In this week’s episode, I caught up again with Carrie Combs (@carriethecrohnie) to follow up on her recent race at the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and to go deeper into some of the emotional aspects of Crohn’s Disease, along with the coping mechanisms and habits that made dealing with a Crohn’s diagnosis even more challenging. At the end of this episode we talk about the half marathon she completed in April with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge and run down a quick gear and supplement checklist for distance running!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 8 years ago, Carrie has had three surgeries, countless medication changes, and–as she puts it–a lot of really bad days. We talk about her transformation since diagnosis that took her from using food as a reward (only to find out the things she once enjoyed were causing her harm after her diagnosis), bottling up her emotions, and not asking for help, because she believed she was burdening people, to finally learning how to fill up her own personal cup of happiness and being stronger and more resilient to deal with the challenges that life with Inflammatory Bowel Disease brings.
For newly diagnosed patients or family members working to understand IBD, we talk about what it’s like to feel lost in the beginning, not wanting to feel like a burden to the people we love and care about, and how finding a passion or setting goals can help in the journey.
Carrie’s Distance Running Gear & Supplement Recommendations:
- A good pair of running shoes: Highly suggest going to a local running store and getting fitted. This isn’t the place to cheap out–your feet, ankles, shins, hips, and back will thank you later.
- Hydration belt: Some people will use the water bottles with a handle. I personally don’t like feeling unbalanced or having anything in my hands, so I prefer a belt. Mine has a pocket for my phone so that I don’t have to have anything else on me.
- Body glide: Any part of your body that touches repetitively over a few hour period will get chaffed if you don’t use this. It’s similar to Vaseline but won’t stain your clothes.
- Compression socks: I have erythema nodosum, which is a skin condition that is related to having Crohn’s. Inflammation and joint pain are some of the symptoms. so I’ve found that a good pair of compression socks helps.
- Electrolytes: Nuun and Salt Stick are my go-to brands. Both are relatively inexpensive. I use one Nuun sport tablet every afternoon as part of my everyday hydration.
- Fuel for long distances: Honey stringer chews or gels. These personally are the only ones I’ve tried that don’t upset my stomach.
- Sunglasses: I personally use Goodr. They are available at most running stores and online. They are polarized, non-slip when you get sweaty, and only cost $25-$35
- Epsom Salt: Best feeling after a long run is soaking in Epsom salts. Lots of people also swear by ice baths for recovery, but I’m not a fan of the cold, so I’ve just never felt the need to try that, lol!