Thursday, October 15, 2009

Athlete for Awareness: me!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I joined the Janus Charity Challenge to raise money for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. As of today, I'm NFCA's newest Athlete for Awareness! As an Athlete for Awareness, my goal is to both bring awareness to celiac disease through my triathlon training, as well as to encourage other celiacs to pursue their athletic dreams. Among other things, undiagnosed celiacs can be malnourished and fatigued - sports might be the farthest thing from their mind! Even once on a gluten free diet, it can take awhile before celiacs start feeling healthy and normal again. I love participating in athletic events because exercise makes me feel good and exercising with other people is even more fun, especially when there are spectators cheering! I'm really excited to use my triathlon training to help further NFCA's cause.

350 days ago I registered for Ironman Florida 2009. It'll be my first Ironman triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles).

260 days ago my doctor told me to go gluten free, based on some blood work that indicated a gluten allergy. I wasn't sure how training for an endurance event could be reconciled with avoiding wheat, rye, and barley. With a lot of research and testing various gluten free sports bars, gels, and drinks, I think I've figured it out.

8 days ago I was officially diagnosed with celiac disease, based on genetic test results coupled with another blood test.

23 days from now I'll be racing Ironman Florida gluten free! I've just been partnered with NFCA a few days, but I can tell the next 23 days are going to be action packed as I work hard to raise funds with NFCA and to complete my last few weeks of training. This weekend's plans include a 20 mile run and spending some time writing out my detailed race day nutrition plan (what and when I'm going to eat). Nutrition is basically the fourth sport in triathlon, and I had to start from scratch figuring out what gluten free options worked for me. I've got a pretty good idea of my plan, but putting it on paper will mean I won't have to think about it anymore! So much to do in the next 23 days!


  1. We're honored to be your beneficiary, Kendra! Hope we can send you off at our San Francisco GF Cooking Spree!

  2. That's great Kendra. You are a wonderful role model.

  3. Welcome to the "family" Kendra, and good luck at the race. I'm an offroad triathlete (Xterra) and have been one of NFCA's Athletes since mid-summer. If I can help out in any way, don't hesitate to let me know.

    Cheers, Pete

  4. Thanks Pete! Your GF blog is great!

  5. Hi Kendra,

    I am trying to get tested for DH. May I ask the name of the Doctor you saw?

    thank you
    Ruth Ann Ross