Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A great run today

This morning I was scheduled to run 60 minutes, including two 20-minute tempo intervals at heart rate zone 4. What does this mean? My heart rate zone 4 is anywhere between 169 and 179 beats per minute, which I measure with my Polar heart rate monitor. I went for my run this morning after waking up with a BG of about 90 (yay!). I was a little concerned that I might drop, so I ate half of a banana, which brought me up to about 110 by the time I started running. After 16 minutes of warmup, I began the first 20-minute tempo interval. I was feeling the slightest bit low but assumed I wasn't low for two reasons: I ate the banana (well, half) and I rarely drop low when I exercise first thing in the morning (before taking any boluses). Nonetheless, I decided to take some preventive action and ate a ClifShot a few minutes in, and turned my basal down 40% for an hour. (I had a really horrible low 2 weeks ago that took me 20 minutes to recover from during a similar run; while waiting, there was a freakish hail storm and I was stuck there under a big tree, trying to stay dry while obsessively checking my BG every 45 seconds. This run was during the lunch hour--not early morning like today--so I wasn't terribly concerned about a repeat event.) Anyway, I tested after the first interval and I was 174, which was acceptable. I usually like to let the BG drift up a little, just because I hate having lows so much while exercising. Still, I wish I could figure out how to have a BG of 120 all the time while exercising! Is this even remotely possible? The second interval was slightly uphill, which made it a little easier to keep my heart rate up in HR zone 4. My average HR for this interval was 173 or so. Following my run, my BG was about 240 so I took a corrective bolus. I think that it was probably only necessary to reduce my basal for the first half hour, while I was still close to 100, or to not eat the snack. I was in the groove and didn't feel like pulling out my BG meter during the first interval; this would have been the better solution. (Even better would be to have my Dexcom working again. I need to order some additional sensors.)

Here Comes the Fog

I took these pictures while walking around my neighborhood this morning. I love it when the fog spills over the hills in San Francisco. I'm happy, too, when I'm viewing it from the sunny side! The second photo shows the Big Wall of Fog coming in from the Pacific. Scary! (Sorry for the poor image quality; the pictures are from my cell phone.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Back in the Bay

After a long break from freezing--I mean, swimming--in the San Francisco Bay, I ventured down to Aquatic Park with another friend this morning to do a couple laps (about 2/3 mile) around the swim buoys. Fortunately, the psychotic sea lion seems to have moved on to a happier place, and the water was calm. We got in the water right before sunrise, with the morning light starting to lighten up the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands to our west. I doggie-paddled out to the first buoy and tested the water on my face with a few strokes. The water was worse than uncomfortable; I would actually describe it as downright painful. I've been swimming in the Bay countless times, but it takes a bit of mental adjustment the first time each year. Anyway, the pain disappeared as the numbness set in, and we had a great swim. Afterwards, we warmed up with an easy 35-minute run (recovery week!) along the water towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Mornings like I had today are what keep me paying my premium living expenses--aka my "San Francisco Club" dues! Bay swimming, biking and running are all free (well, aside from the $$ that disappears into the black hole otherwise known as Sports Basement), so I feel like I am somehow offsetting some of the other exaggerated expenses from living here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Insulin Doping??

An article listed on ScienceDaily and cited on PubMed today reports that scientists in Germany are developing a urine test that would be used to detect illicit use of insulin in athletes. Insulin does promote the uptake of carbohydrates into muscle and fat cells, so in theory perhaps this could be an advantage. But then again, in people without diabetes, carbohydrates promote the uptake of carbohydrates by fat and muscle (via normal insulin production). Of course, insulin's role in metabolism is much more complicated than my simple explanation; I still have to wonder what advantage these athletes could possibly be seeking.

A friend once suggested to me that, as a T1, I had an advantage over other athletes in the sense that I was very aware of the state of my body. He may have had a point. For example, after a very intense or long bike ride, I may have to keep eating without insulin or with a greatly reduced dose of insulin for a few hours, or frequently longer. Efforts to keep my blood sugar from falling may help me to regulate the amount of food I need to refuel the glycogen in my muscles. On the other hand, I imagine that normal hunger cues in non-diabetics do a pretty good job at this. And I'd rather be a little less informed on the state of my BG than have to worry about having a low BG during a race. Still, having T1 diabetes helps me to stay motivated with my athletic goals and with other efforts to maintain a healthly lifestyle.