Triathlon and IBD

So, one of the things you’re all going to know about me before too long is that I have ulcerative colitis which is an inflammatory bowel disease of the autoimmune variety.  You can find more information than you ever wanted to know about it either by googling it (WebMD has slideshows of actual diseased intestines if you’re that interested) or visiting the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America (www.ccfa.org) that does a good job with the basics.

I usually don’t talk about it that much because in addition to being a literal pain in the ass, it’s not one of the cool or interesting diseases.  It’s boring, painful and incredibly embarrassing to deal with and discuss.  (Although that perception may be changing now that one of the biggest marathons in the US has taken the Crohns and Colitis Foundation on as its fundraising partner – www.stripatnight.com )  In general, people are less sympathetic when they realize that your brand of body dysfunction involves the possibility of you uncontrollably shitting your pants when you’re standing right next to them.  Most people that is.  There is apparently one big exception to this and it is triathletes (and distance runners).  I think that one reason I love triathlon is because bowel problems are an integral part of the sport.  I can’t tell you how many race reports I’ve read where the run was basically a race from portapotty to portapotty.  Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about from a new pro with a lot of heart http://fuelyourpassiononline.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-get-knocked-down-ironman-lake-placid.html

Triathletes understand what it feels like to be me.

And are totally unfazed by extensive discussions of eating and pooping.  My kind of people!  (Ultrarunners on the other hand seem a bit more obsessed with the color of their pee than the consistency of their poo.) I’m not alone anymore.

So yeah.  Triathlon and IBD:  Two different ways to race to the next portapotty as fast as you can.

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