Don't let your Crohn's win. Beat the Crohn's.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Never Give Up

I'm going to continue on my story about how I got into running.
As I said before, you need to set goals for yourself and you need to keep going, even if you have a bad day. For me, it was difficult to continue when I hadn't met my goals. I told myself in January that I would be able to run six miles by the end of May. By the time May was coming around, I was lucky if I ran 20 minutes without stopping. It was super frustrating to realize I wasn't even halfway to my goals. I had to keep telling myself that it was okay if it took another year to run a half marathon.
I then went to DC and didn't have time to run for about a week because I was unpacking from college and repacking to work at my summer job. I wasn't even sure if I was going to keep up with running. However, we have a two mile loop around the lake, and I figured it would be easy enough to run that.
Boy, was I wrong.
A week of not running and I had to walk the last half. It was very humbling to have to work my way back up to running a couple miles at a time. No matter how difficult it was, though, I kept running a couple times a week. Eventually I was able to make it the entire way without running. Then I was able to go a little faster. Then, last week I hit my three mile marker.
Throughout the rest of the summer I have plans to improve my mile times and make it up to six miles of running at a time, but I will be okay if I do not hit those goals. The important part is to keep running and keep aspiring to make those goals eventually happen.
Keep working towards your own, seemingly impossible, goals.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Running and IBD

Now that I'm really trying to get into running, I've started reading more blogs and articles on it. There's plenty of advice out there about how one should train and eat during runs. However, not a lot of places fit IBD into the picture.
Throughout the next few posts, I will share with everyone how I've gone from not being able to run a half mile, to consistently running 3 miles.
First off, I set goals. I cannot do activities unless I have a goal in mind that I want to reach. I started in January and told myself that I wanted to run a half marathon by the end of the year. At the start my running was terrible. I was constantly feeling nauseous and needing to poop.
My best advice for you Crohnies: try different routines until you find what works for you.
I don't care what all of those fancy websites tell you, they don't have a disease that makes the semi-bouncy motion of running make you need to poop every few minutes.
You might need to run at a certain time of the day, or a certain amount of time after eating. That was my problem in the beginning; I thought that there was a "right way" to run and it ended up being completely wrong for my body and my disesase.
Secondly, I didn't stop just because I kept having one bad day after another. Sure, there were days that I was done after a quarter of a mile, but I knew this was something I really wanted, so every couple I'd be trudging along.
Although you may think it is impossible for you to run because you have IBD, if you give yourself enough time and try out different times you run, etc. I know that anyone can start running.
Here's your challenge: make a goal for yourself, something you thought IBD made impossible, and make it happen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Emergency Toilet Paper

I have learned the hard way that, no matter how good you are feeling, you should always carry around emergency toilet paper while running.
I'll admit it - I got a little cocky. Being able to actually run several miles has made me feel a little invincible. Because I'm feeling good enough to train for a half marathon, I have been feeling as though I don't even have Crohn's disease. Running through the woods with no bathrooms was a fun reminder of my disease.
I was just passing one mile when I could feel a poop brewing in my lower colon. Shoot. I was hoping I could finish the last mile and make it to the bathroom in a lower cabin. However, after another tenth of a mile or so I knew I wasn't going to make it. Unfortunately, most of my running clothes are neon, and a lot of people at camp like to run. There I was, waddling into the woods, trying to get far enough back so no one could see me. It ended fine and no one knew about it, but ever since then I have learned to carry my own toilet paper so I don't have to worry about which leaves are safe to use.
I thought that I wasn't going to be able to run because I was constantly needing to go to the bathroom when I ran, but I have now found my pattern. If I run, I either have to go in the morning on an empty stomach, or I have to wait until I poop once or twice (I determine whether my colon feels empty or not). If I'm biking, I don't need to go to the bathroom.
My upcoming goals are to figure how I'm going to do my marathon. You have to take in simple sugars at some point, but I have to poop badly if I eat before running. To me, it sounds like a disaster to eat while running.
However, compared to other issues I've had with Crohn's, trying to figure out how I can manage pooping while running a marathon seems to be a really tiny issue.