It’s been a little while since my last post. On my 16 mile run on Saturday, my headphones went dead about an hour into my run. I had an hour and a half of just hearing my feet hit the pavement and gave me a long time to reflect on the last year or so and where I have come from as far as my ‘running career’ and my life with Crohn’s.
I think back to my grade school and high school days and dealing with Crohn’s. For the most part, I was pretty fortunate as far as symptoms were concerned and didn’t affect me like a lot of others. Did I have my challenges? Heck yes, I did. I remember dealing with the times of being on Prednisone. Going through puberty and dealing with Crohn’s with Prednisone was tough. I had serious weight gains while on Prednisone. I was big. So big, that my nickname was ‘Jumbo Jet.’ (I hated that, but just rolled with it.) I was the center on the football team. I was about 5’8″ and pushing 200 lbs. The struggle was real. Come spring time when track season rolled around, I was back down to about 160-170 running the 200 and 400 in the spring time during track season. I hated running then, but did it so I could attempt to stay in shape through all of the different sports seasons.
High school was another story. My Crohn’s was in pretty good shape throughout high school. Very rarely did I ever miss school due to my Crohn’s. I just learned through the years to just deal with it. Are there days that I had stomach aches? Yup, and I just powered through those days. Shortly after high school graduation, I remember working in one of my dad’s factories and I was drinking Mountain Dew like there was no tomorrow. Well, come to find out, that is a BIG no no. One day, I went to the bathroom and ended up passing about a third of my blood in a matter of minutes. I called my dad and we were off to the University of Chicago. A couple days later, I was going into the operating room for my first surgery and they ended up taking out about 18 inches of my small intestine.
Since high school, I have had a couple more surgeries with another 20ish inches taken out. I have been really fortunate that I haven’t missed a whole lot of work in my 20+ year career. Sure, I have had my flares, but I have been able to keep them in check with different medication combinations.
Fast forward to today. I am running over 150 miles a month and training for my second marathon at the age of 44. I never would have thought that I would be a distance runner. But this has really helped me out with my symptoms. I have had what I would call a mini flare here and there, but have been able to get that all back in line with believe it or not, more running. Just like when I was younger, I would just power through it and watch what I ate and everything would correct itself.
I run because I can. I run for those that can’t that deal with this disease. I run because it makes me feel better. I will continue to do so until I can’t anymore. Will running with Crohn’s help everyone? I don’t know and that is something that only a crohnnie will have to find out in time. If you do have Crohn’s, maybe try it out. Take baby steps. Start with a mile or 2 and build up and do a 5k or a 10k and see what happens.
This week, I find out about the New York City Marathon. I know there’s not much of a chance to get in, but there is a chance. Assuming I don’t get in, I will decide on the fall marathon I will be tackling.