This fall the IIF’s own Brian Greenberg will be taking on yet another challenge despite his Crohn’s disease and ostomy. He’ll be completing a 70.3 half Ironman on October 2nd and then the New York City marathon on November 6th. This adds up to almost 100 miles of races in just over a month, something hard for a healthy person to complete but Brian will be doing it with his Crohn’s disease.
Brian has been through a lot with his Crohn’s but has recently seen how much cancer can affect an entire family when his girlfriend Sarah lost her aunt to lymphonia after losing her birth mother to colon cancer when she was only 9 years old. On top of that Sarah’s father is a prostate cancer survivor and her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. It doesn’t end there, with he families best friend battling breast cancer currently.
That is why Brian will not only be swimming, cycling, and running for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis this year, but cancer as well. He’ll be contributing 50% of every dollar to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and the other 50% of every dollar will go to help patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with the Intense Intestines Foundation.
Please consider a donation to help patients with cancer, Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis at the page below. You can also easily and securely donate on your phone by texting IBDCancer to 41444. This will not make a donation with your cellular carrier but bring you to an easy page to use on your mobile device.
Together #WeWillBeatCancer! Together #WeWillBeatIBD!
Brian Greenberg’s story with Crohn’s disease and living with an ostomy is a long one. Even longer than the 70.3 miles he completed in his half Ironman distance triathlon last year. Here is more of Brian’s story with IBD.
We all have goals in mind that we’d like to accomplish during our lives – a Bucket List. A few years ago I started to meet people who were triathletes. Hearing them talk about what it was like to swim, bike, and run then cross the finish line was captivating and intriguing. I asked myself, “Is this possible with my Crohn’s disease and ostomy?” Spoiler alert: the answer is YES.
It was during a solo trip to Vancouver in March that my plans began to form. I spent a couple of days in the gorgeous city doing whatever came to mind. My plan the second day was to wake up, get to the bike store when it opened at 8am, and go for a ride around Stanley Park to see how my rectal area felt after my proctectomy in August 2014. Surprisingly, after 20 miles my backside still felt good and, taking in the scenery, so did I.
After the ride I went to a small café to treat myself to crepes and reflect on the ride. Sitting there, I decided a triathlon of any distance would be my goal for 2015. The sprint distance felt very doable, so I began to consider the Olympic or half Ironman distance. I tend to dive right into athletic challenges and decided I would have plenty of time to train for a half Ironman distance event later in the year.
A 70.3 half Ironman triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run in succession of each other. They’re no easy feat, even for completely healthy people. I realized I would have to keep my Crohn’s disease and ostomy in mind during the entire training process. But during the flight home from Canada, I began to plan out how I’d train my body and mind for the race.
Looking back, I’ve realized that the mental challenges of a long distance race maybe be just as hard as the physical challenges. When it comes to doing a race with a disease like Crohn’s or an ostomy, there’s a whole extra set of challenges. I spent night after night planning out each day’s training towards my goal of crossing the finish line.
During my innumerable hours training in the pool, on the bike, and out running, I was faced with constant mental hurdles. The hardest was getting into the pool with my ostomy and being confident that it would be okay. What would happen if I had a leak in the pool? What if I had to change my ostomy during the first transition? What would happen if I had a leak during a long bike ride?
After beginning to train I realized that my Crohn’s disease prepared me for all of this. As I’ve learned over and over again, I have to just roll with the punches and figure things out as I go. One of the most important traits that I have gained from my Crohn’s is that dealing with adversity is not a problem. If I had a leak, if I needed to change my ostomy, if I needed to get off the bike and go to the bathroom, if anything happened, I was prepared to deal with it. My IBD has made me mentally strong, so I knew I could just take a deep breath and then handle whatever needed to be done. With all of the mental preparation that went into the 70.3 miles, I’m happy to say that none of my concerns happened during training or the day of the half Ironman.
The day before the race, everything began to get very real. Walking through the expo center, picking up my packet, and dropping of my bike got my heart rate up. When Challenge Family interviewed me about my 70.3 for IBD triathlon my enthusiasm was boosted. But I made it through Saturday and got a few hours of sleep before the day of the race.
When I woke up around 4am, my body and mind were excited. The adrenaline started to kick in as I got ready. I changed. I made sure I had all my gear. I prepared my hydration and nutrition for the day. This last part was extremely important – I’d trained using specific things that I know my body can handle and didn’t want to rely on the unknown of what was on course.
When I got to the transition area around 5:30am I noticed that the other athletes had much less packed than I did. I took a deep breath and realized that my journey was different. I needed extra hydration and nutrition but I would cross the finish line just like everyone else.
I got my gear ready and walked to the swim start. My heart rate was jacked but facing the start line, I felt a sense of calm to finally be racing. The horn went off and I slowly ran into the water, letting most of the group get ahead of me. The swim was hard. Swimming in the open water of the ocean is completely different than the pool or lakes. I made it out of the swim in about 43 minutes and I was exhausted! At the same time I was extremely happy to have finished the most difficult aspect of the race for me.
When I arrived at the first transition area, from swim to bike, I checked to make sure my ostomy was still on tight. From here on out I had a good feeling the day would be okay. I got on my bike and started the 56 mile bike ride. It went great. I wasn’t too tired from the swim and was strong enough to get through the ride in 3:12. When I got to the bike-to-run transition, I checked my ostomy again. When I realized it was still on tight, I felt ready to take off and confident I’d finish strong.
The run went as smooth as it could have. I was tired and it was hard but when I realized I was on track to beat my goal of 7 hours, I calmed down. Just had to keep my mind and body going. I knew I would cross that finish line.
Everything was spot on until I hit the 12-mile mark. That’s when everything hit me. The emotions of the past year, more than 20 years of battling Crohn’s, completing a half Ironman – it all came to the surface. Reflecting on where I was a year ago – complications from my proctectomy, more pain, a long recovery, and a visiting nurse that checked on me daily, I couldn’t hold back tears. I came much farther than 70.3 miles to get to this finish line.
A year before, at 31, my life was hardly like a typical 31-year-old’s. Every day I had a nurse come to my home to clean and pack my rectal wound. Week after week, we waited, hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. My pride took a blow and my patience was wearing thin. I asked myself daily, “When will this end?”
Now, I was less than a mile away from crossing the finish line of a half Ironman. The emotions became overwhelming. The tears were flowing and I didn’t even try to stop them. I just kept running.
The town of Old Orchard Bay, Maine got closer and closer. I heard friends, family, and an entire community cheering. The finish line was in sight.
I hit the final stretch and made the turn down the red carpet. My name was yelled over the PA system, my friends were cheering relentlessly. I was going to do it. I crossed the finish line strong. I’ve never felt a sense of exhilaration like this before.
My girlfriend ran up and hugged me, telling me how proud she was of my race. She noticed my tears, asking, “Why are you crying? You did it!” I rambled through all the emotions I felt at the end of the race and by the end, we both were crying. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life, one that I will never forget.
In the end, I answered the question I asked myself 9 months prior. It was possible to still do a half Ironman with Crohn’s disease and an ostomy. That I finished stronger and faster than I expected to was icing on the cake. My goal time was 7 hours, and I would have been happy to finish in 7:15. But my time was 6:43. I’m still floating.
The one thing that I would love all patients with IBD to know is that we are still capable of reaching our goals. And they may all be different. A year ago, my goal was to be strong enough to get out of bed after surgery. A little later it was to be able to dog my dog. Then it was completing a half Ironman.
It’s supremely important to remember this: never give up. So much can be done when we aren’t flaring. Every journey starts with one step. Set goal of your own, take that step, and cross your own finish line.
As with many things in life, I expected ebbs and flows with my 70.3 for IBD half Ironman training. It wasn’t likely that I’d have a smooth 8+ months without any health problems. It would have been nice, of course, but it didn’t happens, which is why I’m trying to navigate a little bump in the road, physically and mentally, right now.
This is particularly tough because of how GREAT May was. Over the long journey with my Crohn’s disease, I’ve had to build myself back up to a normal weight and strength but this time was different than the past. My goal was to reach 160 pounds around the end of April, which I succeeded in doing. That was the first time in a long time that I reached that weight. Below are my training numbers from my training in May.
I set a second goal of 165 lbs. for the middle of May, while simultaneously building my cardio strength as well. I hit this goal right on time. By the end of May, I felt stronger than I ever had. I was cycling through my hometown with ease and running 5 miles without feeling exhausted when I finished. It looked like I was going to enter my June training as scheduled, with plans to lose a few pounds to be at my recommended racing weight, making it easier to bike and run during the half Ironman.
While away in Washington D.C. for Digestive Disease Week in May, I felt like a true triathlete – and for one that suffers from IBD, a pretty strong one. Each day I was there I trained around the nation’s capital. It was not only beautiful but motivating for me. I was doing it! I was waking up early every morning and riding around a major city with ease. I had been weaving around the monuments and tourists and seeing all the sites without reaching a point of exhaustion. The video below is a time-lapse from my second ride around the city.
Then June came around and the bumps in the road became frequent. First my mild arthritis started to act up. There were days when I would get out of bed with achy joints and muscles that just didn’t want to do anything. Then my doctor wanted to have me begin to wean off Predisone from 10mg to 7.5mg. This has been the dose that I’ve started to see problems, having more pain and my rectal area becoming a problem. Of course, that’s what happened again, and I had enough pain that it kept me from having the motivation to get out and train. Below is a picture of the bleeding at times that I’m dealing with while I attempt to train.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew something like this was bound to happen. The question I have is how long with it last? As many IBD patients know these diseases aren’t a science. Dealing with them, physically and mentally, is an art and if you don’t play your treatment, rest, and other cards right, things can quickly spiral out of control. Right now, the mental battle with this question is much harder than the physical. After such a great start to the training, I’m having a tough time at a key part of preparing for the 70.3 miles. I should be ramping up my training and getting ready for my preparation races, but instead I’m slowing down.
So what do I do? Part of me says that I should take it slow, forget about the 70.3 mile distance this year and maybe take it easy. This could give my body more time to heal which would allow me to not have to deal with the bleeding and rectal pain at times. Then again, my doctors have told me that with the type of superficial problem I’m having, my level of activity won’t have much an effect on healing.
After hearing that, the other side of me reminded me how far I’ve come. Part of doing activities like a half Ironman is dealing with injuries and health problems. These are bumps in the road that many triathletes who are trying to overcome a chronic disease have to deal with. So I’ve been asking myself, “Is this a normal level of trials and tribulations, or am I pushing myself too much?” I look at a picture like the one below at the Washington Monument and feel so happy that I can even attempt to try to complete the 70.3 miles.
Only time will tell how this will play out, but what I do know is that this training has lead me to feeling better than I have in a long. It has taken my mind off of my Crohn’s disease so much and given me goals to hit. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this motivated. Maybe it’s because something like this half Ironman is within reach and I know my health is on the right track but I’m afraid to look back now. Whether I will or won’t on this road to 70.3 miles is yet to be written, but whatever happens, I know it’ll be the right decision.
To make a donation to the 70.3 for IBD triathlon, please click the button below.
A few weeks ago I started to think about what was behind my motivation to do 70.3 for IBD triathlon. There are countless other ways I could spend my time – why this? I stewed on this, reflecting on my first two months of training and looking at all of the training ahead of me. There are probably more reasons than this, but here is what stuck out:
I want to do something challenging – despite my IBD.
My friends who complete them are so positive and really enjoy themselves.
There are many inspirational people in my life that said if I truly focus, I could complete it.
It can help the IBD community to show that incredible things can still be done.
If I can inspire just one patient with IBD to fight a little more and do what they love, it will be worth it.
After figuring out why I wanted to do a 70.3 distance triathlon, I thought about how much others have inspired me – not just to live an average or normal life, but to strive for more. It’s partially because of them that I can look the disease in the face and say, “You can’t stop me from finishing the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run.”
Here are a few of the major inspirations of mine:
Just days before my ostomy surgery in 2010, I was told about a fellow IBDer and ostomate named Rob Hill. He was not only into living a very active life and overcoming his IBD, but also had climbed the 7 summits of the world (the tallest peaks on each of the 7 continents). Rob also runs a charity in Canada called IDEAS. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. At this point, I had talked to a few fellow ostomates but most weren’t into similar activities as me. I wasn’t sure if I would ever climb, ski, or have many of the outdoor adventures that I loved so much again. Over the 4-5 days before my surgery, I watched many of Rob Hill’s YouTube videos on repeat. I immediately began to have a different outlook on life. This surgery wasn’t going to be the end of my life. In fact, it was going to be the beginning of a great new one. I went to the hospital on November 9, 2010 not with a negative mindset but a motivated one, ready to take on whatever came next. Knowing that someone who went through the same surgery could climb the 7 summits taught me that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. It helped me wake up from my ostomy surgery with a positive light shining on me.
Ryan has also been a big inspiration to me as another member of the IBD community. Ryan runs an amazing website that has helped countless IBD patients at www.CrohnsGuy.com. I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan couple of years ago while I was driving back to CT from Chicago. Ryan and I are very similar in that while we know we’ll have down times battling Crohn’s disease, we won’t let them keep us down for long. After a hard day, we wake up the next morning with the motivation to make this day better than the last. It might not be easy but we don’t have a choice other than to fight our Crohn’s. Last summer, Ryan swam almost the entire distance of Lake Erie (24+miles). This would be a tough feat for a healthy person, yet Ryan trained relentlessly and put himself in a position to do something incredible. He didn’t let his IBD keep him from doing something he was passionate about. He set his goal and went after it, despite his Crohn’s disease. I find this incredible inspiring and helped me get to the point I am at right now.
Sally is a close friend of mine. While she doesn’t have IBD, she has been a huge inspiration in my life. A couple of years ago Sally found out she had a brain aneurism, which she named Albert. On Christmas Eve in 2013, Albert was removed during a craniotomy. Since then, Sally has shown the world that nothing will stop her. She’s not only inspired those with brain aneurisms, but many others, including me. Shortly after her surgery she decided to complete an Ironman. I’m sure many people thought it would be a to much after such a life experience, but Sally didn’t waiver from what she had set out to accomplish and she finished the 140.6-mile race in Austria. Like Sally, I’ve been told I am a little crazy to do a half Ironman so soon after such a life changing surgery. They’re worry I’m overcompensating or forgetting I’m not a regular healthy person. But with proper training and attention, I know I can complete the 70.3 miles, even with Crohn’s disease. It doesn’t have to keep me from reaching my goals, just like a brain aneurism didn’t keep Sally from reaching hers.
The list of all the people who’ve inspired me is really endless. But one of my biggest inspirations is the entire IBD community. Over the past few years since I started the Intense Intestines Foundation, I have been blessed by the opportunity to meet countless people battling Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And each one of you is courageous and has your own incredible story about fighting the diseases. They aren’t easy to deal with, yet we all have a similar goal: to live our lives to the fullest. The details of our goals might be different. They might be to complete a triathlon or to climb the 7 summits of the world, or, at others times, maybe it’s just to get out of bed or find a comfortable position to sit. No matter what the goal, we are all fighting. What inspires me most is all of the fellow IBD patients out there who aren’t giving up and continue to stay positive. Thank you all.
Do you ever get emotional when IBD keeps you from doing something?
I have – and still do for that matter. There are times when Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can feel like it has completely taken over my life. Constant trips to the bathroom, cramping, pain, bleeding, emotions take a toll on a person. When a patient’s IBD is flaring, there is almost nothing that can be done. But what about times when it isn’t flaring or is relatively controlled?
We owe it to ourselves to live life to the fullest, especially when we feel our best. I recently spoke with a friend who told me that she was always happy to see me out and about, doing so much. She knows it isn’t always easy and, more often than not, extra work has to go into the active lifestyle I lead.
The conversation grew and we began to talk about people with chronic illness and the effects it can have on a their life. It’s devastating that so many people with different diseases have their quality of life diminished. Sometimes, it’s hard to see what it has done to their mindsets. It’s note easy to stay positive during such difficult times.
I’ve been low before as a result of my Crohn’s disease and sometimes it felt like there was only a spec of light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so relieved that I held on to the hope that days would get brighter. Without that hope, I don’t know where I would be now. Our conversation then led to us reflecting on my mindset. I truly believe you only live once (YOLO) and I also have a fear of missing out (FOMO). We realized that this is why I do so much with my IBD.
Which leads me to my 70.3 for IBD training. I finally got out for my first outdoor run of the season. I was planning for a short run, but I still had to plan and prepare properly for it. So I prepped my backside with TP padding just in case I drained from the area where I had my proctectomy. Then I prepped my front side to make sure that my ostomy was ready for running. Of course I also had to make sure it was empty before I started. Okay, now I’m ready…right? Thankfully, that was all I had to do today but it’s still more than most people do before a run.
After all the prep for the run, I was a little down. I know how much extra work it takes for me to just get out for a few miles. But then I got going and realized I can do things healthy people can. I proved to myself Crohn’s didn’t have to keep me from being active. I can’t tell you how happy I was to get outside to run – I even passed a few deer along my route. The reason why I was out running was my YOLO and FOMO attitude. I know that if I didn’t have Crohn’s disease, I would love to compete in triathlons, so that’s what I’m going to do.
The highlight of my day turned out to come just after the run. When I was done I walked over to a bench just to relax and take in the fresh air. I sat down on the bench without any hesitation. It was an outdoor wooden bench – I know other IBDers can feel my pain. Butt there was no pain! (See what I did there?) Didn’t even have to lower myself slowly. It’s amazing how the smallest part of the run made the day great and it was something as small as sitting down after.
I beg of my fellow IBDers, don’t forget to enjoy the little things in life. When you’re feeling well remember that YOLO and it’s healthy to have a FOMO, if it motivates you to live a full life!
Please consider a donation to my 70.3 for IBD half Ironman. Your contribution will go towards helping the IIF assist those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and ostomies.
Just six months ago that I went into surgery to undergo another major surgery to put Crohn’s disease behind me for a while. The surgery was August 5th. I can’t believe how different I feel already.
For nearly four months following the surgery, I was forced to spend a majority of my day on the couch or in bed. I struggled sitting down, constantly adjusting to find a position that was pain free, and of course, my comfortable positions were quickly interrupted by having to go to the bathroom. For months, I had to have a visiting nurse service come to my house to take care of an open wound.
Now, six months after the surgery, my life has been enhanced. I admit that I still have tough days here and there, but things are much better. Most mornings, I wake up with a weird feeling that I’m not used to – that feeling of my body being disease-free for the moment. Words can’t describe how incredible it is to feel this way.
Shortly before the surgery, I went to the city for a Broadway show and night out. Then, after a short amount of time walking around, the chaffing and pain from my rectal disease was irritating. Now, I look back and wonder how I lived like this for so long. Dare I say life feels (almost) normal?
Immediately after my surgery, in mid-August, I weighed only 118 lbs. My frame was skin and bones. I’ve been able to pack on weight, including a lot of muscle, and have gotten up to a healthy 156 lbs. A lot of this weight has come as a direct result of training for my upcoming half Ironman. In preparation for the race, I’ve set a fitness routine and I’m eating well each day. It’s been a while since I have had something like this to train for – I know it has given me direction and motivation to change my life and outlook.
Since kicking off training in December, I’ve felt pretty fantastic. I followed my first month up with a great January as well. If you had told me in August that I would have biked 123.4 miles indoors, ran 18.33 on an elliptical, and another 11.24 on a treadmill, I would have laughed and politely told you that you were crazy. Now, I’m well on my way to being able to complete 70.3 miles to raise awareness and help the Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and ostomy patients.
It hasn’t been easy, of course, the past six months. I feel well most of the time, but training for something like this is still a roller coaster. There are days my body aches and every muscle is so sore I don’t want to get out of bed. There are little problems from the surgery, like blisters on one of the incisions, or stomach irritation, that still affect me. These are minor, compared to what I’ve already been through though.
I haven’t let the little bumps slow me down. I’m proud of myself for this – and my fitness-minded peers have told me they’re blown away by my tenacity. When I have to adjust, I do. If I need to reduce impact, I’m on the elliptical. When I need that rest day, I take one. I can feel myself growing into my training program and gaining endurance. It’s almost unreal how far I’ve come and it’s exciting to imagine how much farther I’m going to go.
If you would like to make a donation to benefit the Intense Intestines Foundation and the 70.3 for IBD fundraiser, please click the link below. Any amount helps me reach my goal but more importantly helps the IBD and ostomy communities with our Intense Intestines Scholarship and Intense Intestines IBDebt programs. Thank you so much for your support. I look forward to sharing more of my progress as I continue to train for the 70.3 miles.
I’m starting this blog post off with some great news: I FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE IN YEARS!
It’s been a long time since I felt this well and had this much energy. Every day I experience the almost foreign feeling of waking up without fear of pain. My world has changed completely; the good days outnumber the bad ones now by far.
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to understand why and how I feel so good. I assume It’s a combination of my Humira working better and the low dosage of Prednisone I’ve been placed on. The Prednisone keeps inflammation down and lets the Humira work more effectively.
But, while the medicine has obviously helped, I think there’s something bigger happening here: My 70.3 for IBD training. It’s been a while since I had anything to train for. Having it gives me something to look forward to, benchmarks to surpass, and a goal to accomplish. Knowing I will complete a half Ironman for the IIF, I feel refreshed and renewed.
That’s not to say my alarm goes off and I pop right out of bed each morning. I still wake sore and achey. Sometimes I feel much older than I am. But I get up anyway, eat breakfast, get a protein shake ready, and head to the gym.
My training gives me time away from the distractions and clutter of everyday life. Even better, it’s a time when I forget about overthinking or focusing on joint pain. My mind zeroes in on training and getting better.
I feel great during and after my 60-90 minute sessions. I love that it gets my day jumpstarted. The morning joint pain disappears. Somehow, I feel more energetic the rest of the day! That, combined with healthy eating, and I feel great!
The surgery I had in August to remove my rectum and make my ostomy permanent was a tough time in my life for many reasons, but I made it through it on top. These days, I look back on the pain before I had it and I can’t believe I lived so long knowing each day would be a bad one!
My life has taken a 180 degree turn. I love the fact that I finally feel well and am capable of completing my life goal of a Half Ironman for the IBD community.
Follow along as I continue to track my progress! I’ll be posting my training experiences here regularly.
December was my first full month of training for the 70.3 for IBD half Ironman race I will be doing. I haven’t officially decided whether I’ll register for the race in Portland, Maine in August or Princeton, New Jersey in September but I’m excited to be getting on track!
What I do know is how much training I need to do and how far I’m going to have to go. A half Ironman is a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride then a 13.1 mile run. 70.3 miles, powered by a single person.
While I have 8 and a half hours to complete the course, I’m shooting to best that and complete the race in 6:30. I know it’ll be tremendously hard but as long as I train properly, I’m confident I can reach my goal.
Right now, my training is going well and I’m building up a base of fitness so I can hit the ground running come spring, when the weather warms up. I have a couple good friends who will be helping me with training also, both of whom have triathlon experience, so I should be well prepared come late summer! I’ve already gotten to a point in which I’m excited to spend my time riding and running for training. Right now, I can complete 90 minutes of cardio without being tired and needing to stop. During December I noticed that I started enjoying every minute of my cardio!
My mantra for this journey is “Just Finish.” I realize being a competitive triathlete may not be in my future but crossing that finish line will be an incredible accomplishment after everything I’ve been through. Just five months ago, I was in a hospital recovering from one of the hardest surgeries I’ll ever have!
In all honesty, I’m not doing this just for me. All of the training and effort I’m putting into completing a 70.3 for IBD is to show others with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and ostomies that we can still live a full life with IBD. It won’t be easy, I know. But not much in life really is. I truly believe those with chronic diseases are some of the toughest people in the world. We adapt each and every day to deal with countless unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances.
Dealing with IBD is about adversity and I foresee withstanding a lot more of it over the next nine months. But I will still cross that finish line. And if, by doing it, I can inspire just one more person with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis to battle their disease with all their strength, and to lead a fuller life, then all the effort I’m putting into this journey will be worth it.
Below is a short video from my first outdoor training run on January 3rd in New York City. I’m already a quicker and running closer to a 10 minute mile on January 9th. I’m on my way to 70.3.
To make a donation to my 70.3 for IBD fundraiser, please click the link below. Together #WeWillBeatIBD!
It’s been a few years since I have taken on a large endurance sport endeavor. As many of you know, my health hasn’t been great over the last 12-18 months, and I’ve had to focus my attention towards my body. Recently, I had a major surgery to make my ostomy permanent and have my rectum removed. Doctors now tell me that, for the first time in a while, good health is in the near future.
With the great news from my doctors, I have decided it is time to challenge myself and see what I can do despite my Crohn’s disease and ostomy. In the past, this has led me to complete triathlons, and this time, my competitive spirit has been eyeing the 2015 Princeton (NJ) Half Ironman in fall 2015.
I haven’t looked at a full Ironman yet (140.6 miles), but a half is a great start – and is no easy feat. This event is comprised of 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running. My goal is to complete the 70.3 miles in sub-7 hours, a full hour and a half under the time limit for the end of the race. Over the next 10 months, I will be focused on training in all three areas – and cross training to keep my body in shape for this event.
I am competing on behalf of my charity, the Intense Intestines Foundation (IIF). The IIF is dedicated to helping people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and ostomies. These diseases can control a person’s life and make it hard to live normally. The IIF’s programs are not only designed to raise awareness but also to help individuals with the financial difficulties that come along with having a debilitating disease like IBD.
Our main two programs are the Intense Intestines Scholarship, to help young adults reach their higher education goals despite these diseases, and Intense Intestines IBDebt which is designed to help families and individuals with IBD-related medical bills.
Please consider a donation to benefit the IIF and allow us to help others with inflammatory bowel disease. Any amount will assist us in our mission for the IBD community. Your support is very much appreciated!