More Rebuilding

I’m still on a bit of a Belgian high. I have to say my trip to Belgium was just what I needed. It was super special to spend time with Marc and get to see him with his friends. It really does help to know that Marc has such a strong network of friends in Belgium. We went to two races and it seemed to me that Marc knew everyone.

The trip went by very quickly but I chalk this up to having so many great experiences. Lots of great rides, good times with close friends, excellent meals, a top-notch birthday celebration for Marc (just missed the chocolate mousse cake), one day of race cheering, and one day of racing for me.

Yes, I raced. Marc and Patty K. are to blame for this! Both were planning to race in Zingem (Marc’s “home” town) and suggested I race as well. It took about thirty seconds of convincing and I was in. Wow, am I ever happy I raced. In fact, I’m still thinking about that race… It really has rekindled my zest for racing and training.

The course in Zingem was a typical Belgian course with two primary sections: one in a lumpy bumpy field that was featured very slippery corners and the second was a tight single track section that had an ideally placed tree that I had a hard time missing – these two sections were connected with  some short straight sections and more greasy corners. We had a good sized women’s field and it was competitive from the gun. The race was short – 35 minutes or so. So much fun and an amazing vibe at this LRC series race. Thanks Marc and Patty for twisting my rubber arm.

To continue with my rebuilding, I met with Beth Mansfield of Peak Performance today for some much need nutrition advice. We had an excellent session and I’m super motivated to get things on track and make the adjustments I need to to rebuild my lost muscle mass.

I had a couple of key doctor’s appointments last week… One with the surgeon who did my first surgery and the other with my gastro doctor. As bad luck would have it, the ulcerative colitis is back… This new flare started on my second day in Belgium… (enter sigh here) But I didn’t let it ruin my trip and was able to manage just fine with it. You might be wondering how I can have a flare when I’ve had my colon removed. Well, I still have a small part of my colon and my rectum. My ulcerative colitis was initially only located in my rectum and eventually traversed my entire colon. Now without a colon, the disease has returned to my rectum. (Damn it!) But the good news is I’m on some medication that is working its magic. Please, don’t worry, this is completely under control and I’m doing just fine.

In a couple of days I’m hoping to know when my second surgery will be. I’m really hoping for February since this will give me the spring and summer to get ready for cyclocross season. But, this date is out of my hands. Fingers crossed.

I’m going to keep moving full steam ahead right up to my second surgery. Back to regular training and getting focused on my nutrition. I want to be as strong and healthy as I can leading up to the second surgery so that I can recover quickly and get back to the good life.

Often we overlook life changing moments or experiences. I’ve been fortunate to have had a few such moments: competing at the Taekwon-Do World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, racing my road and cyclocross bikes in Belgium and Europe, racing at the World Cyclocross Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, seeing Marc succeed in all aspects of his life while having an ill spouse, and most recently having my colon removed.

Definitely living the good and fortunate life.