Saturday, September 28, 2013

On Not Giving Up...

I've been off the radar for a while in the land of endurance sports.  I was ashamed to  post my measly 3-mile runs that take far longer than I'd like and most days, feel like a death march.  I've been ashamed to admit that, even more recently, some days I've been reduced to walking for exercise.  I've been ashamed to say that there are days I feel barely capable of getting out of bed and feeding myself and my 3-yr old, let alone doing any form of exercise.  Two years ago, I had earned a shiny new marathon PR and my first 70.3 finish.  How can I admit to the world that I can hardly exercise these days?  How can I possibly be a positive representative for endurance sport and a GOTRIbal Ambassador? 

The answer hit me just the other day.... by not giving up. By not letting my health issues define me.  By getting up and going out that door, even if it is just a walk, on the days I can.  My message to others was always "do what you are capable of right now" yet here I was expecting myself to do far more.  Being a GOTRIbal Ambassador and promoting the endurance sport life doesn't mean I have to run marathons or complete Ironman triathlons.  Being a GOTRIbal Ambassador means leading by example and letting others know that it is okay to start where you are RIGHT NOW.  

There are a lot of walks in my near future, a lot of easy yoga, and some very slow running.  Yes, someday I hope to be back running marathons and maybe even training for an Ironman.  But for now I will take my own advice... I will start where I am today. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finally, a diagnosis... sort of.

I don't share much of how I feel, physically, on the blog.  The main reason I've not posted regularly in quite a while is because, frankly, I feel like crap most days and really, no one wants to hear me complain all the time.  Training has been non-existent and when I feel I can do a little something, it takes me days to recover. 

I've been seeing doctors since late fall 2012 and just finally am starting to get somewhere.  In July, I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).  That diagnosis was confirmed with a recent visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. 

It feels good to be getting somewhere, but my GI doc doesn't think the EoE is responsible for all my symptoms.  I've been through a battery of screening tests, but everything else comes back negative so far. (Which is good, don't get me wrong, but I'd really like some answers!) Also, I think the meds may be making me feel worse (something I will be discussing with my doctor very soon!)

So that's where I am... I am beyond frustrated at how little training I feel I can do.  I am angry that food has become my enemy, and that I may never find my personal triggers for this disease.   I am sad that I now, at age 37, have a chronic disease that can only be managed, if I'm lucky, but never cured. 

But, most days, I refuse to feel sorry for myself.  I remind myself that it could always be worse.  That I am lucky to have options and access to top-notch medical care.  And I am determined to make the best of it, one day at a time.