I’ve Been Down This Road Before

Shortly after returning home from Tuesday morning’s bike ride I got the call I was expecting, but with additional information I didn’t anticipate. Just five days earlier I’d had a biopsy on a new growth on my upper lip – both my dermatologist and I suspected it was a squamous cell carcinoma. My doctor removed the core to slow the growth as part of the biopsy and thought I’d be okay waiting until after the Reston Century on August 22nd to have it removed if indeed it came back positive for cancer.

My call confirmed a squamous cell, but the nurse informed me that my doctor wanted it removed sooner rather than later and they had reserved an appointment with the surgeon for the following morning. I don’t know about you, but I don’t change directions well mid-flight. My brain immediately started thinking of training rides I’d miss when I was told I wouldn’t be able to exercise hard for a week, but I relaxed when the nurse told me that there should be no problem with me doing the century. My sweet husband reminded me that the week off would be the perfect taper.

My surgery type was mohs which is done in stages and I was told that I could be there for up to 5 hours. Once the squamous tumor was removed, it was sent to pathology onsite while I waited with the wound temporarily covered. About an hour later, my doctor let me know that all margins were clear and he could sew me up. Had there been any traces of cancer remaining on the skin removed, he would have continued to remove small amounts of tissue until all margins were clear. This type of surgery allows for the removal of all cancerous cells while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.

I was stitched back up with incision lines that look like an upside down T to help avoid puckering and changes in how my upper lip closes. I’m hopeful the scar will evanish as well as the two scars from previous skin cancer removals on my face have faded (my surgeon is very gifted). For now, with a swollen upper lip, I look like I paid big bucks for that pouty look! LOL


Overview of the Week

Before discussing each day’s workouts, here’s an overview of my workouts from this past week. Scroll down for daily details…



A week ago, on our 40th wedding anniversary, Bill and I had big plans to celebrate with a 40-mile ride. Bill had designed a route that included 2 of the 4 climbs in our upcoming Reston Century; however, rain caused us to cancel our ride. Luckily, one week later it was sunny and 64° when we started rolling and 86° as we finished our ride. A wrong turn took us 1.5 miles out of the way and and you can bet that I added a half mile at the end by riding around the huge parking lot and finished at an even 42 miles and at a 15 MPH average speed.



With a crazy busy workday ahead, I lifted weights for an hour prior to seeing my 6:30 AM client. I did muster up enough energy at the end of the day to make our favorite mandarine orange chicken salad with homemade orange vinaigrette dressing. I didn’t take a picture so this photo from 2015 will have to suffice.



Bill and I headed out at just before 7:30 AM in the humid 74° weather for our 34-mile ride along the W&OD Trail and our favorite less traveled roads. With tired legs from Sunday’s hilly ride, we skipped climbing either of the usual 2 big hills with plans to ride them on Thursday.


Shortly after 4 PM, I test rode the Cannondale Topstone gravel bike I’d tried on July 1st. Next to me was Bill on his Topstone he’d purchased after that ride. Interestingly and just like last time, a severe thunder storm and heavy rain chased us back to the bike shop.



Knowing that this would be my last chance for a week to get a good sweat going, I got up at 4:15 AM for a 1-hour strength training workout followed by a 5K run. Working out in my basement gym pre-dawn gave me a prime view of the cute little baby raccoons and their mamma playing on our deck.


After lifting, I headed outside for my run and even though it was excessively humid, at 72° it felt relatively cool. I sweated like I haven’t all summer and finished my 5K with a 9:20 average pace. I wrapped up my early morning workout with 10 minutes rolling and 10 minutes stretching my legs.

After showering and having a big breakfast (because of the surgery location on my lip line, I didn’t know if I’d be able to eat the rest of the day), I got to the Skin Cancer Center with plenty of time to spare before my 8:30 appointment and feeling good about my early morning workout.

I got lucky and the first pathology report showed clear margins so my doctor sewed me up and sent me home. I had cleared my six clients appointments and with a free day ahead of me, I took a 2.5-hour healing afternoon nap.



Obviously my planned bike ride with Bill was scrapped and those hills would have to wait. I considered going for a walk, but with the afternoon temperature at 97° (feels like 108°) I took a pass on both a walk in the shade and on my treadmill. I think my body thanked me for giving it a little grace.



I taught my usual balance and stretching class at the 55+ community. During the class I participated minimally in the strengthening exercises,  but I did lead the balance drills and stretches.



Shortly after Bill left for his gravel ride with the VeloPigs (insert sad face), I headed out for a 5-mile walk (14:34 pace) in the somewhat sunny and cool 75°.

Just as I finished my walk, Pablo and his humans arrived for a visit and a bike ride. Once I’d eaten breakfast, I took Pablo out for a walk, but as soon as he did his business, he was ready to come home so we only made it .36 miles (26:56 pace). In his defense, despite it turning cloudy the temperature had climbed to 85° and it was quite muggy.


If You Haven’t Checked in, Here’s What You Might Have Missed

In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…


  • • What types of things derail your workouts and how do you handle it?
  • • How was the weather in your neck of the woods last week? ~ We had oppressive heat and humidity from Tuesday afternoon on…
  • • Did you run in a race this weekend? If so, was it live or virtual?


And that’s my rundown… Have a great week!




I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!