Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oceanside Open Water Swim Race Report

On Sunday of this last weekend I was able to compete in the Oceanside Open Water Swim, going one mile around the pier.  My biggest fear going into the Orangeman half-iron distance race in September is the swim.  Not only the length (1.2 miles) but the fact that I will be battling the ocean waves.  The ocean itself does not scare me (luckily, I know a lot of people struggle with this), it's the exhaustion from the waves during the swim that makes me fearful.  What should one do if fearful?  Face it.

Recently, I have tried using Levemir as my basal and my pump for bosuling only.  This is a 12-hour insulin, this means a pump's bad infusion site won't ruin your day.  It works well, however 12-hours is a serious commitment but it's nice not worrying about having insulin on-board during a swim.  It's covered from the previous night's injection.  That is, if you give yourself enough.

The night before the swim I didn't give myself a full dose.  I didn't want to wake up low or have a low going into the swim.  Having cycled three hours with Jamie the previous day I thought a slightly lower injection would still cover it.  I was ... wrong.  This is one of the problems with Levemir, if you miss, you miss.  

The morning of the swim I woke up at 283.  Alright fine, a little dehydrated but nothing bad, it's only a mile swim.  Bolus and be fine, right?  Wrong again.  Adrenaline.  Eat, bolus again.  Just before the swim?  380.  Great blood sugar.  

This is the closest I've ever come to the start line and pulled out.  When the race director announced it was low tide and there were sting rays I had almost had it.  Then I thought about how lucky I was just to be able to be out there and how I would be letting the diabetes win.  I went in. 

Straight out, turn left, around the pier, turn left again and in.  It seemed like forever.  Waves crashing, the earth shaking.  Yeah, yeah, that might be a little dramatic but it felt like it!  I knew I was dehydrated the entire time but I still made it.  35 minutes actually.  I was happy.  I wasn't last, I wasn't first.  But you know what?  I feel a lot better about ocean swims.  

Prior to the Orangeman Triathlon, (the half-iron distance that I am considering my "A-race" of the year) I am now signed up for two more open water swims in the ocean.  A daunting 1.5 mile swim in the La Jolla Cove and another one mile in Oceanside.  By the time Orangeman rolls around I will be able to see myself exiting the swim before the race starts.

In my mind's eye, Horatio.
-Shakespeare

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coronado Independence Day 5k Race Report

Finally did it!  Broke the sub-20 mark for the 5k this past Monday on Coronado Island, running the Independence Day 5k.  The great part was my Mom was in town to see it.  Dragging both her and Jamie out of bed early for the 7:10AM race time.  

My entire goal of the race was to finally stay on pace during a race.  I have always struggled to stay on pace in 5k's and 10k's but on this day I knew I needed a race plan.  In the past I have always gone out far too hard then hit the wall.  Not this time, this time I finally had a race plan.  
Here is the race report.

Morning
Right upon waking at 4:45AM I had the pre-race breakfast I had made the night prior, gluten-free bread with almond butter (think peanut butter, only made from almonds).  My blood sugar was slightly elevated when I awoke so I needed to bolus a little more than usual, however I ended up not increasing the dosage for fear of going low during the race.  Although I know I should have covered with more insulin I simply didn't, which kept me high until my pre-race warm up was over.  

Warm Up
My blood sugar still elevated, I decided to leave my pump's balas rate at 100%, letting the warm up and insulin drop me back to normal levels.  Nice and easy twenty minute run on the first part of the course then off to the starting area where I met Jamie and my Mom again.

Race
Getting to the start line after my warm up, the blood sugar was back to being in a good range for the race.  After hearing Cliff Scherb speak two weeks prior I knew a little bit more about how the body would react to the short distance/ high adrenaline event.  I had two gels, took off the pump and was off to the line. 

The gun goes off and boom!  Off!

First time I looked down at the watch I was ahead of where I wanted to be but then was able to hold pace the rest of the race.  It began to hurt pretty bad by the four kilometer point, luckily I was able to hold out, continuing pace and ending with a 19:50 chip time.  Being in the red zone is temporary, slowing down memories last forever. 

Ending in 37th place out of nearly 800 participants, 3rd in my age group.

Thoughts
In the end I was extremely happy with the result.  Going under twenty has been a big goal of mine since I started running.  I haven't done hardly any "speed work" recently but continue to get quicker.  Overall: happy with the results.

Big thanks to my Mom and Jamie for coming out to the event.  Glad that my Mom was able to be in San Diego during a race. 

"Don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams."

Note: Written in bits in pieces while traveling to the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando.  Off the pump for a few days now, giving injections.  Most liberating feeling I've had in a long time.