Tag Archives: bike

Well hello, bike, it’s nice to see you again

My poor, sad bike has been hanging in my garage for a long time… too long. It has been neglected and passed over for most of the last year. Starting with me breaking my arm last December and then having surgery on an area that the bike isn’t too kind to, I just haven’t been able to keep it up.

My bike and I have a complicated history. I was so excited to buy it last year and to use it to train and compete in some triathlons, and I probably (read: definitely) spent too much on it, but if I was going to be riding a bike on the road, I wanted to do it right and to make sure that I had something safe and dependable. But then I ran into my biggest problem: I don’t have any friends who ride bikes, at least ones who live near me, so I have never had anyone to go riding with. And it’s kind of scary out there in the road, as I have mentioned before.

I have tried to get involved in riding groups, but my schedule has made that difficult. Previously, I was working at least every-other Saturday, so I am hoping that now that I am no longer doing that, that I might be able to find a group to go ride with. But since I have never had that, I have never felt comfortable out on the road.

thorin lindsey stephanie hughes bike ride cycling bicycle american tobacco trail road stolen colon crohn's ostomy colitis blogThis weekend, my cousin Thorin came into town from Florida. He has recently started competing in some triathlons, so he decided to bring his bike up so we could go for a ride together. I was very excited about it until I realized that I have not even touched my bike since before my surgery, which was at the beginning of June. Since it had taken so long for my surgery wound to heal, I was hesitant to get back onto my bike. Plus, I didn’t have anything or anyone pushing me to. So Thorin coming into town was just what I needed.

Yesterday, I pulled out my compression pants and wind jacket and got ready for a ride. The one thing I couldn’t find was my winter gloves (which any of you cyclists out there know is the WORST possible thing to not have), but I improvised. We went out to a trail that I have run on before, but never biked. I did know that they trail goes on for a while and is paved and have often seen other cyclists out there.
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Giving up on goals

I don’t like not being able to accomplish the things that I set out to do. When I set my mind on something, I want to see it through, no matter what. I’m stubborn like that.

But I’m also realistic. I know that things aren’t always going to go the way that you planned. And more often than not you’re probably going to find that they don’t. There are also forces and powers in the universe that sometimes won’t allow you to do everything you plan on doing.

At the beginning of the year, I set out the goals I had for myself that I hoped to accomplish. They ranged from redesigning The Stolen Colon to making my bed EVERY day. I look through all of my goals and I feel happy with where I am at this point and how well I have followed through with them… except for one.

I wanted to complete my first full-sprint triathlon this year. But I have run into one issue after another in trying to accomplish this. The original plan was to do one in April or May, but my broken wrist held me up longer than I had hoped. Then obviously my surgery kept me out for June and July. So I thought, if I could start training even by the beginning of August, then I should be able to slip one in by the end of the season in October. But here we are, already half-way through August, and I haven’t been back on my bike or in the pool in months.

bike bicycle biking cycling cycle hanging stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's ostomy colitis blog

My bike hasn’t moved from this spot in a while.

My doctor cleared me to get back to all of those things, but I just haven’t felt comfortable with it. Obviously, the bike is just going to have to wait because I don’t want to sit on it when I still have an open wound. And while the wound is doing much better, the idea of exposing it to chlorine and the germs in the water does not sit well with me.

I also know that even if I started training right now, it would be pushing myself too hard to get ready by October. It has been inevitable for a while but, but I am finally having to admit to myself that it’s not going to happen this year. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. In that post at the beginning of the year I said “This is the first year that I haven’t had to worry about what Crohn’s will throw at me or how it might hold me back from reaching my goals,” but I still feel like it has.
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On the move

I’m a little unsure of where I am going at the moment. But I’m moving again and I suppose that’s what matters most. I have said before that I like to have a goal in mind, especially for any sort of sport training. On my list for 2013 is the compete in a full-length sprint triathlon. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had planned to do another short sprint in March, just to get a little more experience, and then compete in a full race in April. But breaking my wrist has thrown a big wrench in my plans.

It has been 6 weeks since my half-marathon. The plan was to take a week break from any strenuous workouts and then slowly get back into the groove. I hadn’t been on my bike in a while and I was looking forward to picking it up again. And then my first ride comes around and I end up in a cast.

I’m slowly working my way back. My doctor said that he did not recommend running simply due to the risk of injury if you fall. Now, I’ve never fallen when running, nor do I anticipate that being an issue, but I also want to be careful. So I’ve been working with the stationary bike and elliptical, mostly. I did go for my first run today. Just a slow, easy pace, but it was excruciatingly humid today and my cast/arm got very hot. Not a good feeling. I think sticking to gym equipment is the smartest move for now. (Not to mention that I can’t wear any of my cold weather gear because it won’t fit over the cast.)

I have a doctor’s appointment next week and I’m praying the cast will come off and I will be able to start getting back to normal. I would love to be able to put a date down for my first triathlon this year so I know what I’m working towards, but there’s no way to know how quickly I’ll get full use of my wrist back. To further complicate things, I’ve decided to do another half-marathon over the summer (more on that soon!), which is going to change how I train. I’m thinking I may just have to push the triathlon back until late in the summer, so I can train now for the run and then switch over to tri-training.

The not-knowing is the hardest part. Once the cast comes off, I don’t want to get back on my bike too soon and cause further injury. I’m not sure exactly how swimming will affect the wrist if I’m still dealing with some pain. It also worries me to think that my wrist may never again be at 100%. It’s amazing how many issues can arise from just a simple cycling mishap. It’s going to be a long road, I know, but my goal is to keep up the pace and find that finish line.

In a cast and out of shape

My life has looked a little differently over the past few weeks. Granted, it has been Christmas-time, so that always changes things up a bit, but it’s more than that. Prior to two weeks ago, I felt that I had finally gotten myself into a good routine of running and working out. I was enjoying waking up earlier and going for a swim before starting the day. I finally had all of the cold-weather gear to make winter cycling possible. I’ve been on the verge of signing up with a trainer to help me prepare for triathlon season.

Now, I’m not being able to do any of those things and I’m having to seriously consider moving my triathlon training back. I had planned on starting in March and doing a big one in April. But the doctor’s telling me it will likely have to be May or June before I should plan on competing in one. And that’s hoping that I can get in all of the training I need to before that.

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My poor, sad, unused running shoes

Obviously, I can’t do any swimming with a cast on. And getting back on my bike is going to be the hardest part because the pressure is put on the wrist. I’ve also been nervous to go running because I’m unsure if that will hurt my wrist. I go back to the orthopedic next week so I’ll have to see if that’s a possibility for me.

I have also felt more tired lately. I’m sure it’s partly due to the fact that I haven’t been exercising like I was. I would also blame the simple fact that dealing with this cast is exhausting. My arm is heavy and it’s difficult to do simple tasks like taking a shower, cleaning the kitchen, typing blog posts. I think it’s wearing me out a little just doing the day-to-day things. I also hate the helpless feeling of not being able to open my own bottles of water or pick up something that weighs more than a couple of pounds.

So now I’m trying to figure out what options are out there for me to try to somewhat keep up with a workout routine. I’m thinking that I can at least use a stationary bike since balance is not as involved and I should be able to do it with one hand. I’ve never done much weight training, especially with my legs, but I suppose that would not be a bad idea either, but I probably should find someone who knows that they’re doing so I don’t cause another injury.

Any other good ideas out there for staying in shape with a broken wrist?