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My alarm went off at 5 AM today, as planned.
And, as planned, I refused to snooze.
I followed my usual “I’m up, but I’m moving slowly” in-bed routine: check email, scroll through Facebook, roll eyes at everything on Facebook, scroll through Twitter, feel bored with Twitter and then, new to the routine, check Instagram, because I finally joined. I like it so far. Everything on Instagram is filtered just enough to be beautiful.
As I wrapped things up on Instagram, things began moving, uhhhh, faster.
To the bathroom!
I spent the better part of the next hour going back and forth between the bedroom and the bathroom.
Eventually, determined to stick with the plan, I put on my running clothes.
Then back to the bathroom.
Then the running clothes came off. First the sneakers. Then I traded my spandex for my cozy bathrobe. It was 6 AM by this point, so I knew I wasn’t going to fall back asleep. But I also knew not to bother with running.
If I tried, I knew exactly how that run would go.
I’d have to stop at the Starbucks halfway up the hill to Central Park (a whopping two blocks from my apartment).
Then, I’d have to stop at the next Starbucks, only two blocks from there (the barista there knows me, which is horrifying because I’ve never once purchased a beverage or snack from that particular establishment; instead, I’m the “morning runner bathroom girl,” which just thrills me).
And once I hit the park, my “run” would just be a series of jolts to the next public restroom.
Finally, frustrated, I’d head home, far later than planned, and I’d have to rush to get myself down to the office.
Maybe I’d get in six miles. And along the way, I’d be forced to make at least 10 bathroom stops.
So that’s where we are right now.
We’re 10 days out from the New York City Marathon…
…and while I can’t claim to have “trained,” I did put in at least some of the miles and some of the effort. I never did speedwork, I avoided even the slightest inclines and even though I was back up and running for a while, I never managed an entirely bathroom-stop-free run.
It never mattered, though. I was running! And surely things would follow suit and, just like last year, I’d get perfectly healthy in time for Marathon Day.
That was the plan.
You see where this is going, yeah?
I am 10 days away from running a marathon that has been three years in the making for me: one year to qualify through the 9+1 program, one year to train for the 2012 race which was eventually canceled and, finally, this year. A year that has brought the greatest stupid struggles of my life, and a year I can’t seem to just get behind me.
I cannot believe my body continues to not cooperate. (There had to have been a more eloquent way to write that sentence, but grammar is lost on me right now.)
A lot can happen in 10 days. I could wake up November 3 feeling incredible. But I could also wake up on November 1 feeling worse, and on November 2 feeling worse than that, and on November 3 I could find myself keeled over in the bathroom in pain and, you know…other things.
The unpredictability of this disease is driving me mad.
I was getting better. I finally thought, around late August, that I was getting better. And now this. Again.
If I felt like this a year ago, I would be complaining that I’m “in the middle of the worst flare-up ever.” Now, after having endured this past year, I’m hardly that dramatic.
Yes, I appear to be flaring. Yes, it’s a pain in my ass. And a pain in my stomach.
No, it’s not the worst flare-up of my life. Not even close.
But it’s enough to possibly keep me from that starting line, and my heart is breaking a little for that.
So for the next 10 days, there’s no plan.
If I wake up and I can run, I’ll run. If I can’t, fine.
I saw my doctor yesterday, and we brainstormed some “quick fix” solutions. We talked about short-term, “non-solution” treatments that will get me running for five to six hours, and after that I’ll come see him again and we’ll talk about changing up the long-term plan. I’m just not bothering to think about the long-term right now.
I’ve got some prescriptions I’m going to test out in the next few days, and I’m back on the steroids. I’d love to say I’m feeling optimistic, but instead I just feel kind of calm and realistic, knowing this race just may not happen for me, and I’m going to have to be OK with that.
I am learning, very slowly, that accepting life with Crohn’s disease means accepting a life without plans. Or at least learning to be flexible enough to not go insane when plans go wildly awry.
Meanwhile, my doctor isn’t ready to give up on my New York City Marathon dreams. He wants me running. And on my way out his office door last night, he reassured me with five little words: “You’re gonna run this marathon.”
Now I guess we’ll see.
That’s the only plan.