I have an auto-immune condition called Ulcerative Colitis that affects my colon that makes it next to impossible to run/train on certain days. I cannot site exact numbers but many people are afflicted by Colitis in varying degrees from mild to severe. There are also different types of Colitis, with Ulcerative being just one variety. I've been living with this condition for eight years now but it never gets easier. There is currently no cure, only pain and symptom management. I never know when it will decide to show up or for how long. Sounds like an uninvited house guest and in a way it is. If you look at my running history, you can sort of tell when UC takes over my life as I usually log very low weekly mileages and struggle to finish races. That is the risk I often take when I decide to sign up for races a year in advance. Sure I could probably find another activity to do but I love to run. At one point in my life a couple of years ago during a bad flare-up I thought about quitting running. That thought lasted about a week before I decided that I was not going to let this thing get the best of me. So for the most part, I train hard when I am healthy and symptom free and dial it back when I am not able to give it my all. It's worked for me so far and I am grateful that I am still able to enjoy one of my favorite activities.
With that said, I'm curious to see how I will fair at this weekend's Carlsbad Half Marathon. It is my first race of 2012 and I am very nervous because I haven't ran over 10 miles in a couple of weeks and my running has been slow and all the miles have been logged at the gym on a treadmill. I've trained as hard as I could considering my symptoms and you can bet that I am going to go out there and give it everything I have. I have a couple of back-to-back weekend races in the next couple of weeks so I need to pace myself and try to enjoy it.