Sunday, November 16, 2014

Changes

It's been some time since I wrote here. Many life changes have taken place in that time. I've raced a lot on the track in that time but more importantly I'm proud to say I started a career with Eliel Cycling and Wattie Ink. Both are wonderful companies with great passion and vision for cycling/triathlon apparel. 

Saturday night was the last track race of the season. It has been a great first season racing on the track. I've met a lot of great people at the San Diego Velodrome and look forward to racing a lot more next season. 

Track racing is over for the season now. I can say that I've learned a lot. I've gotten much stronger on the bike and am excited to just focus on riding for next year. 

Track racing is much more complicated to manage diabetes with the anaerobic spikes than the aerobic efforts of triathlon. I've tested and retested when to give insulin and when to back off. I'll share more of that next year racing. 

For now I look forward to the holiday season and setting goals for next year, riding a little less as the days get shorter then riding more in the new year. 











Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Better Diabetes at Friday Night Racing

The blood sugars faired better this time around. I did what the legend Bill Carlson told me; dosed insulin prior to racing. This time I also had the handy-dandy continuous glucose monitor on as well. The blood sugars were reading a downward trend prior to the start of the first race. The game was on. 

I won the first race easily, thanks mainly to my friend Mike pulling out on the first lap because his seat post came loose. It was a six lap points race, having won the first three laps I pulled up knowing I had enough. I believe this was my first overall victory on the track. 



My blood sugars flatlined now we raced again fifteen minutes later. This was a fifteen lap points race, with a twist. Points awarded on the fifth lap, the twist being we had to regroup after the sprint. Slamming on the brakes isn't fun. I got second overall in this race to Mike who had fixed his bike issue. 

My blood sugars were heading up at this point. The cotton mouth started. The last race of the night was a twenty lap keirin (a race to the finish). The race was pretty mellow until three laps to go. I got third in this one, out sprinted at the end, no juice left. 


I feel better about how my blood sugars were. Diabetes didn't wreck the rest of the weekend either. I gave myself insulin after the last race then rolled around for a fifteen minute cool down. That got my blood sugars to settle, just as Bill said they would. 

I have more to figure out both with diabetes and with racing. It's a challenge but it feels good to have figured it out a little more.  

Can't beat this picture of San Diego.
Coronado Bridge in the back of the Velodrome.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First Track Race & Blood Sugar Demons

Coming around corner two in the third lap of my first track race I looked down at the competitor to my right. In that brief moment it was as if time stood still. "This is incredible," I thought to myself. 

The first race of Friday night was an "unknown distance", a purely sick and twisted way to start. The race turned out to be eight laps, none of us knew how long it would be until the bell lap. I ended up getting second in my first race.

Every Friday at the San Diego Velodrome there are C and D level races. I'll let the reader guess if you start in C or D. 

I loved the adrenaline. The adrenaline did not like my diabetes. My blood sugar spiked after the first first race to 280. I gave myself a unit of insulin knowing it wouldn't do much. 

The second race was an eight lap points race. I won a lap for a point and got second on the fine lap for two more points, three total for the race. Ended second in that race as well. Confused yet? 

My legs shot like I haven't felt since college, when coach was really [really] mad at the baseball team. Slow triathlons are about cramping, this was about full pounding lactic acid. I checked my blood sugar again. Well over 300. I could feel the cotton mouth. I gave myself two more units while letting my legs rest. 


Triathlon is so different than this. This isn't participation, no feel good pats on the back, it's actual racing. Once the race starts there is no more time to think about how your legs feel. Time passes like a chess match, each player pounding the clock after a move. 

The last race was an eighteen lap points race. Points every six laps. This was more fun than points every lap. I won the first points lap. Sat down on the second points lap without juice in my legs. On the final lap I ended second, eight total points on the race. 

The tired feeling felt wonderful. My cotton mouth from a high blood did not. 

My blood sugar ended near the same place it started in the final race. I learned a lot and sure won't let high blood sugar slow me down. 

The resulting blood sugars reeked havoc on my weekend and sleep. I spoke with the legend himself the following day, Bill Carlson. He gave me wise sage advice on how to keep the blood sugars down this Friday. 




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Team Cassidy Prone Paddle Board & Track Racing

Jamie opened the freezer to find my running shoes in plastic bags. Taking a step back and giving me a dirty look, “what are these?”

Her eyes looking through me, I knew exactly what she was referencing from across the room. My head down I gave a quick rebuttal, “I heard it gets the smell out, we’re the weird family, we all just have to accept that.” 

Keeping her eyes glazed through me, “yeah, I realize that already.” 

I found out this week that only 1 in 5,000 people in America have completed an Ironman. I’ve heard marathons are around 2% of the population. Every Monday my boss asks “what did you do this weekend”, each Monday the reply, “rode my bike.” Once he asked how long, I told him seven hours on Saturday. The look on his face said it all. I’ve haven't been asked how long since.

Jamie has talked about trying paddle boarding since we moved to San Diego. She recently started to go to group workouts with a club that does prone paddle board, basically laying on your stomach (or knees) paddling like swimming. If stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is niche, this is uber niche. Everyone in the group is a former high caliber athlete. 


That’s why I give her credit for showing up in the first place. It’s not easy being the new person in a group of athletes, even when you’ve been an athlete your entire life. 

Last week I finished my six week track cycling class. If road cycling is niche, track cycling is uber niche. There aren't that many velodromes in the country in the first place. I guess that’s the way Jamie and I like it. Thanks to a friend helping me get a track bike I’m going to give racing a try. I love the track; the speed, the contained area, how the community has been so welcoming. 


San Diego, the whole area is full of people like Jamie and me. If you want to get outside and make friends doing it, this is the place to be. It’s nice to know you can be part of the niche and not simply be the only weird ones. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Simple Life: Track Cycling

One of the beauties of baseball is it is fairly simple. A glove, a bat, a ball and one can't forget the hat. When I put my hand in a glove as a child it felt as though the two of us were one. The glove is so simple, a piece of raw leather cut a certain way and stitched up. The issue with cycling is that it is the anti-simple in the modern era. 

The bike most people know has two wheels, a frame and from there it gets more complicated. Two derailleurs (the part that shifts the bike), all the brake parts, the four cables and the list continues. When one learns to maintain all of these together to create a working bike it is very fulfilling. It's all like using an insulin pump for diabetes, when it works, it's great. When the parts don't work together, it is less than great.

I've started to take a track cycling class every Wednesday evening at the San Diego Velodrome. What's different about the velodrome; the bike is a fixed single gear with no brakes. All go, no show. The first time I stepped on a track bike it felt like putting on that baseball glove. Simple. Peddle the bike, it moves forward; stop peddling, the bike stops (quickly). The track bike is like multiple daily injections compared to the insulin pump. The user knows what they get, not all these other parts that are going to break.

This is something different but still the bike, simplified. The track class is a good learning experience, learning how to ride the bike better and differently. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

200 miles in Hemet, CA

On April 12 I rode 205 miles as part of the California Triple Crown series of 200 mile rides. This event took place in Hemet, a small town in the Moreno Valley about 75 miles from our home in Solana Beach. The area is in a valley, hot and dry in the California desert. 

The day was long, about 14 hours in total. I found it is one of those things that I can check off my list. As long as a rider is fit enough, they can go longer. 

Post event my Mom asked, "how can you go that far?". The answer I gave sums of the event, "it's harder to go fast for a short period of time than bike all day slow." Outside perception is longer is harder but that isn't always the case. 

My blood sugars at the start of the day were high, having spiked after waking up. After a correction in the first 20 miles, in the pitch black of 5am everything settled. The rest of the day was simple, ride...ride...ride. 

Near the end of the ride I went to the mental place that each race seems to give. While this wasn't a race, I was out there for so long it was still a day of pushing oneself. The clarity of mind is a beautiful thing. I thought of Jamie, where my life is going professionally right now and life in general. 

How far is far? Each person's definition is different. Whatever it is, get out there and push your limits. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Palomar Mountain Ride with CCSD

Once in a great while all everyone needs is a mini-vacation. A little get awhile from the world. A time when things are different, even for a brief moment. 

Climbing from sea level to Palomar Observatory is that small, brief, relief from the world. Where we live is sunshine and palm trees (be jealous), once the cross above 2,000 feet happens there is no more of that. The fog is dense, the tree's filled with pine. It almost feels like being back home in Wisconsin. 

At the start of Saturday's climb up Palomar my blood sugars were high. I've yet to learn that I either need to wake up early to eat or avoid eating until near the start of events. 

No matter, blood sugars were back to normal within sixty minutes of riding. 

The climb felt great, taking it easy the way up because I didn't know what to expect, even stopping to take a few pictures.





Signs at the top. 


Monday, March 17, 2014

Do something that scares you

A wise man once said; do something everyday that scares you. Today I registered for the St. Paddy's Palomar Punishment ride this coming Saturday. 11,000 feet of vertical climbing over 100 miles. The route goes up Mt. Palomar, I've never ridden to the top before. I'll know very quick on Saturday if I'm ready for the coming 200 mile ride in April. That much climbing over 100 miles for a rider my size scares me but that's why I'm doing it. Nothing worth doing is easy. 


The riding has been going well as of late. I went through a burst three weeks ago that left me feeling flat but the last two weeks have been spectacular. The last two weekends Jamie has come out with me as well. I know riding outside is slightly out of her comfort zone but she's been doing great. She's done a ton of indoor trainer intervals and you can see how much power she has gained, she's stronger on the bike than I've ever seen her.

Jamie inspired me to ride the Palomar route. Do something that scares you too.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In the mind's eye

I've been learning photoshop to use for business purposes. I do really like the learning process, it has been opening up a creative side. I'm also able to create ideas I'm not able to put in words. Below is a representation of the mind's eye trying to get over a hard workout. Many times we all have to picture success before it happens.

 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Raw food for a whole week


You should play the video above. Raw food for a whole week? Let's call that the blender diet. Blood sugars were great though.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Early 2014 Goals | 200 miles

I often say to Jamie "you can't tame a mustang" to which she always responds "I'll let you know when I find one". And that is why I married her. This sciatica issue in my lower back is slow to heal. It's definitely getting better without running and a lot of core training. I need a goal though. One that keeps me on the right path and helps me focus.

When I have a fitness goal, everything else just falls into place. I can focus more at work, I never sway to eat bad food, my blood sugars are always in check. It just makes life better.

I can't run. I'm just getting back into swimming. What would the goal be? Bike, a lot. I'm going to do a 200 mile endurance ride (yes Mom, in one day). In California there is an organization that puts on the Triple Crown for any cyclist that has ridden three double centuries in one year, making the list of races/rides extensive. The one I am eying is in April in Hemet, California about 70 miles away from our home or the Central Coast Double in Paso Robles, CA about 300 miles away.

My goal is to complete the 200 mile event and a few time trials at Fiesta Island along the way. I can then reassess the sciatica situation at that point instead of dwelling on it day-by-day.

March 2, 2014 | Fiesta Island TT
March 29, 2014 | Fiesta Island TT
April 12, 2014 | Hemet Double Century
OR May 10, 2014 | Central Coast Double

On a totally unrelated note. Jamie had her SDSU Alumni Water Polo game on Saturday. Still killing it even as a Cassidy. Proud of her, picture below.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

EcoKable

When I was nearing the end of graduate school it was obvious that Jamie and I had to start making some life decisions together. It was around this same time that Insulindependence offered me a position. It was a chance to get down to San Diego with her while doing something I cared about and start our life together.

I remember before one of our last classes I told her that Insulindependence would be good for me, I'd learn a lot about diabetes. I was dead on correct. Over the last two and a half years I've learned a lot about my own diabetes. 

I've met great friends and learned from great people in diabetes. People with diabetes all over the spectrum; from Peter (founder) to Vic, Bill Carlson, Cliff Scherb and many more. If you don't know who those people are I suggest you investigate more about Insulindependence and learn about managing your diabetes with exercise. 

During my time at the organization I met many wonderful people outside of diabetes as well. I truly believe life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Timing is everything and now is the time to leave the comfort zone with my own business. "The distance between your dreams and reality is action", as my two Grandfather's and Dad have instilled in me, it is now time to be an entrepreneur and follow my dreams. 

EcoKable is a new business I started along with Kristian who is taking a chance on me. We have big dreams to create electronics that are better for the environment. More of the story from a local newspaper here.