My original plan for this 10k was to take it easy. I’d been feeling pretty under the weather all week and didn’t want to shake things up in my digestive tract. I planned to run for fun, walk when I felt like it, and just keep things chill.
When I found out my friend Ali was in the hospital with a nasty Crohn’s flare, all that changed. Moments like those always shake me up a bit. Ali is young, active, and full of life. Knowing her Crohn’s landed her in the hospital was a harsh reminder that this disease is unpredictable and awful. So I decided on the spot that if I’m able to run, I’m going to run, damnit.
I made a “Running for Ali” sign and pinned it to the back of my Team Challenge singlet. Then I nestled myself in bed for a good pre-race sleep. I drifted off to sleep feeling happy and confident, and I woke up feeling much of the same.
I met up with some of my Team Challenge buddies to drive out to Bartlett for the race, and when we arrived we met up with even more. We were an awesome sight in orange, that’s for sure.
I was excited, full of jazz hands for Ali, and ready to take on the race. My plan was to just run my little heart out. I didn’t even bring my watch with me.
At the start of the race, Mary Beth, Kim, Luke and I took off together. Kim started to pull ahead and I felt good sticking with her. Great, actually. We just ran and chatted. I was so happy to be racing, and so happy to be feeling strong. I thought of Ali and knew I’d be able to power through a great race for her. We passed the first mile marker, and I was floored to see the clock had a time just over 9:00 on it. Whoa.
Mile two clipped by at an equally speedy pace. I believe the time on the clock was right around 19:00. Still speedy. Still hanging on and feeling good.
And then it hit. That Ihavetogotothebathroomimmediatelyorsomethingbadwillhappen feeling that is oh so familiar to those of us with IBD. Kim ran ahead, checking for bathrooms, even asking spectators where they lived and if I could use the bathroom in their home! I opted not to defile a stranger’s bathroom, and instead found a church to take a potty break.
I came out of the church, jogging, to find all three of the friends I’d started with waiting for me. It’s so nice to have running buddies who understand the urgent bathroom needs we all sometimes have out there. At this point, Mary Beth and Kim took off ahead. Luke and I ran/walked for a couple miles. I took it easy and didn’t want to jostle my insides any more. I honestly questioned whether or not I’d even be able to finish.
And then, right around mile 4, I looked at my friend and simply said, “Let’s do this.” We finished the last two miles strong, and even passed a bunch of people on our way to the finish. And imagine my surprise when I saw that despite the stops and walking, I’d been able to maintain right around a 12:00 pace. Not too shabby for this girl.
Here’s hoping my intestines cooperate in Nashville and I can seriously kick some booty in a few weeks. Those first and last two miles really showed me what I’m capable of when I push it. Let’s do this, yo.
How did you spend your holiday weekend?