Olympic Triathlon

Had a really fun time at the Kiawah Island Triathlon this weekend. Had a great race and I was 3rd in my age group!

On another note, hurricane Florence impact in Wilmington North Carolina to such a degree that they had to cancel the IronMan 70.3 triathlon. So I must change my registration for a similar race in April. I might run a half marathon or marathon of the holidays to stay in shape. Stay tuned!

10 mile run

Finished a 10 mile run as I prep for IM70.3. Getting there. Looks like the hurricane has us leaving town so I got one last run in. I’m hurting post run, but I’m not surprised. Hope the IRONMAN 70.3 isn’t cancelled because of the hurricane.

Running after Total Gastrectomy

IRONMAN 70.3 training is in full swing and I’m close to peaking (in 3 weeks or so). I feel things are coming together, although, the training methodology is much different than that of the past. Rather than have aerobic days/recovery days, I take full days off. The reason is because I’m too sore to even do a recovery run or whatever. Hope it all works out.

I swam 1,500 meters this week and biked 40 miles. Felt pretty good overall.

Yesterday – I felt really good and wanted to see if I have improved my fitness. Thus – I ran a 5K to test my time and by my surprise, I did improve and had a new PR post total gastrectomy. I think I could have still been about 30 seconds faster but I’m not mad. My future goal is sub 20 min 5K.

There is a possibility that I’ll do the Kiawah Olympic Triathlon on Sunday (one week from today). However, there is a hurricane coming our way so the race might get pushed back.

Stay tuned and please share my fundraising page as I’m trying to raise money for stomach cancer research: https://give.everydayhero.com/us/support-no-stomach-for-cancer-and-join-me-as-i-race-ironman

Stomachless Ironman 70.3

Hey Ya’ll

I have an exciting announcement! I’m going to be racing in an IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon.

Event Details:
IRONMAN 70.3 – Wilmington, NC 10/13/2018
1.2 Mile Swim
56 Mile Bike
13.1 Mile Run
Goal time – sub 5:30:00

Today is my birthday and I’m really excited about this race and the support of all my family and friends as we try to raise money and awareness for No Stomach For Cancer. I have yet to do a race like this without a stomach and I’m sure it won’t be easy. Please join me in fundraising efforts and share this page!

Donate Here

Or the link below:

https://give.everydayhero.com/us/support-no-stomach-for-cancer-and-join-me-as-i-race-ironman

Keywords:

Ironman 70.3 triathlon cdh1 hdgc stomach cancer

No stomach for cancer

Total gastrectomy

8/21/2018 – Thirty-Three Weeks Post Total Gastrectomy

Finished my 4th triathlon of the season and achieved another personal best. I shaved another 20 seconds off and finished in 1:06:23. The distance was 600y swim, 12m bike, 3m run.  I ended up getting third for the race and second overall for the series. I’m pretty happy with the races this year as my goal was to beat my times from last year when I had a stomach and apparently stomach cancer. Goal achieved.

Now – next step – IRONMAN 70.3 in Wilmington North Carolina October 13th

 

This is really exciting, but also a bit concerning.  Since getting rid of my stomach, I can’t train as often as I used to because my muscles get sore and I don’t want to “overdo it”. My goal is to beat my last years’ time of 5:37:20. I would love to get sub 5:30:00. More details as we get closer.

 

I’ll keep everyone posted with my journey.

My Morning 690 Calorie Shake

Many people have been contacting me asking how I am able to keep weight on while training for triathlon. It does take planning and a lot of effort. Just like dieting requires a plan, keeping weight does too.

I use a watch to remind myself when I should drink and eat. It has an alarm (nerd alert)

Disclaimer: this worked for me after 3 months or so. IT DID NOT WORK BEFORE THAT. Shortly after my surgery, these type of shakes made me very crampy, so I did them sparingly. However, after my body continued to adjust, I was able to “stomach” (hehe) the whole shake. It does take about 2 hours to drink. However, 690 calories in an hour is not easy to do in the beginning. And I barley have the real estate in my intestines to consume the whole shake as it is. Please go slow – and remember – everyone is different.

690 Calorie morning shake

10 oz almond milk

1 scoop protein powder

1 scoop weight gainer (naked brand)

1/2 frozen banana

1T peanut butter

Blend and enjoy (again – drink slowly)!

I hope it works for you!

8/2/2018 – Thirty Weeks Post Total Gastrectomy

I have great news.

Sunday, I raced in my third triathlon post total gastrectomy. I scored a personal best time, beating my fasted time pre-surgery, and got 2nd in my age group.

I have been working hard to get to this place and it felt incredible reaching this goal. There were times early in my recovery that I seriously doubted I would ever race again. Thank God those feelings are gone.

I have some exciting goals and plans on the horizon. Stays tuned!

6/21/2018 – Twenty-Four Weeks Post Total Gastrectomy

Ya’ll – I did another Triathlon.  Here is a picture of around mile 2 of the run.

June 17 2018 – Charleston Sprint Triathlon Race 2

This sprint triathlon is a 600-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3-mile run.

I hope you don’t mind the dorky picture. I get a bit loopy during these events.

It was hot and I couldn’t catch my breath on the run. I felt like I had nothing left to give.  I wanted to quit but fought through it. My goal was to post my best time ever but I came up 20 seconds short of my personal best. I DID, however, improve my time by 23 seconds from last race. I was motivated to fight for a personal best after I met so many sweet people in Tampa that encouraged me to keep improving and fighting to get better.  They told me it encouraged them seeing me doing triathlon and improve my times. The next race is July 29 and I’m already excited!

I’m trying to increase my training, while not losing weight.  It’s not easy. I weigh 161 lbs and my body fat has to be in the single digits. I weighed 202 prior to surgery. It’s pretty crazy. I don’t want to go any lighter because I know my training load will increase if I do the Ironman 70.3 in Wilmington in October.  I have until July/August to figure it all out – assuming they don’t sell out the event.

The Ironman 70.3 is exciting, but I’m hopeful I can also run a Marathon by the end of this year and hopefully a full Ironman (140.6 miles) in November of 2019. I want to use those events to fundraise for No Stomach For Cancer as they help fund research for CDH1 gene mutation.

I hope you will stay tuned and keep reading along as I figure this all out. I need to focus on staying healthy and fueled so I can keep training.

6/9/2018 – Twenty-Two Weeks Post Total Gastrectomy

I feel very blessed. I attended The Spotlight on Gastric Cancer event which was put on by No Stomach For Cancer and Moffitt Cancer Center.  I was able to meet many former cancer patients and several fellow stomachless friends.  It blessed me because we all have different stories, but we all have/had similar struggles.  I was reminded how difficult the “early days” were.  They had no rules. We all have those “crazy” stories. But – we are still here! We are happy, healthy, and full of life.  We have lost family members, but we are motivated to help others through the difficulties of this disease and live the best life possible.

I was also able to meet with several doctors and surgeons.  There are great people dedicated to learning and sharing their research to try and offer more treatment options for cancer patients.  I would guess, over 100 patients, former patients, caregivers, and professionals joined the event.  We heard from several experts in the industry. Topics covered were:

  • Laparoscopic Total Gastrectomy
  • A new technique where they introduce chemo during surgery. This seems to be very new and they are still doing research.
  • Immunotherapy
  • The importance of choosing an experienced surgeon
  • Pathology reports and techniques used at Moffitt
  • Diet and vitamins after a total gastrectomy
  • A theory that we should consider treating H. pylori prior to symptoms
  • Patient testimony

Giving Hope

I have a few conversations with people who read this blog. I never know who reads this, but they said it blessed them. I need to stay more involved with posting as I remember reading these types of blogs when I first learned I had CDH1 gene mutation.  Reading those blogs helped me prior to surgery and the first few weeks after surgery.  I’m hopeful I can be more consistent. If you need to reach me, you can always reach me on twitter. https://twitter.com/GoWithoutYoGut

Closing thoughts:

I met several strong, inspiring people this weekend. One impactful moment was listening to a mother who was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer and was given a 4% chance of survival.  She fought through several (seven I think) rounds of chemo and radiation.  Not only did she make a full recovery; she had a successful TG.  And because she had the CDH1 gene mutation, her own two daughters, her sister and her niece, all of which were CDH1 gene mutation positive, had successful TG’s all within a few months. It was very special and inspiring to hear their story.

I also was able to meet a fellow stomachless friend who also suffers from celiac disease! That was cool. We exchanged numbers and I hope we can keep in touch as we share a similar journey.

Y’all are brave. I encourage you to share your story as you never know who it will encourage.