Keep Calm and Carry On: DON’T PANIC

When I started this whole blogging thing, I had a few goals in mind. #1. To share my knowledge about running, exercise in general and the human body with others #2. To be the change I want to see in the (IBD) world #3. To inspire people to be healthy.

I didn’t want my blog to be all about me and my own fitness journey and my IBD. Rather, I wanted it to be a place where I use my experiences to paint a broader picture about how to be the best runner/athlete you can be. I am totally on that journey and I hope that you are, too. I guess I don’t do too bad a job at that since one reader commented on a post where I mentioned my Ulcerative Colitis, “I didn’t know you have UC!”

But today I can’t think about anything else but Philly. So, today is all about me Being the Change I Want To See In the World and being open about my struggles with Ulcerative Colitis. If it’s not your thing, sorry for the detour in the blog. I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Between the added stresses that life seems to be constantly throwing my way (and everyone else’s, I’m sure) and my continued flare-up, I’m totally panicking about Philly. I just want to run. I want to be able to show up to the corrals and to have my pace be the only thing I’m worried about, not how many POJs are out there on the course. I want to worry about my clothes and my hair and how I will look in my pictures (don’t lie, you worry about this, too), not how I can communicate with my husband if I’m in trouble out there on the course like I was in Jersey.

So, today I am doing my best to Keep Calm and Carry On.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Did you know that phrase has its origins in WWII Britain? Yeah, that certainly makes me pause when I start to panic. What’s a little bathroom trouble when you’re comparing it to being bombed by Nazis? Eeek.

There are lots of places I am looking to for perspective because, in the long run if things get really bad, I will just do the half. I mean, I’m not obsessed with times and places and I certainly don’t beat myself up if I have to drop down to shorter distance because of my chronic medical condition. It’s not like I’m quitting. I know I will finish and that’s really the most important thing to me.

I mean, in the end, finishing is all that really matters. Ask Maickel.

But I DO wish I could race it without a care in the world.

Dr. Boz and I have a Plan. Not that I want to have to use The Plan. It involves a not-so-pleasant day of not-so-pleasant things, although the result will be that I can run virtually worry-free where the POJs are concerned. But, still, I don’t want to have to use The Plan.

I guess I wish I wasn’t sick. Isn’t that what it comes down to? I wish I didn’t have to deal with all this crap (Ha! That never gets old). I’m not one to panic about working out. In fact, it’s usually the one place where I feel most at peace and relaxed but it’s now something I get anxiety about, especially if it’s in a group setting. Or a new place. Or not near a bathroom. Or something I have to do for work where people are counting on me/paying for my time. So frustrating.

Ugh. So, I’m Keeping Calm and Carrying On and reminding myself of Maickel’s courageous finish and others who are “running” other “marathons”, experiencing things much, much worse than anything I’ve gone through. Perspective.

I will cross the finish line no matter how long it takes me or how many miles I decide to cover, given how I’m feeling that day. I will have a picture like these to show you in a little over a week:

 

Keep Calm and Carry On, everybody.

Now go out and run!

Marathon Season Winds Down

First things first. Happy birthday, Obi-wan! You’re the best Jedi Master we could ask for. Thank you for sharing The Force with us. I love you.

Second, congratulations to all of the 2011 ING NYC Marathon finishers! I saw approximately all of you yesterday (I was at the cheer station until the sweep vehicle came by and the streets re-opened) and you were a beautiful mass of sweaty runners that inspired all of us in the crowd with every step you took. Well done.

I think we were all a little scared when the snow swept in last weekend and decimated our beloved trees.

Oh no! Our poor trees!

Thankfully, it was GORGEOUS outside and the sun shone on all of the marathoners all day long. They even worked night and day to got the park cleared up by Marathon Sunday for the tourists to admire our beautiful fall foliage without fear of a giant branch falling on their heads. Well done, Parks Department.

Cheering was awesome. We were up on 1st Avenue early enough to see the elites.

One of the 4 signs I made. I'm a cheerleader overachiever.

The women’s race was a nail-biter with Firehiwot Dado pulling out the win in the last 300 yards. The men’s race was equally exciting with Geoffrey Mutai setting a course record, beating his own personal best in Chicago. Meb ran his personal best, better than his own win two years ago, which earned him sixth this year. Jen Rhines dropped out of the race and the first women runners from the USA to finish were two newbies to the marathon world, Molly Pritz and Lauren Fleshman. All in all, a very exciting marathon to watch.

The elite men go zooming by us.

It’s great to watch the elites, but the warriors in the pack are the ones I come to see.

         

After the 4 hour marathoners pass, things get fun out there. People are trudging through those hard miles, yes, but I think they are also the ones having the most fun out there. Especially at mile 22 where our lululemon athletica cheer station was, complete with a DJ and awesome signs. We danced until the sun went down on 5th Avenue.

Yes, our signs say: "You're the sh*t" because you totally are.

So, for those of you who are done with marathon-ing this season, congratulations and get some rest. I suggest that if you crossed this:

Thank you, New York!

…or another finish line, you take several days of active rest and stretching before you think about getting all geared up for another race. I suggest two days of walking or swimming or gentle cycling followed by deep stretching and *hopefully* a massage or a good foam roll. Get going with running on the third or fourth day and take it easy. It’s all about the recovery run. Oh, and NSAIDs for muscle soreness is a must. At least, it is for me in the days following a marathon. Advil is my friend. And food. And water. You know, the basics.

Post-marathon depression might be something you experience, especially if you don’t have another race on the docket. Think about picking up a half or a 15K in the next two months or so to get yourself going again relatively soon. There’s nothing worse than loving every moment of your marathon training only to find yourself without any direction immediately after crossing the finish line. Find a fun run in December or January and really make it FUN.

For those of you (LIKE ME!) who are tapering for Philly, hang in there. We’ll be seeing signs like this one soon enough…

Two weeks away. Oy.

…but we gotta survive the taper first.

Again, congratulations to all who finished, especially my friends who rocked. You guys inspire me.

Now go out and run!