Checking In and Checking Up

Well, right now I really don’t have much to say when it comes to cycling, racing, training, planning for racing, etc. Currently my life revolves around trying to get better so I can back to cycling, racing, training, planning for racing, and having fun on two wheels.

I don’t want this to turn into an ulcerative colitis blog. This disease is something I have but it doesn’t define me. Yes, I’m very open about ulcerative colitis and what it is like to have this disease and I’m always willing to answer any questions others have about ulcerative colitis. (Yes, this is a hint that if you’re reading this and have ulcerative colitis or know someone who does and you have questions or simply want to rant, scream, shout or cry – I’m here and I’ll listen. Just email me.)

This is still a website devoted to cycling and all the bits of life in between. I haven’t ridden my bike(s) in one week now. I miss them. I did hop on my BMX bike the other day for a little cruise on my street – after a minute of standing up and working on carving – my legs were blown. This is what eight days without carbohydrates will do to you.

So if you’re a cyclist, runner or other person who thinks that a good way to cut down on weight and to lean out for the big races is to reduce your carb intake – take it from me – don’t do it. I’m eating only eggs, meat, pureed carrots and pureed squash – this gets pretty boring but worse than that it leaves me with no energy. Walking up a flight of stairs feels like a V02max workout. Seriously – you need carbs. Eat them. I have never been a huge pasta or rice eater but now that I haven’t had my trusty bowl of oats, fruit, super smoothies, brown rice, and Udi’s gluten-free bread – I really really miss them. Sure I miss peanut butter, chocolate and almond milk yogurt – but not as much as I miss those carbs.

Good news is I’m meeting with my doctor tomorrow and I’m looking forward to what he has to say about my treatment plan. And in two weeks I’m meeting with a nutritionist who has experience in both treating people with ulcerative colitis and athletes. So some good things happening.

Other than cooking copious amounts of meat and pureeing vegetables, I’m filling my time with some reading (currently reading Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby), podcast listening (Velocast, NPR All Songs, CBC The Next Chapter, R3-30 Countdown, NPR Fresh Air – all on heavy rotation) and reading about what all of you are doing out there in bike riding two-wheeling land are doing.

Some days it is very hard to keep my spirits up. It is hard to not feel like everything has been taken away. It is easy to forget to see the good things. I was reminded of how lucky I am right now after chatting with a young guy named Brandon. This kid is a rock. Just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 17 and a bike racer – he is now in hospital trying to get through his first ulcerative colitis flare. If there is anyone who needs and deserves your positive healing vibes it is this young guy. Me – I’m 40 years old and have been through this enough to know that the good days will come back. But a young 17 year old who has just graduated from high school and had planned on racing and riding his bike all summer – well, it is a lot harder to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So do Brandon a big favour and think of him – send him a smile or do something nice for another young bike racer – everything comes around eventually.