I never understood why professional athletes are always like, “Don’t call it a comeback.”
Is it because they don’t want people thinking they went away? Well, whatever it is, I’m not on board with it, and I am declaring today the start of my own little comeback.
I didn’t go far. I know.
After the marathon, I had a month of self-loathing.
A month of Crohn’s attacking.
A month of slow running.
A few days of foot pain.
But today I’m back! Mentally I’m ready to tackle whatever is coming my way, and physically, well, I’m getting there.
I worked from home yesterday, and it’s amazing what one day of pajama-wearing, To Do list-dominating and writing can accomplish. I plowed through work projects all day, resisted the urge to take Sad Foot out for a run and made it to the gym for an evening spinning class with Matt Pestorius, spin instructor extraordinaire.
At the start of class, Matt was like, “It’s a beautiful October day in New York City! Let’s ride!” And I was like, “Oh Matt, you are so right.” I’ve been so caught up in my Crohn’s-and-stress-and-foot-pain bubble that I’m letting my favorite season get away!
The ride was amazing. It flew by, the music was loud and I was dripping sweat all over my bike (and probably my neighbors — sorry) within the first 10 minutes. I spent an hour before class lifting and doing planks and things, and by the time I headed home I was happily fatigued.
Sweat cures all things. Really. It’s science.
Last night Brian came over to help me with some computer things, which roughly translates to “he sat on the couch with my laptop and didn’t explain what he was doing while I drank hot chocolate and ate biscotti.”
I think we make a good team. I also think I should stop hanging sports bras out to dry all over my apartment when I have company.
This morning I was ready to make my return to Central Park. I didn’t run for two days, which I realize is not that big of a deal, but again, it’s fall, people! I want to run when the leaves are crunchy!
I set out hoping to cover 5–6 pain-free miles.
I ended up running 7.25.
I wanted to keep my pace under a 9:00 mile.
And I did.
I hoped my stomach would cooperate and not be completely douchebaggy.
I didn’t have to stop once. Who needs bathrooms in Central Park? Psh. Not Ali. Not today.
And that, my friends, is why today marks my official comeback.
I realize that this all does not seem like a huge deal. Congratulations, Ali, you ran today without bolting for a bathroom. Welcome to the world of normal humans. But today was the first run since the flare-up began that I haven’t had to stop or panic or slow down. That, to me, is a big accomplishment. I am pumped.
The weather this morning was perfect, the Reservoir was packed with runners, my stomach cooperated and my pace was finally comfortably in the zone I like. I do not care that my foot hurts a little bit right now. I do not care that my cheeks look like they’re housing little marshmallows inside of them. I will take Steroid face over urgent bathroom stops any day.
The Crohn’s is going away.
I promise to take good care of my foot.
I finally feel alive again. I am freakin’ thrilled.