weight to lift.  I never was and never will be a star athlete and I completely accept that. I show up. I don’t quit (a fantastic quote posted inside the women’s bathroom at the crossfit gym I attend). I keep attending classes and what I can do has continued to improve month after month. Not only has my 5 am family watched my slow transformation, they’ve also been quick to point out to me to ditch my negative talk about what I can’t do whenever I start doubting my abilities; they are wonderful support. Crossfit has become a part of my life, part of what keeps me sane, de-stressed, strong and healthy. I never want to go back to what I was before. I want to keep everything it’s given me and continue to leverage the power of the sport as my journey through life continues.

In these pages I’ll share with you the workouts that I completed. What I am finding is that many of them I’m designing myself based on my own goals and experiences. Also – since I’m learning when it’s OK to go to the gym and when it is not, I’ve had to figure out what I could do at home to get my blood pumping – and these workouts are always a lot less intense (no heavy weights at home) but as far as I’m concerned – just as important for keeping me active, flexible and toned. For comments about how I felt – please check out the other page, “Diagnosis, Course of Treatment and Experiences”. I’ve noted when I have had each chemo and then just listed the workout information – no matter how big or small.

How I feel is like a roller coaster ride – some days I am up and feeling great – off to the gym! Other days I’m good but cautious due to nadir (when my counts are low post chemo) and working out at home, and the rest of the days all I can do is sleep and there’s no going anywhere. I am trying to be a very attuned to what my body is comfortable with and to rest if it needs rest – no question.

*One quick note – anywhere I say I did a push up in any of the workouts, I’ve actually done a knee push up. I’m still working towards a full push up!

 March 26, 2016 – Thursday – Chemo #1

March 31, 2015 – Tuesday  – “Fight Gone Bad” (completed at the gym, first workout since chemo #1)

3RFT (Rounds For Time): 1 min wall balls (6lb – 10lbs was my usual), 1 min sumo deadlift high pulls (35lb – healthy, I probably would have done 55lbs), 1 min box step ups (15 inch box – my usual), 1 min strict press (15 lb bar (really light, wanted to be VERY careful of my port)– healthy I would have done the prescribed push press about 35 or 40 lbs at least), 1 min row, 1 min rest

Total Reps for all 3 rounds: 211

Tuesday night slept hard – 8 hrs – felt wonderful. Too tired to go to the gym on Wed.-fine by me – body needs sleep I let it sleep.

April 2, 2015 – Thursday – Mash Up (not the prescribed work out, a workout of my own, random design, completed at the gym)

800m warm up run, plank for 3 min (30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 1 min center), Sit-up Tabata (20 seconds all out sit ups (10 sit ups for me) then 10 sec rest, repeat 8 times), handstand hold for 30 sec (against a wall), then 3RFT: 10 kettle bell swings (27 lb– my pre-cancer self  had gotten to a 36 lbs KB), 10 burpees, 10 wallballs (6lb ball- pre-cancer I was at a 10lb ball)

Total time: 9:10 (but I wandered off to switch my 10 lb wall ball for a 6 lb when I started wall balls and realized the 10lb was too much to ask)

Felt pretty good. Nausea had gone away.

April 7, 2015 – Tuesday (at home)

Restricted to the house since my counts are so low and I’m fighting an annoying viral cold that is small but could be bad…. So I wanted to just get my heart pumping and feel like I wasn’t completely turning into a couch potato – which is how I worked all day – butt on couch, typing on my work computer. Also – by 9 pm when I got to this – I was actually feeling pretty damn good for the day… I went for it!

2:30 plank (found out I need to wear shoes for good grip – I got it done but it was awful), Tabata sit ups (found out that the yoga mat needs to be on the wood floor so it doesn’t slide, around on the carpet on the wood floor), 1 Round – (then I got a bit winded): 10 air squats, 10 pushups, 10 burpees

April 8, 2015 – Wednesday (at home)

2:30 plank – (with sneakers on the yoga mat – worked like a charm!), 3 rounds: 10 air squats, 10 push ups

Exercise felt good. I’d started to get antsy after resting the last 2 days of being home-bound due to low counts.

 April 9, 2015 – Thursday (at home)

Still a bit restless, needing less sleep since I’d been resting for 2 days. I went for it…

3 min plank (30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 1 min center), Tabata sit-ups, 3RFT: 10 air squats, 10 push ups, 10 stink bugs – 6:14 then, mile run (treadmill, 1.5 incline, somewhere over 11 min)

Run was nice easy, relaxing run, felt WONDERFUL! Didn’t push too hard. Later that same night before going to bed…. Another plank set: 2:30 min plank (30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 30 sec center)

April 11, 2015 – Saturday (at home)

3 min plank, 3 RFT: 10 air squats, 10 knee push ups, then ran for ~1 mile on a treadmill – ~5 mph at 2.0% grade, then walked for ~5 min, 12% grade at 2.5 mph

April 13, 2015 – Monday – Mash Up (at the gym)

2:30 min plank (30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 second left, 30 sec center), Tabata sit-ups, 30 second wall-walk (holding in as close as I can get to a handstand position for 30 secs), 3RFT: 10 burpees, 10 wall balls (6lb), 10 KB (27 lb) – 6:33,  then ~1 mile run.

Felt great. on 4/16 is my next chemo and I really feel like my old self! No more burnt tongue and most of the other oddities of the chemo have gone away….

Wore a winter hate to the gym to hide my hair – which had become very itchy and patchy-bald. This night I had my husband buzz off the rest of my hair.

April 14, 2015 – Tuesday – Mash Up (at the gym)

400m run, 4 min plank (30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left), wall walks – 3 x 30 sec hold inverted (as best I could to get close to a handstand), 3RFT: 10 burpees, 10 wallballs (6lb), 10 KB (27 lb) – 6:19,  then row 1 min row at ~ 26 strokes per min, followed by 30 sec rest. Repeated 7 times.

Felt great again! Ah how sweet it can be! Showed my coach and 5 am family my beautiful bald head and my coach gave me a huge hug! Told me to OWN IT! and I am. Folks very supportive of me being there. Except for the first “fight gone bad” workout on 3/31, I’ve done all other gym work outs in the back room by myself – after spraying down the wall ball and the KB with a bleach solution. Washing my hands right after the workout, right before leaving the gym and right when I get home. Need to keep healthy. Also bought an actual Ab Mat today from the gym – those little pillows I was using at home weren’t cutting it….

April 15, 2015 – Wednesday

Felt great! Looked great! Took the day off. Want to go tomorrow – day of my second chemo session.

April 16, 2015 – Thursday, Chemo #2 (before the chemo – at the gym, 5 am)

400m run, 4 min plank (YES! 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 30 sec center, 30 sec right, 30 sec center, 30 sec left, 30 sec right, 30 sec center), tabata sit-up, 30 sec handstand hold + 2 holding handstand against the wall (1 for 20 sec, then 1 for 30 sec), 3RFT: 10 burpees, 10 wall balls (6 lb), 10 KB (26 lb) – 7:10, 2K Row (9:46)

April 16, 2015 – Thursday, Chemo #2 

Felt ok after chemo. It takes a day or two to feel the impact.

April 17, 2015 – Friday (at home, first thing in the morning)

Drank ~20 oz water to get my system awake in the 15-20 min before I got on the treadmill. 0.5 mile walk, 12% grade, 2.5 mph – on the treadmill (heart rate at 140-150 bpm) – ~11 min 30 sec or thereabouts. Felt good to move. Made sure to watch water intake and I did hit my goal of 64 oz for the whole day. I think being hydrated helps.

April 18, 2015 – Saturday (at home, early morning)

Drank ~20 oz water – the usual as noted above. ~15 min, 12% grade, 2.5 mph – on the treadmill (easy 140-150 bpm heart rate) – ~0.65 miles or thereabouts (sometimes I watch time, sometimes I watch distance). Didn’t watch the water intake as much second part of the day. Slept a LOT. Daughter was invited to friend’s house for a sleep over and I slept tons.

April 19, 2015 – Saturday 

Nadda. All I want to do is sleep. Theory is my numbers don’t drop for a while yet so I should be able to make it to the gym for a workout on Monday. We’ll see….

 April 21, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

As expected, Monday I was fairly tired and not really all that peppy in the morning – so I slept as my body needed. I did however get myself back Monday afternoon (see 96 hrs post) in time to hit the gym Tuesday morning and it felt great!!  Here’s what I did: (usual S-WOD 🙂 and a run:

4 min plank (the usual), tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT: 10 KB, 10 burpees, 10 wall balls (all usual weights), 8:42 (little slower, but expected today to be slower given that it was only 5 days since chemo round #2), ran 1 mile -11:06.

I sprinted at the end of the mile – just the last bit. Hadn’t pushed myself this hard previously while working out during chem and I have to say, I won’t be doing it again. It was a LOT harder to get my breath back. It was good to push the envelope ever so gently and to find the edge, but I will definitely be watching and taking those breaks as I need to in order to catch my breath and keep my heart rate (bpms) a little lower. No shame in scaling and it was nice to see that all of my previous precautions about taking it easy were spot on! Always listen to your body. No excuses.

April 23, 2015 – Thursday (at home – nadir period begins around here, being smart)

Woke up waaaay too early this morning, which for me is a sign that I can work out more. When I work out I usually sleep really well and take a full 7 hrs of sleep (it used to be 9 full hours when I was in college but this has decreased with age). This morning – not so much sleep just wide awake and ready to go. So here it is:

3:30 plank (was harder today somehow), tabata sit-ups  (10 situps per round – my usual), tabata push ups (first time trying this – should be good for strengthening my chest muscles for upcoming surgery – whatever that may be – started around 10 push ups/round and quickly dropped to 5 push ups/round) and then tabata air squats (13/round), then run for ~16 min (around 1 mile, 2.0% incline) then one good song’s worth of walking up 12% grade at 2.5 mph,

Feeling really good. Had a little breather between the tabatas to catch my breath – maybe a minute or so. Was a nice change up. Going to do a little yoga stretching to relax my muscles. Haven’t done yoga in forever a few key poses to release the tension always does a body good!

April 25, 2015 – Saturday (at home – in the nadir period)

4:00 plank (usual), tabata sit-ups, tabata push ups, then run for ~16 min (around 1 mile, 2.0% incline) then a few song’s worth of walking up 12% grade at 2.5 mph with a cool down walking slowly until about 20 min. Skipped the tabata air squats – my bad knee was 100% into it so I passed on that one today.

Felt good. Little tired in the morning the last few days. Wondering if I’m just getting lazy or if it’s the chemo. Either way, I’m getting in the exercise when I can. NOT pushing it – just a nice cruising speed. Looking forward to getting back to the gym hopefully next week so I can get more work with weights (wall ball, kettle bell) and do some handstand holds and row on the ergometer. I feel that I’m keeping up my cardio but I’m certain I’m losing muscle. I realize this is to be expected but….you know how it is.


April 28, 2015 – Tuesday (at home – should be about the end of the nadir period)

2:30 plank (harder today), tabata sit-ups (10/round), tabata push ups (10/round to 6/round), tabata air squats (15/round) then run for 1 mile (12 min,  2.0% incline) then a few song’s worth of walking up 12% grade at 2.5 mph with a cool down for a minute or so walking slowly until about 20 min.

Felt a bit more tired yesterday and today. Not sure if its the chemo or if it is just me getting lazy and feeling like “I can’t do it as well since I’ve had a few days more off”. I know a huge weakness of mine is getting things in my head and then believing them. Hoping it’s just me being me and not the chemo hitting hard ~14 days later. Time will tell.


April 29, 2015 – Wednesday (at the gym)

Usual S-WOD: 4 min plank (the usual), tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall (first one I held for 50 sec!), 3RFT: 10 KB, 10 burpees, 10 wall balls (all usual weights), 7:30 , row 2K – 10 min.


May 2, 2015 – Saturday (at home)

Falling off the wagon here. All I did was run 1.0 mile at 2% grade (~12 min/mile) and then walked up a 2.5% grade for ~ 8 minutes followed by a short cool down. Started with my usual plank but bailed after about 40 seconds – just wasn’t feeling it.  Haven’t really been feeling into working out the last few days. Believe this may be attributed to my diet situation and the attack of the bag of tortilla chips at 10 pm the last few nights. Working to right the ship and get myself back on track. Next week I’m targeted 3 great days at the gym and then spending time on Fri and Sat on the treadmill just walking post-chemo to stay active.


May 5, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

Usual S-WOD: 4 min plank (last 30 sec hold at center did knee taps), tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT: 10 burpees, 10 wall balls, 10 KB (all usual weights)- 8:10, row 2 x 1K – 10:20 total 2K time with 30 sec rest between 1Ks.

Everything is getting slower. Think it is a combination of things 1) going less to the gym and not pushing as hard, 2) the chemo and 3) mentally as I get closer to the whole surgery thing it is definitely weighing a lot heavier on me mentally. I could have made it to the gym Thurs or Fri last week or yesterday but instead I went for rolling over and going back to bed. Have to keep active to keep strong. Going to continue to listen to my body and take it easy just have to keep getting out of bed and going to the gym or this whole thing will be so much, much harder to deal with mentally and physically.


May 6, 2015 – Wednesday (at the gym)

S-WOD 2.0 (got bored so I changed it up a little): 2:30 min plank (last 30 sec hold at center did knee taps), tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT: 15 wall balls, 20 step ups (15 inch box), 10 sit ups with wall ball (10 lb) throwing it against the wall as I sat up, 15 air squats – 11:03, then row 3K – 15:22.

Almost stayed in bed this morning. Did roll over and go back to sleep but determined that since next week this work out likely wouldn’t happen with this amount of enthusiasm, that I should get my tush out of bed and do it while I could. Very happy I did!  Aiming to go tomorrow, too – something about going the morning of a chemo treatment that makes me feel strong.

Guy at the gym had a work out shirt on today, which I have to find for myself – said “life is good” “powered by optimism” – and had a picture of a weights. Yes. I need that shirt!


May 7, 2015 – Thursday – No Go

I had completely planned to go to the gym this morning but alas, it was not meant to be. My beloved cat who is 17+ years old, possibly 18 years old ended up going to the vet after hours clinic on Wed night. After spending a few hours with the vet for treatment my husband picked him up and brought him home (treated, sporting a beautiful blue/pink head cone) – to rest. He was far from happy and definitely not comfortable so I chose to stay by his side to make sure he was as comfortable as could be instead of running out at 5 am to work out. I’m certain that he appreciated it.

May 8, 2015 – Friday – No Go

Still sleeping  on the couch with my cat (who isn’t currently allowed to jump on to or off of things right now) – to help keep him comfortable and calm. Given this – no work out as of yet today, and if I did, it would likely be a  light walk on the treadmill but unfortunately, even that hasn’t happened yet. Life is just chaotic these last few days and continues to day. Tonight should be quieter.


May 9, 2015 – Saturday – (at home)

Took a nice walk on the treadmill. 3 min warm up at 2% grade then about 1 mile at 12% grade, 2.5 mph, then ended up walking a total of abut 1.5 miles over 35 min. Last half a mile was at 6% grade. Just had to get some stuff out of my head – thinking about the surgery decision I have to make – double mastectomy and reconstruction or lumpectomy. The walk on the treadmill really did me good. Also, staying hydrated sure did,too! Felt pretty good today even with being so tired from the chemo on Thursday. Got a nice 2 hr nap in, too.

May 12, 2015 – Tuesday – (at the gym)

Dead lifts – 5 of each weight: 45, 65, 75 and 85, then 2:30 plank, tabata sit-ups, and 3 x 30 handstand holds against the wall. Dead lifts felt great! Were light. Was supposed to be 45% etc of my max dead lift weight -mine pre-cancer was about 115, so I just went from there.

Last night I was doing yoga to stretch out my back and get my deep, relaxing breath back. Feel the same deep breath now after I’ve completed this workout. Sadly, my 4:00 min plank has dropped back to the 2:30, but I’m telling myself I should do the 2:30 plank twice a day. Not sure that will happen. I’ll log it if I do it!


May 13, 2015 – Wednesday – (at home – nadir period begins)

Ran for 1 mile on the treadmill, 5.0 mph and a little faster, 2% grade. Was feeling rather sluggish, but at least I got on the treadmill and did it. Exercise does a body good.


May 14, 2015 – Thursday – (no activity, at home – nadir period)

No can do. Working on my meltdown as I try to make a decision about lumpectomy vs. bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.  By all rights I should be working out and eating the absolute best I can to help improve the environment of my entire body and thus the outcome of this cancer and all future cancers but alas, last night all I did was eat a huge ton of tortilla chips, continue to feel horribly bloated, and continue to want to hide under my covers on my couch.  I don’t want to go to work. I want answers to all of my questions and in the end, it really doesn’t matter because it all comes down to statistics – playing the numbers, something I hate doing. I’ve never been good at it. Is 85% chance that my cancer or a new cancer won’t come back good enough?! I really don’t like surgery though everyone I talk to around my age has gone for a double mastectomy and reconstruction – though, upon further information, it seems they had fewer options than I do. Or at least it seems that way, post-surgery.

Problem is, things aren’t always what they seem. I’ve talked to a few folks who have started with one diagnosis only to have it change on them as they are going through treatment. Will mine change? 85% over the next 40 years of my life is a whole lot more time than for  someone who’s 60.

May 15, 2015 – Friday – (at home)

Slept 6 hrs and then wide awake. Feeling good so worked out! Still nadir period…so at home.

2:30 plank x 2 with short rest, tabata sit ups, 30 air squats, then the treadmill- 1.0 mile, 2% grade, 12:00 min, then 0.7 mile, 8% grade. 30 min total on the treadmill. Feeling fine!!


May 16, 2015 – Saturday – (at home)

2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, treadmill- 2.0 miles, vast majority at 3 mph, 8% grade, 36:30.


May 20, 2015 – Wednesday – (at the gym)

2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, 3 x 30 second handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT 10 wall balls (6 lb), 10 KB (3/4 pood), 10 burpees – 7:38, then 2K row – ~11 min.

Holding my aerobic abilities a bit but losing the strength….depressing when I think about how long it will be until it is back to what it was.


May 21, 2015 – Thursday – (at the gym)

2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, 3 x 30 second handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT – 5 KB, 10 step ups (18inch box), 5 pull ups (blue band), 5 wall balls – 6:09, then 3K row – 16:02 min.

Almost didn’t go to the gym. In a depressed mood over neuropathy and my hormones being all messed up – pretty sure they are pushing me into menopause right now. Went to the gym since a friend said she’d be there. Working out in groups is good. In the end, she didn’t make it but I did, and that’s what counts. Also – would have only rowed 2K but the class was still working out so I kept going until they were about done and I got to 3K! Go me!  Also – the new S-WOD with the pull ups seemed good. Going to try again, maybe go for 4 RFT and up the wall ball weight from 6 lb to 8 lbs. Glad I’m still holding with the 3/4 pood KB. Blue banded pull ups hurt – not my arms as much as my hands – since I haven’t done them in a while I lost all of my calluses and my hands are now sore!! Gotta get those back 🙂


May 27, 2015 – Wednesday – no activity for a while, not even today

Got a cold – viral cold that is going around the family. Because of this I’ve been sleeping a lot, staying indoors and taking it easy over Memorial Day. It got a little worse on Monday night so I skipped work Tuesday to sleep/rest and I think that worked. The biggest damage besides missing all of the physical activity at the gym or at home has been a depression that seems to have set in. Tomorrow is #4.

May 28, 2015 – Thursday, 4th chemo treatment

May 29, 2015 – Friday (at home)

Walked on the treadmill for 1 mile, 3 mph, 20:23 min, 8% grade (after short warm up).

This whole section should be renamed “Workouts During Therapy”. Nothing crossfitty about it. Though this morning if I had an erg at home I would have been on it to get more of a full body work out, but then again, with my up coming surgery an erg would be useless to me where as the treadmill I can always at least walk to get the blood flowing and my heart rate up. Hopefully my water/exercise/sleep protection regime will help keep my body strong fighting all of this.

May 30, 2015 – Saturday (at home)

Walked on the treadmill for 1 mile, 3 mph, 20:23 min, 8% grade (after short warm up).


June 2, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

Usual S-WOD: 2:30 min plank, tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall, 3RFT: 10 KB, 10 burpees, 10  wall balls – had to do 3 rounds separate- round 1: 2:36, round 2: 3:40, round 3: 3:34 (had at least 2 min rest between), then row 1500 – 9:13. Yeah, it got a lot harder but I kept moving and could still do things. Just took it easy with lots of resting between as needed!

June 3, 2015 – Wednesday (at the gym)

Usual S-WOD: 2:30 min plank (with 2, 30 second rests in between), tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against a wall, 3Rounds: 10 KB, 10  wall balls , 30 sec rest (had to skip the burpees – wasn’t going to happen), then row 2K – 12:13. Feeling good! Triple washing hands 🙂

June 4, 2015 – Thursday (at home, nadir period)

Ran on treadmill for 1 mile, 2% grade, 12:10 min. Feeling good!

June 9, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

400m run, 2:30 plank, 3 x 30 sec handstand holds, 3RTF 10 KB, 10 burpees, 10 wall balls, 8:57 (requires ~1 min rest between rounds these days), row 2K – 11:15 (needed 1 min break around 7 min). Feeling great!

June 10, 2015 – Wednesday (at the gym)

400m run, tabata of planks and sit ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand holds, 3RTF 10 KB, 10 burpees, 5 wall balls, 5:25 (I did this with my class as their warm up, cutting the burpees back helped me keep going so I didn’t need the minute rests between!) row 2K – 10:58, then 800 m run. In a funk. Work out didn’t help my mood much but I know it did my body good. Thinking I need to do more weights somehow – even if it is body weight. Considering adding in work out with heavier wall ball  (push it a little with 10 lb wall ball I used to be able to do), pull ups, dead lifts and step ups next time to mix it up….we’ll see.

June 12, 2015 – Friday (at the gym)

400m run, 2:30 plan, sit up tabata, 3 x 30 sec handstand holds, 3 rounds: 5 dead lifts (85 lb), 5 wall balls (10 lb), 5 KB, then row 1K – 5:07, then run 800 m.

June 13, 2015 – Friday (at home)

tabata situps.

June 18, 2015 – Friday 5th chemo treatment

June 19, 2015 – Friday (at home)

1 mile, 22:37, includes ~ 5 min warm up then walked majority at 2.5 mph at 12% grade.

June 20, 2015 – Saturday (at home)

1 mile, 23:33, includes ~ 5 min warm up then walked majority at 2.5 mph at 12% grade, then continued walking for a second mile. Hit mile 2 at 41:30 total time – most was at 4% grade walking around 3.0 mph to a little faster than ran 5.0 mph last .15 mile. Felt good, very good.

June 23, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

As expected – Sunday and Monday I spent sleeping. 16 hrs Sunday likely 12+ Monday. Felt the fog and induced exhaustion lift Monday evening.  Very happy to have made it to the gym today. 400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold, 3 rounds (no time): 5 KB (3/4 pood), 5 wall balls (10 lb), 5 dead lifts (85 lb), 5 burpees then row 2K – 11:24.

June 25, 2015 – Thursday (at the gym, nadir period)

400 m run, 2:30-ish plank (getting worse, need to do this everyday…..), tabata sit ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold, 3 rounds (no time): 5 KB (3/4 pood), 5 wall balls (10 lb), 5 burpees, then 4 rounds (no time) 5 dead lifts (85 lb), 5 push jerk (35 lb bar) then row 1K – 5:40 – broken into two pieces. Yes – it’s the nadir period but after a while, I’ve gotten used to living with the rules and as I did the work out above, I paused a few times to double-wash my hands, and I sprayed the equipment that I used. After a while (during this whole cancer thing) I realized that I cannot live life in fear, I just have to do it  – live the life I want (and get the work out I need)! Go Bald! Be Bold! 😛

June 26, 2015 – Friday (at the gym, nadir period)

400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, then work out with the group (I need it. My spirit needs it. I’m careful to not touch my face at all, double wash my hands as soon as everything is done and I’m heading home, and then double wash my hands again as soon as I get home). The Work Out (“Fight Gone Bad” Style) – 3 Rounds: ~30 seconds per movement and 30 sec of rest – changing movements every min on the min: Dubs (10, 7, 6),  sledge hammer (30, 30, 30 – 10 lb sledge), KB (3/4 pood, 10, 10, 10), slam ball (15 lb, 15, 15, 15), step up (18 inch box, 14, 14, 16), rest! Felt great!! 226 total reps. Only frustration was that I didn’t get a run of 15 or so double-unders…..

June 29, 2015 – Monday (at the gym, near end of the nadir period)

10 rep max clean dead lifts – 75 lbs, then 2 sets of 3 strict pull ups (green band), 10 clean dead lifts – repeated a bunch of times. Noticed that having tape on the pull up bar helped a LOT with my ability to hold on. Without the tape it’s much harder to do pull ups – grip strength has decreased so much. Must remember to use the bar with the tape again in the future.

June 30, 2015 – Monday (at the gym)

2:30 plank, tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against the wall, tabata pushups (46 total), then Bench press (15 lb, 10 reps), KB (3/4 pood, 10 reps), BP (25 lb, 10 reps), KB same, BP (35 lb, 10 reps), KB same, repeated BP at 35 lb/10 reps 2 more times with KB same in between, then 1500m row – 8:10.

July 2, 2015 – Thursday (at the gym)

400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against the wall, then Bench press (35 lb, 10 reps), step ups (18 inch box, 10 reps), then bench press (45 lbs, 5 reps), step ups (18 inch box, 10 reps), and repeated 3 more times (total of 50 step ups and 20 bench press at 45 lb) then 3RFT –  KB (3/4 pood, 10 reps), wall ball (6 lb, 10 reps), burpess (10) – 2:30, 2:35 and 2:55 (1 min rest between rounds).


July 7, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against the wall, 3 rounds 5 Wall balls (10 lb), 5 KB (1 pood), 5 burpee with 1 min rest between rounds, then bench press 35 lb – 10 then 45 lb – 3 sets of 5. Could have likely got to 50 or 55 but didn’t want to push it. Will do more in next month.

July 9, 2015 – Thursday (at the gym – last chemo day!)

400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit-ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand hold against the wall, 3 rounds 10 Wall balls (10 lb), 10 KB ( pood), wit 30 sec rest between rounds, then run 1 mile – 10:19, then complex: hanging clean, strict press, push press, split press – 3 rounds, ~ 3 times each round. More comfortable with my port. Could have likely done more weight but wanted to be sure of movement first with the port.  Will need to see how this complex works with increasing weight over the next month before surgery on August 5th…

July 9, 2015 – Thursday – 6th and final chemo treatment

July 10, 2015 – Friday (at home)

Onto the treadmill. 1 mile in 18:11. Mostly up hill, anywhere from the warm up where it was at 2.0% grade to the work out where I went as high as 8% grade. Speed was generally 2.5 mph to 3.0 mph. Tried to run the last .2 miles at 6.0 mph with 2.5% grade but a wave of nausea came on so I backed off quickly. Overall feeling ok.

July 11, 2015 – Saturday (at home)

Onto the treadmill. 1 mile in 20 min. Speed was 3.0 mph, with 2.0% grade. Not much. Feeling icky and nauseous, even after taking the pill to help. Hoping some food will help settle my stomach – that and a bit of rest.

July 14, 2015 – Tuesday (at the gym)

Worked out with my class! Strength: Deadlift 3, 3, 3, 3 (increasing in weight – got up to 95 lbs), then 18 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible) – 200m run,  6 DB snatches (3 per arm,10 lbs),  4 Burpees,  10 KB swings 26 lb, 1 min rest. I completed 4 rounds.

July 17, 2015 – Friday (at the gym, nadir period)

400 m run, 2:30 plank, tabata sit ups, 3 x 30 sec handstand holds (min rest between handstands), then lifting complex without putting the bar down between movements – clean, strict press, push press, split jerk – did this complex 3 times per round with a 35 lb bar (really light), then did 3 rounds (60-90 second rest between rounds).  Then worked on some of my one rep maxes to find out what they are post-chemo. Was pleasantly surprised to find out they hadn’t dropped as far as I had expected! strict press 1RM: 55 lb, (pre chemo was only 56 lb!), clean 1 RM was 70 lb (pre chemo was 80 lb), split jerk 1RM was 70 lb (pre chemo was 80 lb).  More 1RM to come before surgery.

You’ll note that now I do go to the gym during the nadir period and that I am doing workouts and lifting with a bar. I’ve found that my comfort level is much higher and I can safely do these things.

Last 2 weeks prior to the surgery

I only made it once each week. I had planned on making it 3 times a week as usual but mentally I just couldn’t see the point. I’d have to be away for at least 6 weeks, likely 8 weeks to heal and trying to pick up the weights and push forward just wasn’t there. I wanted to sleep. To rest. To hide. I worked on a few 1 Rep Maxs which were great the two days that I made it. When I tried to continue to figure out a few more after the last work out posted I couldn’t seem to clean the 70 lbs again as easily. Mentally I couldn’t do it. At that point, I moved on and allowed myself to handle the stress in other ways. I spent the early mornings listening to my meditation App doing yoga – keeping my breathing deep and getting better at using my mind to relax also without the yoga – just by listening.

The Surgery – August 5th, 2015 



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