My birthday week was quite a blur, from receiving biopsy results that my Crohn’s is in deep remission, to an infusion, to running the Bay to Breakers in a rainstorm. Forty-five is already reminding me that I am alive and WELL!
Starting at the Top
My one year checkup (since my 16th surgery) showed no active disease, no inflammation and biopsy confirmed deep remission. My gastro was grinning ear to ear after the colonoscopy and after giving the great news said, “I never expected this, someone as sick as you were doesn’t really go into remission.”
So that happened.
Going into the procedure, I knew that I have felt good and have been able to accomplish so much over the last year — functionally, any results didn’t really affect my life — but hearing those words and having a biopsy confirm flipped a switch in my brain from working every day to manage my illness, to living each day supporting my wellness. It seems pedantic, but when you’ve spent the last seven years where your only full-time job was trying to stay alive, the space between them feels like a canyon.
I spent my birthday celebrating that wellness, a long gong fu session at Hidden Peak Tea House, ate vibrant and delicious food, ran a 10K, watched baseball (Chris Sale’s 17Ks!) and played some pinball with my honey and our daughters.
Breaking Pretty Good
My younger sister, a marathon runner, drove down from Southern Oregon to join me on World IBD Day for the Bay to Breakers 12K run across San Francisco. Race day started out cold and wet as rain and thunder filled the early morning (along with some flooding over 101). Luckily, by the time the gun went off the rain had stopped, and shortly into the 7.4 mile run I dried off and enjoyed the party. My B2B performance was not my best run but it was the furthest, and despite a very slow 10+ minute mile time, I finished in the top 40th percentile. For comparison, my sister finished 2nd in her division, 7th for her gender and 65th overall!
Bay to Breakers was only my second run-only race and was quite a bit more difficult than my 10K at the Santa Cruz Half Marathon. I would have liked to have a stronger run, but between the early morning (and MCT/Coffee) and the pre-race soaking and shivering for an hour-and-a-half before the gun, the Hayes Hill about tore me apart. The main part of the climb is a half-mile long hill that averages about 10% grade.
Ketones Saved My 🥓
By mile 5, I was feeling pretty terrible and having significant pain in my abdomen around my ostomy, a clear sign that I was getting tired and compensating by doing too much work in my core. Luckily, I had a secret weapon and dug an HVMN ketone out of my back pocket. If you aren’t familiar, HVMN’s ketone ester is basically rocket fuel, giving you about 3-5 times the performance over ketone salts with a takeoff that is like waht a VTOL plane compared to the runway needed to get a 747 off the ground.
I have spent three years experimenting with exogenous ketones to get the upperhand on my runaway inflammation, compensating for autoimmune fatigue, and training to ride a single speed bike through my limitations — since it’s release HVMN’s ester is the only ketone in my bag on race day (try it out here).
By the last mile I was pretty spent but ran across the line already plotting my return and feeling the high from running across the city with the roads blocked off and revelers at every point in the journey. If week one of my fifty-two week turn around the sun is any indicator, forty-five is going to be a year to remember!