Not Amazing

I am not amazing. I have heard that several times this week. I have heard a few other opinions as well. I have lived with chronic illness for most of my adult life. Very early in my 20’s I learned to accept a new normal. I wake up, and I don’t have the energy everyone else has, I never had that. I had to accept that I would assess the energy I have for the day and use it and be happy. I admit I have not always done that. For years, I played the sick card. I sat on my ass and waited to feel better as if I am entitled to feel good.  I don’t do that anymore, and that is the reason that people think it is so amazing that I try to do the same things they should be doing.  Quite honestly, it pisses me off that people who could achieve physical, education, or other goals sit around and say that I am amazing.

I push through the pain. When I started running a few years ago, I thought I would hate it but I didn’t. I realized that it was another way I could learn to deal with the chronic pain that I experience every single day. Pain changes the way you think and the level of crap that you are willing to accept in relationships. I find myself throwing the bullshit card much more often these days.

I know what works for me. It won’t work for everyone, and I don’t judge others with my same challenges. They need to learn what works for them. As far as others judging my choices, I find it funny that they think they know more than I do about what it is like to live in a broken body.

Currently, I want to complete a half marathon at the end of April. It is very unlikely that will happen considering the last week and my challenges. I have had several medical issues, both new and unexpected and extensions of old ones that are no surprise. My list of ologists continues to grow, and I am ready to step out of the ring and tell them when they come up with a plan to let me know. I have done this in the past. Maybe it is a bit passive/aggressive but I need to know and understand what I am doing.

I am not sure how specific I want to be about some of the health issues that have caused problems this week. I will say that I am really sick of pneumonia this winter.  Getting three invasive GI tests in a five-day span was just STUPID and will NEVER happen again. Not only did I agree to the three tests that required two preps (anyone with IBD can relate), but I continued my usual routine (including running and working).  VERY STUPID. This threw the thyroid out of remission and then I started to have cardiac issues. Now I am convincing cardiologists, endocrinologists, and the other team of ologists that I am ok. If I hear ‘just as a precaution’ one more time I will scream.

I am sure of one thing; I will not sit on my ass and wait to feel better. It never works for me. I need to continue to keep my goals and schedules and plan my day the way I always do, by assessing my energy and pain and setting my goals for the day accordingly.

This week I wanted my long run to be ten miles. It could have been outside because the weather is great. That will not be happening. I ran yesterday, only two miles but it was outside, and I was successful. I will be trying for an outdoor 6.5 mile run tomorrow, and I will be cross-training all week. It is looking like I may not be able to finish the half in April, if that is the case, my new normal will be to accept that I can finish a 5K and pick a new date for the half later in the year.

I’m Back

It has been over a year since I completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in November 2013 for Team Challenge. I had some difficulty recovering from that, but I never stopped running. The training helped me fell better. It helped more than all of the appointments, medications, and every other demand that Crohn’s places on me. For me, running is the best pain control. I am able to get away from all of my stress and relax. But after the RNR half I was in trouble. I was no longer in remission, and the enteropathic arthritis kicked my butt, literally.

The following year I completed several 5Ks, but that was not satisfying. It was like a regular run. I wanted to do another half. I want to do it better this time. So I started pushing again. I am increasing the miles and speed. I tried intervals and decreasing and increasing pace. I even add in recovery time for all workouts over four miles. I was shocked to find that all of that helped. My time has increased, and I do not have nearly as much pain.

So now for the new goal. I want to complete a half this year and a full next year but a goal is a dream without a date so now I have a date. The half is 4/26/15. I will be running the Columbia Half Marathon. I only have ten weeks, but I have regularly been running so I should be able to get on track. I also have been trying to be better with cross training thanks to Ryan at Fitness 19 in Elkridge.

Concerns:

1. Limited time. I would like at least sixteen weeks.

Solution: Suck it up buttercup!

2. Training indoors. I have been having trouble with an upper respiratory infection (like everyone else) since October and joined Fitness 19 so that I could regularly continue running. I also was hoping that I would start doing a better job cross training. Both are working out.

Solution: Trust Ryan. He said to increase my incline so I will have to suck it up and do it.

3. Continued chronic pain. Old story. I will have to deal. Any other stuff going on is also old news. Tired of being at the doctor and all of the pointless tests that tell me how sick I already know I am… Whatever

Solution: Once again, SUCK IT UP!

I do not care if I finish…. LIE! I totally have to finish this!

My love/hate relationship with interval training

I am no running expert. I just started with the Rock & Roll Half Marathon last year. I trained for several months with Team Challenge and raised money for CCFA and ran most of the half marathon in Las Vegas. I did a respectable job.

There were some problems. First, I did not have enough time to train. Maybe the amount of time was sufficient for others, but I needed more.

Second, I had an issue with enteropathic arthritis (it is crohn’s related and osteo in nature). I had a very difficult time recovering from the race because of the arthritis.

Third, I am a lone runner. I do not do well with groups. I feel lonely at the end of the race, but I don’t know how to run socially. I guess it is not my thing.

I have been able to work my way up to 3-4 miles and have completed several 5k events this year. I tried obstacles, and that annoyed me. I tried a mud run, and I found that very unpleasant. I ran the 5k in the Baltimore running festival event, and I did well with that but again, I was lonely at the end of the race.

Another issue is that the 5k events are just like another training day for me. I am not challenged enough. I have decided to go against medical advice (are we surprised) and increase my mileage to a full marathon.

I do not have an event in mind; I will be working toward a 10k, and then a half, then the full. I am thinking over the next two years. As you have seen in some of the earlier posts, I have started with interval training. I failed at this type of training with the first half I tried. I am stubborn. (Sorry mules) I would know it was time to slow my pace and recover, but I would remain at the same pace for as long as possible. Well, I am not doing that this time. I am running and then walking and then running again. I find this hard to do. I have completed 10 interval workouts in my plan, and it is getting easier, and my pace is picking up but this is still hard.

I will keep up this and oh; I have also signed up for another Team Challenge event. It is the Team Challenge Lite 5K next month. If you would like to support me here is the link!

http://www.active.com/donate/baltimore5kMSD/TCMD_14PNeal

Thanks from me and all of the 1.4 million people who live with Crohn’s and Colitis!

Yesterday was Day 1

749737-1026-0043sI want to run a full marathon. I have already been told I should not do this by at least two of my doctors. This brings up many topics to discuss. Goals, physical health and how that helps with medical treatment, and medical compliance just to name a few. I ran a half marathon for CCFA (Crohns and Colitis Foundation) with Team Challenge. I ran the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in Las Vegas last November. I was somewhat successful. I finished and within 30 minutes of my goal. I did have some issue that led to my doctors advising me not to try this again, but I think that there were some problems with my goal and my training that I could fix.

I was never considered a runner by some (not all) of the people with that organization helping to prepare. I was also a bit older and have been suffering a bit longer than most of the other people. The other runners were younger than me. Some have much more serious issues with their inflammatory responses than I do, but I never considered that twenty-four years of Crohn’s damage could and should be a factor in my physical health considerations. Doctors twenty years ago were not or maybe could not be so aggressive with treatments. The treatments that are available today were not available to me. I realize now that I have damage that the younger people will not have to endure. This is a good thing for them. It means that they may be closer to helping people recover and not just endure this illness.

I tried to train in a reasonable amount of time for a younger and healthier person. I need more time to become strong. My goal will be a half marathon next year and a full marathon the following year. I have plenty of time to build up and recover and become as prepared as I can.

I was too driven to finish the race. This time I want to concentrate on the training. I felt great while I was training and becoming stronger. As I approached the date and it started to approach quickly, I panicked. I did not give myself any time to fail and try again. I think that one year will give me time to have good and bad training days. I will start with training schedules that are very realistic, and I will be able to build my endurance.

I was unrealistic. My goal is to train for a marathon. That is all. Now all I have to do is find a team of people who can help and support me. Until then, I will be using my running program to help me learn to prepare correctly. I will be researching and learning what I do not know. My current program has several options, and one is a building endurance training program. It started with an interval training day. It was quite easy and hard for me. The first workout was just over twenty minutes. I am easily able to run for that amount of time. Interval training is a bit beyond me, but I followed the instructions and walked when indicated. That was the hard part for me. I am not sure how that helps build endurance, but I have read many articles that state interval training works.