I’ve always been an occasional ‘parkrunner’ with probably only half a dozen or so completed each year. I used to use Saturday morning’s for long runs exploring new areas and routes so would never be able to squeeze in a parkrun. I would tend to complete a parkrun when I had a big race on a Sunday and wanted a short, but well organised run.

When Crohn’s Stopped Play

When the Crohn’s flare up started in March 2018 I struggled to run longer distances so switching to the local parkrun would be a great way of still trying to run. However, that didn’t prove to be the case. I managed to complete my last full parkrun on June 30th in a ‘slow-for-me’ time fo 30:14. On July 4th I had decided that Crohn’s had beaten me so elected for surgery. 

I tried a parkrun again on July 14th but only made it to 2 miles before I had to stop due to abdominal discomfort and the urge to use the toilet. The final time I tried was the following week on July 21st and after just 1 mile I had to pull out. That’s when I (temporarily) quit!

Aiming Towards my First Post-Surgery parkrun

When I started tentatively running again after surgery I decided that I would set a date for my first parkrun to give me something to aim towards. It would be a distance that I would be capable of achieving and there was no pressure to achieve a specific time. And by choosing Bryn Bach parkrun as my first parkrun, I’d be surrounded by my friends from Parc Bryn Bach Running Club.

My surgery was on January 15th and my first run on a treadmill was on March 4th where I achieved 1 mile. It wasn’t easy. On March 6th I achieved 2 miles on the treadmill. That also wasn’t easy. The following day on March 7th I headed outside the gym for a 3.1 mile run, my first 5K post-surgery. That most certainly wasn’t easy, but the reward was immense.

I continued with some more short runs and on March 18th I wondered if I could run 10k and it turned out that I could. I completed it non-stop in a respectable time of 59:00. 

The date had been set for my first parkrun to take place on March 30th. It was the inaugural pacing event so I would have some people to hang onto. Having tried to go for 25:00 on a treadmill earlier in the week and struggled immensely I decided not to go for a specific time. I would start with the 30:00 pacer and if I felt good, pick up the pace. 

Bryn Bach parkrun, home of the infamous Green Army (aka Parc Bryn Bach Running Club)

The day for a parkrun was perfect. Sunny, no wind and a comfortable temperature. I started as planned and quickly felt comfortable. The new Hoka One One Bondi 6s were feeling amazing and the legs weren’t giving me an issues. The first mile was completed in 08:48 and my body was feeling good at this point so was naturally picking up the pace a little to 08:26 for the 2nd mile. As the run progressed I had decided that I would use the last half mile or so to run a bit faster to test out how it felt so the 3rd mile was completed in 07:59 with a little bit of a boost on the final stretch home. 

Throughout the majority of the run I felt really good. It was a struggle on the last kilometre due to running faster but absolutely no issues with the abdomen and after changing the bag at home before heading out, I didn’t have to worry about it filling up and 7 hours later I’m still wearing the same bag.

Are you pooping whilst you’re running?

Running Club Member

A club member I was running with did joke halfway around asking if I was pooping and running but it does appear that the runner’s trots may have disappeared. 

Money Raised for Colostomy UK

Each week, a group of club members hold a raffle to raise money for selected charities and other club members. This week they had chosen Colostomy UK so all the proceeds from the raffle – £82 – were added to my Just Giving page for the Gozo 10K. The total now stands at £187! 

If you would like to support me and Colostomy UK, I’d be more than grateful. 

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life.

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  1. Good for you, it’s other people’s ignorance , a close friend of my daughter had one and we embraced it , we were looking for all ways to show it off
    Stay positive and you are fabulous

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