MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ask any runner and they will tell you that training for a race is not easy.

Christy Hanson of Ramsey is a seasoned half-marathon runner. On a rainy weekend, she was putting in treadmill miles at her local gym.

“If I can do three miles, that’s what I’m working up towards,” Hanson said.

She is building up her stamina, knowing distance is not the only challenge she will have to overcome.

“From the beginning of all this, I never considered anything other than I’m going to beat it,” Hanson said.

She was diagnosed last year with stage four colon cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and came out cancer free.

However, a scan showed the cancer returned just a couple of months later.

“That’s where we really started thinking, OK, chemo and surgery is not enough,” Hanson said.

Now in her second fight with cancer, Hanson has incorporated a more holistic approach in addition to chemotherapy.

“I’ve learned that exercise, diet, stress management, spirituality all come into play,” Hanson said.

For her, part of stress management means not dwelling on the illness. At home with her husband and three boys, the focus is on family.

“We are not looking at, ‘Oh no, in three months, what’s it going to be like?'” she said. “No, we’re looking into the long-term future. I believe your outlook and approach to how you deal with cancer has a lot to do with outcome.”

Hanson has already set a long-term goal after chemotherapy. She is hoping to run another half marathon. The shorter distance running is helping her build muscle strength.

“If I can run, then I’m strong and I’m healthy and that’s very important to me,” Hanson said.

She is optimistic about her recovery — her last scan showed her cancer has stabilized.

Click here to learn more about Hanson’s battle with cancer, and click here if you would like to help the family with medical expenses.