Irish gal living the American dream in Austin, Texas y'all!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Let's Talk About Poo

Now, hold on, before u click the x on this window, let me explain why I want to talk about poo and where it comes from (yep, where poo comes from). I’m gonna talk a little bit about something that’s directly related to my fundraising cause but affects us all.. poo problems! Bear with me, I know it sounds disgusting but please keep reading!

Since I signed up to run a half marathon for Crohn's and Colitis, I definitely feel it is my duty, in a way, to talk about the conditions and explain to people why it is a worthwhile cause. While part of this is make people aware that I am fundraising for a cause that is worth supporting, another side of it is to get people talking about bowel issues.

I want to increase awareness of bowel-related diseases, regardless of how small the community of people who read this. I work in health sciences research and it is part of my job to be aware of the latest research that's published. I never see Crohn’s-related research published. If it’s taboo to talk about problems down yonder in the poo pipes, then there just isn't awareness as to the scale of the problem  among a population of people, hence the lack of research. 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s and Colitis, it’s a huge problem and clearly worth researching. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is doing great things to change this, pumping $180 million into research thus far, all raised through fundraising.


Here's the other thing: It bothers me when people say they're having stomach problems, when really, they are referring to poo problems. I know I might be considered a little on the vulgar side (especially by American standards!) but your stomach is just one component of your gastrointestinal system, an organ in your abdomen, and why should we be so embarrassed about calling a spade a spade (Americans get that expression, yea)? Granted, I won’t cause a fist-fight over it if you don't tell me about your bowel movement while I’m eating, the time and place should be considered ;)

Going for a number 2 is just as natural as feeling hungry and eating. But here is my point to all of this…Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are progressive conditions with symptoms becoming more severe and less responsive to treatment over time. Nobody knows the cause OR the cure. If people talked more about their poo problems then maybe we would understand more about the disease progression and early symptoms. Maybe people would be more descriptive about what the ACTUAL problem is, instead of a doctor just fobbing them off and telling them to eat better. As with many diseases, early diagnosis and treatment is going to be vitally important for improving patient outcome.

Sooo, let’s start a facebook page about where we post pics of our dung every day will we??!! Who’s on board?! JUST KIDDING!!! But seriously, I hope what I said above made some bit of sense and you can all relate to the ability to have a good poo so please help out those who can’t!


Here's what I've been up to the past week, prepping for the half marathon:
Sunday: 4.6 miles in 37 mins in a lovely neighbourhood, not mine obviously! Not too shabby considering my foot was hurting a bit

nice spot for a run


Monday: 40 mins elliptical & abs
Tuesday: 'Step and Sculpt' class at the university (UT Austin) gym
Wednesday: 5 miles on treadmill, tempo run
Thursday: off
Friday: 'Vinyasa' yoga class at the UT gym
Saturday: 3 mile Team Challenge group run
Sunday: Capitol 10K in 47:31, oh yeaaa!

It's been 3 weeks since I hurt my left foot, and I didn't run at all for 2 weeks. :ast Sunday I tested it out, and while it hurt a bit to run on it, I could manage a decent pace on it. I had just a week to go to the 10K so I figured I could manage it! The treadmill was fine on Wednesday (I'm getting to the point of the details, promise), and I was pshyced for Sunday! In all honesty, I hardly slept Saturday night (the circling helicopter all night and the treat of a mass murderer on the loose didn't help either), with nerves and excitement! I ran with three great gals: Jackie, Stacey and my Team Challenge bud Aileen! 
Left to right: Jackie, me, Aileen and Stacey

There were 17,500 runner yesterday, what a buzz! All in all, my foot felt fine and I was really happy with my time! It wasn't easy, actually it was tough. I guess my fitness has dropped in the hiatus; I thought my head was going to explode it felt so hot! I couldn't believe I bumped into a running buddy at mile 5, when I was really needing it, he delivered me a high five and we vowed to maintain the pace! I did 7:39 min/mile and according to the website 20th in my age group, wohooooo! worth the pain! We were all delighted with our times so a great day out for all the gals!

I already had had a podiatrist appointment made for this morning. I thought about cancelling, but I went anyways.  And what do ya know.. I have a stress fracture...and I am now the proud owner of a very sexy bootie (note: bootie not booty) for at least 3 weeks! The best (worst) part is that the fracture isn't even where the pain is so I could have a second one, further up my foot, so for an MRI I go. I can still bike, and exercise, but no running... balls, balls, and more balls! At least this means I can try out every exercise class at the UT gym.. and I'll still go support our runners on a Saturday morning, find a way to make use of myself!


Please 'like' and 'share'my posts if you know of others who might like a read or who would like to support CCFA.

A huge thank you to Eimear Plower, Michelle Dennehy, Brigid O'Connor (mother hen of the O'Connor household) and Anne Golden for donating this week xx

Runners, any tips on maintaining cardiovascular fitness while injured?

Have a good week y'all!

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