Monday, April 07, 2008

WFTW 2008

Wildflower Triathlon 2006

Another weekend traveling on 101 brought me to Lake San Antonio for the annual pre-Wildflower training weekend, aka WFTW. Saturday, we had the pleasure of doing not one, but two loops of the Wildflower Long Course bike route. For those in the know, that means going up "Nasty Grade" twice. (However due to a romantic event between two of our favorite coaches at the top of aforementioned Nasty Grade, we had to rename it "Engagement Grade" or perhaps "Proposal Point"?)

I felt great on the first loop of the course, and my BG's and nutrition were on target, despite an initial high due to an unbolused banana right before starting. I had breakfast (PureFit bar + banana with 2.15 U insulin) 3 hours before riding and started a 2.1-U, 3-hour extended bolus at 8:22 at the beginning of the ride. I had one bottle of Perpetuum (5 scoops P. + 4 scoops electrolytes) and planned to eat another 100 cal's per hour in Fig Newtons and GU. That all seemed to work out pretty well. Around 45 miles, I swapped out my Perpetuum bottle for the second bottle (4 scoops P. + 4 scoops electrolye) and continued with the same plan. I decided to try eating without any further boluses. From mile 50-85, my BG's were reading 103, 99, 108, 110, 107, 122, 95, 119, which sounds great, but didn't feel great. Like another diabetic runner, Marcus Grimm, I also feel better with a slightly higher BG, somewhere in the 125-140 range. I'm not sure if it's because my body is unused to exercising at the lower level, if it's a mental thing (i.e., I might get a little nervous and start imaging low BG symptoms?), or if the muscles actually work better at a higher level (maybe related to my average BG or maybe there is an absolute difference for diabetics?) As it is, when my BG is around 100, I feel like I am eating to prevent a low, and it is distracting to be on constant alert for hypoglycemia.

And speaking of hypoglycemia, I'm pretty sure I had a bit of that on my second climb up Engagement Grade (i.e., N.G.) but I didn't stop to test. I ate a GU while redlining it (not so appetizing) and managed to drink some water, all without getting sick to my stomach. (Thank you, stomach, for being so tough!) But at the top, or around mile 90, I had a reading of 78, so something was definitely going on. I didn't really recover for the rest of the ride, but made it back with okay BG's and even did the insane climb back up to the cabins. (Shannon's cookies were waiting.)

Overall, I am really happy with the way the ride went. It was a gorgeous day, windy as usual for the area, with sunshine but a bit of coolness in the air. It was a great confidence builder to do the course twice, and I will certainly be happy with doing "only" one loop on race day! I feel like the first half of the ride went well as far as nutrition and diabetes are concerned, but the second half needs work. Perhaps I need to reduce my basal rate further as the day goes on (my basal rate was 0.25 U/hr at its minimum) or reduce my bolus for the food the first few hours (maybe 1.5 U over 2.5 hours) as Ed L. suggested to me in a recent comment. I guess there will be plenty more opportunities to test this out!

As another note, the 13-mile run the next day went great. I tried reducing my basal rate 20% 30 minutes before starting but I guess I fueled up pretty well after the ride, because I ended up battling highs (250-300) the whole time. I felt strong and didn't seem dehydrated but who knows what was going on. I tried doing mini-boluses of 0.2 to bring it down but it wasn't budging. I had eaten a banana before starting, which set it all off I guess. I expected my BG to fall once I started running. The intensity of the run was moderate, with an average heart rate technically still in heart rate zone 1. I did have some more intense bursts since it was quite hilly and I was going pretty hard towards the end, so that could explain my finishing BG of 309...

We did a swim in the morning in the lake, which happens to be completely full of algae or some other creature/plant that looks like tiny blades of grass. On the one hand, I thought it was sort of freaky--I kept thinking of the sea lion at Aquatic Park who, according to officials, had gone mad due to "toxic algae!" In the end, though, I wanted to swim, and like most triathletes, plunged into the water with iffy water quality. I tried some of my swim drills on the way out, and then did some serious swimming on the way back when I realized that the current was pretty strong against me.

Aside from the training, I enjoyed having some time to visit with my teammates on Team Pacific Bicycle. What an inspiring group of women! And, KC, it was nice of you to hang back with us for a while on the ride. :)


Wingman said...

That next day high might have been from the Perpeteum the day before, the intense exercise (twice on the hill) may have delayed the absorption of the carbs.

Thanks for the shout out!

Wingman said...

Wow are you doing Wildflower too!!??? You are one tough T1!

I have this theory that my muscle mass soaks up any glucose in my body then spits it out when it doesn't want it anymore. I think this probably developed b/c of how "sprint" intensive my historic athletic training was - football was all about short bursts of extreme output which requires your body to really turn out power. Since my body was trained to think that is how it is supposed to react to exercise I burn through sugar like it's nothing. When my sports nutritionist did a resting calorie test she figured out I'd need 2,400 calories a day if all I did was sit in a chair!!!! Call me Mr. Metabolism ;).