Friday, August 31, 2012

Let the healing begin

After a lengthy meeting with my Naturopath on Thursday, I came home with a very specific and aggressive plan to get my health back on track. It turns out that I have a significant allergy to dairy that has caused a slew of other issues including anemia, the tanking of my immune system and the relapse of Esptein Barr. The latest bloodwork showed problems with both my thyroid and adrenal glands which the doctor explained stems from the non-absorpion of nutrients from all the food I eat. I also tested positive for a mutated Celiac gene that makes my susceptibility to the disease much higher throughout my life. Now that we've established the root of all the problems, fixing it should be easy, right?!? Think again! With a lot of help and support, it's going to take several weeks to get all the dairy out of my system and restore my stomach lining. For the first week, I am on a structured plan of supplements, shakes and powders with nuts, veggies and meats as the only allowable food. It's definitely not easy, but I've committed to whatever it takes to get me back on my bike. I'll post more updates throughout the upcoming weeks but until the bad is gone and the good slowly gets replenished, it's going to be a rough and difficult road to recovery. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 27, 2012


 The USA Pro Challenge bike race has been in full swing this past week in Colorado. It's the biggest stage race in the US and without a doubt one of the hardest multi-day races in the world. Disappointingly, the race didn't come through Boulder in 2011 and it stirred a lot of controversy. So to make up for it, they planned an absolutely epic route that would draw hundreds of thousands of crowds for 2012!

Flagstaff mountain is one of Boulder's signature climbs and couldn't have been a more perfect way to finish off a crazy mountainous stage. Although I should have never attempted to make my way up that thing in my current health condition, there was no way I was about to miss the single best day in American bicycling history!

We had a lot of friends racing which made the day even more exciting. Our good friend Alex Howes is a local favorite so his best bud Daimo went over the top to make sure he got some hometown recognition. Daimo had a huge banner and t-shirts made up then biked up to his scouted corner the second the roads were open to the public! It was pretty freaking awesome.

As you may have seen from other large bike races on television, costumes and outfits encompassing little no clothing is a general theme. Tom Torrance and Brian Taylor made it in a magazine last year dressed as Tiger and Pooh while chasing down Andy Schleck. This year they added Piglet and Eyore to make a complete ensemble.

This is what Flagstaff mountain looked like as the team cars tried to make their way up before the riders came though...absolutely unbelievable.

Here is Jens Voigt (one of cycling's favorite racers) coming through our 'Alex Howes corner'. We were told that over 250,000 people were out watching the race and there had to be 50,000 people on Flagstaff mountain alone. I'm not going to lie, it was probably a really stupid idea for me to go up there but I have no regrets. It was the one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed. After making my way home, I slept the rest of the day Saturday and never left my pajamas on Sunday. Hopefully I can rally a bit today and find out some news on all the bloodwork from last Tuesday.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting older!

Yesterday was my 28th birthday....wooohoooo! Although I would have loved to spend it doing something really fun, I'm still quite a bit under the weather and Bryce actually came home from work sick too :( We're going to have a do-over when we're both feeling better! However, I do have to say thanks to everyone for all the nice birthday wishes and wonderful cards. Also, I especially need to thank my mom for the new knife set and momma Bingham for bringing a delicious homemade carrot cake over all the way from Vail. I'm one year closer to the big 3-0. Better start prepping for that adulthood phase of my life soon :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Rad!

This past weekend we decided to take a little breather and head up to Winter Park for some fresh mountain air. Bryce joined the boys for a hard trail ride on Saturday then went out for his first 'shredding' session on the lifts Sunday afternoon. 

Since I am nowhere near ready to be out getting rad, I let my good friend Leanne use all of my stuff instead. It was her first time riding lifts as well and she absolutely loved it. Although I was bored out of my mind waiting for those guys, it was fun seeing all their big smiles and laughs after each run. Later that evening, we met up with our other good friends, Cait and Zack, and made a killer homemade dinner and dessert back at the condo. It was such a great way to unwind and enjoy a relaxing evening. Normally we would have driven back later that night to avoid traffic but Bryce decided to take Monday off to ride dirt bikes in Rand with a bunch of friends. So, we extended our 'little breather' another day! It may not be this year, but I'm seriously considering moving up there to live full time for a few years!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another drastic hair change!

It's been a while since I've actually had my hair cut somewhere other than SuperCuts, so Bryce out of blue bought me a gift certificate at the Urban Pearl Salon here in Boulder.

For the first time in many months, I decided to blow dry my hair a few days before my appointment just to see how long it had really gotten since my last $15 trim! After wasting 20min of my life drying and straightening it, I realized how much I dislike having long hair. It takes too long to style and it's just too easy to put back in wet mess when you get out of the shower :)

Soooooo....I went bold and got it all chopped off. With a headband, I can get a small little ponytail in the back to keep it off my neck when I eventually get back to training. Until then, I'll take the 5min to dry it since that is all it requires to wear it down.

I'm definitely not a stranger to getting large amounts of hair cut off at one time, but this is the first time I wasn't able to donate it to the Locks of Love Foundation. Above is my first donation in 2006 and below was my second in 2008. 

I was due for another donation but just didn't want another fohawk and couldn't wait any longer to grow those last couple inches :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Going OUTSIDE the box!

This morning I met with my friend who is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. I'm not one who believes in holistic medicine but after chatting with Alexis for almost 3 hours, I have a whole different respect for these types of doctors. I've seen people who practice the voodoo type of healing and it left a really bad impression on me, however, Naturopathy is completely different and is mainly based on science. After getting more bloodwork done later this week, I should have a lot more answers about why I keep getting so sick each time I start raining and racing. Fingers crossed that we can finally get to the bottom of this and I can have by life back again!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hanging with my Hommie!

Like the past 2 years, our extremely active lifestyle of bicycling, dirt biking and hiking has come to a screaming halt with my recent Epstein Barr Virus relapse. I'm generally someone who cannot sit still for more than 5 minutes but unfortunately I'm the complete opposite these days. Luckily, I have the best partner in the entire world and no matter how I feel, he is by my side all day, every day. I know how precious his weekends are for having fun and I couldn't me more appreciative that he spends that time hanging and relaxing with me. We have been going for short walks to get fresh air, but we've mostly been watching the Olympics and planning our first big vacation in the Dominican Republic for next January! Thank you Bryce for always being there for me. You are truly my absolute favorite person in the entire world :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

What's your favorite summer Powerbar?

Although my all-time favorite Powerbar product is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Harvest Bar, it's probably not the smartest choice to bring along to a workout during a hot summer day! Since I will forever be the biggest peanut butter lover in the entire world, I needed to find an alternative that didn't have chocolate chunks that melt inside the packaging within 10min of my workout. I began bringing Powerbar's new Pure & Simple Roasted Peanut Butter bar with me and it instantly became my new favorite summer bar. It doesn't melt, it's small enough where you can eat the entire bar at once instead of stuffing part it back in your jersey and it tastes really good. If I'm going on a long ride where I will eat multiple bars, I'll also bring the Cranberry Oatmeal flavored one too which is also very tasty. So if you're looking for a good bar for your summer workout or just a healthy snack that you would leave in your car, this is it. You can find them at your local specialty sports shop or even the grocery store. If you're in Boulder, feel free to come on by and I'll give you a few to try out! Happy Training :)

Monday, August 06, 2012

My favorite Asians got married :)

After 5 years, it was about time this beautiful couple tied the knot!!! James and Melanie are some of our best friends and couldn't be more perfect for each other. This past Saturday they had a gorgeous wedding ceremony at an amazing organic farm in Boulder. The weather was perfect, the venue was stunning and we all had such a fun time. I even wore a dress. Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Huang!

Friday, August 03, 2012

And my health saga continues...

I've recently mentioned in my past posts that I haven't been feeling very well. I haven't gone into much detail because I honestly thought I just had a stomach bug or parasite that was causing my extreme nausea, lack of appetite and weight loss. Plus, I've been so sick the past few years, there was no way I was going to catch anything this year. I have been so incredibly smart with my comeback and training and this is supposed to be MY year!

These symptoms came about after the WP Hill Climb and moto race in WY so I've honestly been feeling crappy since June 18th. After three weeks of zero reprieve and an almost 10lb weight loss, I went to see my favorite docs at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. We tested everything under the sun including a full food allergy panel and nothing out of the ordinary showed up. No infection or EBV, just a high white blood cell count which showed I was fighting 'something' and low iron...pretty typical for me. I was getting terrible acid reflux so I began taking a prescription antacid hoping it would calm my stomach and allow me to start eating and drinking so I could end the vicious cycle which was making me sick and lose weight. Unfortunately that didn't help much either and I was progressively feeling crappier and crappier each day. My symptoms moved from horrendous nausea to deliriousness and faintness and I had a huge lump in my throat that almost felt like it was choking me. Ten days later, I went back to the doctors because I honestly couldn't function. I felt exactly how I did when I had Chronic Fatigue in 2010 and 2011 except for the nausea. They decided to do several other viral tests including West Nile and since the Epstein Barr Virus doesn't always show up right away, they checked that again too.

Sure enough, for the 3rd time in three years, I have re-activated the dormant EB Virus that will forever live in my body :( In hindsight, I'm glad we figured out one of causes for how awful I feel, however, we're nowhere close to the end of the war. Why does this stupid virus keep coming back each year when I finally get fit and start racing hard? Do I have another auto-immune disease that is helping trigger the relapse? What about the nausea? I never had stomach issues like I am now with the EBV and CFS before. Tears have been shed and depression is trying to take over but I'm doing everything I can to stay positive. I have a huge support group that has been the best any girl could ask for and lots of extremely bright doctors that are taking all kinds of different approaches. Between lots of auto immune disease testing, finding professionals specializing in chronic EBV and seeing a GI doc to rule out any ulcers or tummy issues, I'm hopeful that we'll get to the bottom of all these problems so I can soon ride and race my bike like I know I can!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Our Asshole HOA Screws Us Again

Just after we got some cool new patio chairs and set up the deck exactly how we wanted it, we get pestered once again by our ridiculous HOA. I 100% understand why it would be illegal to have a fire pit with real wood burning, but our center piece table was nothing of the sort. The flame is controlled by a propane tank and it's actually 10 times safer than our grease covered propane grill (which is allowed). No matter how many times we tried to convey that message to the board, it was worthless. I've recently come to the conclusion that once you hit a certain age, everything you think or do is right and no one person can convince you otherwise. Life is gonna be great in 50 years!

The only positive of this situation was that we sold the firepit to a very nice couple who drove over an hour from Ft. Collins to pick it up! Now it's time for some more patio furniture shopping...who thinks I should send a complete proposal to our Architectural Committee requesting permission to put plastic table on my deck?!?!