Monday, May 23, 2016

Where ya been?… and picking yourself up.

Yikes. You know you’re getting older when you say things like “I can’t believe how fast time is flying”. I am partly inspired to post this blog because my colleague has lit my literal fire to resume blogging. The other inspiration is that I’ve been asked by many “What have you been up to and what are you racing this year?” so I figured it’s time for a quick catch up blog post.

My last blog post was over 6 months ago prior to my last 50K ultra run in California. That race, the North Face Endurance Challenge, was a relatively impromptu race I decided to do as part of fundraising for Runwell, a non-profit close to my heart for various reasons. It was a tough course, but beautiful to be on the coast and in forests very different from my Colorado surroundings.  I picked up 2nd in my age group, which was a surprise for the level of training I had done.  Nutrition fared well with the primary use of GenUCAN (my trustworthy energy source) and an average hourly calorie intake of less than 65. Thank you, metabolic efficiency.

My work as a Sport Dietitian has kept me quite busy. For example, since I last posted a blog, I have been involved in conducting a research study at eNRG Performance (looking at the effects of carnitine on endurance athletes), writing a nutrition chapter in a book soon to be published, establishing an eNRG Performance office in Boulder (inside the awesome Flatirons Running store), teaching Metabolic Efficiency Training certification clinics, and continuing to provide sports nutrition coaching to all levels of ultra runners, triathletes, marathoners, and other fitness enthusiasts.  I love my work.

Athletically, I set my sights for the early part of this summer to spend time up high and to choose shorter races due to time constraints for adequate training.  By ‘up high’, I mean choosing a few running and road cycling races/events in the mountains. I have focused mostly on ultra running the past couple years, so getting back on the road bike just sounded fun. I adore hill climbing and with where I live, there is no shortage of hills and mountains.

So, there are the past 6 months in a nutshell.

And then, there’s the most recent life ‘event’ that dealt the card I didn’t want. To be brief, I had a bike accident that left me with a severely broken elbow and needing surgery. An amazing orthopedic surgeon, eight screws and a plate later, I am on the mend. At least, I have some fun new nicknames.

Just call me Bionic D
I am very fortunate that my accident wasn’t worse. I was riding at 21 mph, touched the rear wheel of my husband's bike in front of me, and over I went. My helmet cracked in 4 places and yet, all I got was this broken elbow, a sprained shoulder, and some road rash. 

I have to pull out from my May and June races to heal from surgery and get rehab on the damaged goods. Although I am bummed about having to adjust my training and racing plans, I have learned to put this in a better perspective.  I mean, really… there are tons of people who have it much worse than me, acutely and chronically. This is just a tiny bump in the road in the grand scheme. 

In the words of a former mentor wellness coach of mine, when we fall down (no matter if it is figuratively or literally), we need to “Pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and keep moving forward.”  I am grateful I get to do this.

-Dina