Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cabot Trail Relay Race - part two

Yesterday I wrote about the Cabot Trail Relay Race in rather general terms. I thought it would be helpful to set the tone and help people get a sense of the enormity and complexity of this race.

Today, it's all about the Mojitos on the Rocks.

Here's how the weekend went. The day before the race, I drove four runners around the course. Klari, my co-captain, sat in the front seat and took copious notes. We drove to the beginning of the race (the Nova Scotia Gaelic College - my grandfather would be so proud) and began paying very close attention at that point. All of us started analyzing everything. The road conditions, the shoulders, the elevation changes and Klari was writing it all down. Our job was to report back to the team and let people know if there were things about their particular leg they should be aware of.

By leg four, our tactic changed a little bit. Between gasps of amazement at the scenery and gasps of horror at the challenging climbs and precariously steep descents, we soon began talking about what things we would tell the runners and what things were best kept a 'surprise'. Truth be told, there were a whole lot of things we didn't tell them. Sometimes it's just best not to know.

Like the fact that someone was going to have to run up and back down this mountain. 

Or the fact that Chris was going to have to run this stretch of the dark. (He said afterward that he looked up at one point and could see brake lights way way above him. He quickly looked back down again and carried on.) 

We gathered on Friday night for dinner and one more review of the rules and then everyone trotted off to bed. Van 1 was leaving at 6am with the first four runners and even those who were heading out with me at 10am had a 10-hour day of driving ahead of them. Everyone was very aware that opportunities for rest should be seized whenever possible.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. I pulled on my shorts and my Mojitoswear and began my last-minute preparations. I loaded the van, primed my GPS, triple checked that I had all the elevation maps, race details and timing charts, put water bottles next to everyone's seat and headed to pick up my four ladies - none of whom had been part of the crew who saw the route the day before. We headed to the Gaelic College and then, as we drove along, I began my running commentary. "This is the first leg - Cathy ran it this morning at 7am. Lots of downhill but nothing like leg four which you'll see in a bit." "This is leg two - Barb ran this one. The road gets pretty bad around the 5k mark and the footing is precarious. She starts on an uphill but once she gets to the top, it's rolling hills for the rest". As we drove along, we were a few hours behind the race so the road was pretty much deserted. As we approached leg 3, we started seeing cars parked on the side of the road. We had caught up to the caravan and, in the distance, we could see runners on leg 3. We started passing them and started looking for Steve. We passed more and more runners and still no Steve - did we miss him?

Wait - there he is!  Omigod - is he in the lead??  We honked and cheered as we drove by. He waved and grinned back. We made our way to the end of his leg and discovered that, while he wasn't in the lead, he was well ahead of most of the pack. We passed several more runners who were way ahead of him.

When we got to the exchange point, we caught up to Van 1. Hugs and high fives all around - it's amazing how big a relief it was to find smiles on everyone's faces.

So far so good - people were running well and making it in under the cutoff time. I pulled out my camera and prepared to capture Steve's finish. He came blazing in and finished 11th out of 70 runners. Holy crap!

Alex was next - she had the third hardest leg of the course and the first real 'mountain'. She also had the longest leg (20k) so she was essentially running a half marathon with a mountain in the middle. I know how I would be feeling facing that sort of challenge but she looked pretty darn relaxed.

We were about to find out why.

She's a powerhouse! This girl can run. And climb. And descend. And pass people while doing it. She ran 20k in 1:39:02. That's a pace of 4:57min/km. Did I mention there was a mountain to climb?

At the end of leg four, Van 1 headed back to camp and I took over as support vehicle. We had four legs to run. Leg 5 was rolling and the past was FAST! Leg 6 didn't have a mountain per se but it did have a bunch of ridiculously long and steep climbs followed by more long and steep climbs. Leg 7 had one of the steepest and longest descents of the race and ended at the top of a hill (how cruel is that?). Leg 8 was the shortest of the entire race (12k) but the pace was fast and the course was tough. Each of my ladies started with a wee bit of fear in the eye ('I just want to make the cutoff') and each lady showed just how tough, fast and strong they were.

We met up with the night crew (Dave, Janice and Chris) who were running the three hardest legs of the entire relay - most of it in the dark. Dave had a run similar to Alex's only the mountain he ran over was higher and steeper. Chris'  run included 10k of straight uphill followed by rolling hills. Janice started on an incline and, after 5k of up had about 10k of straight down. All three became instant superheroes in my books when we drove the course and became gods when I heard the report later of how they did. I still can't quite comprehend their times. Just for example, Dave ran 17km in 1:18:00. That's a 4:23 min/km pace on a leg that's mostly uphill.

Van 4 met up with the night crew and continued through legs 12-14. My second van, Van 5, left base camp at 4am with the last three runners for legs 15-17. We headed out in the opposite direction of the race and met up with them in the middle of leg 14 - Klari's leg. She started running in complete darkness and got to watch the sun come up.

We picked up Klari, Van 4 headed back to camp for a rest and Cathy headed off to run leg 15.

The Mojitos are a pretty happy bunch of people and Cathy, without a doubt, is the happiest. 

She finished and Steve took over. Steve was a hero in his own right. One of our runners was injured and couldn't run. He stepped up and offered to run two legs instead of one. We gave him the two easiest legs but easy on the Cabot Trail is much different than easy in Niagara. Did I mention he ran a marathon three weeks earlier? Holy hell can he run.

Leg 17 - only one leg left to go. Leg 17 was originally rated as a pretty tough leg. Another big mountain to climb and a lot of kilometres to run. We needed a ringer for that leg - someone who is a strong and consistent runner who could bring it home. The obvious person for that job was Doug.

There was a problem. The day before the race, a bridge that they were supposed to run over was washed out. So now, instead of starting leg 17 at the end of leg 16, we had to drive our runners through most of the original route until we got to the bridge. We had to drop them off. And we had to wave goodbye. They were being sent on a 19k run on a completely unknown route. And, because it was a single lane road, we were not allowed to provide any support. All we knew what that the route was now a little longer and a lot harder that it was originally supposed to be.

I know Doug. I know he is a strong, independent and thoroughly capable runner. But omigod it was hard to send him off into the unknown and drive off without him to the finish line.

We headed back into town, parked and walked down the street to the finish. All 70 teams were there with all of their runners and support crew. All waiting for their last runner to come tearing down the street. And tear down the street they did because every team had put a ringer on the last leg. The cheers, the screams, the adrenaline was incredible. People were dancing in the street and the excitement as each runner turned the corner was unbelievable. I was staring intently at the spot where the runners come around the final bend - waiting to spot a red had that would signal that my Doug was coming.

And, as always, he appeared right on time. Right on pace. Looking strong, focused and very much the machine that he is.

We did it! The Mojitos on the Rocks conquered the Cabot Trail Relay Race. Every runner finished their leg on time and in good standing. So good in fact that we finished 19th out of 70 teams.

And we're already planning next year's strategy.

I knew this race was going to be fun. I knew it was going to be memorable. I just didn't know I was going to fall in love with it.

In Memoriam: Steve Dunn of the Salt Marsh Trail Running Team ran leg 17 of the relay. He collapsed 500m from the finish line and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital where he later died. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cabot Trail Relay Race - Part One

I have had the honour of being part of some pretty amazing experiences in my life and last weekend's Cabot Trail Relay Race definitely ranks high on my list. The combination of incredible scenery, delicious (and I mean dee-licious!) seafood and great friendships should be quite enough for one weekend but I also had the opportunity to meet 8 new people who turned out to be pretty darn fabulous and bear witness to some utterly jaw-dropping running performances.

The Cabot Trail Relay Race, in a nutshell, is a 270+km relay in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. The relay starts at 7am on a Saturday morning and wraps up around 11am the following morning. The route takes runners through some of the most stunning scenery in Canada and through some of the toughest terrain out there. The relay is divided into 17 legs that range between 12 and 20 kilometres in length. Most legs involved plenty of hill work. Several involved mountain climbing as the route meandered through the Cape Breton Highlands.

There is nothing easy about this race.

But there is plenty of fun.

The set up is very intelligent and the race is incredibly well organized. Elaborate speakers systems and timing mats are set up in moments and then disassembled and packed into the race vehicle only to be driven to the end of the next leg and set up again. Essentially, seventeen mini races took place and the timing was precise and unwavering. Runners must maintain a 6 min/km (9 1/2 min/mile) pace - regardless of the terrain. And, if you happened to run a 6:01 min/km pace, the entire finish line was gone by the time you got there. This race waits for no one.

A group of us have done the Simcoe Shores relay twice in the past two years and we formed a team we called the Mojitos. Lime green is the colour of choice and real mojitos, of course, are served. When we signed up for the Cabot Trail Relay Race, our name morphed into Mojitos on the Rocks (get it?). We recruited a few more runners to fill in the gaps and spent most of the dark winter months training and working through the incredible logistics of getting 17 runners from three different locations (Southern Ontario, Halifax Nova Scotia and Portland Maine) organized. Team meetings and Skype calls were frequent and essential.

We planned the race route, assigned and reassigned running legs, mapped out driving schedules, booked flights, hotels and vans and, most importantly, designed a Mojitos on the Rocks logo and team wear. Well, we didn't design that stuff, Doug did. And he did a fabulous job. We might not be the fastest team out there but we were definitely the best dressed!

I love hanging out with these ladies - they make me feel so tall!

We converged on Baddeck, took over the Silver Dart Lodge and began the rapid and intense bonding that can only happen on weekends like this. 

I was a co-captain of the team and one of two drivers. My role in the race was as essential as any of the runners. In fact, that's the joy, and perhaps the curse, of relays. Running, normally a very solitary sport, morphs into something else entirely when other people are counting on you. It's no longer your race or my race, it's our race. And we all need to push and compromise and work together to succeed. 

Join me tomorrow for a recap of the race itself...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

All Kinds of Crazy

'If god invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken him completely by surprise.' P.Z. Pearce

I laughed at that last year when a friend posted it on Facebook. I was training for my first marathon at the time and nothing seemed stupider than running a marathon at that point.

Now I am exactly 32 days away from my first triathlon.

I should know better by now not to laugh as things that seem crazy. I often find myself doing them.

Speaking of crazy, we're off to Nova Scotia today for the Cabot Trail Relay Race!

Since we'll be busy flying, driving and last minute planning, Running on Carbs will most likely be quiet for a few days. Don't worry though - I'll be back with TONS of pictures to help tell the tales of the Mojitos on the Rocks.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ups and Downs

The past week has had its share of athletic ups and downs. Might as well toss them all into one story.

I can now officially put "ability to swim across a 25m pool under water" on my resume. The first time I did it was really exciting. But the next time I tried I couldn't do it so I thought perhaps my one success was a fluke. After that brief setback I managed to complete the crossing in each of the last three attempts so I can now officially declare myself an underwater swimmer.

I am now well into my fourth season of cycling. Season one (which technically was only a half season since I got the bike in the fall) was just about getting comfortable with clip in shoes, shifting gears, climbing hills and keeping up with the group (or at least keeping them in my sights). Season two was pretty much the same thing with two duathlons thrown in for fun. Season three was about using the bike as a recovery tool during marathon training. I cycled after long runs to help my legs but I was so tired from the running that the bike rides were more about survival. Season four - I want to be a better cyclist - faster, braver, stronger.

With that new attitude, and a winter and spring of swimming and running for cross-training, I'm already feeling better after only a few weeks on the road. I climb hills with a lot more strength than I used to and rarely have to shift right down to the 'granny gear'. Sometimes I even pass people (imagine that!). I also decided that I'm going to force myself to get better at downhills because, after that unfortunate mishap with the squirrel two years ago (1) - I've been pretty scared of high speeds. I now force myself not to brake, or to brake less often or less hard than I want to and, last Sunday, I reached 44.7km/hour and felt ok doing it. I have no ambitions of becoming a 60+km/hour crazy downhill rider but I do want to learn to enjoy rather than dread the downhills.

As for running - I am now 10 days out from my half marathon. In January, I was running mere minutes at a time and I've slowly and (I think) safely rebuilt my strength and stamina after my stress fracture. I've done everything I've been told to do and things have gone well - shin-wise anyway. My last two long runs were tough, for different reasons, and that's a little disconcerting considering how close the race is. Two weeks ago I ran my last pre-race 20k and the heat really, really, got to me. My pace was sluggish and I had to walk...a few times. I finished it but was pretty humbled by the end.

Last Saturday's 16k was a diabetes nightmare. I woke up to a blood sugar of 4.7 which was fabulous. I dropped my basal to 50% (as per usual), I had two dates and a gel without bolusing (as per usual) and I headed out the door. My legs felt good and strong and my pace was brisk and steady - reassuring after the previous week's run. I was going to wait until I got to 10k to check my sugar (I find it psychologically easier to run more than half the distance before stopping) but, by 7.5k I was feeling 'off' so I stopped at 8k instead. Normally, at this point, my blood sugar would be around 8-9 and I would have a gel and trot on home.

This time, I was 18.9.

For no apparent reason.

I checked my pump and all seemed fine. I went through all the variables in my head and couldn't figure out the problem. I hesitated to take insulin in the middle of a run but knew that I couldn't stay that high. The pump recommended 3.0 units. I took 0.8. I figured it would be enough, combined with the running, to at least get me going in the right direction. I ran another 4k and stopped to check again. I expected to see something like 14 on my glucometer.

Instead, I saw a 22.3.

I was 4k from home, feeling more dehydrated and downright awful by the minute and worried that running with a BG of 22.3 was putting me at pretty high risk for ketones and other monsters. I took 0.8 more units and slowly trotted another kilometre to see if the original bolus might kick in. I checked again using the last test strip I had on me.


Bloody hell.

I called it a day. I took another 1.2 units so I now had 2.8 floating in my system and over an hour of running to help kick start it. I was running dangerously low on water. I had brought plenty for a regular 16k run but not enough for a dehydration-plagued one. So I walked the last 3k home as fast as I could. Made it, checked again and I was 16.

And hour later I was 12 and I floated down to 8 where I stayed. I drank 3 32oz bottles of water in an hour and then continued drinking for the rest of the afternoon. It took several hours before I was able to pee and most of the day before I managed to get it to go from looking like apple juice concentrate to lemonade.

Diabetes, most days, is a fairly manageable disease but, every once in a while, it shows you how quickly it can seize control of your body and turn it against itself. Saturday was a pretty startling reminder of how dangerous and scary it can be.

I still have no idea what caused that ridiculous high and my numbers have been fine since so it was not a pump or insulin malfunction.

Here's hoping race day is a little less dramatic.

And those, folks, were last week's ups and downs in the life of this little diabetic.

(1) As for the squirrel mishap - it all happened on a training ride with Erin as we prepared for the Grimsby Duathlon. The bike portion of the race had us riding up, and then back down, an incredibly steep portion of the Niagara Escarpment. I had ridden up the hill once but wanted to give it a second go before race day. We made it to the top, rode the rest of the route and then headed back down. Steep uphills mean fast descents. I took a deep breath and followed Erin down the hill. I was clocking about 50km/hour when a squirrel ran out into the road and stood right in my path. A car was coming up the hill in the oncoming lane so I had very little room to move and very little time to think. In the two seconds I had, my options ran through my head. I could swerve but I was going too fast and would probably crash. I could stay exactly where I was and run the squirrel over, trying not to lose control while doing so. I chose the run it over option because, at that moment, the odds seemed better. I braced for impact. At the last possible second, the squirrel spotted me and darted away - right under the wheels of the oncoming car. I heard the crunch and made it to the bottom of the hill alive and trembling. That moment taught me that high speeds on a bike leave incredibly little room for error. It also put the fear of god in me and going downhill has not been the same since.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come From Away

When I think (or write) about something too much, it starts to feel like that's the only thing going on in my life. Last week was D-Blog week and, while it was a wonderful way to explore all things diabetes and discover some pretty neat bloggers out there, it's a lot of dia-writing. After 6 days of writing solely about the diabetes part of my life - I was pretty much done. I didn't even write anything for Day 7 - I just needed a bit of a break.

After spending three wonderful days on the back deck, enjoying the warm breezes and the sounds of nature, I'm ready to get back at it.

Which is a good thing because there are plenty of things I need to get back to.

This is going to a whirlwind of a week. Monday was a Canadian holiday (one of the best holidays of the year in my books) so the first day of the work week is today (Tuesday). For me, the end of this work week is tomorrow (Wednesday). On Thursday morning - we're heading to the airport and then we're off to Nova Scotia for the Cabot Trail Relay Race. I've mentioned this race a few times already and, after months of planning and training - it's finally upon us.

Seventy teams of 17 runners (plus support crews) will be descending on Baddeck, Nova Scotia. For a village of 2,152 - their population is about to double. Hotels, motels, cabins and campgrounds will be overrun with come from aways. Hopefully the grocery store(s?) and gas stations have topped up or we will be eating them out of house and home. I kinda feel like we're a swarm of locusts about to land and clear them out of bottled water, toilet paper, ibuprofen and beer.

So far, I've managed to avoid being recruited as a last-minute runner for our team despite having one injured participant. Barring any last-minute emergencies, I should escape with only my driving responsibilities (which are pretty intense already thank you very much - one 12-hour stint followed by a 7-hour one with only 5 hours of downtime in between) but I'm bringing my running gear just in case.

Last minute instructions have been emailed to the team members. Lime green nail polish and kermit green eye shadow has been purchased (we are the Mojitos after all) and our fabulous team shirts and hoodies are being delivered today. Route maps, elevation maps, race rules, detailed timing charts and packing lists have been printed. Camera bags packed, diabetes supplies organized and clothing for all weather has been laid out. This is the East Coast of Canada after all - the weather is rugged and wild and we can easily experience fog, rain, wind, sunshine and blue skies all within an hour.

The East Coast of Canada, more than any other place in the world (except perhaps Ireland and Scotland) is where I am happiest. I was made for that kinda weather. That kinda harsh marine lifestyle where the living is rough and the scenery is spectacular. Where the people are friendly and their accents trigger long-lost images of my Irish ancestors. Their music feels hauntingly familiar and their food (other than the horror that is cod-tongue) has had me dreaming of oysters for weeks.

A wee taste of  Nova Scotia slang for you - Dijjaeetyet?? No, djew? No, yawnta? Yupp. 

Did I mention that our post-relay celebratory lunch is lobster?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 6: Saturday Snapshots

The best laid plans of mice and man often go awry.

One of my favourite quote of all time - partly because it's from Of Mice and Men and partly because it is just such an accurate summary of my life.

We are supposed to post diabetes-related photos today and my original plan was to photograph a day in the life of an insulin pump. The plan worked beautifully until I headed out the door for work and then all went awry. It was a day was full of meetings which made it difficult to photograph my pump adjusting for lunch and blousing for larabars. My post-work run got postponed so photos of my pump preparing for a 7k didn't materialize either.

So a day in the life of an insulin pump has been abridged to a morning in the life of an insulin pump. You take what you can get so join me and Mr. Pump on our morning routine.

Good morning Mr Pump! (morning walks from the bed to the washroom are always a juggling act as I try to carry my pump, my glucometer, my iPhone and my water bottle in one trip)

Shower time. Mr. Pump enjoys a brief reprieve before jumping headfirst into the day. Sometimes he sits on the bathroom counter, other times he perches on the computer desk in the office. Either way, I'm sure he enjoys the downtime. 

As mentioned in a post a few months back, I have to prime my pump every single time I take it off. Whether it's off for ten minutes or ninety minutes, he always gets an air bubble in the tube which needs to be evicted. Hence the morning prime routine and the insulin droplet.

The post-shower hookup. Mr Pump spends 90% of his time on my belt and we don't like to be apart for long so he gets reattached as soon as the belt gets buckled. 

Ready for work and whatever the world is going to throw at us. Mr. Pump is like my seeing eye dog - he sits patiently through meeting after meeting, emergency after emergency, and only lets out the occasional little boop-beep-boop to remind me he's there and working hard to keep me alive. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 5 - What They Should Know

What I want other people to know about diabetes?

Before I answer that, I need to take a step back and explain something. I work with people who have developmental disabilities. Actually, I believe the new term on the block is intellectual disabilities. Some of these people also have physical disabilities. Others might have a mental health diagnosis thrown in. Sometimes two just for fun.

Essentially, the people I provide support to have a whole bunch of labels attached to them and with those labels come assumptions, stereotypes, discrimination and a whole bunch of other negatives that affect them before people even learn their names.

It. Sucks.

So I've learned to read their referrals, note their diagnoses and then forget about everything that was written down.

When I meet them, I try really hard to meet the person.

Not their label.

In an ideal world, that's what I would like everyone to do.

Because I'm Céline.

I'm not the diabetic.

And just like how not every person with Down Syndrome fits the Down Syndrome profile, not everyone with diabetes fits the diabetes one. In fact, none of us do.

Don't put people in boxes. Don't make assumptions. Meet the person. Ask tons of questions to understand as much as you can or want to understand. But don't say things like 'Oh, you have (insert diagnosis here) that means you cannot (insert ridiculous assumption here)'.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 4 - Fantasy Diabetes Device

We get to imagine a diabetes device that would make our lives a little easier?

I am working on the assumption that this device cannot be a cure for diabetes (what would be the fun in that?) but that it can involve a little bit of magic, a melon ball of whimsy and a dash of crazy bananas.

With that in mind, I would like to propose a diabetes remote.

No silly, not a remote for one of our devices but an actual diabetes remote - complete with a pause button, a rewind and a fast forward.

Allow me to elaborate.

The pause button is probably my favourite. It must be used with care because we only get one pause per day (as per random magic rules set forth by the faerie queen) and the pause cannot last more than one hour. Imagine the possibilities! You have a speech to make at your sister's wedding and the last thing you want is to go low in the middle of it so you pause diabetes, deliver a rip-roaring speech, unpause and carry on with your night. No lows, no highs and, best of all, no need to give diabetes a second thought because it's been paused.

You have a triathlon to run and you're really worried about going low while swimming in the lake. Worry not dear swimmer - just pause diabetes. Hop in the lake, swim like a champ, hop out, unpause and carry on to the transition zone.

New beau? Really like him? Tonight might be the night? Pause diabetes and enjoy a worry-free romp. There will be plenty of time for romance-interrupting lows later in the relationship. No point on springing it all on them the first time right?

What about the rewind button? Ever bolused for something only to discover a) that you're not hungry enough to eat it all b) it tastes really gross and you don't want to eat it all or c) the yummy looking apple you brought for lunch is actually completely rotten in the middle and the only other thing around that has 20 carbs is a pack of gross candy your coworker has but you have to eat 20 carbs because you bolused for the apple.

Problem solved! Just rewind diabetes, redo the bolus, toss the apple in the compost and get on with your day.

Fast Forward? This one's for you Scully. Your sugar is super high and you feel like death. Waiting the two hours for it to drop is no longer necessary. Just fast forward and it will be down to normal again in seconds. Your sugar is super low and you feel like death? You've eaten the carbs you need to bring it up but the sweaty, shaky, numb-tongue, rattle-brained low feeling won't go away fast enough? Fast forward it - bam!

That, my friends, is MY fantasy diabetes device.

Did I mention it's purple?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 3: One Thing to Improve

One thing to improve about my diabetes management?

One thing I should improve or one thing I want to improve?

Because those are two VERY different things.

I'd hazard a guess that every single person with diabetes can get better at something. No one out there is perfect because perfection in diabetes management is nigh on impossible. Don't even think about trying to attain it - you'll drive yourself straight to crazy town.

What I should improve?

  • have less lows
  • have less highs
  • write down everything I eat
  • weight everything I eat
  • calculate every carb I eat - right down to the very last one
  • check my blood sugar and bolus (as needed) every single time I eat something
  • track and analyze all of my blood sugar readings to look for trends
  • test my basal rates 
  • eat more fibre (I just threw that in there because everywhere you look it says to eat more fibre)
  • change my lancet after every test (not every time the clocks change)
  • change my infusion site every three days (not every six)

What I want to improve?
  • nothing

Honestly folks. I give diabetes a lot of my time, my energy and my money. I take really good care of it but I don't obsess. I am careful without being neurotic. I never let diabetes stop me from doing things - I just always make sure I have a contingency plan. I assume 100% responsibility for myself at all times - and I don't do stupid stuff that puts me at risk. My doctors are happy and my numbers are good. 

I'm think I'm doing just fine. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 2 - One Great Thing

One great thing? What is one thing about Diabetes that I do really well?

That's a hard question to answer - harder than I thought it would be actually. There are things I can get better at - to be sure. But that is for tomorrow's blog. Today is about celebrating what we do well.

After some soul searching (ie. sitting on the couch sipping a glass of wine staring at my laptop and then asking Doug for his input) I concluded that what I do best, when it comes to diabetes, is that I can separate the forest from the trees.

Truth: Diabetes is a finicky little thing and no amount of effort will ever succeed in controlling it.

Truth: What worked yesterday will not work tomorrow. And it will probably only half work today.

I am a self-diagnosed (but I'm sure those closest to me would agree wholeheartedly) Type A personality. That means that I like to organize things to the n-th degree, I like having a firm grasp on all the details and I'd prefer if life does NOT change my plans at the last minute.

Luckily, I'm a realistic Type A. I like order. I like routine. I like predictability. But I recognize that life does not always respect my desire for order, routine or predictability and I am able to roll with it.

What does that mean when it comes to diabetes?

For me, it means that I recognize that diabetes needs constant care, management, and vigilance. No matter what. No matter how I am feeling.

I have good days where diabetes behaves beautifully. I have days where I almost think I'm cured. I have days where, no matter how hard I fight, the diabetes gods win every battle.

I have happy days, I have carefree days, I have days where I cry in the kitchen because it feels like I just can't win. I get angry, frustrated, scared - for me there isn't much in life that inspires a greater range of emotions that diabetes.

But I never lose sight of the forest for the trees. No matter how I feel - I have never once, not in the nine and a half year that I've had T1, lost sight of the fact that diabetes never sleeps and I can't either. Standing in the kitchen in tears, my brain is still trying to figure out how to fix things. On the days when everything is perfect, I still never let down my guard.

I'm a fighter. Even when I don't feel like fighting, I fight.

That's what I do best.

Monday, May 14, 2012

D-Blog Week Day 1: Find a Friend

The diabetes blogging world is a multi-layered place where around every corner and behind every door lies another treasure. The DOC is alive. It pulses and throbs and, once you've discovered it, you can almost feel it growing and evolving as more and more people join its ranks. You have the veterans who have been here for years, the teenagers who have figured out the ropes but haven't been here long enough to be 'famous' yet and the toddlers who are still getting their feet wet.

I started blogging in early 2011, not long after I discovered the blog of Dave Hingsburger, a disability advocate. His frank, thought-provoking daily musings inspired me to begin chronicling my own journey. I decided to focus my blog on diabetes and running - two topics that are near and dear to my heart and that wouldn't tread too closely to things that are best kept out of social media (namely work).

After writing my blog for a few weeks, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there was someone else out there writing about diabetes and running.

So I Googled the terms diabetes + running and...

...everything changed.

I found Scully (aka Canadian D-gal). I still can't believe that the first blog I found was written by a type 1 runner who lived less than an hour from me and was training for her first Around the Bay at the same time I was. I whipped off a quick hello and, in no time, met my first T1 friend ever. We've shared a pile of adventures already and I feel honoured to know her.

Scully's blog was the jumping off point for me. I clicked on the blogs she had listed on her site, I clicked on the people who commented on her blog. I clicked on their links, and then their links' links. I discovered a world of people all connected, or perhaps I should say united, because of Type 1 diabetes. I found athletes, parents, teenagers, seniors, advocates - all struggling with and overcoming their own daily diabetes challenges.

I found Jeff - who I originally thought was a bit crazy with all of his reports on cycling, swimming and running that he was posting. 'Man this guy is HARDCORE' I thought when I first started reading his blog. Now I look to him for advice as I try to balance my own running/cycling/swimming schedule. The guy is a wealth of knowledge, has a wicked sense of humour and loves everything French. We met up in real life a few months ago and he's even cooler in person. Smart as a whip but needs to work on his curling skills a bit...

I found Pearlsa - a fellow Canadian albeit a few hours behind. Every time she posts I click on her blog never knowing what I'm going to find. She posts recipes, she posts reviews of diabetes products. She posts funny little stories, beautiful quotes and gorgeous pictures. Her blog is rich with colour and makes we want to cross the country and join her for tea.

I found Lindsay through a weird twist of fate. She was chosen as one of last year's Medtronic Global Heroes. So was one of my good friends John. They met up, John told me about her and I jumped on the Lindsay bandwagon. I love her stories of people she spies on public transit. I love reading about her trail running, her hiking adventures (and misadventures) and her relay races. She also loves the colour orange - which makes her very cool in my books.

There are twenty or thirty diabetes blogs that I check each and every day. Some educate me, some scare me, some inspire me, but I have not found one that I have not connected with in some way. The fact that nearly 200 people have signed up for D-Blog week is staggering. Apparently I'm still a teenager in the DOC - I've been around long enough to learn that I have way more to learn.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Temperature Change

My pool (it's not really my pool but I think of it that way) is notoriously warm.

"Oh, you swim at Westpark? It's SO hot there. The old ladies like it but I hate it."

It is pretty warm but I'll put up with the warmth for the convenience and the quiet mornings.

Then the boiler blew up (poor thing was probably exhausted from keeping the pool at near boiling temps) and, when we were allowed back in two weeks later, the water was a few degrees cooler. It had gone from ugh hot to comfortable.

The comfortable temperatures went on for weeks. Every morning I would slip into the water with a sigh of contentment. It was lovely.

On Wednesday morning, the lifeguards weren't quite ready for us when we came out of the change room. We aren't allowed into the pool until they are in their chairs so the routine is to sit on the side of the pool and dangle our legs into the water. Since they weren't ready, I plopped down on the deck and dropped my legs in.

"Holy bananas! It's FREEZING!!'

The lady next to me looked pretty horrified. The guy on the other side of me looked downright scared.

When the lifeguards told us we could go in we all hesitated for a few moments before doing so. I tell ya, lowering my entire body into a freezing cold pool was harder than it should have been. It was even more uncomfortable when I found myself standing in front of a jet that was sending out even colder water.

'Is the boiler broken?' asked the guy beside me through chattering teeth.

'No, it's fine' replied the lifeguard a little too perkily. 'The new pool will be open at some point soon and it's going to be a lot cooler than this one so we've lowered the temperature so you can get used to it.'

Ummmm ok? Bizarre logic if you ask me. We'll get used to it when we get there - might as well let us have a few more weeks of comfort. The 6am cynic in me figured it was just cheaper to turn off the boiler and the whole 'getting you used to the new pool temps' was a convenient excuse to save money.

We stood shivering for a few seconds and then the lady beside me announced 'it's actually not that bad. Kinda like swimming in the lake when you're camping. It takes a minute to adjust and then it just feels wonderful'.

And that, folks, was all it took. I love camping. I love swimming in lakes. I had gotten so used to the comfortable pool temps that I had forgotten what it felt like to be invigorated by the cold water. I pulled on my goggles, pushed off and had a fabulous 2k swim.

I'm still pretty sure the old ladies at aquafit are going to hate it but it did feel pretty damn nice...

...once I got used to it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

D-Blog Week is Coming!

Next week is the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

I completely missed the 1st annual one because I had not yet discovered the world of blogging and DOC'ing.

I stumbled upon the 2nd annual D-Blog week last year and decided on a whim to join up.

This year, I've been waiting for it.

Diabetes Blog Week is the brainchild of Karen at Bitter-Sweet. The idea was to help diabetes bloggers unite, share stories and discover blogs they might never have read otherwise. The way it works is that there is a set topic for us to write about every day starting next Monday. We write about it, we post it and we add a link to our blog on Karen's site. Then, when we have some free time during the day, we just start clicking away on every link and reading blog after blog where people just like us are sharing their stories.

Last year was a pretty amazing experience. The topics really forced me to think about diabetes: the good, the bad and the ridiculous. Reading the other blogs lead me to discover some pretty amazing people whose blogs I now read faithfully every day.

This year's topics have been posted and they are pretty neat.

Monday: Find a Friend (we have to write about other diabetes bloggers that we think everyone should read)

Tuesday:  One Great Thing (we have to write about the one diabetes thing we do really really well)

Wednesday: One Thing To Improve (this is something about diabetes that we really should get better at)

Thursday: Fantasy Diabetes Device (we have to use our imagination to come up with a diabetes device that we think would be fabulous - I have to think about that one but I imagine it will involve a cape of some sort)

Friday: What They Should Know (what we wish people knew or understood about diabetes)

Saturday: Saturday Snapshots (we get to post pictures about diabetes)

Sunday: Diabetes Hero (we get to write about someone who we think is a diabetes hero)

Some pretty amazing topics this year and my brain is already whirling as it tries to figure out what to write for each one. And yes, I will be posting for the entire week - even on the weekend (gasp!).

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Raw Food

My parents have a dog named Kodiak. She's a beautiful dog with a ridiculously docile personality. The kind of dog that even cat lovers can't help but say hello to. 

A few years ago, Kody wasn't doing that well. She was lethargic. She had skin problems. Her coat didn't look very healthy. My sister, who had worked at a veterinary clinic years earlier, suggested that my parents put her on a raw food diet. 

By her I mean the dog, not my sister. 

So my parents decided to give it a try. 

At first, it was kinda crazy. It took them a while to figure out what to feed her, how much to feed her, where to buy the stuff etc etc. And poor Kody didn't know what to make of the whole thing. She went from getting cans of dog food plopped on top of dry dog food to being handed a chicken back and some kidneys for dinner. Apparently the first time they handed her a chicken back, she ran around the back yard with it in her mouth yelping. Then she dropped it and ran away. Repeated the process a few times and finally ate it. 

After that rather awkward start, they developed a system together and now Kodiak looks fabulous, has regained her energy and loves her new diet. And my parents have a freezer full of single serving dog meals. 

Kodiak now eats better than the humans do. 

I've gone to my parents' house on several occasions to find my mother roasting sweet potatoes in the toaster oven. "Don't eat those! They're for the dog." The bag of spinach on the counter? "For the dog." The freezer full of meat? You guessed it. 

For the dog.

I have house sat for my parents a few times and have had to feed poor Kody her dinner. The instruction list is, as follows: 
  • take one container of raw animal products out of the freezer first thing in the morning and leave it out to thaw 
  • at dinner time, open container
  • add some spinach. Kody likes it broken up and mixed into the food. Don't just dump it on top. 
  • add another vegetable (roasted sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin whatever). Mix it in - she likes it better that way
  • serve with a glass of chilled white wine. She prefers Riesling. 

Last night, I came home from my run and popped two sweet potatoes in the toaster oven. I steamed some broccoli and cooked up some quinoa. I was making one of my favourite creations - a big bowl full of yummy stuff with a bit of olive oil and tamari drizzled on top. As I piled everything in, tossed an avocado and some goat cheese on for good measure and drizzled on my toppings...this twisted little voice in my head said "I bet this would be perfect with some chicken feet."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Growing Gills

I swam 25 metres yesterday.


Without dying.

And I’m pretty freakin’ proud of myself.

At least once a week for the past month or so, I’ve tried it. Once my lengths were done, I would stand in the shallow end and take 8 deep breaths. I made myself take 8 because I learned after the first few tries that I would just keep taking deep breaths in order to avoid actually attempting the swim. Now I take 8 and do a little countdown in my head.

Actually, it’s a countup from 1 to 8 but still. Once I hit 8, I have to go. No excuses.

Last week, I made it about 5 feet from the wall. Instead of being disappointed, I got excited. Because I knew that meant I would make it all the way the next time I tried.

So on Monday morning, I took 8 deep breaths, dropped down below the surface and started. I did my patented swim across the pool under water move which is kinda like the breast stroke with the odd strong flutter kick thrown in for extra propulsion.

At the halfway mark, the bottom of the pool drops off. Instead of following it down, I try to just keep swimming at the same depth. I followed it down the first time I tried this and learned the hard way that that just makes the surface harder to get to.

Speaking of surface, after another stroke or two  I started surfacing – I just couldn’t help it.

I had to breathe.

The top of my head broke the surface but I my face was still submerged. Lungs aching, I could see the wall just ahead so I desperately gave one last pull and…touched!

I burst out and couldn’t even stop myself from taking a huge, loud, satisfying lungful of air.

I did it!

Not exactly a life-changing moment but it’s pretty cool to look back across the pool and think “yeah, I swam that”

I came home and announced my accomplishment.

Doug inspected my neck for gills, gave me a high five and a “good job baby” and handed me my breakfast. 

Let the week begin.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kale Chips

I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to food. Other than cod tongue - there isn't much I don't enjoy and there's even less that I just plain won't eat.

And, for the record, cod tongue is pretty freakin' disgusting. Trust me, you don't want to eat it either.

I spent the entire day on Saturday in Toronto with my little sis. We did our usual thing which means we walked all over the place, we ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we laughed and talked and we checked out all sorts of cool stores.

Stores that sold only Hello Kitty stuff. Stores that had paid male models standing outside looking unrealistically beautiful. Pen stores, makeup stores, hand cream stores and stores where we went in simply because we knew they had the nicest bathrooms.

Our favourite moment was when we were in Sephora and a cute little blonde girl had obviously been trying out the makeup samples. And her parents were obviously not watching her while she did it. She ran by us with lipstick that rivalled the Joker's and eye shadow that went up over her eyebrows. She was looking very proud of her artistry skills. We doubled over in laughter and figured her parents should be grateful she didn't paint her face with waterproof mascara or nail polish.

Then there was our spontaneous purchase in the health food store. We found a great place that had a pretty good price on Vega as well as blueberry-flavoured Larabars so I was stocking up. On the way out, we noticed bags of kale chips. Kale chips, if you read blogs written by the health-conscious folks out there, are all the rage. They are apparently so tasty that people actually go to the trouble of buying dehydrators, mixing chopped kale with various toppings (cheese etc) and dehydrating them overnight. One blogger I read last week said it was impossible to keep them in the house for more than a day because her vegetable-hating husband kept eating them.

Bags of kale chips sat by the counter and we decided to join the growing number of kale chip fans. We discussed flavour options and settled on salted kale with pumpkin seeds. We forked over $6.99 for the bag but we knew it would be totally worth it. Everyone is talking about them AND we would get 400% of our daily vitamin C just by nibbling on them as we walked down Bloor Street. We had barely walked out of the store before I had the bag ripped open.

Pay attention folks because this next part is really important.

Kale chips. Are. Disgusting.

Like cod tongue disgusting.

We ate one and it tasted like seaweed. We both like kale and we both like nori and other seaweed-tasting stuff so we decided that the first one was gross simply because we weren't expecting the taste. I shook up the bag to disperse the salt and pumpkin seeds a bit and we tried another one. Nope, still really gross. A few more just to make sure and then we closed the bag as the nausea set in. "Omigod they are SO gross" complained my little sis. "Omigod your teeth are completely green" I replied. Green bits of dried kale stuck between every tooth. She looked like something in a horror movie.

Mine were no better.

Seriously, who are the crazy people out there who think eating dehydrated kale and then spending the next 20 minutes flossing is worth it?

We parked ourselves on a bench in downtown Toronto and took turns sharing the one tiny mirror we had between us, picking green stuff out of our teeth. We must have been quite a sight to behold as we used the hard plastic edge of the kale chip bag to remove particularly stubborn pieces. Every time we thought we were done, more would appear. Even an hour later. Bah!

We made our way to Fresh for dinner, a great place that serves super healthy food. I ordered a delicious-sounding Healthy Bowl with soba noodles, grilled veggies, sprouts, avocado and goat cheese. I also ordered a bowl of steamed green on the side because I was craving spinach and broccoli so I figured my iron must be on the low side again.

Dinner appeared and I was handed a fabulous looking bowl of noodles...

...with a side of steamed kale.

Friday, May 4, 2012


When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, my glucometer seemed like such a nice chap. He would regularly greet me with a friendly 'Hi' when I checked my blood sugar.

These days, I still get the occasional 'Hi' but they're pretty few and far between. For the most part, he just quietly does his thing.

Ah yes - diabetes humour.

Those who get it, get it. Those who don't - well, just read it again a few times - you'll figure it out.

Like when you see a sign for diabetic chocolate and you feel bad for the poor little things. Who knew chocolate could even get diabetes? dum tish!

I don't have a lot of diabetes jokes per se but I sure spend a lot of my time poking fun at the whole situation using my favourite kind of humour - the sick, twisted kind.

If someone complains about another person who is being a real jerk, I've been known to lean in and whisper "do you want to borrow my insulin needle? One little injection will solve all your problems. They won't even feel it..."

When my mother eyes the candy stash in my purse I always share with her with clear instructions "just leave enough for me so I don't die".

When my pump beeps and co-workers look at it with fear in their eyes, the looks on their faces can be pretty priceless when I respond with "omigod I'm dying!".

Even the other night when I headed out to the first T1 of Niagara meet up - never having seen these people before, I wanted to make sure I was at the right table. I knew without hesitation that, if I had picked the right group, they would totally laugh at the question "are you the folks with diabetes?".

They were and they did.

There's a certain dark humour that develops when you live your life with a chronic disease. Everyone I've met with T1 seems to have it.

I wonder...perhaps dark humour is one of the first diabetes complications that manifests itself after diagnosis? Maybe we've looked pain and death in the face one too many times and it's a little less scary when we can laugh at it. Maybe being twisted actually predisposes one to the 'betes.

Whatever the reason - it does help to make the dark times a little lighter. And it's super fun to throw zingers out there and have a table full of people laugh rather than look in horror.

We might not have a secret handshake but there are other ways we can find ourselves in a crowd.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moderate Excess

There aren't too many things that I do to excess but there are lots of things I do...a lot.

I eat...a lot. I eat chocolate, candy, fruit, bread, cookies, date squares, hot apple crisp with melted chocolate on top, mango salad, shrimp skewers, crispy apples dipped in peanut butter, t-bone steaks, maple name it, I eat it - with relish. Well, not really with relish - I quite dislike relish to be honest. But I eat my food and I enjoy it.

But rarely to excess.

It's just not worth it.

I drink alcohol. To clarify, I drink red wine. I really really like red wine. Most nights of the week I have a glass or two. Occasionally a glass of white. Sometimes I'll sip a tumbler of whisky - neat.

But not to excess.

It's just not worth it.

I get lots of sleep. It's a rare night when I'm in bed for less than 8 hours and, despite waking up several times to check my sugar, I sleep for most of it. But I don't sleep to excess. I never lounge in bed until noon. In fact, 7:30am is a pretty sweet lazy morning.

As for exercise, I'm sure some people would argue that I exercise to excess. Perhaps they're right. It feels reasonable to me though, considering how many hours a day I sit, for me to move for an hour a day, every day. Two on Saturdays.

The whole point of this rather drawn out introduction is that I was thinking about diabetes and how it affects the daily decisions I make. Sometimes, diabetes encourages me to moderate my choices, other times it encourages me to push my limits.

It's relatively easy to exercise portion control when I know what overeating does to my blood sugar. Diabetes is a fabulous excuse when someone offers me a second piece of pie and diabetes keeps me honest because I have to bolus for that second piece. That fact alone often stops me just long enough to reconsider and say no.

It's pretty easy to limit alcohol to a glass or two (sometimes three if Erin is over) because it really is just too dangerous to have more than that. I never want to be unable to recognize a low blood sugar because I've had too much to drink. Add to that the fact that alcohol tends to lower blood sugar and it really is easy to say 'no thank you' to the third glass of wine.

On the other hand, diabetes is a great motivator to get lots of rest and lots of exercise. Diabetes is the never-ending voice in my head that says I should be out there taking care of my heart, my lungs, and my body. Diabetes forces me to take my health seriously.

Based on my blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, diet, weight and fitness level - I'm a pretty healthy gal. Add diabetes to the list and I automatically fall in the same health risk category as someone who is overweight or a smoker.

Imagine where I would fall if I didn't do all these things?

'nuff said.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

T1s in Real Time

Normally, by 8pm on a weeknight, I'm sitting on the couch in my comfy clothes sipping a glass of wine or, when I'm feeling particularly lazy or tired, I'm already in bed reading my book. It's pretty safe to assume that no one out there is going to describe me as a party girl.

That's why it's particularly shocking that, on Monday night at 8pm, I was sitting in Starbucks. With four complete strangers.

When I got there, there were two people already sitting at a table. They both looked at me - and I looked at them. Is it them? I asked the most obvious question I could think of to make sure I was at the right table "Hi, do you guys have diabetes?".

I'm happy to report that I was indeed at the right table. It would have been pretty awkward if I wasn't non? I introduced myself to Shannon and Peter, grabbed my steamed milk with a shot of vanilla and met the last two recruits, Tanya and Greg, when they walked in a few minutes later.

The first meeting of the T1s of Niagara group had officially come to order.

What a random band of ragamuffins we were. Diabetes brought us together and, even though we all ended up at that Starbucks table on a Monday night in April, it was quite obvious that everyone's journey to get there was utterly unique

Three of us were diagnosed as kids. Two of us were not.

Three of us went to diabetes camp. Two us of did not.

Two of us are on the pump. Three of us are not.

Two of us have diabetes complications. Three of us do not.

Two people have had diabetes for so long that they remember urine testing rather than blood glucose testing. Another remembers having to wait two whole minutes for the glucometer to give the blood sugar reading. When I was diagnosed, glucometers took 30 seconds to spit out the number. Now, it's five seconds.

We learned that those of us who were diagnosed as adults have a different take on how important it is to be as healthy as possible compared to those who have never known anything but diabetes. Those of us who were diagnosed as kids are more worried about complications - those of us diagnosed as adults are more worried - period.

We learned that it never really gets easier, no matter how long you have diabetes. Whether we've had it for three years or 36 years - we still struggle with the same ups and downs.

We talked about how annoying it is when diabetes is described as a 'condition'. For the record: a disease is an illness and a condition is the state of someone's health. So when people say things like 'because of your condition blah blah blah' we get annoyed. And rightfully so.

We agreed that diabetes makes us tough as nails and there isn't much that scares us anymore.

We compared doctors. We compared horror stories. 

All in just over an hour.

It's a very interesting social experiment when you think about it. Five complete strangers who really don't have that much in common sit around a table and bond in a way most people never do simply because we all have a busted pancreas.

That's pretty cool.

And I can't wait to be out late on a school night to do it again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Worst Case Scenario

On Saturday, after my long run, I had to rush through my stretching and icing routine, shower, dress and head out the door.

We had a Cabot Trail Relay Race date...

...with some of our opponents.

Apparently there are three teams from Niagara heading to Cape Breton in less than a month.

Considering the craziness of this whole event, I find it pretty surprising that there are three groups of 17 runners from our neck of the woods. Even crazier is that the other two groups have done this race multiple times - in fact one group has run it 11 years in a row.

I feel like we're preparing to embark on some weird, cult-like adventure. I'm guessing there will be secret handshakes...

Anyway, so on Saturday, a run was scheduled and runners from all three groups gathered to do either a 9k, 14k or 17k run together. I had 20k to run and I wasn't about to join the speed demons so I did my run and joined them afterwards for the potluck lunch. I walked into a house of fabulously fit people and did my best to blend.

We feasted on some delicious, healthy, runner food which included salmon, quinoa salad, mango salad, saag paneer and banana bread. We watched a video (on VHS - which felt so 90s) of a race from a few years ago. It was very helpful because we could see what runners in each leg were going to be facing and we also got a sense of how busy the roads get with all the runners and support vehicles. Halfway through the video, I turned to Klari and said "I'm glad we're all signed up and everyone has paid for their flight before we watched this". She laughed and agreed wholeheartedly. It's pretty intimidating to watch a video of a runner struggling up a hill only to have the camera zoom out and see how much farther they still have to climb.

Glad I'm driving...

"So" says Klari, "you ran 20k today eh? That's great that you're all recovered."


"So, if we needed you to run a leg of the relay, you could."


See, one of our runners is injured. We're still crossing our fingers that he might be able to pull it off but we need a contingency plan. And, because of how easy it is to get injured, we really need a contingency plan for that contingency plan. So, apparently I'm now a possible contingency.

Here's the deal. There are several reasons why I agree to drive for these relays rather than run.
  • I'm faster than I was but I'm not fast. Runners eat up the road out there and there's no part of me that wants to watch the herd pull away and struggle on behind them. 
  • I have diabetes (yep, I admit it) and I'm ok with crazy blood sugars ruining a race for me but the thought of being out there with a van load of people supporting me and having to walk because my sugar is 20...or 2.0 just plain sucks. I don't like when diabetes affects other people and I don't want us to come in fourth because Céline had a low. 
  • I have a half marathon that I'm training for which is the very next weekend. I don't want to run the Cabot Trail and leave my half marathon somewhere on the East Coast. 
But I get it. We might be in trouble and we might need to ask a runner, or even two, to run more than one leg. Considering the difficulty of the terrain, that's a lot to ask.

So I made it very clear that me running was the worst case scenario but that I would do long as I got the shortest, easiest leg of the run.

And now we leave it up to the running gods to decide my fate.