Tuesday, September 1, 2015

100 Miles for #GynCAN

Yesterday not only began the month-long #GynCAN Challenge (to blog/post daily to social media for September’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month), it also started the other month-long initiative-- the GynCAN100.

This 100-mile walk/run raises funds for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to all (and only) gynecologic cancers (details on how to donate are at the end of this post).

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I thought I was pretty well-prepared for this.  I’d been training for the past month, ensuring that I was sufficiently recovered from surgery and radiation to log these miles.  I’d also bought myself a comfy new pair of  running shoes (appropriately striped in “GynCAN purple”)!

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But panic set in over the weekend when I managed to lose my Fitbit while out running errands on Saturday. Yikes!!! Thankfully, the local Best Buy store had a Fitbit One in stock, so I was back in business by Monday and ready to roll.

I put on my sunscreen, a festive “GynCAN purple” top, had my peach ribbon uterine cancer survivor wristband and hat on, and my iPhone was loaded up with great tunes!

Ready to kick off this 100 miles!

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Today’s route was a loop around Burnidge Forest Preserve’s prairie and woods. Pretty familiar territory for me now, and yet, I’m continually fascinated by how quickly it changes from week to week.  The greens are now giving way to yellows—goldenrods are heralding the eminent arrival of Autumn to the prairie!

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Since I always carry my iPhone with me for picture-taking and tunes, I’m also now using it to do some “bonus fundraising” with a fantastic free app for iPhone/Android called Charity Miles.

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At the start of each walk, I launch the app and pick one of their featured charities. The app tracks my progress, and a corporate sponsor then pays the charity 25 cents for every mile I walk.  Is that not the coolest idea ever?!!!

This month, I’m selecting StandUp2Cancer, a great all-around cancer charity that has been funding some research projects lately for gynecologic cancer.  After September, I’ll likely mix it up a bit with a few of their nature-focused charities as well, like The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National Park Foundation.

After a final walk around the campground loop last night, my Fitbit stats were looking pretty darn good for Day 1—over 10,000 steps!

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I’ll be updating my GynCAN100 “Thermometer” (on my homepage’s sidebar) every day to publish my progress at reaching 100 miles.

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I’ve never gotten into the habit of daily exercise before, but now that improving my health and losing weight is an urgent priority (if I am to avoid a nasty cancer recurrence), I’m hoping that this daily month-long activity will finally become a permanent habit.

But I’m going to need all the support and encouragement I can get!

So dear readers, Fitbit Friends, (and fellow GynCAN100 walkers!), call me out and give me a good virtual flogging if I start slacking off this month!  I need to average 3.33 miles a day (23.41 miles per week) to reach this 100 mile goal by the end of September.

Last, but not at all least, I would be forever humbled if you would please consider a donation (of any amount) to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

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It’s an easy online tax-deductable donation process that accepts payment via credit card or PayPal.  Please notate your donation in honor of “WinnieViews – GynCAN100” and reference our email address (winnieviews@gmail.com) on the form.

Your donation will help fund medical research & education for all gynecologic cancers.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for whatever support you can give!

8 comments:

  1. What a remarkable thing this is--of course no surprise, coming from the remarkable person you are! Love your energy, dedication and compassion--and the gorgeous pictures of Burnridge Forest Preserve. Though we only saw it briefly when you sent us there two years ago, hope to come back someday. But I know you'll meet your 100 mile goal and you know you can count on our support--you go girl!!

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    1. Thank you Jack & Trisha for your kindness, friendship, & support! I hope we do get to meet up again soon one of these days!

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  2. Love these kind of challenges. Good luck with your 100 miles. I've counted steps lots, but currently I'm in the cardiac rehab program and counting minutes of cardio at a target heart rate per day. Best fitness program I've ever done. The biggest benefits are mental and emotional, recovering from the grief of our oldest son dying in the spring. You shouldn't have any trouble getting your miles at your rate, and I'll be watching.

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    1. Even though I've been a lazy couch potato most of my life, I do always feel so much better even after just a simple walk-- no need for pills to lift my spirits. Sounds like you're finding this "drug" is working for you too. I'd like to try heart rate training after I finish this month. A physician friend is doing that and having great results too. So very sorry to hear about your son-- I can't begin to imagine that kind of grief.

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  3. WOOHOOO good for you and I'm liking that charity app, I think I'm going to go check it out. Anything to kick my butt into gear and get back into walking! You are pretty freaking amazing girl!

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    1. argh...wouldn't you know, I just did my walk tonight and forgot to turn that app on. Guess that's it's one downside-- you must remember to turn it on when you start your walk! But otherwise, it's a wonderful concept-- they'll even count bike rides too!

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  4. Wow...what energy you have...I wish I had it. Ended up throwing a blood clot in my right lung yesterday (possibly breaking off from my port, not sure yet) but reading your story has given me some light for my morning.....thank you so much for being you.

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    1. No worries-- those of us who can, are walking for all those who cannot! Sorry you're having such a rough go on this latest round. Sending you some warm positive healing thoughts!

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