So we’ve established that I’m no longer training for 70.3.
During the course of my training, I noticed some (seemingly unrelated) funky things.
I had what was diagnosed as iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, but it didn’t follow the typical pattern of the injury. It was pain in my hips, especially the left one. It hurt after being still for a long time — watching a movie, driving to and from work, first thing in the morning. It also hurt a lot when I was running. Looking back, I also notice it was worse during mild ulcerative colitis flare ups.
During my first metric century, I had some pain in the joints in my wrists. It was easy to just ignore, because I had just cycled over 62 miles — of course my wrists hurt from holding the handlebars for so long.
When I raced the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Nutty 15k, and Trek Women’s Triathlon, I had a very difficult time regulating my body’s core temperature in the heat. I took necessary precautions like drinking more fluids, slowing down a little, and hydrating during the week leading up to the race. But come race day, no amount of ice in the sports bra and water dumped over the head could cool me down.
It wasn’t until after the Trek Women’s Triathlon that I started realizing that other triathletes on the course didn’t seem to be having these issues, or at least not to the same degree. At a race where I was arguably one of the better-trained athletes on the course, this didn’t seem right. I resolved to write them all down and ask my doctor about them. Wouldn’t you know it, every single one is caused by my ulcerative colitis.
On Friday, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my back and joints, caused by my UC. The arthritis in my joints, while frustrating, will be useful, too. It is connected to my flare ups, and my doctor thinks it will usually precede them. So when I notice pain in my joints, I can increase my daily medication by just a little bit and probably avoid the flare up altogether. (Take that, UC.) The arthritis in my back, however, isn’t linked to flare ups and will come and go. (Hey, back arthritis? I’d prefer you go more than you come, okay?)
Armed with all of that information, I took a long time to think and discuss my options with the people closest to me.
Have you ever been surprised to find a connection between seemingly unrelated things? Who do you turn to when you need to make a difficult decision?