Sunday, November 28, 2010

10k in Temecula

After a fun Thanksgiving Thursday where of course I ate too much food, I had a 10k race on Saturday.  Actually, Jamie and I both did the race together.  I found two separate 10k's that were on Saturday of the long holiday weekend and then she selected between the two, opting for the one closer to San Diego than Los Angeles.

As usual, I had my pre-race peanut butter sandwich (which I am sure as soon as Jamie reads this she will laugh at), going with a normal dose of Novolog insulin as this "meal" was two hours prior to the race.  Two things I did not take into account however, (1) that my blood sugar was already at 185 when I woke up (I know, I know that's a little high for the morning, but let's be honest, holiday weekends aren't a diabetics favorite) and (2) I didn't take any Symlin (which typically requires that I take less insulin).

It took Jamie and I an hour to drive to the race, once we got there registration had already begun.  We even got passed walking to registration by a woman who was yelling at her kids to walk faster while her husband told the children, "hurry, hurry, mommy is in a different zone right now".

We got our race number, put the timing chip on our shoes and waited.  I could feel that my blood sugar had gone a little higher than I wanted, so I took my blood sugar and bolused.  This is definitely something to remember for the future, I either need to take the Symlin or give a little bit more of a bolus when eating my PB sandwich upon waking.

The race began and I think both Jamie and I found out the course was much more hilly than we had expected, however it went through the vineyards of Temecula, on pavement then on tractor track then back to pavement and back to track.  The course ended with a very steep climb to the finish (I think that finish really killed a lot of people but some how I felt a surge going up it meaning I have a lot more in the tank for a flatter course).

I feel I was able to keep a good pace and the pre-race nutrition (a total mix of 50 grams of carb, the typical amount of carbs I have before any run under an hour) along with a small bolus to correct the high blood sugar all ended in a good result.  I found that I enjoy a 10k much more than a 5k, as one is not in the lactic threshold zone the entire time but am still moving quick enough to feel my legs become heavy and my lungs burn a little.  As a result I ended with a 44:50 (7:12 pace) which was 27th place overall, this was faster pace than I had initially thought in my pre-race plan.  I think the next 10k race with less hills, better planning on the diabetic end and the prior knowledge of pacing will end with even better results.

I also believe Jamie was happy with her result as she went well under the pace she thought she would, getting 13th overall in the women's category.  I think she is hooked though, after the race she said to me in the car, "I think I'll really like longer race".  No kidding, anyone that really likes swimming the mile for fun must really like longer endurance events!  Great job Jamie, thanks as allows for going with me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Masters Swimming

So like I said I would started master's swimmers!

After emailing one of the heads of the Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ) organization nonstop for about two weeks straight, I finally pulled the rip cord and... joined.  The nice thing about SCAQ is that they have multiple pools and tons of options.

Currently the best thing for my diabetes is going to morning swims.  It's been hard to keep my blood sugars up for night workouts after having had a morning workout.  I've typically been heavily carb loading before night workouts, I mean like a 100 grams of carb before a cycling class or swim.  For me this is really about trial and error moving forward, however in the mean time if I am going to go to a controlled swim session I should go in the morning to avoid lows.  (Honestly, as work begins to ramp up I won't be able to attend night workouts anyway.)

So I looked up all of the morning practices and after the numerous emails, decided to attend the long distance swim which is made for triathletes.  It's about five miles away (which doesn't sound like a lot but in Los Angeles can sometimes be a life time away), there are closer pools but this should be the best group to swim with until my swimming improves.

I went to a practice for the first time about two weeks ago.  Sold on the first practice.  Swam further (much further) than I ever have, swimming with other people I was able to push through the threshold and keep going, which until this point I have not been able to do with swimming.  My blood sugar were always good getting out of the pool as well.

The first time I went I was worried about about controlling my blood sugars, however after attending I felt a lot better.  It's just like anything else in life, if I feel low I need to stop and get something.  Plus I rarely have a low blood sugar during a workout.  I realize looking back I was putting my fear of going to masters into my diabetes, using that as a way too make excuses which is what I never want to do.

Now I know though that this will truly make me a better swimmer.  This is the only thing that will push me to be able to do an Ironman swim well someday.  Ultimately this will make my whole triathlon experience better, getting out of the water with more energy will allow my bike to go more smoothly which allows my run to go better.  I'm happy I finally made myself do it and join a master's group.

Next up... 10k over Thanksgiving weekend...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Blair Ryan and I had an interesting conversation about the betes recently that I thought about a few times this weekend as I was at home for my grandfather's induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.  First I'll tell you about my grandparents.

My grandfather and grandmother grew up on farms in Wisconsin, long before flying was the norm.  Long story short, he came home one day and said "I have something to confess, I've been taking flying lessons, I'll stop if you want".  Our family would be completely different had she demanded he stop, luckily she believed in him and he went on to at one time own the 6th largest air cargo hauler in the country.  Growing up I was always around planes and flying.  I always dreamed of being a pilot until... the betes.  I still think the movie Top Gun every time I see a sign around San Diego that says "Miramar".   The FAA isn't to high on diabetic pilots and one can't get anything above a privates pilots license (meaning they can't fly more than a single engine in nice weather).

This leads into to my conversation with Blair.  I believe I am completely different because of the betes, she feels different, as she would be the exact same person even without the betes.  Somehow though I can see how it has changed me.

For one, I probably would have ended up becoming a pilot.  Although I can't fly or join the Air Force, at least I can take a bike down a hill at 35 miles an hour.  Now that's flying!   I've had conversations (and heard about many more) with diabetics that are really negatively affected by it.  It's never been a problem with me on the other hand, getting it so young probably has a lot to do with this.   I did learn later in life that I needed to admit I wasn't completely "normal", I've found talking about the betes it is good for the soul.  I use to really dislike when people outside of my "circle" would ask questions about it but now I like explaining it.  For one it's a lot better when the people around you know about it.  Secondly, how else would people ever know anything about diabetes if people with it never explained.

Without the betes I know I would not take such joy and happiness in life.   When your 23 it's easy to think you'll live forever but the betes allows me to realize how special of a gift life really is, that things like a functioning body should never be taken for granted.  Heck, I know I wouldn't work out this much.

So grandma, thanks for letting gramps get off the farm, and grandpa thanks for going against the grain and being a crazy farmer with a dream of flying.  My other grandpa decided to get off the bread truck one day and open his own grocery store.  Its because of bold choices like this I'm able to live out my dreams and more importantly control my betes well through exercise and knowledgable management.