Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Swim Low Psychology

Due to a rare thunderstorm, I had to skip my morning outside swim today, and decided I would drop in on the evening Master's team. My blood sugar was 133 and rising after eating a GU; by the time I got in the pool, I was up to 165. "Great!" I thought, "I should be good to go for an hour." I decided to leave my meter in the locker because of my rising BG and because, well, I just didn't want to bring it. Also, if my blood sugar is low enough during a swim to get out and check, chances are I will be done for the day anyway. I usually can't tell if I'm low while swimming until I'm really low (somewhere around 40), and I don't like swimming until I am back up to a normal level (whereas I might be able to walk for awhile if I get low during a run). I can usually tell I'm low only by watching my times start to slow on the pace clock, or else I will just have a sudden thought, "I'm low. Um, I'm really low."

Well, I guess it's clear where this story is headed. I did the warm-up and some gal joined my lane who should have been 3 lanes over (in the faster, and only, direction). But anyway, I proceeded with the workout for about 35 minutes, and was feeling some pain where I broke my collarbone as well as pain in a my right shoulder that has resurfaced from last year to join in the injury party. I started thinking, "I hate this pain!" and feeling really sad, like it might even come to tears. It did occur to me that my response was a little over-the-top. I mean, there is some pain there but it usually doesn't make me want to cry in the middle of a swim. I tried to swim a couple more laps when I suddenly had the feeling, "Oh no, can I make it to the wall?" I got out and ate a chocolate GU, but still wasn't convinced that I was low. Maybe I didn't eat enough during the day? Or maybe I have been overdoing it this week? I tried to do a few more laps, and paused for about 5 minutes in the water. I thought, "Come on GU, do your thing," and then, "What would I recommend someone else to do?" I was wishing I had my meter handy so I could just hop out and settle the issue right away. If the BG were normal, I would feel better, mentally, and dare to finish the workout. I had another GU on deck but this was already a 2-GU workout and I was hoping to not make it to 3. I do not like to abandon a workout over low blood sugar, but decided I would give diabetes the win on this one. "Fine! I'll get out." After showering, I got to my locker and tested, twenty minutes after eating the GU: 74. Although I'm not usually relieved to see a low BG, I was happy that the reason I felt so horrible was easy to explain, rather than some sign of an impending downward spiral into over-training and weariness.


Shane and Becca said...

:( Sorry about your swim. Sometimes, I feel like having my head in the water makes my thoughts a little murky. Hope you have a better workout next time!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Kind of crazy that you were relieved to see a low - but I can totally understand!

Isn't it interesting (in an evil and twisted kind of way) how screwy our emotions can get with lows?

Ali Rae said...

Where are you swimming these days Anne?

Ironbolus said...

How nice would a water proof meter be for situations like that.