New Normal, New Milestones

Last month while meeting with my psychotherapist, I shared with her how upsetting and frustrating it has been for me to adjust to this so-called “new normal” after cancer.

I mentioned the disappointment I felt when logging workouts and training runs in my RunKeeper mobile app. I’ve used this app for years – well before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Every time I complete a run, the app records my stats: time, distance, calories burned, etc. And every time I log a run, I look through my activity logs to see the progress I’ve made.

I see that my best all-time run recorded was in August 2010, two months before my breast cancer diagnosis, when I ran 10 miles at a 10:05 pace.

My therapist suggested that I let go, delete that logged activity and focus on setting new milestones. I left that session indifferent but in agreement that I was beating myself up over something so trivial. Except to me, it wasn’t that trivial. And as a few days passed, I decided that the only way to truly accept my new normal was to make it better than my old one.

Thus, a few weeks ago, on my 33rd birthday, I set out to beat my all-time best Runkeeper record. While I knew I couldn’t beat my best time or my best pace, I could at least try for a new all-time best distance, no matter how long it took me.


That evening, I spent 2 hours, 45 minutes and 44 seconds, fighting through fatigue, neuropathy, sweat and tears to reach 10.05 miles, making it my new all-time best distance in my RunKeeper log.

When I returned home from training that night, just after midnight, my hubby had his hand out to give me a high-5. Barely able to walk and overcome with exhaustion, I asked him how he knew I had reached my goal. He said to me, “Because you always do what you say you’re going to do.”

It was an amazing feeling to reach that goal – and to know that I no longer had to beat myself up over old milestones. Call me stubborn, determined or something of the like, but I refuse to let breast cancer make me feel any less in any way. As I shared this experience with a great friend of mine, she reminded me of a quote that I will try to keep in mind as I continue to navigate through this “new normal.”


Follow my training and support me in the Komen 3-Day Dallas:


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