Quebec is absolutely beautiful and amazing. We saw such beautiful scenery, and loved exploring the area. We took the gondola to the top of a mountain and did a four mile hike down it. Neither one of us could move the next day, but it was amazing.
One of our biggest goals was to find a moose. Unfortunately, we never found one but we had a great time exploring the area and trying to find one.
While we had an amazing trip, I did not return home an Ironman. It is still a dream and one day I hope to be a multiple Ironman finisher but this year it wasn't my year. Due to the smoke from the wild fires, 70.3 Mont Tremblant in June was canceled. On the morning of the race, I arrived to a smoke filled sky and ash on my bike in transition. I took a breath and could feel my eyes and lungs burn. I knew there was no way I could complete this race in these conditions. I planned on swimming and then turning in my timing chip. I knew I couldn't make the hill climbs on the bike with the way my lungs felt just walking around transition. Soon enough the officials canceled the race due to conditions. For the next day or two I trained indoors until the smoke cleared. I needed to push these two months to make my Ironman dream come true.
I continued to train in Mont Tremblant but I didn't feel right. I was exhausted and not just tired. I wanted to sleep all day even after getting eight hours of sleep at night and every workout felt like the first workout I had ever done. The most frustrating thing was not seeing improvement. I have struggled with fatigue and endurance for over a year. I attributed it to getting back on a regular training schedule. A few weeks before Ironman I knew something was seriously wrong, and knew I couldn't race. My endurance was decreasing and I could barely do an hour workout. I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do the race, and have dropped all of my races the rest of the year to take care of my health. There were times I used to work out twice a day for over 2 hours each time. I knew I had to seek out a doctor that wouldn't treat solely based off of numbers on a piece of paper, and would listen to my symptoms.
Before I started training again I discussed my concerns of fatigue and inability to lose weight no matter how much I exercise or how little I ate. My concerns were dismissed as I had recently turned forty. He told me I was getting older and should just accept that this weight may be here to stay and I will just have to take medicine if I develop any conditions because of my weight. I refuse to accept this and decided it is time to advocate for myself. I am tired of despising the way I look and my body. I want to feel good about myself. I don't want to be on alot of different medicines for weight related health conditions. I want to be comfortable going to the doctor, and not worried what the doctor will think about my weight. I want to improve my mental health. It is depressing to try to make the best choices possible, journal and exercise and the scale not move or plateau after 2 weeks. Those of you who have been on this journey know what everyone tells you.
Here are my favorite phrases that I have heard from doctors and friends:
Make better choices, you had ______ last time we were out to eat
It's calories in calories out that's all you have to do
Are you sure you're exercising that much?
What do you do for exercise, do you walk?
Oh you volunteer at triathlons? Oh you actually race? Aren't you awful heavy to do that?(From a complete stranger in a Panera that saw my computer open to triathlon stuff)
Are you sure your fatigue isn't from sleep apnea?
If it was that easy, I wouldn't be frustrated. I have made an appointment with a functional doctor that does blood test beyond the standard blood test. Once they look at your blood test, they determine the best plan nutritionally to get you in the right direction. You have weekly check ins with a provider to see what works and what doesn't. I am anxious, nervous and excited at the same time. I look forward to sharing my journey in my blog. I know I can do the work and truly hope this will change my life for the better and in the future will be celebrating losing a large amount of weight.
Last but not least, I would like to introduce everyone to Ironmoose. I built him at the BuildaBear store in Mont Tremblant. I put a courage heart in him so he would be a reminder that I will get my health taken care of, and I will cross multiple Ironman finish lines. I chose courage because taking any first step can be scary. A new first step to get my health taken care of in a new way I've never tried before, and having the courage to say I need to step back from racing to get it taken care of. It's the courage of starting over, and rebuilding again in my triathlon journey. Luckily in triathlon, you can fall, stumble or completely crash and it will be there waiting when you are ready to return.
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