Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jet Lagging Behind

It's Thursday, one work-day away from the Easter long weekend.

I'm jet lagged and tired and I used most of my energy to get through the workday on Wednesday.

Not an ounce left for blogging.

Please bear with me - I'll be back in full blogging form next week.

Until then, Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tel Aviv Half Marathon

Hi folks! Sorry for the blogging hiatus. It was completely out of character for me but I was traveling all over Israel for two weeks and didn't want to take time away from our adventures to blog. So I took a Running on Carbs holiday.

I am back now and feeling a little jet-lagged and travel-weary but otherwise happy to be home and yet sad to have left such a wonderful country.

You might remember that one of the reasons I went to Israel was to run the Tel Aviv half marathon. I trained for it during a rather cold and relentlessly windy Canadian winter. I was a little worried about training in the cold and running in the heat but I took comfort in the fact that March in Tel Aviv is typically a comfortable time with temperatures in the 20s (celsius aka 68 fahrenheit).

As the date of my departure approached, I began looking at the long-term weather forecast so I could have an idea of the clothes I needed to pack. The days leading up to the race were exactly what they were supposed to be - low 20s and sunny. Perfect.

As the race got closer though, the temperature started to climb.

They predicted 30C. Then 32C. Then 38C (100F).

Three days before I arrived, I received an email saying that my race time had been moved 30 minutes earlier (from 7:45am to 7:15am). The day I arrived, I learned that it had been moved to 6am.

At the race expo, I learned that they had postponed the marathon to the following weekend.

I began to feel very afraid. If the Israelis are worried enough about the heat to postpone an international marathon, was I crazy for wanting to run the half? I also felt the same horror I felt at the New York marathon last fall when I heard it was cancelled. People travelled or were in the process of traveling from all over the world to run in Tel Aviv. They had trained for months and months to run Tel Aviv. Now it was the following weekend? Would people even be able to stay that long? How many hearts were broken with that announcement? And yet I also agreed that it probably made sense given the circumstances.

On race day, we were up at 4am. I was as hydrated as I had ever been after taking extra steps the previous two days to drink water and electrolytes. By 5am, it was heating up. By 6am, it was hot. I had opted NOT to bring my water belt for the race. The organizers talked about how much water would be available and I didn't want to have to carry any more weight than necessary. I had my little race belt with my glucometer, gels, edisks and salt tablets. I wore shoes, shorts, a t-shirt and a hat. C'est tout.

Right from the start, I kept my pace controlled at about 6:30min/k. Not superfast but I wanted to survive this run, not collapse from heat stroke. There were water stations every 3 kilometres and you could have the regular cup of water or an entire bottle. I grabbed two cups and drank each of them - at every station. I fell into a routine pretty quickly. Start off feeling good, run for about 1.5k, start to feel dehydrated. keep running to the next water station by which point my lips were dry and my throat was parched. Drink two large glasses of water, feel much better, repeat cycle.

I have never had that much water in a race before. I had over 15 cups of water. Normally, that amount in such a short period would put me at severe risk of overhydration but not that day. I also had two edisks and a salt tablet every 30 minutes.

I ran a pretty good race until about 17k. By that point it was 8am, about 35C and sunny. I began to overheat and started to walk/run. The walk periods got longer and the run periods got shorter but I felt that it was just too dangerous out there to overheat. I walked until I cooled down enough to run and stopped running when I felt my temperature get too high. I started to see people collapsed on benches and on the street with emergency response personnel helping them. I saw runners with IVs lying on sidewalks. I heard sirens constantly. I walked, I ran, I drank. I focused on how I was feeling and how much further I had to go and tried to ignore all the craziness going on around me.

I ran the last kilometre to the finish line and had to dodge two runners near the finish who had collapsed and were getting emergency assistance in the middle of the street. I crossed the finish line in just under 2 1/2 hours. My usual time is about 2:18:00 so that was pretty good all things considered.

My blood sugar, which had been very well behaved the first three days of my trip, spiked at the start of the run and stayed very high (around 14) for most of the race. I took insulin three times during the race (unheard of) to try to bring it down but I think I was just too hot and dehydrated for it to be very effective. After lunch, a nap, a shower and a site change, things were back to normal by dinner.

50 people were taken to the hospital with heatstroke during the half marathon.
1 person died. He was a fit, special ops army personnel who lives in Israel. They believe he underestimated the heat.

I am glad I ran and proud of how it went. I was impressed at how much water support was en route and at the finish line. I was impressed at how many support people were on the course. I was humbled by the heat and completely understand how it can be absolutely deadly if you don't take care.

The temperature dropped back down the very next day and I spent most of the next two weeks in pants and a jacket. It spiked again exactly one week later - on the day that the marathon had been postponed to. It was again predicted to be over 30C. The media had been slaughtering the race organizers for allowing the half to go on and having so many people brought to hospital and one person dying.

So,  two days before the rescheduled marathon was supposed to take place, they cancelled it.

I understand and yet feel awful for everyone involved.

I am glad I ran. I would do it again. I feel like I took part in a particularly memorable race. And I was relieved when it was over and I could spent the next two weeks just enjoying my holiday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring in Canada

By now, if all went well en route, I should be in Tel Aviv. If the weather folks were right, I should be trying to convince my body that it does indeed enjoy 30 degree weather and that, ready or not, it will be running a half marathon tomorrow.

But I don't want to write about 30 degrees. I want to write about last weekend and the positively balmy spring weather we enjoyed in Ontario.

On Saturday afternoon, Doug and I, freshly showered and fed after our runs, headed to Burlington. We were going to a swim shop we had heard about that sells performance bathing suits. You know, the kind that don't disintegrate in chlorine. I was pretty fed up with my latest suit that I bought in January. It is already see-through in a few spots that really shouldn't be see-through. So we headed up the highway and bought new bathing suits that should hold up to our thrice a week swim sessions.

On the way home, we drove through downtown Burlington. Remember, it was March 9th, by the lake, a mere 8 degrees outside. Patios were open and hopping, couples were strolling along the waterfront and families were eating ice cream...outside.

I love spring in Canada.

Sunday morning, guess what we did?

We went cycling of course.

We were sensible enough to wait until 10:30am and, as the temperature hit 6 degrees, we joined our hardy friends for our first ride of the year. Flocks of geese flew overhead. The swollen rivers flowed fast and furious. The sun beat down and made the winter wind feel almost balmy.

I love spring in Canada.

Every spring, I wonder the same thing. I wonder how many people recently moved to Canada from another country and are about to experience their first spring. Does it feel magical the first time or does it take a few years before people are able to smell the change in the air? To spot the first buds on the trees and the first crocus popping up through the snow? To notice the extra minutes of daylight and the increasing urgency of the bird songs? To run without gloves for the first time in months and feel positively giddy?

I'm glad I got to feel that first taste of spring in Canada before I headed to Tel Aviv and into full blown summer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Calling in the Troops

I don't tend to put much stock in Murphy's Law but, holy hannah, if he does exist, he has one nasty sense of humour.

So, remember how I opted out of the Medtronic loaner pump program for my trip and, instead, decided that I would bring emergency back up Lantus (long-acting insulin) in the off chance that things took a turn?

Well, things took a turn.

On Sunday, after our lovely bike ride, I checked my blood sugar and entered the lunch carb details into my pump.

At least I tried to anyway.

I hit the bolus button - no problem. I hit the up arrow button and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing. I tried other buttons. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

My bff blue pump wasn't working. At all. It beeped 'button error' which (apparently) means that a button was held down for over three minutes (which it wasn't) and then started alternating between alarm sirens and vibrations every minute or so.

I injected insulin for my lunch and tried not to freak out. I was leaving for Israel in less than 24-hours and it was a Sunday.

I dug out all of my Medtronic info and went through the troubleshooting section. No luck. I called the 1-800 hotline and, after hitting 1 and 2 a few times, received a message that the Canada department was not able to take my call. I was transferred to the US and put immediately on hold.

For 45 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I switched to speaker phone and emailed Sherri from the Niagara Diabetes Centre to explain my situation. I hated doing that on a Sunday afternoon but didn't feel like I had much choice. I could hear a very loud tick tick tick in my head. She went into action and gave me a list of suggestions of who to call and what to do.

During that time, I had also googled the US Medtronic number and called that on my cell phone, hoping to speak to someone while my other phone was on hold.

My cell phone picked up first and, as soon as I explained my situation, I was put on hold. For about 15 minutes. Now I had two phones on hold each playing the same elevator music but each at a different point in the song. Sherri emailed me telling me to call the local Medtronic rep but I was out of phones and loathe to hang up either of the ones I had in use.

Finally, I spoke to someone on my cell. I explained the situation and they walked me through a few troubleshooting options. No luck. They checked my warrantee and, as luck would have it, it expired in January of this year. (In Canada we receive funding for a new pump every five years but the warrantees last for four. That last year, as I have learned, is a bit of a crapshoot). I had no option of getting a brand new pump. I was told I was going to get a loaner pump for a maximum of 90 days (kinda like the loaner pump I decided not to get for my trip). They said that they would transfer me to the Canadian branch who would ensure delivery by Monday.

"I'm leaving on Monday morning for Israel" I said.

"Oh, well, you'll have to speak to them to see what they can do" was the reply before I was transferred.

A lovely gentleman with a French-Canadian accent came on the line and explained the loaner pump program. I would be given a pump for 90 days and would have to return mine to Medtronic. I would be contacted by a Medtronic rep next week to figure out a plan for getting me a new pump. I would have to return my loaner pump within 90 days or my account would be charged $4,995.

Sign me up! Just please please please get it to me by Monday morning. He said he would contact their delivery company and call me back.

He did, within minutes, and announced my pump would be delivered by 5:30pm on Sunday.


I emailed Sherri back to tell her the news and to ask if anyone from the Diabetes Centre could call me first thing on Monday with my pump settings. I (honest to goodness) was going to write them all down on Sunday afternoon so that I had them while I was away. My pump had other plans and died before I was able to. I had a good enough idea of what they were that I could wing them until Monday morning and Sherri confirmed that Kate would call be at 8:30am with the current ones I had given them at my last appointment in February.

1:00pm - pump began emitting wailing noises
1:30pm - called Medtronic
2:15pm - spoke to someone at Medtronic
2:45pm - received confirmation that loaner pump would arrive at 5:30pm
4:15pm - loaner pump arrived at my door
4:30pm - all hooked up and ready to go

Well Mr Murphy - nice try. You put a wrench in my Sunday afternoon plans but with two phones, some helpful friends and a fabulous customer support line at Medtronic, I was able to foil your plans and head off on vacation all hooked up.

I will miss this little guy. He and I have gone on all sorts of adventures together and I'm sure he would have loved Israel. Thank for the memories my friend...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Diabetes Doctor Details

Last week, the day after my presentation, I had an appointment with my diabetes doctor. My regular bi-annual appointment. I arrived armed with my blood sugar/food log and a whole bunch of questions. She arrived with my blood work results.

My A1C was the lowest yet at 6.5%. I have been more stable lately - less lows - and I thought perhaps I'd be somewhere around 7%. Seeing a 6.5% knowing that it happened despite fewer lows made me happy.

A1C is essentially an average of your blood sugar over the last three months. There are different ways to reach a good A1C average. You can reach it with good numbers but you can also reach it by having lots and lots of lows which help lower the average but that's not a particularly safe or smart thing to do. I'm glad that my A1C this time was most likely due to good numbers.

My cholesterol was in the healthy range and there were no signs of protein in my urine. High fives all around.

After looking at my blood sugar log, my doctor noticed a trend that I had not seen. Apparently I have a low blood sugar in the early mornings after I swam the morning before. It's almost 24-hours later but seems to be a pretty consistent pattern. So I'll be more aware of that.

My turn.

I started off by asking for a prescription for test strips for my new Verio meter which she readily wrote. By the way, two people commented on a post I wrote last week saying that the Verio meter gave them readings that were higher than their other meters. I noticed that too on the first night when I tested my blood on my old and my new meter and then tested both with a control solution. The was almost a 2mmol difference. The question is: which one is off? My OneTouch Ultra Mini or my OneTouch Verio? Hard to know. I'm bringing both with me to Israel with lots of test strips for each so, if one starts feeling like it's giving me wonky results, I have a backup.

I then asked for a prescription for long-acting insulin. I told her that I decided not to bring a back-up insulin pump with me because of the potential $5,000 charge if I lose or damage it. I said that I was planning to bring a prescription for long-acting insulin with me as a back up. She did even better than that and gave me a pre-loaded Lantus pen with enough long-acting to get me through 20 days. I was given instructions for how to calculate the dose. Sweet!

The last thing I did was mention the issue that I had had with my toes. Anyone remember my blog a few weeks ago when I went to my family doctor and showed her tiny dots on the tips of my toes? They had been itchy but not painful and had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. My family doctor told me I had small blood vessel disease, told me to keep my feet warm, to take low dose aspirin and to show my diabetes doctor. Well, the black dots are gone now so I had nothing to show. My diabetes doc listened to me explain my symptoms and said that it probably wasn't small blood vessel disease. It was most likely a wart virus I had picked from the pool that had flared up and then disappeared once my body fought it.

She said that my family doctor probably didn't think of that because I have diabetes. (Insert rant here about looking at me as more than just a diabetic).

So my A1C was good. My other blood work was good. I have a low blood sugar trend to be aware of. My feet are fine. I have a back up plan in case my pump collapses from the Israeli heat.

All in all a very positive day at the doctor's office.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Swimming Through Nutella in Cement Shoes

Well, it's fly to Israel for two weeks day. Two weeks of warm weather, omigod so delicious food, sisterly bonding and culture shock.

I don't know how diligent I'm going to be in terms of blogging but so many things happened last week that I wrote a few blogs in advance. I'll write when I can on my travels and try to post pictures along the way. In the meantime, enjoy the next few days full of stories from last week's many adventures.

...starting with swimming in shoes.

After Monday's time trial last week, we were told to bring old running shoes to Wednesday's workout.

Silly me. I actually wondered why we were only bringing shoes. I mean really, we have swum entire workouts in pants and shirts. Isn't swimming in shoes a little wimpy in comparison.

The swimming gods must get a kick out of watching me sometimes.

So Wednesday was essentially a kicking workout. We used our arms for 800m during our warmup and probably about 500m during the workout but, other than that, we kicked.

We started off by kicking al fresco, so to speak.

After ten trips up and down the pool doing that, we put our shoes on. At this point, I was still feeling rather jaded that we weren't doing anything really hard.

I pushed off first with George about ten seconds behind me.

Oh good lord.

Ever tried to kick with someone pulling back on your legs? Not just pulling back but also pulling down? Like wearing cement shoes kinda pulling down?

Yep, that's what it felt like.

This is probably a good time to tell you that Christine wasn't at the pool that morning. She left instructions with the lifeguards who wrote down our workout for us and then tried not to laugh at us while we struggled.

George and I passed each other every minute or so as I went up one side of the lane and he went down the other.

"We should make up a workout for Christine to do" he said. "Something sadistic".

"Yep" I agreed. "Make her do something ridiculous!".

"While we watch her and yell at her to go faster" he replied.

During the workout we went from naked feet to shoes to naked feet to fins. Back to shoes again and then finish with naked feet.

I can assure you that we didn't log too many kilometres but we kicked our brains out and holy bananas it was hard. Like swimming through Nutella only not so delicious.

I decided, in my morbid way, that if I'm ever on a ship that sinks, the shoes will be the first thing to go. Way before the hoodie and the jeans.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Presentation

As promised, today is the day I tell you how the presentation went. The one I did on Tuesday night in front of a group of diabetes educators.

It went really really. Super dee duper well. I couldn't have asked for better kinda well.

The evening event consisted of three presentations. The first one was done by two ladies from OneTouch and they were presenting the OneTouch Verio meter. Not having one of these, I was pretty excited to find one in my bag of goodies. It's a pretty neat meter in that it can identify and track blood glucose trends for people who test their blood sugar a lot (ie. me). Apparently, once I have been using it for a while, it will beep when it notices things like my blood sugar is usually high two hours after lunch or it's low around 4am. That kinda thing. Plus it lights up, has a big screen, a rechargeable battery AND it kinda looks like a baby iPod if you squint just so. Sold!

I was up next. I had arrived early to make sure that my laptop connected to the projector and the speakers. All I had to do was walk to the front and start talking. I did just that. I started off by thanking everyone there for coming and for dedicating their time to helping people like me.

I told my diagnosis story and heard gasps when I told them how I was misdiagnosed as a type two. How surreal and crazy hard it is to have to learn to give yourself that first injection and how scary it is to go home armed with the ability to read a nutrition label and not much else.

I told my running story. They clapped when I said I ran my first half marathon. They laughed at how hard it was for me to run for one minute and they nodded in approval when I told them about the size of my running belt and how many emergency supplies I carried.

I told them how I typed the words "type 1 diabetes" and "runner" into Google and discovered my first diabetes blog (hi Scully - you're now famous!). I told them how cool it was to meet my first type 1 in the wild and how I decided to write my own blog.

I gave a few examples of the things that the DOC taught me. Like how to waterproof my pump for long runs and what things like SWAGing and type awesome mean. They loved SWAGing! I talked about how important the DOC community is to people and then I played a video that Sara sent me. Remember the video she made after people sent in photos of themselves wearing glasses and insulin pumps? And how the video was made for a little girl who didn't want to have to wear glasses AND an insulin pump?

People cried.

And clapped.

And promised to check out my blog and click on other blogs, and learn about this Dee Oh See I was talking about.

They asked me questions like "how can we support people better" and I told them what Jeff (hi Jeff!) asked me to say. I said that too much pressure is put on people to reach the magic A1C number. Reaching this target over and over again, or even at all, is just not possible for most people. It leads to depression, stress and, sometimes, people risking too many lows just to get a better A1C. They nodded.

I told them that we are more than diabetes and that not everything that happens to us is because of diabetes. We can get real people sick too (they liked that term as well) and maybe our sore hand, stress fracture or whatever has nothing to do with diabetes at all.

I said don't tell us all the bad stuff that can happen to us - we know already. Treat us like people. Take the time to get to know us as more than just a disease. And teach people about the DOC so that they can get support during the 8,754 hours a year that we are not at the doctor's office.

It was a wonderful night. I loved watching the room light up, nod, gasp and cry as I told my story our story. I told everyone I could that I would be happy to talk to anyone about diabetes. I'd be happy to teach a group of professionals or Type 1s about the DOC and how to access it.

By the next morning, two people from the audience had already left comments on my blog. That alone means I made a difference to more than one person.


Thanks you guys for your support, encouragement and words of wisdom. I felt like I was talking for all of us and I think I may have done you proud.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Third Time Trial of Twenty Thirteen

Morning morning at the pool was time trials. This is the third time we have done them since getting back in the pool after Christmas break.

Each time is the same - half of us get out of the pool and time the other half who will swim. Then we switch. The distance is also the same which is helpful for comparison. We swim 3 x 300m with two minutes off in between to recover.

The first time we did them, I swam the three 300m in: 5:12 5:21 and 5:15.

The second time we did them, I swam them in 5:09 5:12 and 5:15.

Monday, I was set to do them again. I had forgotten to check the times from the previous two trials before going so I really didn't know what I was trying to beat. It's kinda nice in a way because the pressure is off. Just swim hard and fast and then find out later how I did.

Christine looked me in the eye before we started and said "I want you do to flip turns. It will make you faster." I responded with "I can do flip turns or I can go fast - you're not going to get both".

I compromised by saying that I would do flip turns for the first 300m and then push off the wall on the next one to compare.

I was the second group to go and I was swimming at the same time as Chantal and Leslie - both fast swimmers - faster than me.

My goal - hang on as long as possible before losing sight of them.


I swam 25m, hit the wall and flipped. I was panting already and, you guessed it, slowed down during the flip and, by the time I was headed back towards the wall, I had lost sight of the two other swimmers. At 50m I flipped again. This time I missed the timing AND I was panting so, by the time I flipped, I was completely out of air and had nothing left to blow out my nose as I did a somersault.

Great. Now I'm panting and choking AND feel like someone rubbed wasabi on my brain.

The hell with this! I threw the flip turns out the window and just pushed off the wall. I sped up immediately and managed, by the end of the 300m, to almost catch Chantal.


The second 300m, I didn't even waste my time trying to flip. I just pushed off hard every time I touched the wall. I kept pace with Chantal and finished two seconds behind her in 5:08. Woot!!

The third, and final 300m, I kept pace with both ladies for the first 100m when (gasp!) I actually started pulling ahead. In fact, I pulled ahead and stayed ahead for the last 200m. I felt tired but not in a bad way and I pushed hard at a speed I thought I could handle for the entire distance.

I hit the wall first in 5:06.

First time trial
5:12 5:21 5:17
Second time trial
5:09 5:12 5:15
Third time trial
5:13 5:08 5:06

Getting faster little by little AND getting stronger too. This time I got faster with each 300m rather than getting worn out and slowing down.

I love time trial days! They make me feel so FAST.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gravenhurst Triathlon

Well, I did it.

I signed up for my first Olympic distance triathlon.

I'll be competing in the July 13th Gravenhurst olympic tri. That's the famous triathlon where athletes get to hitch a ride on The Seguin, a passenger steamship. The boat takes us out into the lake where we get to jump off and swim 1,500m back to shore.

It's a pretty popular race and, because we take a boat to the start line, there is a cap of 300 competitors in both the Olympic and the Sprint triathlon.

Which means I had to commit....early.

I've booked my race and Doug and I booked a B&B on a neighbouring lake.

Now all I need to do is a) start training and b) start working out the diabetes details.

The training part is pretty easy - at least in theory. I just have to do it. I'm not worried about the swim - I swim twice that distance three times per week. Plus I can get into open water by June so I'll have a several opportunities to practice sighting and dealing with waves before the big day. I'm a little worried about the bike portion which is 40km. I'm not strong on the bike and I get pretty tired and sore after 30k. I'm most worried about the 10k run at the end. I'll be pretty tired by then and running for an hour (and a bit) is going to take mental strength as well as physical endurance.

A lot of it.

My rough math has me taking 30 minutes to do the swim, an hour and a half on the bike and then seventy minutes for the run. Add some transition times in there and this will take me almost 3 1/2 hours to finish. That's a lot of time to be doing anything.

I'm also trying to figure out how to handle the fact that I have to be unhooked from my pump for so long. Normally it's about 30-40 minutes between the time I unhook and head to the water and when I get back to the transition zone after the swim.

This time it will be over an hour. The swim alone will take 30 minutes (or so) and we have to get to the boat, board the boat, ride the boat, jump off the boat (two at a time) and then gather at the start line. It's a long long time and makes me really really wish I had a waterproof pump.

So first thing I have to do is work out some sort of training schedule for running and cycling. I have four months to build my strength on the bike, do a lot of brick training (going from cycling to running) and figure out my race day routine. I'll have the Welland sprint tri three weeks before Gravenhurst which should be good practice.

Any tips on training or diabetes management are more than welcome.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Presentation Time

Tonight's the night.

I'm heading to Hamilton after work to present to a room full of doctors, nurses, dieticians, diabetes educators, pharmacists and other folk who support people of the diabetic persuasion.

My presentation is ready and memorized. My Powerpoint (well, actually I did it in Keynote but not everyone knows what that is) is full of pictures and facts and even a video that I was kindly sent a copy of by Sara over at Moments of Wonderful.

I decided to divide my talk into a few sections. I'm going to start off by telling my diagnosis story so that they can get a sense of where I'm coming from. Then I'm going to quickly tell my running story so that they can see that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to exercise and diabetes management.

But the majority of my presentation is actually going to focus on the DOC. I want to tell them how isolating, scary, relentless and frustrating diabetes is and that, even with the best medical support, we spend most of our time dealing with this disease on our own.

We all have questions, fears, scary moments and hilarious experiences and the DOC helps us connect to other people just like us who have the same questions, fears, scary moments and hilarious experiences.

My goal is that some people in that room leave inspired to check us out. To read a few blogs, to see what Twitter is all about and to understand the value in pointing other diabetics in our direction.

Until I found the DOC I had no idea that I was even missing anything. Once I found it, I realized how alone I had been when it came to the diabetic part of me. Now I have running friends, swimming friends, photography friends AND diabetes friends.

Wish me luck on the presentation! I'll write later this week to let you know how it went.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Friday's Run

Something crazy happened on Friday.

The day started off in its typical fashion. I woke up at 4:50am and was in the pool by 5:30. During my hour and a half in the pool I swam a 1000m warmup, 900m of pulling and then we were tied up to stretch cords for another tough workout. My favourite kind of tough workout by the way. At the end of it all, when we were sufficiently exhausted, we had to swim two 100m sprints and then four 50m sprints. Christine likes to see how fast we can go after we get off the stretch cords.  I do too because that's always when I clock my best times.

I set a new 100m record (for myself anyway) of 1:35. I also managed to swim 50m in 43 seconds which is not too shabby either.

All in all, it was a fun and exhausting workout.

Normally, Doug and I curl on Friday nights. Last Friday, there was a bonspiel at the club so we couldn't play. (well actually that's only partly true. Doug played in the bonspiel. I did not). The fact that I couldn't curl on Friday night worked out well because I was planning on spending the entire day on Saturday in Toronto with my little sis. That left Friday after work free for me to squeeze in my 16k long run.

So I swam hard in the morning, worked for 6 hours, and then ran 16k.

I have not run in the afternoon or evening in over a year. My body likes consistency so morning runs are my new normal.  I also don't normally exercise twice in one day. I was going to have to take a bit of a wild guess on my diabetes management.

We only work until 2pm on Fridays so I ate lunch at 11 rather than 12. That gave my conservative lunch bolus more time to leave my system. By 2:30pm, when I was dressed and ready to start my run, my BG was 10.0 and I had 0.3 units on board. I had a gel and headed out.

The first thing I noticed is that I had way more energy that I typically do in the mornings. There was no easy 3k warmup - I headed down the street practically sprinting. I kept trying to hold back because 16k is a long way AND I had already worked out that day. My body and I finally reached an agreement to hover around 6 minutes per kilometre - faster than my brain wanted but slower than my body wanted to go. I loped along for 10k at that pace and still felt strong.

At 11k, the world kinda tilted for a second and I knew my blood sugar was dropping. I stopped, took a drink of NUUN, ate a package of fruit chews and headed off again. That's about when I turned a corner and found myself running directly into a cold headwind for two kilometres. I slogged my way through at a more modest pace but as my blood sugar climbed, my legs sped up again. Before I knew it I was back to 6:00 minute kilometres again.

I carried on for the last few kilometres and, 500m from home, the word tilted again. I ran it in, opened the door and headed straight for my glucometer. I was 3.2. Chocolate milk saved the day.

Obviously I need more food during afternoon runs than I do in the morning. Or a lower basal rate.

My best 16k run to this point was 1:40:something. Friday, I ran a 1:37:41. Despite two lows, a headwind and a hard swim workout only a few hours earlier.


Too bad it wasn't race day. I would have finished in under 2:15:00 at that pace. Something I have NEVER been able to do....yet.

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Goal Update

We are now two months in to 2013. How are those resolutions coming??

It's time for my update and doing it on my blog helps keep my honest - and focused.

My goals that I'm working on are:

  • to log over 1000k of running this year  
  • to run the Tel Aviv half on March 15th
  • to stay injury-free
  • to complete three triathlons, including one Olympic distance
  • to pay down my debt
My updates as of February 28th are:

  • I ran 105 kilometres in February. If you add that to the 87k I ran in January I am up to 192k so far and well on my way to hitting 1000km by the end of the year. In February I had four long runs that definitely helped my overall total. I logged 18k, 20k, 22k and then 10k on my Saturday runs. That was 70k on weekends alone. 
  • I am all signed up and ready to run the Tel Aviv half. I leave for Israel on the 11th and run at 7:15am (Israel time) on the 15th so, by the time most of you wake up, I'll have crossed the finish line and will be sitting by the Mediterranean sea sipping freshly squeezed pomegranate juice with my sista. 
  • I am injury-free so far. It has been a month since my last massage (which sounds an awful lot like a confession) and I don't have one scheduled until next Friday. Five weeks is longer than my legs like to go between massages so they are feeling tired and tight. That being said, they carried me through the toughest part of my training with hardly a complaint. I'm very pleased with that and, without a doubt, my swimming has helped keep my legs in running form. 
  • I have not yet climbed on my bike and trainer to begin triathlon training but I plan to add at least one weekly bike session once I'm back from Israel. That means that I'll be on the bike the first week of April. Plenty of time for my first triathlon at the end of June in Welland. 
  • Pay down debt? Well it's obviously a work in progress and my goal for February was to not accumulate any more debt as I saved up a bit of $$ for my trip. I managed to save up enough to be able to enjoy myself (frugally) but did dip a little deeper into debt. Thankfully March means income tax returns and my quarterly cheque for insulin pump supplies so it's only a temporary slip. I know that it's a once in a lifetime trip but I hate going deeper in debt. I'm all about digging myself out. 
That's the update folks!