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So many plans fell flat in September. The month started off well enough. Think I’ve finally broken in my Asics Zaracas! I did a 10-mile run at the beginning of the month, my first in a while, and my feet were fine during and after. No band-aids, no blisters or odd niggles in the ankles or soles. Adding insoles and keeping the laces loose made a huge difference.

Now that new shoes and I were buds, I planned a few long and longer runs skipping the weekend charity walk crowds in the park and heading over the Brooklyn Bridge and along the southern tip of Manhattan up the west side instead. This was going to be my best month of running yet.

A good and bad thing about running for me is compartmentalizing pain. It’s good in the moment when the pain is really more exhaustion and soreness that goes with the territory of running mile after mile. A second wind kicks in and initial stiffness and lazy bones finally join the party and running feels good. Some of my friends say they don’t like running but they like having ran. I agree the good energy after is nice, but it’s the act of running I love.

A few weeks ago I was running with my boyfriend when I began to feel a very familiar, unpleasant cold pressure in my throat and chest. I ignored it because I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I slowed, drank some water and kept going. Later that night I was trying to eat dinner, but after a few bites I had to stop. Food agitates an inflamed pancreas, making the pain much worse. This was the beginning of my second attack of pancreatitis this year and it sucked. During this time I ate very small amounts of simple food (mostly soups) at a time and stayed away from alcohol, caffeine, fats and sugar. I lost weight I didn’t want to lose and had some cranky moments, but it never got so bad that I had to go to the hospital for feeding tubes and painkillers. Very light, super gentle yoga with zero twists helped keep my energy up.

Years ago, a doctor said precreatitis could be induced by intense exercise. I don’t consider my pace and mileage intense, but I slowed down and started paying closer attention to hydration. I think I slipped last month in forgetting to maintain a slow pace, build mileage slowly and drink enough water.

The symptoms faded last week and were completely gone in time for me to help my sister move on Friday. Winds in her beach town were so strong they knocked the end of a couch out of my grip and the rain fell so hard I had to wring out my pants between hauling trips. It was the best I felt in weeks.

September was a top-heavy month for mileage, but I still beat my goal.

Mileage Update:

Jan – 162.81

Feb – 127.46

March 153.13

April – 167.15

May – 163.07

June – 133.96

July  – 140.83

August – 151.64

September 141.05

Total – 1341.1 miles

October is my favorite month of the year! It begins with another sister’s birthday and ends with our Halloween tradition of building a giant haunted fort in her living room with my silly nieces. In between we’re going hiking in the Catskills. I’m going to try making my own pumpkin spice latte syrup so I can finally taste what all the fuss is about. The syrup Starbucks and coffee shops use here aren’t vegan.

My goal this month is to stay healthy. No mileage goal. I’d love to do a 20-miler by the end of the year. The slowest 20-miler ever, I guess.

Best of luck to everyone running a marathon this season!