Lessons?

Well, it was one darn tough weekend in Toronto. I’d have to add, disappointing as well. By now you’ve probably read my race report from Saturday. Not the best day on the bike for me. But at least I had Sunday to look forward to. A course that suited me. And a chance to race and ride my cyclo-cross bike like I have been all season. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Race start time and I was in the hotel. In bed. Unable to race. As some of you may now I have ulcerative colitis. This is a funny little disease that can lay dormant for a while and then when you least likely expect it, it pops up again. Reminding you that it has some degree of control over your life. This is what happened to me. I’d been fighting an ulcerative colitis flare all week – feeling the signs (fatigue, cramping, bloating, and some other icky stuff) but I thought I had it under control… Nope it came back with vigour.

Let me just say that this sucks. Especially when there is no way to pinpoint the exact causes of a flare. This crazy disease is completely individual. And since I’m pretty new to this disease, I still haven’t determined what works and doesn’t for me – particularly during race weekends (i.e. times with a bit more stress).

I’m sure in a couple of weeks, I’ll have found some important lessons from this past weekend. But right now, honestly I can’t find any. Yes, it sounds like I’m wallowing in self pity here. Really I’m not. Rather I’m just being honest.

I went into this weekend with a few big goals in mind. Race well to get a whack of UCI points. Hopefully even get a top five on one of the days. Race well in front of a “hometown” crowd. But this didn’t happen. I felt embarrassed by my ride on Saturday and then I couldn’t even race on Sunday. Sigh.

Now I’ve got two weeks at home before taking off for Belgium. The racing starts with a bang on November 8 with the World Cup in Nommay, France followed by the race in Niel on November 11. It is going to be a fast few days. So my goal right now is to get myself into remission again (and stay there) and to get in the planned training block that my coach has planned out.

I suppose I should be relieved this flare up has happened now and not two weeks from now… But this is digging pretty deep to find a silver lining in all of this….

Do have to say massive congrats to the racers in pink (i.e. the Dynamic Duo) for their races on the weekend. Always impressive to see how much these two have improved over the last few years. Makes me remember that anything is possible if you put your head down and get down to work.

Marc had an awesome race on Sunday. He finished 5th in what sounds like a super fast and hard battle. Wish I could have been there to see it. I got the second best thing – seeing the excitement in his face and eyes as he told me about the race.

Many thanks for the support, cheering, emails, and messages over the last few days. I really feel like I let a lot of people down this weekend. Sorry about this. When I’m racing in Belgium, I’ll have your cheers and messages in my brain reminding me to dig deep and to pedal hard.

It is an amazing day here in Ottawa. Looking forwrard to getting out for a little spin on the ‘cross bike and starting out fresh again. I suppose weekends like I’ve just had really help to keep things in perspective and remind me to appreciate what I’ve had and what I have to look forward to. Racing in Kingston this weekend. (Reminds me, I better get registered…) Have a good one.

3 thoughts on “Lessons?

  1. Thanks Jeff. That means a lot. I’m feeling a bit better about the weekend. Good ride on the ‘cross bike on Monday helped wash away the lingering feelings. Looking forward to Kingstong this weekend.
    I enjoy your race reports. Keep them coming. Maybe we’ll see you in Kingston?

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