Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

Almost two months in…

Posted by msdon9 on April 18, 2010

Dr. Lembo answering our questions

I learned some valuable lessons this week, mostly through some setbacks that I had encountered. Number one, I had my first “rough” workout this past Thursday. I just wasn’t feeling well enough to get through it! I was all pumped up for it during the day, looking forward to coming home from work earlier than usual and taking advantage of the sunshine and warmth to explore the trails of Southards Pond near my home, but after about 1 1/2 miles in, I started to feel really, really tired. In recent weeks I have been able to get through all of my workouts without taking any walk breaks, but this day was different. I took several, and the time that I spent running drained me of breath and energy. I completed a little less than four miles, but it was a slow and cumbersome workout.

I had spoken to a bunch of people about this, and everybody pretty much told me that I should prepare for bad days. They told me that “it doesn’t mean anything,” and “that everybody has bad days.” I suppose it’s true, as I did feel a lot better during yesterday’s training run. Still – it was a five mile run, and I was able to accomplish six miles two weeks ago without taking any walk breaks. I didn’t take very many yesterday; they were short. I kept telling myself not to feel guilty for stopping to walk because I didn’t want to push my body too much and risk hurting myself. I remembered something that Coach Dave told us very early on. He said, “Listen to your body. Walk when you need to, not when you have to.”

I guess it’s appropriate that our workshop topic before yesterday’s run was about injuries and injury prevention. Dr. Lembo, a chiropractor from Farmingdale, came to speak with us about common issues that runners face and tips to avoid getting hurt. He also answered many of our questions. Very shortly thereafter, we made our way to the entrance to the bicycle path that leads up to Bethpage State Park. The weather wasn’t exactly great, but the scenery was beautiful nontheless. I can see this becoming one of my favorite places to run.

What a beautiful trail for a Saturday morning run!

On the advice of another runner, I booked a deep tissue massage for Monday evening. He said that the massage will help to work out some of the kinks in my body and help my muscles release all of the toxins that have been building up.  In giving it some thought, I’ve definitely noticed more general aches and pains in my leg muscles. A few weeks back, I went to the gym right after a Saturday run, completed an intense leg workout, and sat in the whirlpool. It felt great, and I think I’ll be doing that more often.

So here’s hoping that the coming two weeks are good, because I’ll be running a 10k in May and I REALLY HOPE that I am able to run the whole thing!

At this point in my training, I’ve reached 97% of my fundraising goal. I’m really hoping to hit 100% this week and eventually supersede it. It’s funny, someone at work made a statement that unnerved me. He said that, if I wanted to, I could sign up for any half marathon and run it “without having to raise money for a charity.” I was polite in my reply, but it’s important for everybody to know that this is personal, REALLY personal. I chose to embark upon this journey and challenge myself WHILE raising money for the CCFA because if it was not for the foundation raising money for medical research, we might never find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis! Earlier this year, I hit a low point in my health. Right around the time that I closed on my house, my stress level had risen so much that it was obviously affecting my system. Just a few days into construction on the new place, I was scheduled for what should have been a routine Colonoscopy. Well, it was anything but routine, as my doctor couldn’t finish the procedure. The level of inflammation in my body was so bad that he was concerned that the scope could tear the inflamed lining of my intestines, possibly causing an injury that could require emergency surgery. The procedure was aborted, and he sent me home with a prescription and a very strict low-residue diet that pretty much forced me to change my lifestyle with regard to food. Without elaborating any further, I can just say that those who are close to me know that this was a rough time. In addition to all of the Crohn’s issues, I was feeling rather depressed about the whole thing. To get to my point: This was my first real bout with a Crohn’s flare-up in several years. There are people with IBD who have to deal with things like this every month. There are people with IBD who couldn’t train for this half marathon even if they WANTED to.

So, essentially, this is why I didn’t just sign up for a half marathon and run it. This is why I choose to throw my efforts into raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation with Team Challenge.

If you have been thinking about donating but haven’t already done so, please consider visiting the link above that will take you to my personal fundraising page. One in every 200 people suffer daily with digestive diseases. With the support of Team Challenge, the CCFA has raised much needed funds that, through research, have brought us closer to a cure.

That's me in the "Beat Nova" shirt! This photo was snapped the same morning of my fundraiser at Lily Flanagan's.

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