Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to the Summer of 2006

Yes, it's been a long time since I posted on this blog. A lot has transpired since.

The 2014 GUCR
Short story? Stopped at 48 miles owing to a flare-up of Crohn's.

Long story? Things were going well until I had to stop at 48 miles. :-))

The 2014 Liverpool-Leeds Canal race
Short story? Stopped at 54 or 55 miles owing to a flare-up pf Crohn's.

Long story? Things were going well until I had to stop.

Random pictures from the two races below.

                                                     (Before the Start of the 145M GUCR)

                                          (Somewhere in the first few miles of the 145M GUCR)

                                               (In Wigan during the Liverpool-Leeds 130M Race)

So it's time to step back and decide what I want to do with my "running" life. Running 100+ miles is what I wish to do most. Races that have not so stringent cutoffs are what I love doing for I am no longer interested in running quickly nor making really tight cutoffs (Spartathlon for one).

Ergo the title of this post. I have to almost go back to Square One i.e. find a way to manage what I eat in order to run 50 miles, 100 miles 145 miles, ...

Crohn's is not the end of my life. It is just the beginning of a different flavor of the same life.

My goal is to run the GUCR again next year. Along the way will be 50Ks, 50Ms, and possibly a 100M. I am excited at the prospect of re-experiencing the joy and thrill of crossing the Finish line of a 50M, 100K, 100M, ... all over again!! How many are given that chance again in life? Crohn's has given me that and I am excited.

Stay tuned (if you visit this blog).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Got to raise my Butting Average

Yes, it's not a spelling mistake. The title of the post is, indeed, "Got to raise my Butting Average". Read on to find on what it means. Please be warned, however, that some parts may have TMI.

The first time I had the "runs" during a run was during a weekday evening regular run back in November, 2012. I was barely a mile from home when the urge came on so strongly that it was all I could do make it to some bushes by the side of an urban road (it helped that it was quite dark by then). I wound up going to the restroom of a nearby grocery store and still needed to make it back home again after starting running from the store. 3 times in the space of 40 minutes and accompanied by diarrhea and flatulence!

I attributed it to something I must have eaten earlier that day. The next two weeks were a minor hell so to speak. Every time I started running I would get the urge to go in the first mile or so. I was forced take a closer look at what I had been eating and I came to believe it was a stomach infection because of some spoiled milk product. 

That incident passed and I was back to my usual running routine.

Fast forward to my July, 2013 trip to the UK for the Thames Ring 250M where I stopped at 109 miles. I must have gone to a toilet or used bushes along the way at least 5-6 times in those 109 miles but none of those were like the November '12 ones.

It must have been a few days after returning, in the second week of July, that I had a repeat of the November episode. This time around it did not go away completely. Here are the salient points of what happens:
  * There has not been a single run since that day when I have   
    not had the intense urge to go - I have "gone" in my shorts 
    a few times since then
  * My 3 longest runs have been a marathon and 2 50Ks
  * For someone who has run 30-40 miles continuously without 
    stopping it is hard these days to even manage 2-3 miles 
    without needing to stop. Part of the reason is the fact that 
    iron is being lost in the bleeding, nutrients are not being 
    absorbed in the body and dehydration is occurring because of 
  * The intense, almost uncontrollable, urge to go has been 
    accompanied by gas and bleeding

There is that side of me that loves to soak up information. I have taught myself a bit of anatomy owing to all the running coaching I do. Everything else I know about a plethora of topics has been a result of being both a philomath and a polymath.

Ergo my desire to pinpoint my current travails. I had a stool test done back in December. Blood was found as well as a high count of WBCs. My belief that it was the result of rogue gut bacteria seemed to be confirmed.

Fast forward to today (March 11, 2014). I am in Oz (Australia) for work this week and I happened to be channel surfing in the evening and came upon Dr. Oz talking about "Poop and Pee". The first topic was the shape and consistency of poo. My stools were the furthest away from normal on his list. He attributed it to Crohn's disease or even Diverticulitis. I looked the latter up for symptoms and found my way to a Web site talking about Inflammatory Bowel Diseaser (IBD) which mostly comprises of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis (UC).

Eureka! ALL the symptoms for IBD, especially for UC, matched mine exactly! I spent hours reading up on the topic and realized that I was in for a major battle and a massive lifestyle change.

There is still no clear idea why IBD happens. It is apparently a lifelong problem and can go into remission but come back unbidden (only a fool would bid it to come!).

A new journey begins. New paths to walk over.

A new battle commences. New weapons to learn about and use.

All I have is knowledge and my optimism as pacers and crew members. I will reach the Finish line one of these years and it will be the sweetest finish of them all.