Thursday, October 13, 2011

Growing Gills

Wednesday morning.

The alarm went off at 5:30am.

I was in the pool by 6:02am.

Impressive eh?

I got up, did the morning routing thing that no one really wants to read about, pulled on my bathing suit and grungy clothes and headed downstairs.

I checked my blood sugar and it was 12.2.  Yikes!  That's pretty high for me in the morning - I'm usually somewhere between 4 and 8.  I'm guessing it's the two dates I ate before bed because my number seemed a little too low.  Should have known better.  Should have at least clued in from the strange dreams I had and all the tossing and turning.  Nope, did not know better and did not clue in.  

Anyway, I was 12.2.

I did nothing.

I had not set the alarm for 4:30am to lower my basal rate.  I did not eat anything and I did not take any insulin.

I drove two minutes down the street to the pool, took off my insulin pump, got my swim cap on in one try, grabbed my two juice boxes and headed in.  I told a lifeguard (monitor I think they call themselves) that I have type 1 diabetes and am bringing juice in with me in case there is a problem.  She nodded.

I had the lane to myself.  I strapped on the floatation belt and started pool running.  It took me about ten seconds to get into the rhythm and I slowly went back and forth in my lane.  When I finally swam to the shallow end to check the time - it was 6:40.  I did 40 minutes of pool running without getting bored or overly tired.  It's kinda soothing actually and it lets me enjoy some quiet time in my head.

I decided to try 20 minutes of lengths.  I started with the breast stroke and practiced what Klari had taught me.  Apparently arms, legs and breathing can be synchronized!  It's like my brain had spent the last three days assimilating the data and it figured it out.  Suddenly I can do the breast stroke!  It's not super fast or perfect by any means but I did eight lengths without once inhaling under water or grabbing the side of the pool.

I switched to front crawl so see how that would go and I managed four lengths of that without drowning or without my arms or shoulders giving out.  I alternated four lengths of each for the entire 20 minutes.  If I counted correctly, I did twenty lengths.  I have no idea if that's good or not but I did it.

I hopped out at 7am, showered, headed home for a quick breakfast and made it to work for 8am.  Not bad.

And my blood sugar you ask?  Well, I was 12.2 when I got in the pool and 7.4 when I got out.  Not bad.  The goal for next time is to wake up around 5 or 6 so I can have a small snack.  I was starving by the time I finished.

So, swimmer friends, here are my next questions.

Question one: how do you get rid of the chlorine smell??

I showered - washed my hair twice and went crazy with the soap.  After the shower, everything was fine.  Hours later, I could suddenly smell chlorine on my skin and in my hair.  What's that about?? Is it coming out of my pores?  How scary is that? Any tips to avoid smelling like a swimmer?

Question two - any tips on shampoos and conditioners that will save my hair from the ravages of pool chemicals?  Even with the swim cap, my hair still gets kinda wet and I can already feel a difference after two swim sessions.

Other than that, I'm pretty proud of my pool prowess and can't wait for Friday morning when I get to do it again.  I'm liking this new sport of mine.

Swimming, cycling, running - they should find a way to combine the three into one event.  That would be fun...

Oh, and I did mention curling starts in two weeks?


  1. Aveda Hair Detoxifier is a gem....expensive but it gets the chemicals out of your hair.

  2. Ready for more tips?

    For your hair/skin, you really need to get a shampoo and conditioner that will get rid of chlorine. I don't know about Canada, but in the U.S., I can buy Ultraswim Shampoo and Conditioner at almost any store. The shampoo works fine for body wash too. To save your hair, put conditioner on it before going into the pool. It's better if it's something like Ultraswim. You can also find some hair protector products online. The plus? Swim cap goes on a billion times easier!

    As for the ever-present chlorine smell, yep it's your pores. Find the sauna in your gym and sweat it out.

    Hmmmm, maybe it's called a triathlon? Sounds like you might have some new adventures ahead next year. :)

  3. I just asked my hair dresser and she suggested getting your hair wet before putting the cap on. If it's already saturated it won't absorb so much of the pool water!

    She also suggested AG Renew Shampoo

  4. The only thing that really helps with the chlorine smell from the pool is switching to open water swimming. Ha! And then, of course, you will smell like neoprene from the wetsuit. It's the price we pay.

    And I agree: Use Ultraswim shampoo for your hair.