Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Each New Day Brings New Beginnings"

   My title is one of my favorite quotes. Back home, I used to wake up to those words staring me in the face. Why is it my title? Well this week has been hell. The colitis has been in full force with a flare up that is continuing to hang around and my mouth ulcers have all but stopped me from eating. For me it is very hard to deal with. I like to be active and continually pushing myself whether it is at work or training. However, the flare up tends to leave you weak and tied and in no real shape to do anything productive.
  Unfortunately, I had to cancel running the Pumpkin Summit 8k this morning due to my current issues instead opting to hit the trails for a beautiful fall hike. I was unable to train all week and after struggling in my last couple of races, I would let this one pass and focus on getting healthy again.

  Tomorrow is a day filled with Doctors appointments. Two weeks ago, I started to see a Naturopath. It has been interesting to say the least and has definitely put a different spin on Ulcerative Colitis and ways of dealing with it. The Doctor is confident in saying I will never have another mouth ulcer again and will never have another flare up. His goal is to have me off the drugs ASAP. It has made for some extreme changes in my diet. No dairy, no coffee, no BEER or wine, soft drink, juice, just water- two and half liters a day I might add. I’m finding it difficult but in the same breath I’m sticking to it and slowly but surely getting used to it. I want this to work and work fast!

  I’m also off to see a podiatrist about a foot issue I have had for a number of years that has progressively got worse. It is really affecting my running and everyday movement for that matter. My osteopath thinks I have a fracture around the left metacarpal area. It is very painful and I haven’t been able to take a proper stride in a long time. So hopefully this can be sorted tomorrow and it will be one less problem to worry about.

  On a brighter note this week, I will be resuming my swimming training and starting hot yoga. I have never tried yoga of any kind before so this will be a new beginning and a new challenge. I have heard it’s not that easy! I also got to catch up with Steve from, during the week to sort out the start of my training program for my running. Therefore, I will look to get back into the running side of things early next week and continue to build on that during the off-season.

 As for racing, I have one more this year the Egg Nog Jog, which I am looking forward to. Not sure how I’m going to approach it, but chances are I won’t have the fitness required to give it a hard effort so I’ll look at it as a fun run in weather better suited for sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate!


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Return to racing

 Well the races have been run and won and I'm happy to report I've come out the other side with a good understanding of what needs to be done now. My fitness is about where I thought it was. The base is still there holding strong, but the high-end fitness and endurance has dissipated considerably. That is to be expected!

 Saturday’s race was a great experience and a lot of fun. The weather however was a different story, freezing, wet and windy. Awesome! The fire of the gun quickly had us forgetting about the weather and more about the run ahead. I could not help but smile at the beginning of the run and found myself holding back laughter as I ran around the muddy course. I felt like a kid again! The two-lap course was great with a variety of surfaces and some sharp little hills to keep you honest. My brother in-law was also running and at the 500m mark was leading the race. It was great fun having him there and running part of the race with him. As the field spread out, I found myself in third position with first and second not far away. However, at the end of the first lap, they had put a good gap on me and I knew there was no way I was keeping pace with them. For once, it didn’t really bother me that I couldn’t keep up but instead I was happy just to be out running. Part way through the second lap the lead female caught me so I paced off her until the final hill where she had the better of me and sprinted away to take third place. (I got chicked)! Not a problem she was a great little runner. So the result was an average time, fourth place overall and a win in my age group. 

  Most important thing is that I had a great time.

Sunday’s race the Turkey Trot was held inside Bronte Creek Provincial Park. It was also a lot of fun but I really found myself struggling, as I was not feeling great this morning. I was considering not running but I did not want this to get the better of me so I was determined to get through the race. It was very windy again with a majority of the race running straight into it. I tried to pace myself today and try to hold some sort of form. As the end drew closer, I was just happy to get to the finish line. Funny to look back and think that on most of my training runs 5k was just a warm up! Anyway, I finished the race and from the data on my Garmin watch, I ran exactly the same time as the day before. At least I’m consistent!  At the end of the day, I finished in seventh overall and first in my age group. Both races were small fields but as the saying goes, you can only race the people that turn up.

  So all- in- all I had a great weekend and can take a lot away from the two races.


Thursday, 13 October 2011


Please support me in this great cause as I make an ugly head look even worse!!!Please Donate

Falling Leaves 5k and Turkey Trot 5k

    This weekend will see the start of the cross country/running season for me. It also marks the return of all out racing for me since my hospital visits. Unfortunately i'm having a bit of a set back with a flare up at the moment which tends to leave the body stiff and sore and a constant nauseated feeling. But that's where the complaining stops. I don't like excuses, yes things happen but get on with it and do the best you can!!

 So i'm excited to get out there and give it my all regardless of the result. Obviously my fitness isn't there but i'm in it to do exactly that!! Test my fitness. From the results this weekend Steve will base the beginning of my training schedule on these results.

  It's funny to read over the words "excited" about running in some cross country races. Take me back to high school and i was finding shorts cuts so as I could finish the race early. I at know point cheated, I simply waited for the guys that were in front of me to pass then I would cross the finish line. But now i'm not only in the races and excited about them, i am paying money to go in them. Time is a wonderful thing!!

 Saturday is the Falling Leaves 5k. A pure cross country race ran at the University of Guelph, Ontario. The Sunday race is run within a provincial park in Burlington, Ontario on a variety of surfaces. Both will be challenging in there own way, look forward to giving a race recap.


Recharge with milk interview

An interview after finishing the Welland Triathlon, blink and you will miss me.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Reason behind the madness!!

 I decided to start this blog to make others aware of the condition I have and share with many others. It was only a couple of months ago that I had never heard the words "Ulcerative Colitis" let alone knew what it actually is!! Well now I know a lot more. I won't go into great detail but rather offer you a link to help you better I find a lot of people who suffer from it are uncomfortable to talk about the illness. Yes it's not pretty, but it's what i suffer from and now it's time to deal with it. To say the least it turned my life upside down in a hurry. I was perfectly fit and healthy and in the best shape of my life training for my first Ironman (Ironman Louisville) when it all went wrong.

   The pains and symptoms finally got the better of me and I found myself in hospital trying to figure out what the problem was.  After a day of tests the answers were clear and the doctor gave me the diagnosis. I was given a steroid to take that would put the colitis into remission and then I would be put on medication to control the illness. I had been given the bad news that Ironman Louisville should be forgotten about this year as the steroid I was taking was very harsh with extreme side effects. My doctor had told me to cut back on my training and be patient whilst things recover. I listened to both the Doctor and my body and only trained if I felt good.

  But again things took a turn one day after a training run. After my run I was feeling a little off and was feeling cold and feverish. I came home and put on a jumper and track pants even though it was still 30c at 9:00pm. Well the next day I found myself in hospital fighting for my life with an extremely low blood pressure. The doctors had said to me if it wasn't for my fitness and age I would know longer be here. They also said I was a medical mystery as they could not work out the source of the problem. In the end they feel it's the steroid that caused the problem. Our body produces it's own steroid when we exert ourselves. The steroid I was taking inhibits your body from producing it's own natural steroid. So when i went for a run it put my body under extreme stress and my bodies response was to shut down. It was an eye opening experience for all of us and I feel blessed and very happy to still be here.

So what happens now???

  I'm on medication for my illness and i'm back training and setting new goals. I've entered into a number of X Country running races this fall to recharge the competitive juices and I am entered into Ironman Canada August 29th, 2012 in Penticton, BC. My goal is to win my age group or place high enough to qualify for the Hawaiian Ironman World Champs 2012. This year i will be taking a different approach to my training working with Steve from to improve my running and Marathon times significantly and also the guidance of a swim coach. I feel these two disciplines need the most fine tuning if i'm to achieve my goals.