Monday, January 19, 2009

Ride through Marin

After puttering around this morning, I finally made it out the door for my ride through Marin County today. My plan was to start in Mill Valley, and do a loop through Nicasio, Point Reyes Station, and then head south on Highway 1 to Stinson Beach. From there, I would climb up Panoramic Highway and head back down to Mill Valley.

After my recent tune-up to my bike, I was surprised that the shifting was still acting up and by the time I reached Ross, I couldn't get the bike to shift to the big chain ring. The guys at Paradigm Cycles in San Anselmo quickly diagnosed the problem as a frayed cable, ready to snap completely. Yikes! They were able to make the repair in less than 30 minutes while I had a nice chicken salad at a cafe across the street. I was very happy that they were able to do this repair on the spot, and I was back on the road in about 40 minutes, with much snappier shifting. Thanks!

I continued my ride as planned and enjoyed the warm day. I stopped here and there to take pictures. My goal was to go for an easy ride but if I'd really been serious about it, I wouldn't have chosen to ride through Stinson. I just couldn't resist with the clear weather! More pictures can be seen at my flickr site here.

The blood sugars behaved. I ate about 1 gel per hour and left my basal rate at 100%. My blood sugars were all between 89 and 115; I checked about once an hour. I had taken 0.5 units for a bar I ate right before riding, and another unit for the chicken salad (which had some carbs in it); I was worried that the 1 U might do me in but it seemed to work out pretty well. I don't usually exercise in the afternoon, so it was a bit of a guess.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grateful for Family

Since receiving the news that my Grandma Findlay passed away on Saturday, I have been reflecting on her life and our relationship. I am grateful that I was able to visit with her and my grandfather over the holidays, when she seemed as strong as ever. With my grandfather currently recuperating from surgery in a care center, she was dissatisfied that there wasn't a better place to go for a walk. "I wish I could do some digging in my garden!" was her sentiment. At 89 years of age, she was still going strong. I have many, many good memories of times together over the years, and will deeply miss her chuckle as I share with her my latest adventures. Recently, we enjoyed trading stories about swimming, since she had done that regularly for many years. Always, I knew she cared for me and wished for my continued happiness and well-being. She had an unbending sense of integrity that I hope I can emulate, and a tough and hard-working spirit that was also a great example to me. She had her share of struggles in life yet continued onward with hope and determination. I will miss her greatly.

Race Report: Disney World Marathon

Although the temp's were actually warmer in San Francisco over the weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Florida to meet up with friends from Children With Diabetes for the Disney World running weekend. Races included a 5k, half marathon and full marathon. Brian Foster gets the award for running both the half marathon and the full marathon, one day apart. Way to go!

Diabetes-wise, things went well. I managed the taper by boosting my basal by 20% in the couple days leading up to the race. I was having some big oscillations 2 days before, likely related to traveling across 3 time zones, not eating normal meals and getting too little sleep. Things settled down and the day before, my BG's were good. I continued with my regular Symlin dose of 6 U before meals up until race morning. Because the marathon started at 5:50 AM and we needed to be on the shuttle at 3:45 AM (!), I had to get up around 3:15 (that's 12:15 AM Pacific time, mind you). In order to help with breakfast and pre-race adrenalin, I had pre-programmed my basal rate at 0.75 U/hr beginning at 3 AM until one hour before race start. My normal rate at that time is 0.5 U/hr but with the 3-hour time change, who knows what "normal" really was.

There weren't a whole lot of options for breakfast at the Coronado so mine consisted of a container of soy milk for some protein and a banana. Typically I don't eat a whole lot before a marathon anyway. I took 2.5 U (which was unintentionally a little more than I would have normally bolused for my 32-g breakfast) at 3:25 AM for the food and watched as my BG remained close to 90. Sometime around 4, it started to climb. I watched it on the Dexcom, looking to see it plateau, but it was climbing steadily. When I tested at 200 at 4:30, I decided to take 0.5 U to nudge it down a bit. By the race start I was at 132 and felt comfortable starting there, since my basal had been reduced back to 0.65 for an hour. (Normal for that time is 0.7 so it was not a big reduction.)

The blood sugar was holding steady around 160 and I was eating 1 gel every 45 to 50 minutes, as well as sipping some of the sports drink here and there. About 90 minutes into the run, I saw the BG come down to 128 so decided to lower my basal to 0.50. This worked great and I relied mostly on the sports drink, along with 1 or 2 more gels, for the duration of the race. I finished with a BG of 143 (narrowly losing out to Peter's 139!) but promptly started to rise into the 300s. I'm not sure if this post-race spike is because I'm not paying attention to what I'm eating (and bolusing for), or if there are some calories hanging out in my stomach that suddenly get digested, or some other reason. Anyway, I need to remember to increase my basal right after the race.

I increased my basal rates by 30% until I got the BGs down. Interestingly to me, the stiffness in my legs started to feel a lot better once I got the BGs under control.

Thanks to Peter, who ran with me the whole way, even when I was not feeling so speedy. At times, I was probably even not very friendly! (Sorry!) The pacing on the race was a little less than ideal for me. Three weeks ago, I ran 22 miles with no problem, and was able to kick it in the last few miles. But during the race, I was feeling sore by mile 18 and feeling like I would be happy to finish after the 20 mile mark. Against my better judgement, I allowed myself to run at a faster pace the first half of the race. My heart rate was creeping up to the mid-170s by the 3rd mile or so, and it never really dropped below 170 for the rest of the race. My original plan was to keep it closer to 155 or 160 but my average HR ended up being 174 and I actually hit my max at some point. Silly Anne! I think, had I stuck to my plan, my finish time would have been about the same, if not faster, and I would have experienced a lot less pain. The race surface was asphalt but also a lot of concrete, which is also pretty tough on the body. Also, I don't think I tapered too well, unless doing 3 rides of about 50 miles each less than 2 weeks out counts as a taper.

I am satisfied with my time of 4:11. It's 21 minutes slower than my most recent non-IM marathon (Boston in 2006) and 32 minutes slower than my PR, but I knew that I would not be running at that pace for this marathon. It was great meeting up with some old friends and making some new connections with people in the diabetes community. Thanks to those who organized this event!

With the marathon done, I am anxiously recovering, if that is possible, and looking forward to doing a lot of cycling in the next 6 months! I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dave Shack, Ironman Extraordinaire!

Triabetes team member Dave Shack was featured in an article in the New York Times today. Check it out here and be sure to listen to the audio on the left side. It has been great getting to know Dave and his family over the past year. It took me many years of running and a couple years of triathlon to get the courage to sign up for my first Ironman; Dave tackled it all in one year of training. Congrat's, Dave!

Note: I thought I would add a note for those who may be interested in supporting Triabetes. You can currently do so through the Triabetes website here. If you are associated with a business that may be interested in sponsoring Triabetes, you can send a note.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Thanks, IronKidz!

A new video has been released from Andiamo Productions, featuring the "IronKidz"--our young training partners leading up to Ironman Wisconsin. Thanks to Marissa, my IronKid, for her support before, during and after the race. Not only did it spur me on to the finish on race day, but her support also kept me going in the weeks and months leading up to the race. Thank you Marissa and all the other IronKidz!

The Triabetes IronKiDz Project from Andiamo Productions on Vimeo.