Monday, September 9, 2013

Ventura Half-Marathon

When I signed up for the Ventura Half-Marathon it was just a half-marathon, then it became a big deal. With a very big busy summer right along side wedding planning I initially registered to have at least one goal in mind. As the race grew closer I looked forward to it more and more. 

Jamie and I left for Ventura early Saturday morning so we could stop in Santa Monica at a bar on the third street promenade to watch her beloved San Diego State football team get absolutely crushed by Ohio State (42-7 for the record, sorry Jamie). We left by half when the game got out of hand and made our way to Ventura. After packet pick-up we met our friend Mike and his girlfriend Marjorie for dinner on the Ventura Pier then headed back to the hotel.

After waking up early to let the insulin clear Jamie and I made our way down to the race. I told Mike and Marjorie they could go with us at 5:15 but knew that would be early for most. I told Mike the night before that if I left later I'd probably end up having a panic attack. (Thanks Coach Verdugo for my time anxiety.) 

We made our way to downtown Ventura, parked and waited. We ate our breakfast (had my rice cakes) and just sat in the car. This seems to be why I like the morning so much. It may always be darkest before he dawn but it's also the most peaceful. Calm. 

My blood sugar was perfect when I woke up. I've been on Levemir long acting insulin since Ironman last November and it has say the least. I never have freak out moments anymore about where my blood sugar will end up when I awake as I did with an insulin pump. My morning blood sugars remained well until right before the starting gun.

Just before the race started I saw an arrow up on the CGM, which was fine, it is simply time to wait and see where it in ends up leveling off. Until of course it doesn't. Double arrows up. I do not believe it was adrenaline that caused this spike. It was simply under-dosing insulin and then eating another half rice-cake. 

The race started well. I felt good but needed my legs to loosen more. The course was nearly flat along the boardwalk area in Ventura and then through farmland, out and back. Jamie and I ran about the first two miles together then separated. 

Around mile 5 my blood sugar was still high and I knew I wanted to have the gel I carried. My blood sugar by this point was reading 280 on the CGM. I continued to run and tested with the small meter I carried in a SpiBelt. 270 is what that read. Time for a unit. Somehow without breaking pace I pulled out the syringe, pushed out 4 of the 5 units I didn't need, jabbed the syringe in my sweaty stomach and continued, hoping the insulin went in. 

I took water and some gel at the next aid station as it was nearing the turn around. I still felt good at this point and was holding the exact pace I set out on. 

A few months ago I wrote about clarity during workouts; those hard intervals workouts when you're going so hard that your mind loses track of everything else and all that matters is that very moment. I found myself in that position on Sunday and I can't tell you how good it felt. It was the first time in the last few months that I felt completely in control of my own universe. When it hurt around mile 10, I was the one that could stop or keep going, the sole decision maker with no real decision to be made. 

My side started to hurt around my mile 12 but in a way it felt really good. I didn't want the race to end. The last mile didn't really feel great but in a mental way felt amazing. I crossed the line exactly where I wanted to be, sub-1:40, a new PR. Jamie crossed soon after with her new PR. I hugged and kissed her, no pictures, no phones, just us at the finish line.  

Training Peaks Link. Link has all my race data. 

Race Results
Brennan 1:39:51
Jamie 1:42:50

Monday, September 2, 2013

Busy Summer

It's been a busy summer to say the least. Over 10,000 air miles ranging from Chicago, Denver (twice), Seattle, Houston and even Las Vegas for my bachelor party. A great conference on diabetes and exercise, new friends and now finally a race again. 

Jamie and I are heading north to Ventura, CA where we will meet our friend Mike to run the Ventura Half Marathon next Sunday. I wanted to peak out at 40 miles/week but ended up just over 35 in the last three weeks along with easy some biking. 

The training has been between work travel mixed with wedding planning events (Jesus Bootcamp where a priest gave us the okay to get married next month). Jamie has done an awesome job training the last twelve weeks, running six days a week nearing 40 miles/week. 

This is the first stand alone half-marathon I've ran in well over 18 months. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.