Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just Like a Fingerprint

When I first started running, I noticed pretty quickly that every runner seems to have their own particular stride. In fact, most are so distinctive that I can usually spot the runner I'm looking for when they are still a pretty small spot on the horizon. Perhaps it's the way they bounce when they run. Or the fact that they don't bounce at all. Or the way their arms swing, or don't swing. It's most likely a combination of a bunch of tiny things that each runner does but the end result is a running stride as unique as a fingerprint and it has helped me scout for runners in all sorts of races.

Swimming is apparently like that too. I have spent a lot of time swimming but I haven't spent a lot of time watching swimmers. Especially swimmers I know. I've never watched Doug compete in a triathlon from a position where I could see the swim portion. So I have no idea if I could spot his arms among all the other wetsuit-clad arms out there. He has assured me that I was pretty noticeable in races that he has watched so I guess it must be true.

Cycling, well, I haven't noticed too many different kinds of cycling techniques. At least not to the point where I can recognize someone from afar by their spinning legs. Usually I am watching for helmet, bike and shirt colour combinations. White helmet, grey bike and red shirt typically means I've spotted Doug. Long lanky legs usually help confirm this but are the last thing I notice, not the first.

I'm saying all this because yesterday after work I squeezed in a 15-minute golf lesson. During the lesson, I had to hit balls at a Trackman which is basically a large screen with all sorts of funky sensors. When my ball hits the screen, it analyses the angle, the speed, etc etc and it spits out all kinds of data that can help explain why I do things like hit beautiful long drives that always fly way off to the right.

Turns out I have a 'weak grip'. My initial reaction when I heard that was 'what!?! I have a strong grip! You should see when I shake hands'' but I quickly realized that weak had nothing to do with grip strength and everything to do with the angle with which I held the club. A weak grip = balls flying off to the right. A too strong grip, I quickly discovered, sends them careening off to the left. I finally found a sweet spot and the balls starting going where they should.

The trick now will be to remember that feeling and be able to repeat it. Over and over again.

On the way home afterwards, I mentioned to Doug that it must be hard for golf instructors not to burst out laughing sometimes when they see the way some people swing the golf club.

"Go to a driving range and watch people" he replied. "It's crazy how different everyone swings. It's pretty darn funny to watch too."

Sounds like golf is a lot like running. You can spot your favourite golfer a mile away once you figure out how they move.

PS. during my Trackman session, the following two things happened as soon as we switched my grip:

1. I swung the club, whacked the tee cleanly out from under it and the ball plopped down to where the tee had been and just sat there.

2. On the second try, I swung the club and the ball shot straight up in the air, hit the ceiling, dropped back down onto one of the narrow metal beams holding up the Trackman system and had to be pushed back down to earth with a golf club.

Neither feats had ever been seen in that room and, odds are, neither will again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's in a Name?

The other night there was a show on television about the Mont Tremblant Ironman 70.3.

First of all, I was a little confused by the name as I had never seen Ironman 70.3 before. I had seen Ironman and I had seen Half-Ironman. I had seen 70.3 and 140.6 and I knew that the first represented the distance covered (in miles) for a Half-Ironman and the second represented the Ironman.

An Ironman is an Ironman just like a marathon is a marathon. It's a set distance, a predetermined race and when someone says they ran a marathon or did an Ironman, there should be no question about what they actually did.

So when I read Ironman 70.3 I wasn't sure what exactly the distance was. I soon discovered that it was a Half-Ironman, no small feat in itself mind you, not an Ironman.

I did do some online checking and an "Ironman 70.3" is apparently the same as saying a Half-Ironman but it feels a little different. Perhaps because not everyone knows what the 70.3 is. They will just see "Ironman". It's kinda like saying that I completed a marathon 21.1 isn't it?

Anyway, that's not actually the point of the story. The point of the story was the story itself. The show talked about the elite athletes and it followed them along the course as they competed at mind-boggling speeds. But it also followed some other folks. The regular folks. The ones who take hours and hours and hours to finish. Folks who, three years prior, weighed over 300 pounds and freely admit that they didn't do any exercise. Folks who had decided to get in shape, learn to run and progressed from there.

I saw these people training and I saw them competing and I saw them cross the Half-Ironman finish line.  And I thought to myself - bloody hell, good for them.

Olympic distance triathlons are just about half the distance of a Half-Ironman. Not quite but close enough for me to know that doing twice what I just did is not for the faint of heart. It's also not something that the average person can just wing. It takes a huge amount of training, commitment and guts to get to the start line of a Half-Ironman, let alone cross the finish line.

So yes indeed. Bloody hell, good for them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Temporary Kindred Spirit

Every once in a while I get to talk to someone who shares something in common with me. Perhaps it's a love of running. Or of open water swimming. Or perhaps it's a faulty pancreas.

Last weekend I met up with a few high school friends for lunch. One of my friends brought his partner along. His partner, a great guy as it turns out, alluded to some health issues he had recently had, I asked a few questions and the next thing I knew we were talking about faulty pancreases (pancrei?).

He doesn't have type 1 but he did go through a period where he was on insulin (up to five injections a day). He's now down to a few pills per day and will hopefully be right as rain in a few more months. But for now, he was browsing the brunch menu with a certain look in his eye.

"Once your pancreas starts sputtering, everything becomes all about carbs doesn't it?" I asked.

His eyes widened "yes, exactly!" he said.

"Food is no longer just food. Now you have to think before you put anything into your mouth" I said.

"It changes everything" he responded.

Someday soon, I hope, he will be completely over the health issues he suffered and will no longer have to think about every food choice he makes.

It was nice to have a kindred spirit at the table who understood how different a menu looks when everything you eat really does matter.

But I'll be happy for him when he gets to be like my other three friends. Laughing and chatting and deciding at the last second what to order based on what sounded good and what the person before them had asked for.

Over the years I have recruited a lot of people to my running, cycling and swimming ways. The world probably has a few more curlers and golfers too thanks to the fact that I decided to join up.

And over the years I have learned to thrive in spite of (or more likely because of) the fact that my body does not produce insulin. It has given me the secret handshake to a few other clubs full of wonderful people that I will be forever grateful to have met.

But I would never wish a faulty pancreas on anyone. And I don't begrudge in the least the fact that the next time all we friends get together, he most likely won't be thinking about carbs and blood sugar.

Good for him.

If only we could all be so lucky.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Reunion, lots of Doug time and a golf lesson = a great weekend

The weekend is over and, as usual, it went by much too quickly.

But it sure was fun!

Doug and I enjoyed a Friday evening golf game together followed by a Saturday morning run and a Sunday morning bike ride.

I also managed to squeeze in a brunch with three of my dearest high school friends, one who I see regularly, one who I see every few years and one who I haven't seen in almost a decade. Other than one receding hairline, we pretty much look exactly the same and it was great fun to reconnect as a 'gang' again.

I also had my first golf lesson of the season. I know, it's the end of July, but we figured it was time for me to get a few of the kinks worked out. So one hour later and two key tips (don't bend your left arm and fix your alignment) later, I was ready for a Sunday afternoon game. It took a few holes to get things feeling right but, once I did, look out!

I managed to get my best ever golf score (110), drop my handicap and get two pars, all thanks to a few tips. Here's a video of me looking like I know what I'm doing. And yes I realize that I'm not actually hitting a ball. We were just working on my swing.

video

Friday, July 24, 2015

Brick Training...With a Coach!

On Wednesday I wrote a blog about the fact that it might be time for me to seek some professional help.

Professional triathlon training help that is.

Within a few hours of posting the blog, several local friends had replied and all of them had recommended the same person. After work that day, I ran into a great friend that I haven't seen in months and we had a great catch-up chat in a grocery store parking lot. Having read my blog that morning, he recommended the same person.

So I figured I had better contact said person and figure out what all the hullabaloo was about.

Turns out that he runs a triathlon club out of my favourite running store. He explained how it works and I can either pay a weekly fee for three group workouts (one swim workout, one running workout and one brick training workout) + a personalized weekly training plan + feedback and support or I can pay a la carte for as many of the workouts as I want, a training plan if I want or just some support if I need it.

I'm not sure I'm quite willing to jump into the deep end and sign up for everything but I was pretty intrigued by the Saturday morning brick workouts that are offered.

The plan is that we meet at 7:50am on our bikes. We bring our running gear (shoes etc) that he then drives to a set location. We do a tough bike workout that apparently involves some distance, some hill training or other fun things. The rides tend to be between 40-50k based on each person's individual goals. We then meet as set spot, put on our running shoes and head out for a 5k (or so) run while he watches our bikes. Return to bike, switch shoes again, and bike back to the beginning spot where he will arrive with our shoes. Head home and probably have a nap.

Sounds like a tough, long, tiring workout.

Which is probably exactly what I need and is certainly a challenge I will enjoy.

There is no workout this Saturday as most people in the group are heading off to do triathlons. But on August 1st - watch out! This lassie is doing her first official brick training workout.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

And That Makes Us the Lucky Ones

I'm a sucker for a rich-sounding radio voice and I'm also a sucker for eloquent writing and people who speak with a certain poetic flair. 

The other day I was driving and listening to the radio. The show, which I missed the beginning of, was talking about the power of the written word. They were talking about the author and scientist Richard Dawkins. 

I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several of his books but not the one they were talking about. It's called Unweaving the Rainbow and they read his opening paragraph to illustrate the power of great writing. 

By the time they had finished the paragraph, I was on Amazon downloading the book and I have been savouring it ever since. 

His opening paragraph went like this: 

"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

Read it. 

Read it again. 

Read it out loud. 

Savour the words and how they roll off your tongue. 

Savour the message. 

And take an extra second or two to think about just how right he is. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Little Coaching May Be Needed

So here's the thing.

When I first started running, I joined a running clinic where I learned how to run properly, how to pace myself, how and when to use gels and body glide, how to run hills and how to do interval training on my own. They took me from newbie to half marathoner and I will be forever grateful for that.

Once I got the hang of things though, I stopped going to the running clinics. The clinic times didn't really work for me since I preferred pre-work runs rather that post-work ones and I didn't need the motivation factor since I'm pretty good at kicking my own ass into gear. Also, there was pretty much nothing they were able to teach me about how to run with diabetes so I got used to figuring things out on my own and just kept doing that.

A lot of things have changed thought since I stopped going to the running clinics. I have taken up cycling. And swimming. And duathlons and triathlons. And I've gradually pieced together my own training routine based on trying to fit all three sports into a week and making sure I was able to do the distances required. Sometimes I even tossed in a few brick workouts although I must admit that I haven't done one of those all summer.

Anyway, I'm starting to feel that I've gone as far as I'm going to go on my own. I seem to have plateau in terms of running speed and I don't think I've come close to unlocking my potential on the bike. If I want to get better at triathlons, if I want to be able to finish strong, do the distance, cross the finish line in a decent time etc etc, I'm going to have to get some training advice.

Whether that comes from a real life coach, an online coach, a really good training plan, a decent triathlon book, I don't yet know. But I think it might be time to see if I can get a little stronger and a little faster by tweaking a few things.

So I'm on the hunt for either a coach, an online coach, a great and helpful website or a useful book. And hey, if they know a few things about doing all of that with Type 1 diabetes, all the better.

If anyone out there has any advice on where to go next, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gravenhurst Olympic Triathlon Report Card

The Gravenhurst tri is in the books and what a fun day that was! 

Race wise, it went fairly well. 

I decided to wear my new wetsuit for the swim and I'm sure it helped. I finished the 1500m swim in 30:44 and came out 9/29 in my age group. That put me at 87/327 overall. Swimming is definitely my best sport. 

The bike went quite well. I had hoped to keep an average pace of 25km/hour but didn't know if I could on a hilly course. I finished the 40k ride in 1:33:08 and my average pace was 25.77km/hour. So I was thrilled with that. I was 18/29 in my age group and 250/327 overall. So I obviously have some work to do on the bike. 

The run, on the other hand, was just brutal. The temperature was hot and humid - in the 30s, with beating sun and no shade to speak of. The course is tough and very hilly. And I just fell apart. I ran some, I walked some. I ran a bit. I walked some more. By the end I had given up even trying to run up the hills but I did force myself to run the flats and the downs. It took me 1:20:11 to run 10k. At least 15 minutes longer than I had hoped. 

But, if you add my two transitions times (2:39 and 3:01), my overall time was 3:29:43 which was pretty much the 3 1/2 hours I had figured it would take me. 

Diabetes-wise, it went ok but not great. 

I had my race-day basal profile programmed into my pump and, as planned, I had two dates (with salt) right before the swim. When I got out of the water it take a while for Rose to find the signal again so I was riding blind when I hopped on the bike. I did not know what my blood sugar was. 

A few minutes into the bike, she started vibrating which meant that she found the signal and I was either over 10 or under 4. I figured I was over 10. Every few minutes she would vibrate again and I was trying to figure out the best way to dig her out from inside my outfit and check while riding as fast as I could on a hilly course. I waited for a flat section, pulled her out and glanced down. 

I couldn't see anything. 

I was so bright that I couldn't read the screen and my dark sunglasses made it even harder. I pulled those up and looked under them. Nothing. I tried a few more angles. Nothing. 

Bloody hell. 

The only option was to a) keep riding and go by feel or b) pull over, stop, unclip and check. 

I kept riding. 

At 30k, I ate two more dates. Rose had stopped vibrating which meant that I was between 4.0 and 10.0 but I had no idea where or whether I was climbing or dropping. 

In transition, I checked Rose again and this time I could read the screen. It was 6.3 which was great but not high enough for a 10k run. So I ate a package of fruit chews and headed out. Before the first kilometre, Rose was vibrating and I had a headache. I was climbing fast and, by kilometre 2 I was 16.4. What the hell?!?

I drank water at every stop but just kept climbing. So I did what I never do in a race and I took insulin. Two and a half units of it, at the 4k mark. I figured I had to finish the remaining 6k before I dropped too low. 

I did and was back down to 8.0 by the finish line. My headache was gone and I stayed within range for the rest of the afternoon, even after chocolate milk, orange slices and a piece of pizza. 

So not bad overall but there is certainly room for improvement. Including figuring out how to keep tabs on my blood sugar on the bike. 

Some photos for those of you who like the visuals. 

Squeezing my caboose into a wetsuit is never easy or pretty. Doug often helps by giving it a good yank.

All aboard the steamship and ready to head to the start line. 

All I kept thinking as I approached the dock was "Oh don't end yet, this swim is awesome!"

Sucking back some Nuun before hopping on the bike. 

Roar!

Heading out for the run. I feel great. Let me wave to the camera. (That feeling changed about 2 minutes later but it was nice while it lasted). 

I'm back, I'm alive. Sorry it took so long! 

Couldn't resist a wetsuit-free swim in the early morning hours before we headed home. 

So very peaceful and a wonderful way to end another Gravenhurst adventure. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Off to the Races

It's been a rather action-packed week and I have had to let a few things slip. Blogging regularly being one of them.

In the last seven days I did manage to photograph a wedding, celebrate my father's birthday, attend a baby shower, plan a baby shower, and pack for our triathlon weekend that starts in a handful of hours.

I'm fine. Doug's fine. We're off to the races and will be back next Tuesday with lots of pictures and stories to share.

Ta!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Swimming and Cycling Adventures with an Errant Golf Ball Thrown in for Fun.

We are down to a handful of days before the Gravenhurst Olympic distance triathlon.

Which means that:
  • it's taper time,
  •  there is nothing I can do at this point to improve in any of the three activities I'll be doing. I am as prepared as I can b, physically anyway, and
  • there is a lot I can do to screw things up before race day like not getting enough sleep, not eating well, not keeping an eye on my sodium intake, twisting my ankle, catching a cold, dislocating my shoulder or getting arrested.  
Most of the above are very likely in case you were worried I was trying to tell you that I've been arrested but there is always a chance that life will make it difficult for me to sleep or eat as well as I would like.

In the past few weeks, I've made an effort to cycle more and to get more open water swimming in. I'm happy to report that I did both of those things and had a few adventures in the process.

While open water swimming:  
  • I have had aquatic plants wrapped around my goggles as I swam through what felt like a kelp forest but what was probably just a few aquatic plants growing madly in the warm, sunny, shallow waters.
  • I have had a complete stranger ask if I was wearing a heart rate monitor to which I replied 'that's an insulin pump' to which she replied "that's a heart rate monitor" and pointed to my heart rate monitor that she could see through my bathing suit. Yep, you're right, it is a heart rate monitor. 
  • I have had aquatic plants wrap around my arms and even whip across my face as I swam through another kelp forest (and yes I know it's not really kelp but I like that word better than 'aquatic plant')
  • I have finished a swim, removed my wetsuit and goggles, and then walked around for the next two hours with goggle marks on my face and fruit chew package outlines on my ankles where they were tucked in my wetsuit. 
While cycling, I discovered a great way to pass the time and keep me motivated to go faster.
  •  My goal (which I can't yet do) is to maintain an average cycling speed of 25 km/hour. I can do about 23 km/hour at the moment. 
  • Twenty-five kilometres per hour = a pace of 2 minutes and 30 seconds per kilometre. 
  • My Garmin watch beeps every kilometre and tells me how long it took me to cycle said kilometre.
  • So, at 5:30am, I am cycling up and down the back roads racing against my watch.  
  • If my first kilometre is 2:33, I am now at +3 seconds. Next kilometre is 2:25, well I am now at -2 seconds. When I have a few kilometres of tailwind, I can usually bank 45-60 seconds that quickly evaporate when I get to the rolling hills or turn into a headwind. 
  • It's surprising how quickly the kilometres go by as well as how much harder I'll push in a headwind knowing that I'm gaining or losing seconds. 
I also managed to squeeze in a few golf games. My favourite moment of late was this: 
  • I stood at the tee of a par three hole, hit the ball far right of the green, watched it hit a tree, bounce left and land 5 feet from the hole. And no, I didn't sink the putt for a birdie. Nor did I sink the second putt for a par. But it still pretty entertaining!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

3am Math

The room temperature was perfect.

The sheets were cool and comfortable.

It was 3am, the room was quiet and we were both sound asleep.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!!!!!!

Bloody Hell!

We were both jolted awake as if by a gunshot.

Rose was yelling at me that my blood sugar was below 3.1.

I took a look at her graph and saw that I had held steady in the low 4s for a few hours and then, in the space of five minutes, I dove from 4 to 3.1. Which means that I skipped right past the slightly less jarring vibration warning that I was below 4.0 and went straight into the extremely effective, heart-stopping BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!! that only happens when I drop below 3.1.

As I lay in bed, I quickly weighted my options.

I had Dex 4s by the bed, also known as glucose tablets.

Dex 4 pros: The pure sugar in those tablets causes my sugar to climb rapidly meaning that I would probably be back above 4.0 before the next blood sugar check that Rose was going to do. Meaning that we could fall right back to sleep without having to be jarred awake again by another one of her very helpful yet annoying warnings that I was still below 4.0.

Dex 4 cons: Dex 4s help me climb quickly into the safe zone but they don't keep me there. If I don't eat something of substance, I typically drop back down below 4.0 again within an hour or so. No thanks.

I also had a package of fig newtons by the bed. I mean doesn't everyone?

Pros: fig newtons help keep my blood sugar up. The combination of more complex carbs (versus pure sugar) and protein get me up and keep me there.

Cons: it can take a while to digest them and I usually have to wait out a good 30 minutes of Rose vibrating me awake before I climb back above 4.0.

I also had the option of lowering my basal rate.

Pros: with less insulin in my system, I would be at less risk of a second low.

Cons: lowering my basal rate is not an option for treating an immediate low. I can only help prevent a future one.

Did I mention that it was 3am and, not thirty-seconds earlier I had been having a lovely sleep?

I decided on the following combination:

I had two Dex 4s (a total of 8 carbs). The goal: get my sugar above 4.0 so Rose wouldn't vibrate and we could go back to sleep.

I had one fig newton (another 10 carbs). The goal: prevent my blood sugar from dropping back down again.

I also lowered my basal rate by 30% for 2 hours. The goal: make doubly sure I didn't drop back down.

I was conservative in the number of carbs I ate and the basal rate reduction I made so I wouldn't go from low to high, causing Rose to vibrate for an entirely different reason.

I ate my snack, changed my basal rate and, within a minute, I was floating back to sleep again.

When I woke up again at 6am, I saw that I had climbed from 3.1 to 7.0 and stayed there for the rest of the night.

Sometimes my 3am math works. Sometimes it doesn't.

This time it was bang on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Swim Buoys

Doug and I have been hanging out at our favourite open water swimming spot quite a lot lately. We have less than two weeks until the Gravenhurst triathlon and we both are feeling the need to get a little more comfortable swimming in water where you can't see the bottom, where aquatic plants sometimes wrap themselves around our wrists or our goggles and where we can't put our feet down and touch bottom every time we might want to.

So we keep heading back there and swimming our respective race distances. I've been doing 1.5k every time I go. The first time was tough. I felt my wetsuit constricting my neck. I had to stop several times and focus on controlling my panicky breathing. My arms felt incredibly heavy and everything just felt harder.

Until it started getting easier.

In fact, last night, I was about 500m into my swim when I realized that I was wearing a wetsuit. I mean of course I knew I was wearing it because I had struggled to get the damn thing on but I had forgotten that I was wearing it once I started swimming. No feelings of constriction around my neck, no panicked breathing, nothing. Just swimming.

Nice!

Oh, and can you spot my latest swimming purchase in the photo below?


Being a stickler for safety, I got pretty excited when I heard about this gadget. It's a swim buoy that a) you can store things like car keys in, b) is inflatable, c) makes me much more visible in the water and d) I could technically hang on to in a moment of open-water panic. 

It straps around your waist and floats behind while you swim. I thought I might notice it during a swim but I've actually stopped a few times to make sure it's still attached. And when I head out to swim the last 600m on my own, Doug can watch my orange buoy bobbing along and know exactly were I am. 

Safety first! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Heart Rate Monitor Meltdown

Diabetes has taught me a lot of things. Some good, some bad, some really kinda gross and some really quite useful.

One of the more useful things I have learned is this: technology that helps me analyze what is happening in my body is wonderful but, when the technology is telling me one thing and my body is telling me another, listen to my body. Always.

On Sunday morning, Doug and I went cycling. We picked a route that had some flat stretches with some hills thrown in every few kilometres. I had my Garmin watch on my bike and it was set to show me my speed, the distance covered and my heart rate.

For the first few kilometres, my heart rate was fine. It was doing what it typically does which is climb a bit and then hang out between 120-130 beats per minute.

Then we climbed the first hill...and my heart rate spiked up to 240 beats per minute.

Two-hundred and forty beats per minute!?!

That, my friends, is a surefire sign that I was about to keel over and die.

Or it's a surefire sign that my heart rate monitor was screwed up.

Seeing 240 beats per minute on a heart rate monitor that, until Sunday, had never shown my heart rate above 180, is pretty horrifying. For one brief moment, I did think that I was about to keel over and I actually wondered if I should have updated the will I did a few years ago. Then I took stock and recognized that I felt no different that I do whenever I climb a hill. I was out of breath but nothing out of the ordinary.

To be sure I wasn't seconds from the end, I took one hand off my handbar and took my pulse for ten seconds. Twenty-two beats in ten seconds. That means 132 beats per minute if my math is correct. Nowhere near 240.

I relaxed and crested the top of the hill.

I figured my heart rate would drop again once we were back on the flats. It didn't.

I readjusted the heart rate monitor but my heart rate refused to budge. Only when we stopped for a quick drink did it drop back down to normal. It stayed there until we climbed the next hill and I spiked right back up to 240 again where it stayed until we got home again.

"I have no idea what is happening" said Doug "but it's sure going to make for a crazy heart rate graph".

No kidding.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Daydreaming Diabetes

Two example of what diabetes does to my brain...and my stress level.

Example one: Several of my colleagues were talking about the number of places that are opening up where people can go to buy medicinal marijuana. And how interesting it was that people could go into these little shops to purchase their medication. I popped my head out of my office and asked if anyone was interested in joining me on a new business venture:

Insulin caf├ęs

Think about it! A community place where you can go to purchase your insulin. Where you can hang out with people at the back table who are putting in their infusion sites. Maybe give a word of encouragement to someone who is still getting the hang of it. A place where you can chat with people about the best place to put your CGM or the best tape to use to keep it on. Where you can trade supplies you no longer use for supplies that you now need. Diabetes humour posters hanging on the walls. Jars of candy lying around...just in case.

I'm telling you this could be great.

Example two: Doug and I were cycling on Canada Day. As we sped along my mind kept wandering to my upcoming triathlon. I was imagining what would happen if the weather was bad on race day. I've never done a triathlon in nasty weather so I have no idea what happens. Do they still do a swim if it's a downpour? Do they do the bike? I guessed that they would cancel the swim in a downpour just in case there might be lightening while we are all out in the lake. And I guessed we would have the opportunity to switch to the duathlon which was what?  I think the Olympic duathlon is a 10k run, then a 40k bike, then a 5k run. I guess I could manage that although I would not like it nearly as much as a triathlon.

And then I almost fell off my bike in horror. OMIGOD! If they cancel the swim on the morning of and give us a chance to run twice instead, I'm in huge trouble.

Why?

Because I will already be two hours into my race day basal profile. A basal profile that is very specific and tailored to the fact that I swim, then bike, then do a 10k run. If I had to switch at the last minute, I couldn't undo the basal insulin I had already taken and I would have to eat a huge amount of food or I would have an almighty low partway through the first run. And then I would have no idea what to expect for the rest of the race and wouldn't know what was best - keep using the basal profile that was designed for a different event or switch back to my regular basal and just dial it back and cross my fingers.

Then I wrenched that train of thought from my mind and ran over it several times with my bike to ensure it didn't find its way back into my head.

The rest of the ride was lovely.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mid-Term Report

June is behind us, Canada has celebrated its 148th birthday and we are now closer to the end of 2015 than we are to the beginning. 

The end of another month means it's time for another fitness report as well as a mid-term report on how my goal to virtually swim, walk, run and bike my way from our front door to Regina, Saskatchewan is going. 

Race Report
It feels like months ago already but I managed to cross the finish line of the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon as well as the Welland Triathlon. Woot! 

Running
Running went well this month. My mileage is down but that's because I'm no longer training for a half marathon. Now I'm training for triathlons so weekend runs are 12k or so rather than the high teens and low twenties. In June I ran 11 times, covering 86.7km in a little over 10 hours. 

Cycling
In the past two weeks I've really increased my cycling in an effort to build some endurance on the bike. I've been getting up early and squeezing in 2 to 3 weekday bike rides in preparation for my Olympic triathlon in July. In June, I cycled 174km in 7 hours. 

Swimming
Swimming was hit and miss in June. The pool was closed for three weeks so most of my swimming was in open water which was also hit and miss. I only swam four times and covered 5450m in 2 hours. Gotta get those numbers up in July! 

Golf
Golf was also a little lacklustre in June. That I blame entirely on rainy days. I only managed to golf four times, walking a total of 30k in 12 hours.  

Total number of workouts: 26 
Distance covered: 296km

Wow! Adding some extra cycling to my routine has gotten me a lot closer to Regina. By the end of May I had covered 1086km. Add June to it and I am now 1,382km into my 2356km journey. 

1,382km brings me smack dab in the middle of Northern Ontario. There is nothing on the map near that location so the best I can say is that I am exactly 100km from Thunder Bay. 

Getting there!