Thursday, April 19, 2012

Race Ready

Last year, I put all my racing eggs in one basket. I decided to train for a marathon and so, other than the Welland Duathlon in early June, I didn't sign up for any races during race season.

Because I was training for. a. marathon.

Well, I certainly saved money on race entry fees but my pile of medals didn't get any higher because, you got it, I was training for. a. marathon.

This year is shaping up a little differently.

I've signed up for the Women's half marathon the first weekend in June. I've signed up for the Welland Try-a-tri (or super sprint as they call it) in late June. Doug is now suggesting that we go to Binbrook the weekend after the women's half for their duathlon/triathlon races. If I agree, that will be three races in four weekends. Is that crazy?

I'm a little torn about Binbrook - mostly because I don't know what to sign up for.

Option one would be the duathlon (run 5k, cycle 30k, run 5k). I like duathlons and, since I'm trying my hand at tri's this year, it might be my only chance for a du. Problem is that it's the weekend after the half marathon so I'm not sure if my legs will need a bit more time off after all the pounding.

Option two would be the try-a-tri. My first triathlon. Problem is that I signed up for the try-a-tri in Welland two weeks later because that was going to be my first triathlon. With my little sis. We were going to tri it together.

I guess I'll have to figure out what I want to do in time to register to get the t-shirt. They don't hand out medals at du's and tri's (sadness) so I damn well better get a t-shirt.

So, I have a few questions for all you medtronic (i.e. not waterproof) pump-using triathletes out there. I'm not sure how many of you elite folks visit Running on Carbs so it might come down to you Jeff.

1. Typically, at races like this, you have to vacate the exchange zone 20-30 minutes before race time. Since the swim is the first event, I need to take my pump off. If I take it off and leave it with my stuff, it will be off 30 minutes before the race even starts and then another 20 minutes or so for the swim. That feels like a long time to be sans insulin. I'm thinking about asking my parents to stand by the side of the water so I can disconnect moments before the swim and reconnect the minute I get out. Basically, the thought of my pump being anywhere other than attached to me makes me uncomfortable - even in the trusty hands of my folks. Any other ideas I should consider re where and when to disconnect?

2. I'm planning on wearing tri shorts and a tri tank top for the entire event (no wetsuit for this girl!). That means that, when I get out of the water and reconnect my pump, I will be dripping wet. I'm sure I'll dry off a lot during the bike ride but the fact is that my pump is not water proof and putting it in a plastic baggie just doesn't seem quite enough protection from the water that will be running off of me. Any suggestions? Do you use a waterproof case of some kind?

3. Any other triathlon/pump tips in general that you've learned (perhaps the hard way)?

Gotta get my game plan organized!


  1. I am not a triathlon athlete by I row, so water is a bir of a problem. Here is what I do to waterproof my pump. I punch a tiny hole in a small ziplock bag for the tube then I tighly seranwrap it, and clip it to my bra as usual. You can still see the screen and press the buttons. It works perfectly! After winning a race my partners threw me in the water (they totally forgot the pump, it was our first win EVER), and my pump did not receive a drop of water.
    Medtronics also provide a case for the pump, but I find it way to big and uncomfortable
    (sorry for my english ... not my first language)

  2. Thanks Marie! That's a great idea. I've used the ziplock bag but never cut a hole in it and never tried Saran Wrap. I will certainly try it out to see how it works for me.

  3. When I tri, I take my pump off at the very last minute and leave it in one of my cycling shoes. I know exactly where it is; it isn't visible to anyone curious; and it's impossible for me to forget to put back on. BTW, I usually set a 0% basal rate 30-45 minutes before I swim laps anyway. It helps with my BG while I'm swimming and gives me a chance to simulate the diabetes aspects of tri starts, too.

    Transition areas are usually very secure, and people have other things on their mind than going through people's stuff. If you do feel the need for extra time with your pump or are worried about it, find the person who is in charge of transition. They're usually a paid staffer and tend to be pretty accommodating.

    I haven't had any problem with water in my pump after the swim, and do what I normally do when I exercise: just a ziplock bag for the pump, with the tubing coming out the zipper. I just put it in one of the back pockets of my tri-top, which dries out really quickly... much faster than you would expect.

    The hardest post-swim diabetes part for me is blood glucose testing. Wet fingers = difficult testing. I have a smallish, very thirsty, chamois-like towel that I keep in transition to dry off my hands before testing. Otherwise it just doesn't work.

    Finally, if you use CGM, you're probably going to have a lost sensor by the time you get back to transition from the swim. It is what it is.