In the past couple weeks, I've done my first triathlon races since Ironman Wisconsin last September. The first was Barb's Race, which is up in Sonoma on the Vineman course; the second was last weekend at the Folsom Olympic Distance Triathlon up at Natoma Lake in Folsom, CA. For both I took a relaxed approach and just wanted to test my body. I would say that they both went well, although I didn't break any records. The highlight of both was probably the bike leg, which I always seem to enjoy the most. My time for Barb's (a half-iron distance) was 6:18 or so, and my time for Folsom was 3:05. For both, and especially Folsom, I had slower swim times than I expected; I think that I really need to warm up more and dare to push myself harder on the swim. Also, I tend to lose focus in the open water and need to work on that. My bike legs for both races felt strong although I had some issues with my tri bike towards the end of Barb's, which prompted me to just go with the road bike for Folsom. So, I probably lost some time there. But I'm fine with that for now. When I got to the run at Barb's, I thought, "Now is when the suffering really begins!" But then I considered why I was out there. Was it to be miserable? Or did I actually enjoy this sport? I knew I wouldn't PR that day and decided to give myself a break and just run at a more comfortable pace. I tried to keep it steady but relaxed and did enjoy the run. For Folsom, though, I decided I would try to keep the pace up for the relatively short 10k distance. It was hot but not unbearable and the hilly course was a good challenge.
For both races, I had high BG issues. In particular, for Folsom, I could not get my BG below 300 for most of the race, despite taking a lot of insulin and not eating anything before and until the last few miles of the bike. I think I ate breakfast (only 25 g carbs, though) too close to the race start (about 90 min) and, although I bolused and had increased my basal rate about 0.2 U/hr higher than normal, I popped up to 350 before the swim. By the end of the swim, with my basal at about 0.3 U/hr higher than normal, I was down to 300 and stayed there despite another bolus. My guess is that the intensity of the shorter race caused a greater adrenalin response? I hadn't done an Olympic distance event since 2006 before Folsom.
For Barb's, I really cranked up my basal rate for the second half of the swim and into the bike. This seemed to work pretty well, since I only went up to the low 200's, vs. higher which has happened frequently in the past. I really need to lay on the insulin in the beginning part of tri's! And, I need to force myself to get up earlier to eat breakfast.
I had a great time visiting with friends at both events and was very pleased to meet 2 of the Northern Cal Triabetes members and another who had come up from Southern Cal to race on Saturday! I am the local team captain and am hoping to get more members in Nor Cal/Tahoe area to do periodic training events and races together. So if you know someone who might be interested in being a part of Triabetes, spread the word. There are local teams forming all across the US/Canada and I'm sure we'd be happy to expand out of that region as well.