Health, running, workout

Running, Not Racing

Running with ulcerative colitis is always an adventure.  I feel like I’ve dealt with quite a variety of symptoms, and after 3 + years, I’m learning how to manage it quite well amidst my fitness and training work.  Sometimes you run fine and have no issue.  Sometimes you run (and force a smile) and your stomach is reeking havoc inside and you run faster and keep focused on specific distracting topics.

Call it TMI, but you definitely get to know your system.

Yesterday was a first.

The view on my run on Monday... beautiful but cold
The view on my run on Monday… beautiful but cold

I ran my January Freeze race like I have the other two weekends in January this year.  It’s a 10k locally that cost $2.50 per race.  If you’re much into racing, you know that that is a deal for a race.

This past Saturday I almost didn’t finish.

I’ve never experienced heartburn while running like I did yesterday.  I ran the first 2.2-mile lap of the race and found myself wrenching with heartburn and nausea like never before.  As I came around to the end of the first lap, I hit the bathroom (in the middle of the race!—never happens!) and for 3 minutes or so, I thought I just might lose my breakfast.

As I came out of the bathroom, I was tempted to walk away.  The people passing me were those who ran 10-minute miles. I couldn’t even see those running at my regular, 7:45-min mile pace. Ugh.

Sometimes it’s just about running, not about racing.

mms_picture-1I took off and decided that I would earn back some time.  My lungs are weak from a cough I can’t get rid of and I was still feeling the heartburn, but today it was about running and racing myself and not about winning. I was 2nd place in my age category last week, but this week, I knew I would be no where near placing.

I continued to run.

If you’re a competitive person, you’ll understand the wrestle I had in my heart as I realized how far behind I was as I passed people I normally leave in the dust at the start of the race.  I figure I lost about 3:30 on my bathroom “break”, and I kept my pace at my 7:45 as I continued to run.

I finished at 53:39.  I’m not proud of that number as it relates to my PR history, but I am proud of that number because I fought through it.  I stopped when I thought it was absolutely necessary, and then I fought all the way until the end.

Did I win? Ha! Not even close.

Did I have fun? You bet!

Did I quit? No, and that’s what matters.

Sometimes it’s just about running, not about racing.

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