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.


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!

I Fight

I don’t fight my disease; I fight my insurance company. I see at least four doctors. I see each doctor numerous times per year. I did not anticipate this when I was in my twenties. I thought I would be seeing a doctor once per year any maybe the OB/GYN regularly. I never thought I would be seeing multiple specialists over fifteen times per year.

I get infusions every five weeks. Eleven times per year. Each one is over $5000, and that does not count the visit or any lab work I may need if I am sick.

My medication costs $75000 per year retail in the US. My copayment requirements are over $1000 with my insurance, and I have two medications that are not covered at all. The medications have been declined. I am only able to afford to pay cash for one of the declined medications. I am non-compliant with the immunoglobulin therapy. The insurance company states that it is experimental and when that argument was dispelled; they stated that it was not cleared for my autoimmune disease (any of the three apparently).

Speaking of the insurance company and denials; most of my lab work is declined and the test to confirm one of my autoimmune diseases was declined, the lab work that checks the level of my chemotherapeutic drug levels, and my anesthesiologist for invasive tests have all been declined.

I do not fight a disease; I live with three diseases. I fight my insurance company. I am financially devastated, and my children cannot attend college as I wanted. I will never retire, and I will never own a home of my own. If it were not for the generosity of my family and friends, I would be homeless and not able to be as compliant as I am now. I would be disabled.

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.

5K Day

Today is one of two 5K runs for this week. I do not call them races because if I finish, I have won. This run was a challenge with a team. My team was the Dashing Divas. We are three Health Science educators for local community colleges. My fellow teammates do not suffer/enjoy chronic illness, or I am not aware. I am a bit older as well. I realized that I struggle more than both during the race. I am slower and I, well struggle, with some not so dignified issues.

I started my day running to the bathroom. As you may remember,  my infusion day was just two days ago. I think that my infusions may slow me down. I really wanted to stay in bed. I did not have my accounting homework done. I was stressed. So I got up at 0500 and went into my office to finish/start the homework. I am on duty (as a paramedic) for the next two days and I have a ton of work, the last thing I needed was this dumb assignment to finish in a loud rescue/fire station. I finished the homework, this means that I have answers for each questions that are likely completely wrong and I am hoping for some sympathy points. I am packed for the next two days at the station so I do not need to worry about that. But I do start with no less that four RUNS to the bathroom with some scary crohns issues. I am sorry that I did not wear a diaper for today. Yes, I will wear a diaper for runs. I am not always able to control my bowels when I run. This is different from runners poop, I really just have loose stool and sometimes bleeds for the entire time. This does not happen if I am running on my own. Maybe I should not sign up for these things.

During my half marathon last year I started a GI bleed at mile three and my right hip locked at mile ten. I finished and ran over 11 miles of the 13.1. Respectable time for my first but this was the first indication that I am not a typical runner. Others on my half marathon team may not have considered me a runner but I am a runner. I push myself each time and I run regularly. That is a runner.

My time today was under 35 minutes for 5.07K. I was 95th finisher out of 160. We had obstacles. I do NOT like obstacles. I do not like grass, I am always afraid to fall. I am old and clumsy. We had hurdles. I was afraid of those but they turned out to be a trip hazard more than a true hurdle. Those worked out. The tires were not so bad but the crawl thing was terrible. I cannot get my huge butt below those dumb things and I had to crawl in the wet grass for the last two feet.

I was the pace setter on my team. In our case that meant the slowest one. That works for me but I could tell that I struggle to finish more than my teammates. Chronic illness or not, I want to keep running. Next week is the Baltimore Running Festival. I am signed up for the 5K. I do not know if I will do it. Maybe.

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