Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to Triathlon

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.