A morning email- This morning I received an email from a reader named, “Sarah.” Sarah’s question was with regard to the Wahl’s diet and “interested in hearing what you found following it.” My email response turned out to be a short novel (sorry Sarah) and I thought since I have’nt written a post in a while, I would share my response here as it is possible others have had the same question. Below is my response to Sarah’s question:
I have started training to run a distance of 90km (just over two full marathons). The reason is I plan to do a fundraiser next year where I’ll run from Leduc to Camrose in a single day in advance of the 2015 Johnson MS Bike Tour. My rough plan as it stands right now is to do the run the weekend prior to next year’s tour and then ride in the tour the following weekend. My hope is to raise additional money for my MS Bike Tour team, “The Battered Piles.” I’ve trained to run before, but never a distance this long and I’m sure it will be the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever endured; pre or post MS.
However, I’m excited for the challenge and looking forward to it.
MS Bike Tour- As I do most years, I will again be riding in the 2014 MS Bike Tour. The tour I ride in takes me from Leduc, Alberta to Camrose, Alberta and back. The route is roughly 180 km’s and the ride is usually a pretty good time. I’m actually hoping to run day 1 of this event in 2015. I will be joined by my wife, mother, father, a cousin, and friends. Despite having to endure an extremely sore behind for a few days after the ride, it is something I look forward to every year.
The long road uphill- The picture above (not taken by me) is from the summit of the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, British Columbia. It is of the road that goes from the base of the mountain to the restaurant at the top and the main drop-in point for mountain-bikers during the non-winter months. The Gondola and the restaurant at the summit are immediately behind the photographer. This is quite possibly one of my favorite spots on the entire planet. I’ve never actually skied at Kicking Horse, I’ve only ridden my mountain bike down after stepping off the gondola (and possibly enjoying a glass of wine at restaurant). The picture, while amazing, doesn’t do it justice; while tucking on the somewhat straightaway (as far a mountains go) you can get your bike upwards of 40-50 kph (24-31 mph), which may not sound fast, but believe me it is quite a rush when you have a cliff on one side and large rocks to avoid on the road. However, writing about mountain biking down mountains is not the reason for this post.
The purpose is something which is potentially crazier which I am planning.
I’m currently sitting in the dark on the patio of my hotel room in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was 26 degrees (Celsius, I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit) here yesterday. Glorious, sunny, and hot. At my home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada it was -25 (probably closer to -35 with the wind chill) yesterday.
Pretty safe to say that my wife and I picked a great time to get out of Dodge.
We’ve been here less than 48 hours and I already feel better. I don’t know what it is like for other MSers, but when I get the chance to be outside and soak up the sun, I start to feel better. My symptoms don’t go away, but they seem to lessen and I just feel better. These feelings are entirely subjective, but they are real.
This is my first post on Own Multiple sclerosis.com in the new year. I don’t really have an excuse, but I have been busy with family, work, and life. I had a good Christmas and holiday season and for one of my gifts I received a sport watch to aid in the tracking of my running (it is pretty sweet, it has GPS for outdoors and a shoe sensor for when I run the track indoors). In addition to the awesome gift, my sister has started training to run her first ever 1/2 marathon. I’m pretty excited for her and her new pursuit and with the gift of my new watch I have exactly the kicks in the ass I need to refocus on my own training. My sister and I are planning on running a half marathon together sometime in the summer or fall of 2014.
If you have read anything I’ve written on the OwnMs website before you probably know that running is one of the primary ways I have combated MS since my diagnosis in 2007. When I first began I never really did any research on the impact that exercise can have on Multiple Sclerosis, but since that time (and with the inception of this blog), I have managed to track down a few research articles on the subject.
Electroacupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis- Earlier this year, I wrote about acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis. The post received some negative feedback in both the comments and on social network sites like Reddit. Alternative therapies are bound to be controversial, however that isn’t a reason not to discuss them. I read a paper today regarding Electroacupuncture and MS. The paper , “provides evidence that electroacupuncture can significantly improve the quality of life of such patients.” Academic evidence of a therapy which can improve quality of life for people with MS deserves to be talked about in an open forum so that each individual can make their own determinations and decisions.
Geomagnetic Disturbances and Multiple Sclerosis- When the members of the Fantastic Four ventured out into space and were struck with ‘Cosmic Rays’ they returned to earth with super powers. I’ve just read a fascinating paper which suggests that extra-terrestrial solar activity didn’t give me super powers but may have contributed my developing multiple sclerosis.
I would have rather of received super powers.
A Saturday morning conversation with my sister: Jill Bolte Taylor- On Saturday morning my sister was in the city dropping off her daughter for her final driving lesson. The prospect of my niece becoming a licensed driver is a scary one, though I don’t suppose it is any more frightening than the specter sixteen year old version of myself hitting the pavement. Chats with my only sibling are alway a welcome event. We are less than two years apart (she is of course older and just over a year away from 40) and we’ve always been close. After dropping off her daughter, she dropped by for a quick chat. As always, an interesting topic came to light. This one was unexpected as it took the form of Jill Bolte Taylor.
MS Fitness Challenge: A feature about me on Everyday Health- Just over a week ago, I was contacted through Twitter by David Lyons. He is the author of the book, “David’s Goliath: Winning the Battle against All Odds,” about the way he has conquered MS after his diagnosis at the age of 47. As of writing this, I haven’t read the book but I will. He contacted me to ask if he could interview me for an article on Everyday Health. I agreed and the article was posted today.