Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, so that's why we're doing this

1.5km swim on Monday to try and deal with the lactic acid. Sprinted 1km which ended up at about 20-22 minutes, making the 43 minutes for the 2km in the Bondi Roughwater quite respectable relative to my abilities.

Cross training bike ride in the morning followed by 4.5km swim on Wednesday, 1.5km with the boyz (significant lapping) and then 2.6km on the trot with a 400m warm up. Passed out on couch after carbo loading.

What you really want to back up that distance with is a 2.2km session of interval training. Words cannot describe my loathing for interval training. I make sloths look particularly quick. Thus sprinting for up to 100m and then doing an equivalent distance at an easy pace kills me.

On the positive side, the method to my madness was finally brought to bear. We met Phoebe, a researcher in pancreatic cancer who outlined for us why Cure Cancer and the funds raised by Can Too are just so vital. Cure Cancer made the specific choice to provide research grants to young postdoctoral researchers. Traditionally research grants are based on experience and reputation, and in particular previous grants. Thus, it is even harder to get a start in research than those industries in which each opening requires you to have experience. Cure Cancer saw that there was particular merit in funding young researchers who may well have novel approaches and new metholodologies but had to work for others in order to get their foot in the door.

Phoebe in particular has been trained in cutting edge US technology immediately following the completion of her PhD and she choose Pancreatic Cancer because it is essentially a death sentence. There is no cure, and no effective treatment. The entire gamut of chemotherapy medications fail to act against pancreatic cancer and Phoebe discovered that this was due to scar tissue which is a co-effect of the cancer, rather than an incidental side effect. This scar tissue absorbs the medication and prevents it from reaching the tumour itself. She's developed a protein (from chinese herbs) that attacks the scar tissue allowing the medication to be absorbed which is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials in the US. Phoebe indicated that without Can Too and Cure Cancer she never would have received her first grant, which allowed her to bring another researcher on board, and put her in line to receive further grants.

She couldn't thank us enough, which made us all rather embarrassed for our efforts. It's given me renewed resolve to try and quell my fears of getting out through the break.

Have signed up for the 1.6km swim at Avalon on the weekend and have at least 2 colleagues joining me. Woot.

Fundraising has passed the $700. If everyone donates $10 we'll pass the $1200 minimum easily (which also means I get my orange cossies).

Visit and click on sponsor a participant and search for Price to donate.

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