I was thisclose to making it to 101 days with flying colors, but alas….running and gut flaring.

And I was also thisclose to proving so much to myself….and to you.

I failed.

There are just 10 days left until I’ve reached 101 days of gut healing. My last update was happy, happy, joy, joy.

Let’s back up.

Too. Much.

After my surgery, I decided to quickly put myself on a 5-week half marathon program. It’s not right, but it’s doable. That’s what I focused on. 

5-week half marathon training program via The Craziest Way to Train for a Half Marathon

This week was “week 3” for me. Clearly, I’m not very good at following directions, but I got it in my head that I needed to get a 12-miler in so that mentally I would be prepared again for 13.1.

I ran the 12 miles on Saturday morning at 6:30 am. On miles 8-9, I felt euphoric. I was running about a 7:40 minute/mile. I was in my zone, and felt high on life. There was a point when I thought I would cry I was so excited.

This lasted until around mile 10 when I became so hungry in an instant, and I had no idea what had hit me. This never happens. And then, slowly but surely, for the last 2 miles, I broke down like crazy….my body started to hurt, I continued to stay hungry and I was miserable in general.

I kept on going because like I said, I’m clearly not good at following directions and in my head, this was my “peak” run before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I mean, if I couldn’t do it then, perhaps I wouldn’t be able to do it on October 20. Sigh. My mind is stubborn, stubborn, stubborn….

I ended my run at 12 miles with an average pace of 8:57 min./mile.

Running and Gut Flaring

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Good, okay, average….definitely not great, but by that point, I could not have cared less.

I stayed miserable for the rest of the day, even though I took extremely good care of myself: ice, ice and more ice, Epsom salt bath, foam rolling, stretching, eating and napping.

I was fairly confident that by the time I woke up on Sunday morning, I’d be good to go.


The Flare Starts

Yesterday, for the first time in over 90 days, my gut flared.

I was in bloated pain all day. I felt famished, no matter what I ate (always a classic symptom for me – like my body is not absorbing anything).

On top of it all was that I felt sad, even though I had so much to feel thankful for and blessed by. Before falling asleep for an early afternoon nap, I thought I was going to throw up. My stomach made noises all day. I wore jeans to an afternoon seminar at church but wanted to explode with pressure and pain.

At 8 am yesterday morning all I could think was,

I didn’t eat anything different. What gives?

But by 3 pm (as I was near limping because it feels like I cracked a bone on top of my left foot), I had my ah-ha moment…..the run!

Intense workouts are in fact a stressor on the body.

The last time I ran 12 miles was in 2010.

And then, all I could think was,

What gives?

Mad and Frustrated

I’m mad and I’m frustrated….mostly with myself, but with all of this.

I want to eat whatever, run wherever, and workout however.

I want to just be.

But I’m pushing and pushing trying to live normally when the truth is that my “normal” is not likely to ever be normal.

You can’t understand if you don’t live and breathe this daily, and it’s for this very reason that I find it so difficult to express these thoughts and feelings to friends and family – there ain’t nothin’ motivational about it, but yet I still crave an outlet for someone to listen.

It’s always my promise to you…..

Running and Gut Flaring If you've ever felt alone in your miserable gut, know you absolutely aren't via www.agutsygirl.com

In failure, there is always a lesson to be learned.

This running failure taught me that my long-distance running days must come to an end. At least until I am fully healed from whatever this all is.

Days like yesterday (and likely the next couple of days while I “reset”) should never be wasted, but that’s kind of how I feel about them.


I don’t have time for a 12-mile run to take me out of life and to set me back from what I have been so focused on….getting this gut healed.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Running with Colitis
  2. Why I Don’t Believe in Workouts and Gut Healing
  3. Top 7 Mistakes on My Gut Healing Journey


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  1. Gosh, yes. I may not have had this problem to the same extent (I have IBS, but have not been diagnosed with colitis…I’ve just pretty much mystified my gastro doctors), but I have felt the debilitating pain, the discouragement, and just feeling ALONE. And desperately wanting a normal gut, a normal life! Thank you for your honesty. THAT is motivation to me. Knowing I’m not alone!

    Praying for comfort for you, both physically and mentally. And so mindful that these bodies of ours are only our temporary homes!

  2. intense exercise ruined me when I has my parasite. yet i kept doing it, thinking it was food, like you. I am so sorry. But like katie said, let it out, we are here to support. You are wise and know what to do to do heal, and if anything, God is using your story to encourage others.

    1. Funny you mention that because I often ask God, “why?!” I think he is using me. If that’s the “why,” then I can’t help but be a little grateful. —> a “little” 🙂

  3. I can so relate to this. Not the specifics of the pain you’re in, but the place you’re in: realizing that pushing your limits isn’t helping you in this particular case.

    I’ve recently had to limit my running to 10 miles or less, having developed a giant, painful bunion on one of my feet that starts to ache furiously on longer runs. I’ve gradually and reluctantly come to accept that I am an ex-marathoner, and that I’m becoming the kind of fair-weather hobbyjogger I used to make fun of.

    And you know what? It feels good. Running is, after all, something I do for fitness and pleasure, not to pay the bills or escape predators. It’s silly to push oneself to the point of self-destruction in a completely optional recreational activity.

    Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is good and laudable in many areas of life, but in this one, it’s just pointless and miserable. Don’t do it. That’s my key takeaway these days.

    1. You are always brilliant and flawless in your words, Clover! It’s funny because the days I go out running “just for fun” and with people for 10+ minute miles – those are my favorite runs. And trust me…change is coming!

  4. Oh Gutsy! Thank you for this post. It really spoke to me. Before my gut ‘crashed’ I liked to take 40 and 50 mile bike rides around the hills of western MA where I live. When I realized this was stressing my body into a worse and worse health situation I was devastated… I miss riding so much! I’m not strong enough to train yet, but I do get out for short rides occasionally, and like you said, the low-pressure days are the most fun! I was especially moved by what you wrote about feeling sad. That is always how I know my guts are unhappy; I no longer feel joyful about life. I feel for you and I am SO GRATEFUL that you and others are online sharing your stories and providing us all with a place to support each other! Keep up the good work, especially the part where you look back on your experiences and learn from them!

    All the best,

    1. Hi Rachel! Thanks for sharing….I know the frustration with it all, and with not being able to do what you want, when you want to do it. I’m confident that heeding what my body is saying will help get me back to a place where more normalcy remains:) I will NEVER stop sharing my truths….you can count on that! xo

    1. I have almost cured it, and an all plant diet is not a theory I believe in for healing the gut. Those days are when I was at my worst.

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