Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carlsbad Half Marathon

It took awhile by I am finally writing about the Carlsbad Half-Marathon.  First of all, I want to thank everyone that donated to the cause, InsulinDependence is a truly great organization that I know has helped change the way I treat my diabetes and has assisted many kids gain the control they need.  I certainly wish I would have had a diabetic mentor when I was 12 or 13.  Hopefully once graduate school is over, I too can take time to mentor a diabetic child.  Jamie and I together raised a total of $885.  Don't worry next year we will reach the $1,000 mark.  (A special thanks to the anonymous donor that doubled the money I raised.)

With the money already raised, how could Jamie and I lose right?   In the end I ran a 1:45 and Jamie ran a 1:50.  I feel like I went out a little too fast which kept my heart rate up the entire time.  I certainly can't blame the betes, although I did wake up with a slightly high blood sugar, after breakfast in the morning then a quick gel right before the race my sugars were good the entire time (taking my blood sugar three times during the run without breaking pace).

I do know I have a faster time in me, considering I ran at an average 8:00 minute pace during this race but then this weekend while on a 10 mile run I ran at an average 8:08 pace, I certainly think for a race I can pick it up a little bit.  This is why I say I probably went out a little too fast, I know I am typically slow to warm up.

I also had a terrible calf cramp at mile 9 and ran with it the following four miles to the finish, luckily it never got any worse.  (I blame the 5-hour energy I took before the race, since I broke the golden rule of racing and tried something on race day that I have never tried before.)  One thing I know I need next time is more long runs, my pace really starts to fall apart about mile 7.  But reach race is a learning experience, like I said to Jamie last night at dinner, I wish I could go faster but if I could run a 1:20, I'd wish I could run a 1:10, if I could run a 1:10, I'd wish I could break an hour and if I could break that I'd wish I could break the American record.  There is always something better to strive for no matter where a person is at.

Jamie's 1:50 is really amazing, considering she has never actually ran past 10 miles before then went out and ran a great time.  I know she was a little worried having never run the distance before but definitely proved something to herself.  Great work Jamie.

Pictured above are some InsulinDependence Teammates including Bill Carlson (far right, the first diabetic to complete an Ironman, a truly inspirational figure in the diabetic community) and Chris Jarvis (center, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing).  I am honored to be in a picture with all of these guys. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carlsbad Half Preview

I'm just over half way through the Paleo Diet for Athletes book... Let's just say it's crazy over the top and I don't at all believe that any endurance athlete should eat lower carb, no dairy and that much lean meat.  Plus, I think only Bill Gates could afford that much lean meat.  After saying this though, I can definitely say I've learned a lot from the book.  Did you know Omega-3 in fish or fish oil caps reduces inflammation more than ibuprofen?  I guess my Mom was right all those years.

I believe eating for training is a little mix of this and Matt Fitzgerald's book Racing Weight.  Fitzgerald's nutritional advice seems better but it's totally about whole foods.  After three days of trying gluten free, I can say it's harder than I thought.  In reality it's more thinking, "I can't have a sandwich" than actually wanting a loaf of bread.  I doubt I will end up completely gluten free, as an example let's be honest if I want to do an Ironman I'm going to have Powerbar and Cliff Bars.  I do think concentrating on whole foods will increase gains in training.  Plus I've already noticed the lack of surprises in blood sugar spikes.  Kind of amazing.  On average I've always used less insulin the last three days.

The true test will be tomorrow with the office pizza party tomorrow.  I have a great excuse though, tomorrow will be 72 hours until the Carlsbad Half-Marathon.  This is the actual reason I wanted to write this blog more than my typical once a week.  I wanted to jot down my thoughts prior to the event.

How do I feel?  I really want a 1:40 time... Do I feel that I am ready for that?  Absolutely not, I definitely haven't had enough good long runs over the half-marathon distance, I've had a few but not enough.  I should have let my knee rest more after I pulled out of the San Fran Marathon.  Did I really need to test it twice while still on vacation in SF?...

I do feel that if I do all of the things in my control from here on out that I can have a great race, maybe not a 1:40 but something very close if my legs hold up well.  I'll skip my typical Thursday Master's swimming, run only 30 minutes in the morning (you have to love the taper), swim nice and easy Friday morning, get another massage on Friday night to clear out any knots previously left over and get ready for the weekend (and go to the Endocrinologist on Friday afternoon).   Have a nice 30-40 minute spin on Saturday, watch Jamie kick-butt in her water polo alumni game then join the rest of the InsulinDependence group for the race weekend.

All I can do is control the things within my control.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Body is a Temple

Since Jamie and I started dating (about 18 months ago), I've always said, "I eat healthy now but some day I'll be really crazy about it".  In high school I stopped drinking pop (ya soda for all you in Southern California), in college I went back to that a little.  I never ate anything bad for me in high school, then in college... Well you get the picture.  

Recently, as goes my diabetes and training, I started to take better care of myself and really eat well again.  Not that I ever really stopped eating well, my guess is that most of my college roommates thought that I ate well, but now I really do eat "healthier" food on a regular basis, hence the quote I say to Jamie. One of my co-workers even said to me, "Bren have you ever had a big mac".  Once, I've had one.  

A short time ago, my friends Jon and Jose at school have gone "gluten free".  As wikipedia states:
  • "A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. Gluten is also used as afood additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent [...]."
In other words... No bread... No pasta... No deep fried food... No pizza... No... get ready... beer.... This is typically to treat celiac disease.  Many people though have found that it is suitable way to sustain a healthy lifestyle.   The first time Jon told me he was doing this, I didn't think much of it.  I thought "that's good but I eat healthy already".   

Then as time went on and I did more research into my diabetes, I kept coming across items on eating gluten free.  I began to think, you know it makes sense, what else screws up blood sugars more than pizza, pasta, foods like this.  So I started to read more.  Then I found out this is a way to treat autism.  One of the things I have always said is that I believe my diabetes is a product of food sources in our society, as are many problems.  

Then I started to run into more items on, "the paleo diet" and "the paleo diet for athletes".  I had also heard about this before but never given it much thought.  Basically, the extreme version of gluten free.  Eating all whole foods in fruits and vegetables, plenty of protein through fish and lean meats.  Although at this point in my life it's hard to afford buying a ton of meats and fish, it is possible to eat more vegetables and fruits, something I definitely believe it will help the diabetes. 

So why not try it?  Why not cut out gluten totally?  The more I read about it, the more I realize I hardly eat a lot of gluten foods, completely cutting out bread and grains could only strengthen my blood sugar readings, decrease recovery time from workouts and increase my life span (cutting out oatmeal is going to be really hard though).  All of this processed food we all eat can't be good, if it was God would have made the granola bar tree instead of the apple tree.

This weekend, Jamie and I watched the 2010 Kona Ironman World Championship that I had recorded.  The thing that stuck out to me the most was one age-group athletes quote.   Lew Hollander, an 81-year old man that has competed in the Ironman 21 times was quoted as saying, "if you want to be healthy at 80, you better pay attention to what you are doing at 40".  Well, if I want to live a long healthy life with diabetes I better pay attention to what I am doing at 24.  

So I am going to start to cut gluten out of my diet and try it.  Once work settles down at the end of the February I plan to completely go for it, bye bye gluten.  

The body is a temple, shouldn't we treat it like one?  You wouldn't put diesel food in a Ferrari.   

Monday, January 10, 2011

Long Run in San Diego, Massage

The first week back from vacation was good for the betes.  As I said in the last blog, it's great to be on vacation but nothing is better for my blood sugars than being in a routine.  Not to mention training.  

I was actually able to get two really good outdoor rides in this last week.  My legs however, were not feeling it as much.  As I haven't gotten that many rides in the last two months, my legs can always feel it when I do go outside to ride.  The second ride of the week was a lot better than the first though, meaning it doesn't take much to get the outdoor biking legs back when I haven't done it in a few.  

What always amazes me about biking outside is the difference from indoors.  My blood sugars reflect this, needing a reduced balas rate outside, while indoor I don't.  

One of the highlights of the training week was getting a massage.  Actually, I wouldn't say it was a highlight because of how much it absolutely hurt.  A sports massage sounds great until every knot is rubbed out of the legs and back, I didn't know I had such a giant knot in my right calf, let me tell you though, it's gone now.  

My legs (and now thanks to swimming parts of my back) have felt like there were knots that I simply couldn't get out with stretching.  I've read a lot about sports massages but never overly considered getting one.  Well I tried and the verdict is in, it works.  

My long run was in one of the most beautiful spots on earth, Coronado, off the San Diego bay.  I dragged Jamie down there to do my long run because it's flat and as I said to Jamie driving in, "this is my spot", as there is always a ton of parking, as if no ones knows about a lot of the area.  

I love going there when I'm in San Diego visiting Jamie, a place where everyone looks to be on vacation or at least having a good time.  Did I mention the parking?  It's amazing when you live in Los Angeles how valuable a person starts to consider parking.  

Heading off on the run, I kept a lot faster pace than usual, showing the massage worked.  I did despite this, start off going too fast, once that heart rate got too high, it stayed there, notwithstanding I was still able to hold a faster than normal pace.  Looking back though, I would definitely do some light indoor cycling the day after a massage to get all the built up lactic acid out of the legs before the next run.  

The blood sugars were also good throughout the entire long run.  176, 156 and 134 during the two hour run.  I had about 75 grams of carb during as well, more than necessary but I'm still learning how to reduce the balas rate during these runs.  When I finished I looked at my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) which read that my blood sugar had gone over 400, well that was off.  Good ol Medtronic's CGM, doesn't always work the way a person thinks it should.

Two weeks until the half marathon.  Looking over the schedule for the coming summer I will probably run another in the first week of June, try to get a good time here in January then see what I can do in June.   

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Blog, Diabetic Jock

When I started this blog it was a simple graduate school assignment.  Actually, I didn't want to start a blog at all.  I thought it was just a way for people to brag about things they don't know anything about.  Then I did my three blogs for class and realized, you know, this is actually nice.  

It's nice for a few reasons.  For one, it's good for me to talk about the betes which is definitely something I lacked before.  Secondly, it's a great way to find out information from other diabetics.  I throw out an idea about exercise and the betes and another diabetic from another side of the country has thoughts that they can comment on.  Third, it's a great way for my family that lives across the country to find out my interests and things that are important to me, things I may not otherwise bring up.  Finally, it's going to be great to look back in a few years, in a few decades and think "I'm glad I wrote that down".  

So in the new year I decided to get an actual website, it's only ten (10) dollars a year and is much easier for people to remember than the whole blogspot thing.  Heck, it's easier for me to remember.  I first tried to get "diabetic athlete" but that was taken and one of the suggestions was "diabetic jock".  After (obviously) consulting the beautiful Jamie, I decided to go with it.  

Consequently this blog will still be about my training with the diabetes.  This is the way to document changes in my training and see how my diabetes changes through time.  

Moving forward, it's nice to be back in a regular routine for my diabetes.  No matter how much I love the vacation, nothing serves a diabetic better than being in a their usual ritual.  Wake at X time, eat at this time, workout at this time.  During the vacation my carb eating went up so I had to put my overnight basal rate at 120% to keep it at an even level during the night.  This is something I have never done before which proves I am definitely figuring out more.  Last night I still had it up to 110% but tonight I believe I will let it stand at the normal rate, it's been three days now since vacation ended and this is the typical time that food seems lingers in my body despite training.

Tomorrow, bike ride, no rain scheduled in Southern California finally.  Wake up, 45 grams carb (one scoop accelorade, one scoop maltodextron) lower the basal to 80% and ride.