Ironman Training Psoriasis Funk? Change up and Suck It Up!

Ironman training has saved my life several times, in addition to keeping my peripheral arterial disease (PAD) at bay, essentially saving my feet from eventual imputation. In 2010, I was diagnosed with a large abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) as a result of weird symptoms in my fourth Lake Placid Ironman race. This wasn’t good news, but having medical training, as a veterinary pathologist, I made had some changes made to my bike to reduce hip flexion, modified my running style, and returned to Ironman with an AAA stent graft, successfully completing the Lake Place race in 2011.

psoriasis funk
Red psoriasis lesions are itchy, and cover about 20% of my body, including where my bike saddle interacts with my butt, while those ‘bubbly’ lesions on my hands are painful to pressure, making cycling a problem.

Other road bumps have come along, but each time I managed to get over them with the help of great vascular surgeons. Then psoriasis struck about three months ago, about three days after my first Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine shot. It has been progressing ever since, and it finally interfered with bike training as painful lesions appeared on my hands (see photo, above), butt (no photo!!) and the ball of my left foot. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning my immune system is attacking my skin, and cures are elusive.

First I was surprised, then pissed, then a little depressed, then I went into a funk thinking Ironman is over, then I woke up yesterday and said, “Kevin, you’ve got to fight this thing.”

Remember what your great coach, Chris Hauth, said, about catching up with the peloton if you are dropped off the back, “Change up, and suck it up.”

psoriasis funk
Great Ironman coach, Chris Hauth, of AIMP. Another one of my favorite Chris quotes, was, “This is training camp, not complaining camp!”

So! That’s what I’m doing, sucking it up and working to fix this damned disease, with the help of a great dermatologist, in addition to doing my own research.

I handled Ironman training with an AAA and peripheral arterial diseases, but can I do so with this autoimmune skin disease. A psoriasis funk sure won’t help, so forget that.

I’ll have to do what Mark Watney said, in, The Martian.

psoriasis funk



  1. James Howard Kehoe says

    Hi Kevin, I know a lot people who are having weird reactions to the Covid shots. I am not that afraid of Covid-19, I think I would survive as many of my friends did. Now, they are talking about a booster shot in 6 months after the initial shots. More of that stuff in your system. Do you believe I should get the shot, wait for a while, or do not get the “shot”?

    • Kevin Thoma Morgan says

      Hi James (Jim?),
      I consider it a matter of benefit-risk assessment, which is different for each of us. The COVID-19 virus is extremely dangerous, and that’s speaking as a pathologist. I didn’t want the mRNA vaccine, but considered it too dangerous to wait. I catch the flu every year, vaccine or no vaccine, meaning I might be somewhat susceptible to respiratory viral infection. Triggering psoriasis was probably just trouble waiting to happen, as I have a nephew with exactly the same kind, plaque with arthritis.
      Choose wisely, but how one does that, when we are all guessing, I have no idea.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.