Image by Victor Freitas

TRAINING WHILE GOING THROUGH CANCER TREATMENT

9/5/20 - BY JENN BESENTI - BLOG

Gym

In 2015 I was training for Coeur D Alene Ironman. It was Mid May and the race was set for mid June. I was in what I thought was the best shape of my life. I experienced tiredness, but thought it was just from training. I went out to do my last, really long ride before starting to taper and when I was halfway through, I had no energy or strength. At that point, I knew something was wrong. I had been having other issues for months, as well. I kept telling myself it was from training but on this day I just knew something was very wrong. My friend suggested I go visit my Doctor immediately. My Doctor performed Colonoscopy and a few days later I found out I had Rectal Cancer.

Within a week of discovering that I had Rectal Cancer, I started a 6 week long daily regimen of chemo and radiation. Needless to say, I was unable to compete in Ironman. However, I kept swimming and walking as much as possible during those 6 weeks. In the last 2 weeks, I was unable to do much due to the brutal radiation. I had a 2 month break to build my strength before having surgery to remove the tumor. During that time, I swam 2.4 miles across Coeur D Alene lake, walked a Marathon and did an Olympic distance triathlon. The day I had my surgery was the day I was supposed to do a 100 mile bike ride around the lake. Since I did not have the energy to bike 100 miles in 1 day due to my stay in the hospital, I split the ride into 3 days instead to make sure I could finish it, even though I wasn’t going to get my medal.

Image by David Marcu