Thursday, April 18, 2013

Podding While Pulling Buckets

Wednesday morning at the pool was interesting to say the least.

I showed up with my real insulin pump (as per usual) as well as my fake insulin pod attached to my arm. I felt very Robocopish.

I unhooked the real pump and headed to the pool with my fake pod firmly attached to my arm. I proudly showed it to Christine and told her that I wanted to see if it could withstand my active lifestyle. She looked doubtful but I told her that it was absolutely waterproof and quite firmly attached. Not that it was a big deal if it filled with water and fell off (since it's just a trial pod anyway) but I'd rather know now if it's going to hold up.  Christine liked the idea that you could bolus with the PDM because, as she put it, "you can be in Lake Ontario and we can adjust your insulin for you from the boat". (apparently she has great plans for me...)

We hopped in the pool and discovered pretty quickly that we were in for a tough workout. Not tough in terms of distance but tough in terms of power.

We warmed up for 600m (swim, pull and kick for 200m each) and then did 8x25m sprints. Christine wanted us to swim all out. No holding back. She gave lots of rest in between each one but was quite adamant that had what it takes to push ourselves to swim 25m in 17 seconds. So we tried and we tried hard. The first few were 22, 21 and then 20 seconds. Then 18. Then 18 again. Then 17! Not 17.0 seconds but 17 point something which was enough to make her pretty excited.

Next, she handed us some buckets. Everyone got a strap that attaches around their waist. Tied to the strap was a stretch cord and tied to the stretch cord were two buckets. The kind that little kids take to the beach to make castles. Designed to add a lot of drag and make any kind of swimming really hard. Think running through quicksand or cycling up a hill into a nasty headwind.

Everyone got two buckets...but me.

I was handed a contraption that had three buckets attached to it, not two.


"CĂ©line" Christine announced "is the most consistent swimmer I have ever known. She reaches a pace and then swims it consistently over and over again. The only way to help her get faster is to force her off that plateau. So she's swimming with three buckets today because I want her to be able to swim 100m in 1:35 in the next few weeks".


We strapped ourselves in and prepared to repeat our 8x25m sprints. Ever tried sprinting as fast as you can while tied to something that holds you back? Go ahead and try it. I'll wait here...

Fun eh?

Everyone else did their 25m sprints in about 24-25 seconds. I did mine in 27-28 seconds. I have no idea how much extra drag one bucket adds but I was pretty proud to have kept up as much as I did.

After that, we swam 200m with buckets.

Then 4x50m sprints without them. (which I managed to do in 42-44 seconds each for those of you who care about times).

Then 200m with buckets.

Then 5x25m sprints without buckets (all in 18-19 seconds).

Then a cool down.

That was a lot of arm flailing and a great workout. It was also a pretty good test of my Omnipod pod. Guess how it held up?

Well, the adhesive was awesome and held up beautifully. Despite all the drag on the pod in the water, the adhesive didn't budge. The pod, on the other hand, didn't fare so well. If you can picture it - the adhesive is stuck to my skin and then the pod is stuck to the adhesive. The part where the pod is glued to the adhesive ripped and the pod was half detached and kinda dangling there by the end of the workout.

Not good.

I had to take it off when I got home because it would not have survived the day. So my first pod lasted 12 hours. Granted, I put it on my arm and went swimming with it but still. I would like to have the option to wear it on my arm, particularly in the winter, so this was a very reasonable test. Yes, I could tape it. Yes, I could wear an arm band in the pool to hold it in place but that just makes things more complicated and the Omnipod is already proving to be more complicated than I want it to be.

When I got home I removed the first pod and I put the second pod on - on my back just above where my pants sit. I wore it all day yesterday and, despite hours of sitting, driving and more sitting, I hardly noticed it. I like it there and was again reminded of how nice it would be to wear a pump without tubes. The big test will be Friday morning in the pool. It will sit above my bathing suit and, again, be exposed to the water.

Let's see how holds up then.

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