Saturday morning I woke up before my alarm. I immediately turned my basal insulin down to 50% for 4 hours. I got dressed, had a bowl of Dorset cereal with kefir and a banana sliced on top for which I took 1.5 units of insulin instead of 5.
I was heading to my first Saturday morning brick training workout and had no idea what to do with my insulin or my blood sugar. I was playing it very conservatively because I did not want to find myself having to pull over in the middle of a workout due to a low.
I tossed my running shoes and my glucometer into a bag, along with six emergency packages of fruit chews (in addition to the four that were already shoved into my the bag on my bike) and headed off. I was the first one to arrive. Followed soon after by three very young, lean, fit-looking people with bikes that could eat mine for breakfast.
I forced myself not to bolt and ignored the voice in my head that said to run away now while no one knew me so they'd never know who the crazy girl was who showed up and then left.
Two friends showed up, thank heavens, and assured me that I would indeed be fine. Perhaps a little tired at the end but fine.
The plan for the day was the following. Cycle about 5k to one of the athlete's houses. Our coach would bring his car loaded with our shoes and meet us there. Then head off for a hilly 12k (or so) ride (at tempo pace) to a meeting point. From there, we would do a 5 1/2k loop at race pace. Most people would do it three times. A few of us, including me, would do it twice. Cycle back to our shoes. Go for a run. My run was to be a 2k run (run out 1k, turn around, run back), rest two minutes, then run out 1k again, rest 1 minute, and run back 1k. Cycle about 6k home.
Grand total: 42k of riding. 4k of running. Time spent moving: a little over 2 hours.
That's how it worked out on paper. Here's how it worked out in real life.
Five minutes before leaving, my pump alarmed to tell me that battery in my continuous glucose monitor transmitter was low and instructed me to order a new one. Bloody hell! I've worn this transmitter for about 8 months now. I knew that would happen eventually but not on the Saturday of a long weekend. I couldn't order a new one until Tuesday now and I have no idea how long a low battery will survive. Hours? Days? Weeks? I tossed my glucometer in my bag just in case and headed out, grateful for and yet cursing technology.
I kept up fairly well during the warm-up ride. Everyone did a 'leisurely' 25km/hour pace and I pedalled madly to keep up. It worked. I was quite warm quite quickly.
The tempo ride up and down the hills outside of town was faster than my race pace. It was crazy. Everyone else was just gone. One friend, who was on an easy week to recover from her Olympic triathlon the week before, held back with me but the rest of the group was just gone. I would have despaired if I wasn't so freaking proud of myself for keeping up such an aggressive pace (for me anyway).
Then came the 5 1/2k loops. "I want you to race this" were the instructions. And I want your times at the end of the loop because we'll do this again in a few weeks.
"I've been going faster than race pace already" I mumbled. "This should be interesting".
It was. The loop had some pretty tough sections with some pretty steep hills. I pedalled hard up the hills and hard on the flats. We finished the loop in about 14 minutes. Rest two minutes and do it again.
The instructions on the way back were 'go at tempo pace. Don't race it but it shouldn't be easy.'
I was dropped, and I mean dropped, within a minute. I lost sight of everyone despite forcing my tired legs to dig deep and hold a 30+ km/hour pace on anything that looked remotely flat. By the time I made it back to the meeting point, everyone else was in the running shoes and ready to run.
I changed quickly, received my instructions and headed off...for what turned out to be a really good run.
I ran the kilometres in 6:12, 6:18, 5:49 and 5:54 min/k. Anyone who knows my running speed knows that this is crazy fast. And yet it felt pretty comfortable.
I cycled home, guzzled my chocolate milk, stretched, showered and spent the day not doing too much. It was fun and I'll definitely do it again.
Blood sugar report: I hung out around 10.0 for most of the bike ride. I had dropped to 7.9 by the time we were ready to cycle back so I had a package of fruit chews. I finished the run at 8.9 and was 6.9 by the time I got home. That, my friends, is success!