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Checking In

Since my rather down-in-the-dumps post, I thought it would be best to check in and let you all know how I’m doing. First off, I have to say that I think writing that post was the best thing I could do for my mental state. I really just got my sad feelings out of my system. When I reviewed what I had written, I felt a cathartic release. Yes, this may sound a bit corny but it’s true. It was as if the bad feelings and woe is me attitude was gone from my soul.

The thing that helped the most though was reading all of your wonderfully supportive comments. I must admit I was overwhelmed by your support and kind words. It really is amazing when people I’ve never met take the time to post a comment with some words of encouragement or even to let me know that they are feeling the same.

What an amazing community this website has become. Kudos to all of you for building this. I’m really so happy I found this website.

So, what else is going on? Well, I’m into my second 30 day stint with the Budesonide. This is a glucosteroid with very minimal side effects. The worst I’ve experienced so far has been muscle cramps. But the bigger question – is the new medicine helping? Yes, it is. I feel better. I have more energy. I’m going to the bathroom less. I even have some bathroom visits that are almost close to “normal”. I do still have days were I seem to take a step backwards but this is normal. I find the mornings are the worst. My guts are unpredictable for the first few hours of the day but then typically settle down. It is such a relief to be able to sleep through the night again as well!

I’ve cut gluten out of my diet. I didn’t consume a lot of gluten but when I did eat something such as a tortilla or some whole wheat pasta, I would notice that the next day would be particularly rough. So far this change has helped a lot. To replace this important carbohydrate source that I need to keep my body pedaling forward, I’ve started eating more quinoa and eating rice cakes. In fact I’ve started eating quinoa for breakfast – heat up 3/4 cups of cooked quinoa with 1/4 of milk, some sliced peaches (I use the canned in water ones), and one overly ripe banana – let this simmer on the stove until it takes on a creamy consistency. This is an excellent breakfast. I know for those of you on SCD this meal is not possible, but if you’re not on SCD and don’t eat gluten,  I recommend it.

My training is going well. My first race of the cyclo-cross season is on September 11 in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. For the first few weeks of September and October I’ll be traveling all over the United States racing my cyclo-cross bike. I’ll be hitting up Kirkland NY, Williston VT, Las Vegas, Massena and Rochester NY, Gloucester Mass, and Providence RI. Then it is off to Europe for 12 days – I’m flying into Frankfurt, Germany where I will connect with my dad, we’ll pick up our rental RV and drive to the first World Cup Race in Aigle, Switzerland after this race we’ll drive to Plzen, Czech Republic for the second race, and then back to Frankfurt for the trip home. Then after a weekend of racing in Toronto ON, I’m back on a plane on Nov. 8 and will be based in Blauberg, Belgium until Feb. 8! (Full race calendar with dates.)

Phew! Tired yet? It is definitely a whirlwind couple of months, but this is what I live for. This racing and travel keeps me going through the summer. There are days when I don’t want to get on the bike – I feel tired and run-down but then I think of my racing calendar and the sacrifices my husband makes so I can race full-time, and before you know it, I’m out the door and on my bike.

I really hope my ulcerative colitis has settled by the start of the race season. Last year I managed to stay in a remission for the entire season. But something tells me this won’t be the case this year. Luckily I’ve had a lot of opportunities to figure out what works and doesn’t for nutrition on and off the bike – guess this is the one blessing of a flare that started on May 19… I’m confident that even with this flare, I’ll be able to race my bike to my optimum level. My training is on track – my coach is happy with how I’m doing, so I’m feeling confident. Besides, I always tell myself – “Everyone has something. Ulcerative Colitis is just my something”.

Well, if you live in any of the towns/cities that I’m going to be racing in – please do drop me an email or leave a comment on this site or on my Ottawa Cross site. It would be great to meet – to talk – and for you just to come out and experience how fantastic cyclo-cross is. Who knows, maybe you’ll start racing as well!

Thanks for reading and keep up with the amazing community building we have here at!

2 thoughts on “Checking In”

  1. great to hear that things are going well for you, there are days for me when I feel that I cant get out of the bed [feeling of fatigue] but like you I know that when I get to train [Aikido] I feel I can forget all my issues for a glorious few hours, I really like your piece where you write about a cathartic feelign when you wrote about your UC. I have cut out wheat and dairy and sugars as well and the change has been doing me very good, lots of veg and fish have replaced all the processed muck I used to throw into me and lots and lots of water as well.
    Good luck in your upcoming races!!!

    Rep of Ireland

  2. It is interesting isn’t it how exercise really seems to put the ulcerative colitis issues to the backburner for a while. I’ve even found this with running which I initially thought would be problematic, since often runners have digestive issues – but even on my runs my symptoms disappear. I suppose this is all speaks to leading an active and healthy life. Strangely enough I had an extremely “clean” diet before being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – no sugar, no processed food, everything made from scratch. I am seeing some changes without the gluten and wheat. I’ve also reduced my dairy (miss cottage cheese…) and as for sugar well, it really isn’t an issue for me. How do you handle fruit? It seems all I can tolerate are ripe bananas, canned peaches, and pureed berries.


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