Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aktiv Race Series - Part II

Friday night, I competed in my second Aktiv Race Series 1.9k open water swim.

The first one I did, back in July, had me pretty nervous. I spent the day with butterflies fluttering around in my stomach.

Friday, I woke up with the same feeling. Which was odd because, once I know what to expect, I'm usually pretty cool the second time around.

Not being used to evening exercise, I had a diabetes plan that I hoped would work.
- I would have my normal lunch at my normal time.
- I would had a snack at 3pm and take a full bolus for it. The race was a 6pm so I figured my blood sugar would be down to normal and I'd have very little, if any, insulin on board.
- I would reduce my basal rate to 60% at 4:30pm. I never reduce my basal before morning swims but my blood sugar drops more easily in the evenings so I figured better safe than sorry.

At 3pm, I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich and took the full bolus for it. At 4pm, I was 11.2 which is actually a bit low only an hour after eating. At 4:20pm I was 9.5. My nerves kicked in and I decided to eat three mini chocolates to stop myself from dropping too low.

We got in the car at 4:40pm and drove to Welland. Doug wanted to get an open water swim practice in before my race and I was happy to have lots of time there to get in 'the zone'.

At 5pm, my blood sugar was 13.8. Bah! From three little chocolates? Or from nerves?? I decided to take a very small (0.3 units) correction bolus.

At 5:30pm, I was 13.0. Not dropping. Not climbing. Not great but not so awful that I couldn't swim. I decided not to have a gel but I also turned off my 60% basal rate figuring it might help prevent me from being too high when I finished.

I pulled off my shorts and t-shirt. I pulled on my swim cap and goggles. I tucked two emergency gels in my bathing suit. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of wetsuit-clad folks and only two (that I could see) bathing suit clad folks.

I dove in and did a short warm up. My plan for the swim was to go at a fast pace that I thought I could hold for the entire swim. The first time I did it I pushed hard but I had some energy left at the end. I wanted to knock a few seconds off my time and see if I could hold a faster pace.

I reminded myself to kick.

The horn blew and we were off.

I won't go through the swim in any great detail but I will say that I pushed hard and kept it up the entire time. I felt strong during the swim and spent when I finished. I hauled myself on to the dock (as ungracefully as the first time) and ran to the timing mat. I was a little wobbly and a little dizzy but felt pretty damn good.

I checked my blood sugar.

I was 3.7.

I dropped from 13.0 to 3.7 in 35 minutes. That's about as close as I ever want to cut it. Another 200m and I would have been in trouble. Lesson learned.

Oh, and my time from the first race was: 36:53.
My second attempt was done in: 35:56 (almost a minute faster!)


  1. Awesome race Celine!! That is quite the drop for the sugars, must be the afternoon timing. Maybe a bit of adrenalin and once you started the swim they dropped? The mystery of diabetes. Sounds like a really good race to do, you are my swimming hero!

  2. Excellent job with the swim! All that hard work is paying off.

    I wish I had some advice for the BGs, but I'm pretty much in the same boat. Many days I drop between 100-200 mg/dL in an hour. (Un)fortunately, I usually have way too much of a BG buffer, so I end up near where I want to be. This is thing #1 that I'm working on right now. If I learn anything, I'll let you know.

  3. Yikes about the blood sugar but great job on the swimming!!