Last Sunday I raced my fourth Ironman 70.3 distance, this time in Zell am See, Austria. I’m really excited to write about it because, well, I totally rocked it!
But before I do that I think I need to do a short preamble to my story.
At the beginning of spring I wasn’t feeling well. I wrote about it on this blog but I wanted to have things under control before I wrote about it again.
In April I had preliminary bloods tests and my thyroid hormones were out of the normal parameters. My family doctor sent me to an endocrinologist who ordered further blood tests and an MRI on my thyroid. She diagnosed me with chronic hypothyroidism caused by autoimmune disease.
Once I understood what I had, all my symptoms made complete sense and I just wanted to get better as soon as I could.
I’ve always had a very healthy diet but I took it a step further and eliminated gluten. There are many studies linking hypothyroidism to gluten intolerance and it really didn’t feel like a sacrifice to give it a try.
I immediately noticed a huge difference in my digestive system, so I am hooked and staying as gluten free as I possibly can.
It took months of patience and a low dose of thyroid medication to start feeling like myself again. I was thinking more clearly and was no longer tired and depressed. That was a huge relief.
My main concern with the hypothyroidism was my physical activity. But my endocrinologist not only encouraged me to keep up my sports routine, she said I probably avoided a lot of other side effects of this disease because I lead such an active lifestyle. So, yay for that!
During the spring and summer I kept my training up as much as possible, resting whenever I felt like I was too tired or that I wasn’t recovering fast enough. Trying to settle the hypothyroidism along with the sweltering hot Italian summer really made my training for Ironman 70.3 in Austria extremely trying and difficult. But I never gave up and everything seemed to come together on race day…