Monday, February 27, 2012

Back on the bike!

This week I'm back on the bike, after three weeks of resting my ankle.

It's still a little bit cranky, but managable. What I am really feeling is the lack of real exercise for the majority of the month! I did a bit of trainer riding on Sunday and was amazed at how jacked up my heart rate was, how relatively difficult it was to keep my cadence above 110 and steady, and how low my watts were.

This is scary since the collegiate season opener is this coming weekend!!! I'm assuming that I'm going to get completely dropped off of the circuit race, and probably get lapped and pulled on the criterium course. But, I know that going into it and plan to use the race weekend as training and a good warm up for future races.

Regardless of how I do, or if I even finish, I'm psyched for the start of the season! And, I'm glad to go out there with my team and do my best.

More trainer riding tomorrow evening and on Thursday with the team, and then we travel to New Brunswick on Friday. Time trial and circuit races on Saturday, Crit on Sunday.

Here we go!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Low iron and vitamin D

Oh rats, I'm nutritionally wacked out again!

And, it's despite my near-excessive dairy consumption, supplementing with chewable Calcium and D softchews (chocolate flavored!), taking a multivitamin with extra iron, and eating a lot of iron heavy greens blended into sauces and shakes.

I just got labs back that say that my vitamin D2 and D3 levels are outragiously low. As is my Iron.

This explains why I've been so draggy and mentally foggy lately. While my B12 levels were fine because I inject it weekly, without Iron and B vitamins together you still become anemic. So, I was missing the other half of the red blood cell generating equation.

Vitamin D is so much more than just a nutrient necessary for healthy bones. It actually functions as a steroid hormone, and is involved in the repair of tissue and differentiation of cells, neuromuscular functioning, and inflammation.

Both of these are extremely important nutrients for anyone, especially if you are involved in strenuous physical activities.

Sadly, it seems that despite my best efforts I am not absorbing them well enough. Tomorrow I am going to call and see if I can be put in for an iron infusion appointment soon, which I have had to resort to in the past.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First video blog! On swimming with an ileostomy

Check it out! My first attempt at making a vlog entry!

Here I talk about why I'm going swimming, the types of concerns that come with considering a new activity (here, swimming in a large university pool), and what I'm wearing to keep my ostomy secure and make myself feel comfortable.

Check it out!

Off the bike for a week, leads to swimming?

Here in Pittsburgh we have snow!

And, I've been off the bike since I injured my ankle last weekend. The official verdict was that it was a "classic but fairly mild" sprain, and a posterior tibial tendon strain. See how that tendon hooks under to support your ankle? And, if it's injured could also seriously mess up the back half of your pedal stroke?

The doc who checked out my ankle was impressed by my calf muscles, declaring them to be "like a lesson in muscular anatomy!", which I found funny because it says more about the sedentary lifestyle of American society than my athletic abilities. There are probably a couple of hundred cyclists in the Pittsburgh area alone who have better legs than I do.

So, off the bike in a snowstorm. Could be worse. Off the bike in blue skies would be torture. However, you know it's bad when you start to get jelous of the rest of the team's trainer riding. Oh well.

This injury is pushing me to look for alternatives to cycling, that don't heavily involve my ankle. The answer appears to be swimming. I haven't been swimming in years. Actually, not since I had ileostomy surgery in 2009. And, to be honest, I'm not really sure how I feel about it.

Yes, it is true. I do spend a significant amount of time wearing spandex, and have no problem with that. But, no, I'm not ok with wearing a speedo now. And, I'm also not ok with not wearing a shirt to cover up my bag.

So, wear a wicking shirt with a speedo? Nah, that looks weird. A wicking shirt and some board shorts in the pool? Awkward for swimming, but at least the top and bottoms are equally awkward. Plus, not having touched a pool in close to 4 years, I'm sure that my swimming will be awkward anyway! Maybe I'll just stick to some kickboard laps. I'm very content with my shrimpy T-rex arms and lack of upper body mass!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Minor setbacks... and the ECCC calendar!

I don't know how, when or what I did to my ankle. But, it hurts... in the bad way.

There is no major point tenderness, so I'm taking that as a good sign that it is just a strain of some kind. And, you know what they say about sprains and strains! RICE!


Since it's not swollen, I'm not sure that compression or elevation would do much good. But, I did ice it today and will be resting it tonight. I tried going out for a ride earlier today and realized after about a mile of pain not going away that it was a bad idea. Walking up the hill on my way back home also didn't feel so great.

Why am I always sabotaged on the nice days?!

In other news, for those that are in the Northeast and into cycling, the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference calendar is becoming more and more populated with race details every day! Check it out! And, drop a line if you'll be at one of these races! I'm hoping to do as many as possible, but probably not New Hampshire.