Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's Fine. I Ran Today.

If running was easy everybody would do it. The hard is what makes it great, remember? I repeat this to myself on a regular basis these days because I've been lacking in motivation for months. I'm much happier doing a cross training workout than hitting the river trail, but I've been running again 3-4 times a week the last month. It hasn't always been pretty. As a matter of fact sometimes it's been downright u-g-l-y. But I've been out there, and pushing through a hard run is always better than not running at all. 

A few months ago I wrote that if this blog was simply about my running and traveling that would be amazing, and everyone would hate me. I stand by that statement with a vengeance. Every single runner I know struggles. If someone tells you that running is easy and everything they say or write about running is all sunshine and roses, they are a total liar. It's misleading to all runners, especially those starting out or struggling to increase mileage/lose weight/meet new goals, to pretend this is easy. If an experienced runner gives you the impression that this is an easy sport, you should never believe another word they say. For real.

I've been running more the last few weeks, and it's slowly getting easier. But my body is doing its absolute best to not cooperate. Allow me to provide you some examples. Two weeks I was poked with needles on four different days. I had a second Hepatitis A & B vaccination because apparently patients getting biologic therapies like my IV infusion have been contracting Hep A & B at alarming rates. Lovely. The next day I had my regularly scheduled IV infusion. The next day I had labs drawn in advance of an appointment with my hematologist to check my iron levels. Later that week I had an MRE (basically an MRI that also has the patient drink contrast and have IV contrast used similar to a CT scan). I looked like I was driving nails up my arms. 

The MRE showed that I have a fistula (basically a tear) in my small intestine which is part of what has been causing me some issues. I don't know what's more frustrating: the times where they can't figure out what's going on or the times when I find out and it's not information I want to hear. I'm on another course of antibiotics (my third in three months) to try to heal the fistula and fervently hoping it works to avoid another surgery.

When I saw my hematologist last week he started the appointment by saying, "I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you're having Crohn's issues. Your iron levels have plummeted since you were here three months ago." So that means more iron infusions.

Last weekend I decided the best way to combat my body's stress was to run a 5k in oppressive humidity the morning after I managed to drink an entire bottle of Sauvignon Blanc while watching the Olympics with friends. At 27:00 it was my slowest 5k in a long time. I still managed to run second in my age group so apparently it was a slow day for everyone. My face was so hot and flushed that it wouldn't cool down for hours. But I did it. It was not pretty. Honestly I didn't feel like doing it, but once I was finished and cooled down I felt great. I pushed through. 

The things I'll do for hardware.
Yesterday I had my first iron infusion in a year. I had a reaction last year, so the upside is I received IV benedryl which knocked me out (helpful after being up at 5 am with my toddler). It takes a few days to affect me (and I get another infusion in a few weeks), but I know this will be the fastest way to boost my iron and get me ready for the Detroit Half Marathon in a few months.

All I need is IV iron and coffee.
Running is hard, and it's even harder when life throws up roadblocks. Embrace the hard. Love the hard. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking it's easy because that's unrealistic. Because if you're doing it, you're a bad ass. Embrace your inner bad ass even when the negative part of your brain wants to keep you on the couch. You don't need to run fast or long or hard. Just get out there.

LOVE this.

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