After Diagnosis Erica is Running to Feel Whole Again

Rebecca got back to running after defeating ulcerative colitis

Running was an unquestionable part of Rebecca Galvan’s life. It was there for her whenever she needed. Then suddenly, thanks to ulcerative colitis, running wasn’t there for her. Read how she got back to running in her edition of My Running Story. Rebecca’s happy to once again be the runner she once was and is training for the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon! Follow her journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Rebecca Galvan at the 2018 Austin Half Marathon finish line, after she beat ulcerative colitis.

Rebecca after she crossed the 2018 Austin Half Marathon finish line!

Running is a part of me

Have you ever done something for so long that it felt like it became a part of you, part of your identity? Running was that for me.

Before middle school, I was convinced that I wasn’t an athletic person. Sixth grade PE changed that thought. I found that I was actually a very competitive person and not bad at running. I was constantly runner up to one girl during morning runs. One day I won and running instantaneously became MY thing.

When things got hard, running was always there for me. It was so readily available to aid in times of fear, anger, sadness, and uncertainty. I never thought twice about lacing up my running shoes and hitting whatever type of trail was outside my door.

I thought running was a thing of my past

During my sophomore year of college, things started to change. My health deteriorated, got better, and then went downhill. That went back and forth for what seemed like ages. Running took a back seat in my life and at some points was non-existent. There were several times that I thought it would just be a thing of my past and then, not all of a sudden, I got to kick ulcerative colitis out of my life by removing my colon.

As soon as I got the okay from my surgeon, I jumped back into running. It was difficult at first, but then, just like riding a bike, it came back to me. Just a couple of days short of 10 weeks post-op, I took part in my first race, a local relay marathon. It was rough, but I was so incredibly happy to be back out there.

Goodbye ulcerative colitis

Since then I’ve taken part in 5Ks, a couple of half marathons, including the 2018 Austin Half Marathon, and a 25K. I celebrated my 30th birthday by running 30 miles. I want to continue challenging myself by doing longer distances and faster paces. This is why I have committed to running a marathon at the end of 2019 and again in 2020 in my favorite city, Austin, Texas.

I cannot even get close to being able to explain how wonderful it is to run again. I lost so many parts of myself during my battle with ulcerative colitis, so many that it didn’t even feel like I was really living. Now that I have my health back, I’m that runner that everyone, including myself, used to know, perhaps even stronger.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, and Angela Clark.