From keeping track of BMs to logging the running miles

Snow is soon to fly in the mountains, and my peak ascending opportunities are going to be more limited for a while. I have turned my attention to getting back into running, something I have been neglecting while preparing for and carrying out all of our backpacking and summit trips this summer.

I have decided I want to begin training for the 2012 Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge half marathon. I know I won’t be ready by this December, so I plan to work up my strength and endurance and then join the organization’s formal training group next fall. I am super excited. I did several 5K and 10K runs, including one trail running race in my pre-surgery days, but never a half marathon.

In the past, some of my worst ulcerative colitis flares happened when I was training for races. I believe running aggravated my colon. I knew where all the restrooms were on my running routes. Sometimes on routes where no bathrooms were available, I can remember speeding up on the last mile, bursting through my front door and barely making it to the bathroom on time. On trail runs, I used to bring toilet paper and supplies in my waist pack to dig an emergency hole in case I really had to go. Gone are those days! My appliance adheres really well through exercise with no leaking issues to date. As long as I empty before I head out on runs, I will be good to go for hours.

I was looking through a little spiral-bound book that I kept my journal entries and notes in during my hospital stays. I thought it was interesting that last year around this time I was keeping a log of my bowel movements in it to report to the doctors and nurses in the hospital during my final flare. Now I am starting up a running log. What a change!

A log entry in my notebook on day nine of my hospital stay in the fall of 2010.
Keeping track of my running distances and miles as I begin training again in the fall of 2011.

4 thoughts on “From keeping track of BMs to logging the running miles

  1. Hi Cary,

    Thanks for the encouragement! I am still planning on doing the Team Challenge half-marathon next December. I am up to running 5 miles with no problems… but I have a ways to go to build up endurance for the longer distance:) I have not been running quite as much because we had a huge snowstorm a couple of weeks ago and there is still so much snow and ice on the ground. I have been doing a bunch of different stuff at the gym instead. I am really going to pick up the running training pace once things warm up. The formal Team Challenge training group starts up in August, and I will definitely join up with that. I am signed up for a 5K in the end of March and a plan to do a 10K in May. Wish me luck!


  2. I would wish you luck if you needed it, but skill & experience trump luck every time, and I know you have both in spades! Of course, luck is a wonderful addition to those attributes and you deserve it, so I wish you all the best luck available. I’m stoked (and impressed) that you are already easily running 5 miles. I’ve always had an aversion to running even though I played varsity high school and college tennis and just loved the game. My high school coach made us run a mile for time after our daily 3 hour practices, and in Amarillo Tx, temps get up to and over 100*. So I would begrudgingly give it my all trying to beat my last time and my doubles partner, who happened to be my very competitive best friend too. Time after time I would cross the finish line with screaming rubbery legs, exploding heart, lungs, and head, right on the verge of passing out! Hated that pain. Now, of course, I’d take THAT pain any day. Who knew?

    This past December, after I had seen your videos for the first time, I was inspired to go jogging. Well, I ended up trotting, or rather shuffling, as my legs were merely supporting sticks. Over two weeks I worked up to trotting 45 minutes, but developed significant peroneal pain in both legs. So I stopped and took to the bike and yoga instead. I think it was the trotting that led to my plantar fasciitis, which, with daily treatment, is now slowly getting better. So I hate running, but admire runners. And that’s where good luck factors in: may you have the luck to stay injury-free in your grand pursuit of the half-marathon. I know you will do it and am rooting for you from the saddle!

    Good Luck!,

  3. Cary,

    Thanks for rooting for me:) I didn’t like running in my younger years either. I only really got into it when working in Yosemite from 2000-2004. Must have been the beauty of Half Dome that motivated me. At that point I realized that I absolutely loved running and have stuck with it since. When I discovered trail running a few years ago, my fondness for the activity grew even more. Running can be hard on the body though. I have occasionally had knee issues, but nothing that lasted. I am sorry to hear that the jogging caused so much pain, but am very glad that biking and yoga have worked out for you… especially since those are two activities you love so much.


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