Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Naturopath Report

Last night, after work, I headed down to a small little house with a sign out from that, among other things, confirmed that I was at the right place.

For better or for worse, I was about to head into my first naturopath appointment.

I wasn't sure what to expect but I had some pretty good ideas of what I did and did not want.

I did not want to be told to dramatically change my diet, to give up sugar (wouldn't that be a neat trick for a type 1?), red wine, chocolate, my morning coffee etc etc.

I did not want to be told that I need to take a bunch of weird smelling herbs and tinctures at every meal to balance my chakras or realign my feng shui.

I did want someone who understood type 1 diabetes, the challenges of eating properly to fuel all the activity I do. I wanted someone who would listen to my list of issues (fatigue, ear plugging weirdness, lower than ideal bone density) and work me me to see if there are things I can do feel a little better, a little more energized and a little less prone to breaking.

Guess what?

I got it!

We chatted for an hour and a half and didn't even get to everything. He had obviously done his homework and asked intelligent questions about diabetes, continuous glucose monitors, insulin usage etc. He even laughed at my subtle diabetes jokes that only people who get it would laugh at.

He listened to my concerns and suggested some blood tests based on what I said. I was handed a requisition form to have my ferritin tested, my B12 levels, vitamin D and thyroid. Things I have either never had tested or haven't been checked for in years.

He thought I might have difficulty absorbing minerals (iron, calcium etc) and suggested a digestive enzyme test for a few days. He gave me some samples to try and I am to report back at my next appointment as to how things felt.

He suggested a tablespoon of fish oil in my breakfast shake which is an antioxidant and will help reduce inflammation. He promised that it doesn't taste like fish. "More like lemons" he insisted.

He suggested vitamin K2. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium but Vitamin K2 is important in helping get the calcium from the blood into the bones. "Like how insulin gets sugar from my blood to my muscles?" I asked. "Exactly!" was the response.

Finally, he suggested Vitamin C with bioflavenoids. It's an antioxidant, improves collagen production (which helps strengthen bones) and improves immune function.

That was about the point when I asked for tips re when to take what. Iron shouldn't be taken with anything else other than vitamin C. Calcium and Vitamin D should be taken together - ideally not at meals. Vitamin K2 should be taken with a meal. It gets tricky.

We talked about what to take when. I got my blood work form. I booked a follow-up appointment in a few weeks and I promised to email a week's worth of food diary info. "Everything I eat and drink? Even Dex 4s and 3am fig newtons?" I asked.

"Everything" he said.


The only thing that didn't get resolved? My ear plugging thing. I described it, he asked a ton of questions. At the end, he was just as perplexed as every other doctor I've spoken to.

"Let me do some more research" he said.

Next appointment is November 22nd. Stay tuned for blood work results and a report on how well my digestive enzymes are doing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked

So far so good. I've had two days of rest since Sunday's race and my blood sugars have yet to go through the roof.

When I say two days off I mean two days without exercise. Not even going for a walk.

I am doing this to let my legs recover from their tough run and to let my body rest a bit by sleeping in.

Two days in a row of waking up at 6:30am instead of 5:00am was pretty sweet. Especially when the blood sugars are behaving themselves.

I'm still off running for a few more days at least. The earliest I will do anything will be Saturday and that would be an easy 30 minute trot...if anything at all. There are no races looming so I'm taking my time to make sure everything has had the downtime it needs.

I am, however, going to venture back into the pool. In fact, at the time this post goes up, I'll be pulling myself up out of the pool after my regular Wednesday morning workout.

As of Tuesday night my quads were still pretty tight and sore. The stairs are easier now but I still feel it - especially on the way down.

I asked Doug last night if a week off meant a week off from everything or just from running. "I'm not a sports doctor" he said. "I know, but I want to know what Doug would do. Would he sleep in two more days and go swim on Friday? Or would he get up early on Wednesday and head to the pool?"

Get up early on Wednesday and head to the pool was the response.

The lazy part of me wanted him to say sleep in just so I could without any feelings of guilt.

His rationale was that, when he's tight and sore after a hard run, he often feels better once he starts moving again. Swimming won't put any pressure on my joints, no pounding on my feet, no stress on my quads.

It will, however, get the blood flowing and get my body loosened up a bit.

So I'm off to the pool. Sore quads and all.

In other news, here is my latest training update:

Rocking the compression pants and sexy sandals look. 
Walked around for an hour and even ventured up and down the stairs. 
There is hope yet for Saturday night!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fancy Shoes

If I'm not training for one thing, I'm training for another.

My half marathon medal is still warm and I'm already tying on my shoes to prepare for my next challenge.

Another race you ask?


A new sport perhaps?

Wrong again.

This time I'm training my feet for an event that is taking place in less than a week. The training program is very rushed but I had to wait until I finished my race before I started the next challenge. I didn't want to mess up one race by training too early for the next.

Any guesses yet?

That's ok. I wouldn't have believed it either except I'm the one doing it.

That's right folks. I'm wearing heels. 

Doug and I are going to a fancy fundraiser on the weekend. I am wearing an honest to goodness dress, complete with little black purse, shiny earrings and fancy bracelet. 

My running shoes, even brand new and still clean, do not match my outfit. Neither do my go to black flats that I wear when I dress up a notch for work meetings. 

I don't wear heels very often. Once every year or two at most. Putting those puppies on and surviving a night of walking around a winery while balancing a wine glass and plate of gourmet food is not something I can just wing. I must prepare. 

My training program is as follows:

Monday night - wear shoes and walk around the house for 30 minutes 
Tuesday night - wear shoes and walk around the house for 45 minutes 
Wednesday night - wear shoes for 60 minutes and go up and down the stairs at least five times
Thursday night - wear shoes for 90 minutes and go up and down the stairs at least five times
Friday night - off for curling
Saturday night - put on fancy dress, matching bracelet and silver shoes. Try not to fall, twist my ankle, spill my wine or develop a stress fracture.
Sunday - running shoes and compression socks

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Little Metronome That Could

I started running late in 2007. I ran my first half marathon in the fall of 2008. I ran two more in 2009,
three in 2010, two in 2012, and two more in 2013. No halfs (halves?) were run in 2011 as I was training for a full (which never happened incidentally).

Oh yes my friends. I have now reached double digits. I have ten half marathon medals on my medal rack. Ten, for some reason, feels way bigger than simply 9+1. It feels like I've now earned the right to call myself a half-marathoner.

When I look back on those 10, I have had fabulous races. I ran races with nagging pain or barely recovered injuries. I have run in lovely weather and weather seemingly sent from the bowels of hell (hello Tel Aviv half!). I have had horrid blood sugar races and I have had races that have gone so well that I seemed to be least temporarily.

No matter the race, the injuries or lack thereof, the weather, the blood sugar or any other variable, there is one thing that is pretty damn consistent. And that is my time.

Take a look:

1. Run for the Grapes (Sept 2008): 2:30:26
2. Ottawa half (May 2009): 2:30:50
3. Run for the Grapes (Sept 2009): 2:25:39
4. Grimsby half (Feb 2010): 2:18:16
5. Cleveland half (May 2010): 2:22:22
6. Run for the Grapes (Sept 2010): 2:22:10
7. Women's half (June 2012): 2:18:30
8. Niagara Falls half (Oct 2012): 2:19:48
9. Tel Aviv half (March 2013): 2:28:10
10. Niagara half (October 2013): 2:24:31

I am, as it turns out, pretty damn consistent. My last 8 half marathons all fell within 10 minutes of each other regardless of how well or how poorly the day went.

Yesterday's run in Niagara Falls went well overall. My injured foot didn't put up any sort of fuss and felt fine from start to finish. So fine that, after a while, I forgot to worry about it.

My blood sugar behaved quite well. I was 4.9 before the start and I had a Clif bar to bump it up. I was 9.0 at the 7k mark and had about 10 raisins. At 14k I was 6.7 so I had a gel. Towards 19k they were handing out jelly beans which I grabbed because I was tired and hungry. At the finish I was 7.0. Pretty stellar numbers there.

My running fitness was a tad disappointing. I ran the first 7k really well but not so fast as to pay later. The second third was pretty good too although I was already flagging. A little slower overall but still strong. The last third fell apart. My ears started plugging up despite my best attempts to stay hydrated and keep my heart rate controlled. My breathing became a little more laboured and I started doing the ol' run a kilometre and then walk a minute or two routine. I hate when I end up doing that because a) once you stop, it's hard to convince your body that it really should start running again and b) I start every race saying I will only walk at the water stations and have yet to run a race where I didn't succumb to the walk.

For the record, I have run long runs where I run the whole thing (other than blood sugar stops) so I know deep down I can do it.

That being said, I am pretty happy with the overall results, especially considering that I started the training back in September not even sure if I'd be fit enough to get to the start line.

I am starting to form a list of goals in my head for 2014. One of them will be to work on increasing my speed so that I can, perhaps, run a sub 2:15 half marathon.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Week in Review

Lots of little things happened this week so I thought a weekly report, complete with bullet points, was the way to go.

  • On Tuesday I received information re the cost of new Dexcom that is coming to Canada. 
  • On Wednesday I called my insurance company who said that they would cover $1000 of the $1500 cost for the receiver and transmitter and 100% of the cost for the sensors. All I needed was a prescription from my doctor for all three things. Woohoo! 
  • On Thursday I called my best contact at the Niagara Diabetes Centre and explained the situation. My next appointment there is not until February and they are booked so tightly that I won't be able to get in any earlier. She said to email her all the details of what I need and she will speak with the doctor who will be back next Tuesday (October 29th). She said that she did not think it would be a problem to get me a prescription written. Yes! 
  • On Tuesday AND Thursday I ran with my new earbuds. The Yurbuds for women. I was more than a little skeptical when I put them in and they felt like they were barely hanging on. I was more than a little impressed when I ran six kilometres and they held on tight and sounded great. I never once had to reach up and adjust. They did not slip or slide nor did the cord bunch or pull. I love them and they will definitely be joining me on the half marathon this Sunday. 
  • A few weeks ago I wrote a blog wondering about naturopaths. I had never been to one but thought I might like to try. I looked up several in our area. I contacted one by email who was slow to respond and rather unhelpful. I contacted another, asked if they were knowledgeable of type 1 diabetes and athletes. He responded saying yes, he understood type 1 diabetes, knew a lot about sports nutrition and also guessed (correctly) that I might be running in the Niagara half marathon this weekend.  My gut said go so I booked an appointment for next Wednesday after work. I am really looking forward to it. 
  • On Thursday I went to my favourite running store after work. I was all excited because my Brooks adrenaline shoes now came in a fabulous colour combo of purple and lime green. 
Pretty eh? 

  • They had my size which was pretty exciting in and of itself as I wear a rather uncommon 10.5 Wide. 
  • They opened the box to show me and I looked down to see these shoes staring back at me. 
  • I asked for the purple ones like the ones on the shelf. I was told that Brooks does not make the colourful options available in the wide sizes. Just in the regular sizes. I asked if Brooks discriminates against wide people for any particular reason. I was told that this is how they always do it. I suggested that the next time the Brooks rep comes to the store they could be told about their very unhappy customer with the extra wide feet who likes bright colours. I left with yet another pair of boring, sissy, blue and white shoes. Perhaps the 2014 edition will be a little flashier?
  • I was reading an article in Triathlete magazine about on-line dating for triathletes. The article gave a list of things not to talk about on your dating profile or on the first few dates with non-triathletes. One of them was bedtimes. The article strongly suggested that you don't mention about going to bed every night at 8:30pm in order to get up at the crack of dawn. I just want to say, for the record, that it was 8:45pm when I read the article, lying in bed. I read the line out loud to Doug who was happily lying right beside me reading his own bedtime story. Guess it helps to date within the tribe doesn't it? 
And that, my friends, is all she wrote.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Les Fractions

Who knew grade six math would come in handy at the ripe old age of 39?

Well, other than my grade six math teacher who assured us that it would.

I was not always stellar in math. In fact, OAC Calculus took two kicks at the can before I got a grade high enough for university application. I was pretty good at multiplication but division came a little slower. I was great at math tricks (ask me to multiply any 2-digit number by 11 and watch how fast I can do it). Math puzzles are fun too...although my skills are a little random in that department. Either I'm really good...or I'm not.

When it comes right down to it, I just really like fiddling with numbers and making them fit nicely into patterns.

I also always make myself do the math in my head before I double check on paper or, gasp!, on my calculator. It's important to keep those wheels greased lest they rust and fall off.

(I just realized that not everyone knows what OAC is. OAC is what we used to call Grade 13, at least in Ontario. Grade 13, something else that kids these days who head off to post-secondary education after Grade 12 also don't know about. Gosheroonies, I am beginning to sound rather dated aren't I?)

Back to the grade six math.

The other night, Doug and I had a very yummy chicken pot pie for dinner. Not homemade this time but from a box. It was warm and delicious....AND had a nutrition label which is always helpful.

Doug had popped the pie into the toaster oven and I was perched on my usual stool sipping wine so I asked him how much of the pie he thought I would eat.

"One third" he responded. "A quarter is not enough and half is too much."


I checked the nutrition label. The service size was one quarter of the pie.

So folks, pretend you have diabetes (unless you actually do and then don't worry about pretending) and you need to calculate the number of carbs in your dinner in order to take the correct amount of insulin. No calculators allowed. 

How many carbs in 1/3 of the chicken pot pie? 

If you want to be even more precise, we technically subtract the number of grams of fibre from the number of grams of carbs when we calculate. In other words, 1/4 of the pie is 28 grams of cards - not 30. In this case, it actually made the math a lot easier - at least for me. 

Sure I could pull out my calculator. Sure I could just guesstimate it. 

Instead, I relied on my grade six fractions classes to pull me through. And pull me through they did. Who know all those fraction homework sheets would one day help me calculate how to keep myself safe and healthy? 

I am very glad I paid attention. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dexcom eh?

Good news! Dexcom is coming to Canada!!

There have already been sightings and it should apparently be ready for wide release by mid-November.

Pretty exciting stuff considering I have read all about it from my US blogger friends who have been using it for years.


You don't know who Dexcom is?

First of all, it's not a who. It's a what. Second, it's a CGM which stands for a continuous glucose monitor. In a nutshell, it tests your blood sugar every few minutes and you can see what it's doing by looking at the little screen on the receiver.

Some pictures for those of you who prefer the visuals...

The black beauty on the left is the Dexcom receiver (it also comes in blue or pink). The screen shows the results of the five minute blood sugar checks in a lovely graph complete with colours. On the right is the Dexcom transmitter. 

On the left is the sensor that gets inserted into some part of my abdomen - just like my pump infusion set does. On the right is the transmitter you saw above. It attaches to the sensor, reads the results and sends them to the receiver. Cool eh? 

The beauty of a CGM is that, instead of just testing your blood sugar and getting a random number like, say 5.2, you can also see whether you are 5.2 and climbing, 5.2 and dropping or 5.2 and holding steady. It's pretty amazing stuff and (apparently) makes a huge difference in the way people are able to manage their diabetes. It shows trends we would miss by only doing finger pricks - even overnight when we don't tend to check as often and can miss some pretty dramatic ups and downs.

It can also be set to alarm if your blood sugar is too high or too low.

Let's face it. It's not exactly an iPad mini or a new triathlon watch but, for the role it does play, it's a pretty impressive piece of technology.

I called Animas today and asked to be put on the list of people who are interested. I guess that means I'll be notified the minute the Dexcoms are ready. It also means I was sent information about the costs so that I can contact my insurance company to see what, if anything, is covered.


Like everything else in the diabetes world, the costs are rather shocking:

$800 for the receiver
$700 for the transmitter
$340 for a box of four sensors (Each sensor is supposed to last 7 days. Some, of course, will not come anywhere near that. Others, according to my blogger friends, can be stretched out for weeks with enough care and super stick tape.)

So, the starter kit is $1840 (plus taxes I'm assuming) and then, on average, $340 a month for the sensors.

Double gulp.

Looks like I'll be in contact with my insurance company to see what's what. Once I know where they stand, and after I've appealed every decision that even sounds like a no, I can determine if this is even an option.

Having a CGM would make a pretty significant difference in my life. Of that I have no doubt. But having just paid off a huge chunk of debt, I have no interest in accruing any more. And neither the starter kit nor the monthly sensor cost is in this girl's budget.

As always, I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mitigating a Risk or Two

I don't tend to subscribe to the whole 'lucky socks' thing when it comes to running.

I don't have a good or a bad runs based on whether or not I remember to wear my lucky socks. Or my lucky shirt. Or use my lucky pins to pin on my race bib.

I have good and bad runs based on how I'm feeling, what my blood sugar does and all sorts of other variables that I can't possibly control. It's frustrating at times but I'm ok with the randomness of it all most of the time.

And I refuse to put faith in an article of clothing, a pre-race routine or some other thing that, for some people, can make or break their run. Or their race.

That being said, I do try to reduce the variables and mitigate some of the more predictable risks...especially on race day.

I pay attention to my blood sugar. I eat predictable foods at predictable times. I wear clothes that don't typically chafe...much. I slather on the Body Glide.

On Sunday I took a bit of time to work on another

I have a running playlist that I've used for the last year or two. It has about 5 hours of music that plays randomly so I don't tend to get bored with it. That being said, there are two problems that I wanted to eliminate before race day.

The first was the tempo of the songs on my playlist. When I first made my playlist, I put songs on it that make me happy. Some are upbeat with a great tempo. Some are upbeat with a slower tempo. Some were not upbeat at all. They all make me happy. As you might expect, I tend to slow down a bit during the slower happy songs. In preparation for race day, I ruthlessly culled my playlist down to three hours. I took out any song that didn't a) start off with a great beat from the first note and b) have a fast enough beat to keep me moving. I also added a few new songs that fit my criteria.

The second problem I've been struggling with are my ear buds. My favourite ones died right before my Israel trip. They sounded great and stayed in my ears sans problème no matter how long I ran, how much it rained or how hot it was. I loved them.

I bought the Apple sports earbuds when I got home from my trip but they never worked well for me. They sound great but they fall out of my ears constantly. I have to reach up and tuck them back in 2-3 times a minutes for the entire run. I was getting fed up. My favourite pair that died back in March was purchased at the Boston Marathon expo back in 2011. They are not sold in Canada and the shipping costs are crazy. I couldn't justify ordering another pair.

I did some research and asked my running friends. It turns out that everyone has their favourites and one person's go to ear buds are often vehemently hated by another. It's a matter of taste.

I took a gamble and bought a pair of Yurbuds for Women. They are designed for smaller ears and 'lock' in place so they don't fall out. Many people love them. Some hate them. I was willing to drop $30 to try them.

I have two runs before race day to try them out. If they work, I'll have cooperative earbuds and a motivational playlist on race day.

Two variables dealt with. Two risks mitigated.

Now if I can discover the cure for diabetes before Sunday morning, I'll be all set to rock this thing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Not Feeling the Taper

Thursday morning, I ran 8k. There is nothing unusual about that. 

Friday morning, I ran 10k. I don't run on Fridays typically. Fridays are swim days. I ran 10k on Friday because a) I had been away all last week for work and my workout routine was all messed up b) I was off work on Friday and had the time to do it and c) I was going to visit my little sis on Saturday and would not have time to run. 

So in less than 24 hours, I ran 18k. During my pre-race taper time. Not typical and probably not a super good idea. 

On Saturday, my sister and I met up just after 9am and were on our feet until about 6pm other than a few quick sit downs to drink water and get our bearings. We love to walk and shop when we are together and walk and shop we did. 

By Sunday morning, my feet were aching and my legs didn't feel much better. 

I had come home on Saturday night with a few new purchases and, as is my habit, when I bring a few new things home, my anti-clutter bug kicked in. I hate clutter, I hate having closets that are too full and drawers that hardly close. So Sunday morning after breakfast, I headed upstairs to keep the clutter in check. 

I tackled my sock drawer. 

Then my underwear drawer. 

Then my running clothes drawer(s). 

My closet. 

Under the bathroom sink. 

The linen closet. 

My desk. 

My jewelry box. 

One thing led to another and I kept at it until dinner time. I felt much better afterwards but, again, I was on my feet all day.  

After dinner I collapsed on the couch and could feel the pressure points in my feet throbbing. 

It's been a long long time since they've had that much constant pounding for so many days in a row. In fact, they haven't been so sore since my two weeks of walking around Israel. 

Six more days until the Niagara Falls half marathon. I had better get serious about this taper and give my feet a break. 

I foresee a lot of couch-time this week. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home Away From Home

I'm away for work this week and being away for work means eating food that is less than ideal, working long hours, not drinking enough water and not getting enough sleep.

A regular workout routine goes out the window too.

The end result is that I feel really rather gross by the end.

This morning, my luck changed a bit. We have a bit more time than usual before our first meeting and I was able to squeeze in an early-morning run.

I woke up way before the sunrise. I pulled on my running clothes, guzzled my water and headed out. I had no choice but to run along a busy road with no sidewalks for the first kilometre. No street lights to guide my way, I almost went over on my ankle twice. Once when I ran through a pile of apples that were strewn all over the side of the road and the second time when I nearly fell into a pothole. Car headlights alternated between lighting up the road for me and then leaving me blinded when darkness returned.

I turned left on to the first residential road that I found and weaved my way through the neighbourhoods. The city was waking up and I passed walkers, runners, and cyclists. Everyone nodded hello and most also gave a cheery 'good morning, how are you?'.

The sky turned from black to blue to purple to pink and I bounded along feeling more like myself than I have in days. I intended to run six kilometres but decided en route that eight was a much lovelier number.

I arrived back at the motel feeling refreshed and energized. I transformed the yogurt, muesli and apples that I brought into a delicious breakfast and found a way to make green tea in the coffee maker.

It's the little things isn't it?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breaking the Chains

Last Friday morning, I went to the pool and did something I have never done before.

I told my coach that my blood sugar may be problematic and said that I may have to stop or leave if things get bad.

I had gone to bed the night before with a blood sugar of 10.2 and some insulin on board. I read for a bit and then checked again before going to sleep to make sure I hadn't dropped too low.

I was 16.2.

I bolused for the high plus another unit for the bizarre climb.

I went to sleep and woke up at 2am. I checked and I was 13.4.

I took twice the recommended bolus and drank a lot of water.

I woke up at 4:50am for the pool and I was 14.4. Dehydrated, exhausted and feeling like there was oatmeal running through my veins.

I weighed my options. Insulin wasn't doing much. Perhaps a swim workout would help.

I took an extremely conservative bolus of 0.4 units to help the exercise do its job and I headed for the pool. I warned my coach that I was high. Which meant that no amount of 'pushing through' would help me go fast if I was swimming slowly. I said that the swim might cause my blood sugar to go down or it might actually cause it to climb higher and I might end up with ketones. If I had to stop or leave, I would. She agreed.

We warmed up and then swam 10x200m. I had no hope of keeping up with the two speedies I normally chase around the pool. One girl, however, was recovering from a cold so she and I were slowpokes together. I slogged my way through and my times were 10-15 seconds slower than normal despite feeling like I was working just as hard.

We relaxed for a few minutes after we finished the 200m set and then headed into 20x25m. The 25m were in sets of five. Cruise, build, fast, fast, easy. Repeat four times.

I cruised. I built. I sprinted and found myself keeping up with the speedies. Keeping up and challenging them. With every stroke I felt better, stronger, faster.

On one end of the pool I felt tired and sluggish. By the other end, I was bouncing and grinning. I was suddenly full of energy and raring to go.

What happened?

I had lowered my blood sugar enough that I passed through that invisible layer that separates feeling crappy from feeling good.

I roared through the rest of the 25s and felt better and bettter. By the time I climbed out, my blood sugar had dropped from 14.4 to 9.2 and I was almost back to normal.

It's not often that the difference between high and happy is quite that noticeable. It felt like I had been tied up in chains and finally broken free. Pretty amazing stuff exercise.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Type 1 Boot Camp

I would like to propose some training suggestions.

More specifically, training suggestions for people who do not have Type 1 diabetes.

Maybe they are people who love and care for someone who does. Maybe they are people who work with Type 1 folks. Maybe they are people who don't work with or love someone with Type 1 but perhaps would just benefit from learning what it's all about.

Basically, I just have a list of really good training ideas that I think would help people more than, say, testing their blood sugar a few times or wearing a saline-filled insulin pump for a day.

Training Number One: Eat it dammit!

For this training, the participants would be fed a lovely meal. Something festive like Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Right down to the pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert. After dinner they will go lounge on the couch - feeling really full but happy. Someone will then bring them two juice boxes, a handful of Dex 4s, a few spoons full of Nutella and a banana. They will be told that their blood sugar is 3.2 and dropping fast. They will be told that they have too much insulin on board from the big dinner bolus and they will have to eat all the food in front of them in less then 3 minutes.

And no, we don't really care how full they are. Or that they are trying to watch what they eat and how many calories they consume in the day.


Training Number Two: I'm Hungry...

In this training, the participants will be told first thing in the morning that they are having a delicious pizza for lunch. The smells of the delicious pizza will begin wafting into the room as lunch approaches and tummies will begin to growl. At lunch time, they will be told that their blood sugar is really really high and not coming down. They've bolused but will need to wait at least 30 minutes to make sure they are dropping. In the meantime, they can have water.

After 30 minutes, they will be told that they are still high and haven't dropped so another big bolus is needed. They will have to wait a little longer before their lunch but they can have a piece of cheese and as much water as they want.

An hour after they were supposed to eat their pizza, they will be told that they are still high for some bizarre reason but now they've double bolused so it should be coming down really soon. They can have a few more pieces of cheese while they are waiting...and lots of water.

An hour after that, they will be told that they have dropped a bit but probably shouldn't eat the pizza after all because it will just cause a spike again. They can have a hard-boiled egg and a few pieces of cheese though.

Training Idea Number Three: Race Day

The trainees will have been training and preparing for weeks for this training day. They will have been divided into two groups. One group trained for a 1000m swim race. The other trained for a 5k running race.

On race day, the swimmers will arrive at the pool they are used to swimming in. This time though, they will be handed a bucket that they will have to drag for the entire swim. This bucket will mimic the feeling of trying to race when their blood sugar has shot up way too high and won't come down. They will be slow and sluggish and no amount of 'pushing through' will bring them back to their regular running pace.

The runners will arrive at the start of their regular 5k running route. This time they will be given 4lb ankle weights to strap on. Again, this will help mimic the feeling of running with really high blood sugar.

To make it even more fun, both groups will be racing against people who are not restricted by buckets or ankle weights.

Training Number Four: Budgeting

In this training, everyone will be asked to create a monthly budget using their own incomes and expenses. They will be encouraged to find ways to put money towards paying down debt, money towards retirement savings, emergency savings, travel and other savings etc.

Once that is done, they will be told that they now have diabetes and will be given a list of monthly costs for insulin, test strips, pump supplies as well as any additional meds that people with Type 1 often need to take (cholesterol meds, blood pressure meds, anti-depressants, vitamins, low-dose aspirin etc). They will have to work all that into the budget and make all the hard decisions re which areas of spending or saving they will have to cut so that they can take care of their health.

Training Number Five: Overnights

Of course all of the trainees will be put up overnight in a lovely hotel. With comfortable beds, perfectly fluffed pillows and a lovely view. After the long day of training, they will brush their teeth and crawl into bed for a relaxing sleep.

You all know where this is going don't you?

That's right. The 3am wake up call. Followed by the 3am force feeding of carbs. Followed by the 4am check and the 5am rebound high. Lots of alarms going off. Lots of food eaten. Lots of pasty mouths and tired eyes in the morning.

So. Anyone want to sign up for Type 1 Boot Camp?

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Grand Toast

Life is full of good days. Days when you feel good. When the weather is good. Days when you get all the green lights on the way to the pool. Or when you get to the checkout counter and there is no one ahead of you.

Occasionally, there are days that are better than good.

There are days that are grand.

Wednesday was a grand day.

Wednesday started off as any other day. I went to work. I ran a meeting. I responded to emails. A 2pm however, that all changed. At 2pm, my good friend Erin (hi Erin!) and I played hooky from our respective places of work. We left early and met up in St. David's at the St. David's golf course.

It was October 9th and the weather was spectacular. Shorts and a short-sleeved shirt spectacular. The leaves were changing. The air smelled like it does when you're camping in the back country. The course was teeming with life and lush with colour.

Erin had not been out to play once all summer. I had been playing all summer, trying to wrap my head about the game. Turns out that made us pretty evenly matched.

We hit fabulous balls, we hit horrible ones. I lost my favourite orange ball in a water hazard and almost took out a car with one of my erratic drives. We agreed that, if this is what retirement is like, we'll take it.

It was a grand afternoon.

We drove back to my place where Doug was waiting. He had waved me off with a grin and a warning to 'swing smooth' and set himself to work making our dinner. We walked in to the kitchen and were greeted by a fabulous aroma of dinner smells and a glass of red wine.

We regaled Doug with our golf stories while he grilled cheese for our appetizers, prepared perfect steaks with homemade mushroom sauce for our meal and baked pears that were served with cherries and blue cheese for our dessert.

Erin and I agreed that he is the most wonderful man on the planet and we told him so. Several times. He grinned and waved us off but we knew he was pleased as punch with himself. And rightly so.

The golf season for 2013 won't last much longer. We may yet squeeze in another game or two before it becomes too cold to play. But I'm raising my glass to toast 2014 and may it be filled with many grand retirement-style afternoons on the golf course.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Colour of Bone Density

Ever notice that, when things are going well, you don't notice them?

Probably not.

It's ok. Most people don't.

Notice them I mean.

Like I don't notice when my iron levels are fine. Or when my skin isn't dry and itchy. Or when I'm not feeling nauseous.

But I sure as heck notice when my iron is low, when my skin is cracking or when my stomach is turning. And I do everything I can to bring things back to their happy place as quickly as possible...and then I don't notice them again.

Until they're no longer in a happy place.

The other night, I got to thinking about my bone density. And all the calcium and vitamin D that I've been mainlining for the past few months. And I wondered if I would ever really know if all these white pills were making a difference.

See, I didn't notice my bone density before I found out it was low(er). Everything felt fine, I ate my yogurt, and my body did what I asked it to do.

Then my shin fractured and my foot broke (well, it cracked really) and I began to pay attention to my bone density. Actually that's not really accurate. I got other people to pay attention to my bone density - namely my doctors. One bone density scan later confirmed that I was a little less dense than I should be.

(Shut up. Don't say a word. I know what you're thinking.) 

Ever since I've been taking calcium and vitamin D twice a day. Every day.

Is it making a difference? How the heck would I know. My bones felt fine before. They feel fine now. Sometimes I think they feel a little stronger. More dense perhaps. And then I think that is more in my head than in my bones. There is no way I would feel the difference. Plus will there ever really be a difference?

Let's face it. I'm already past the age when my body builds my bones. I'm now at the age when I have to fight not to lose calcium. So, as far as I understand, all this calcium won't add a thing to my bones. It will just stop them from becoming less dense. Does it mean I will still be prone to stress fractures? I'm betting that answer is a yes. Does it mean that I am as dense today as I will ever be in the future? Again, probably yes.

You know what I wish? I wish that our bodies gave us really clear signs when things were 'off' instead of sitting quietly while our bones turn to swiss cheese. Wouldn't it be nice if we turned blue when we weren't getting enough calcium. Or our hair turned pink when our iron is low. No more of this being completely oblivious while our body systems are off kilter nonsense.

"And another thing" she says as she wags her finger. "I want my body to tell me why I feel a certain way". "Don't just feel nauseated and expect me to guess why. Tell me. Make my eyes turn yellow if I'm getting the stomach flu, my finger nails be covered in polka-dots when I have food poisoning or my stomach to flash red when I've had a too much goat cheese"

It would make things much easier don't you think?

Plus there would be no more faking. If someone was feeling off, the world would know because they would be flashing all sorts of colours. We could even match our outfits to our illnesses.

We could pull out that special top we were saving because it matches beautifully with our orange and green "I have a migraine" complexion.  

See if you can figure out what's up with her.

Looks like low iron to me. And perhaps a wee case of the reaping. Maybe a low grade district 12 fever. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Forced Easy Week

I typically only cycle once per week so I never really have easy or hard cycling weeks. I just cycle 30-40k most Sundays from Aprilish until Novemberish - as long as it's not raining or we don't have a race that weekend.

From November until April,  Sunday mornings are for lazing around.


When it comes to running, I do schedule easy weeks. I have been running enough to know that I can handle (barely) three tough weeks of building up distance before I really really need an easy week. By easy week I mean 5k runs during the week and a 10k run on Saturday. After that, I'm raring to go for another round.

Swimming, on the other hand, never changes. I go three times per week, almost every week. I take the odd day off when I'm a) sick b) have a race on Saturday or c) had a race on Sunday. Other than that, I'm pretty much ol'faithful at the pool. First one in. Every morning.

It's great and I love it but it's probably not good for me to just keep going and going and going. I just can't ever seem to force myself not to go. Even on the days when I'm exhausted and dreading the alarm, I get up anyway because I know I'll feel better for going. And I do. Every time.

It's probably a good thing that, every so often, I get a forced easy week. Sometimes it's because the pool is closed for routine maintenance. Other times it's because I'm on vacation.

Next week is one of those forced easy weeks. I am away on work business for most of the week. The pool is closed on Monday for Thanksgiving as well. That means I will definitely miss two, and most likely all three, of my swim workouts.

My body will miss its early morning routine. The feeling of slipping into the water and slowly waking up. The feeling of leaving the pool both exhausted and invigorated - ready to face the day. On the other hand, my body may also be grateful for a wee respite from all the sprinting, bucket pulling, bungee-cord stretching workouts.

Either way, I don't have much choice about it and the place I'm going doesn't have a pool so I'll be on a forced swim holiday.

If I complain next week about crazy high blood sugars - please remind me that my lack of early-morning exercise is most likely to blame.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Hate Blood Sugar Brain

Diabetics: the only people who take drugs so that they don't get high. 

Funny eh? 

I thought so too. 

Until I spent the better part of last weekend taking no avail. It didn't seem to matter what I tried - I was stubbornly high.  

Like 18+ for five hours straight on Friday night. Despite numerous rage boluses. Despite at one point having enough insulin to kill me raging through my system and only dropping to 11 before climbing back up again. 

Like going to bed on Saturday night with a perfect number and waking up three hours later to find a 14.5 staring back at me. 

Like Sunday when I woke up to a perfectly wonderful 5.1, had my regular breakfast with my regular bolus, and was 13.5 a few hours later. Then 15.6. I rage bolused once, waited 30 minutes, saw no change, rage bolused again, waited 30 minutes, no change, rage bolused again. No change. By the time I dropped to 12.3 - that number looked almost heavenly. 

I chugged my water. I changed my infusion site and put fresh insulin into a new insulin cartridge. I was not sick nor did I feel like I was getting sick. No infections that I am aware of. No stress worth mentioning...unless the stress of being high leads to my being high. How's that for a vicious circle? 

It is not the week before my period. 

I had a tough swim workout on Friday which should have had me fighting to prevent lows all day. 

I ran 20k on Saturday and did not lower my basal insulin before, during or after the run. I should have fought lows all afternoon. Nope.  

This happens sometimes. A few days of unexplained highs. I can change my insulin rates but that tends to just lead to lows a few days later once everything settles. So I don't - unless it goes on for too long and then I do. Because I'm just plain fed up with the whole thing. 

In the meantime though, my blood sugar-addled brain starts thinking things it probably shouldn't think. Like maybe I'm becoming immune to insulin. Is that even possible? What if I am and that there will be no way to lower my blood sugar? And it just keeps climbing higher and higher...? Do I float away? 

What if all the insulin in my fridge has gone bad? All two boxes of it? Do I toss it all out? And buy more? Maybe I got a bad batch of pump supplies? Is that possible? They looked fine but who really knows if they are? 

What if my glucometer isn't working properly and I'm really not that high? What if I took too much insulin based on a false number and I'm going to go horribly low? I should double check my number. Yep, still 18. Oh wait. What if the glucometer got it wrong again? 

Then my blood sugar finally comes down enough for me to start thinking a little more rationally. And remind myself that this happens sometimes. And that diabetes sucks. And it's unpredictable. And annoying. And mean. And I'm not going to die because I randomly developed an immunity to insulin.

And my numbers settle back into their kinda predictable pattern and life resumes it's kinda predictable routine. 

And Blood Sugar Brain goes back into his box until the next time...

Monday, October 7, 2013

If You Ignore It, Sometimes It Goes Away

Some people deal with things by not dealing with them.

They go shopping to forget about the fact that they are in debt.

That sort of thing.

I try not to do that sort of thing.

Dealing with things head on is my strategy of choice for most things.

On Saturday night, I was folding my running clothes that just came out of the laundry when it occurred to me that I had not thought about my foot all day.

That may not be odd for most of you. Feet really aren't that fascinating. I'm sure a lot of people did not think about their feet on Friday.

But it is odd for me.

Odd because I have only recently recovered from a stress fracture in my foot. I am hyper-sensitive to anything to do with it now. I think about my foot when I get out of bed in the morning. When I decide what shoes to wear. And certainly I think about it during runs.

I pay attention to how it's feeling. Is there pain? Are there aches? Is it stiff?

On Saturday morning, I ran 20k. And on Saturday night I realized that I had not paid attention to my foot when I woke up. When I got ready for my run. When I ran for 2+ hours. When I stretched and when I showered. I also didn't think about it during the afternoon golf game that Doug and I played.

I only thought about it when I saw my running clothes after dinner.

Why was my foot ignored all day?

Because I was paying extremely close attention to my ears. After the annoying ear-plugging session that happened on a long run a week earlier, I was super-focused on figuring out the cause and finding ways of stopping it from happening again.

I drank tons of water on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to ward off dehydration. I drank before my run. I made myself drink every 10-15 minutes during my run. And I focused all of my attention on my ears. Did they plug up? Both ears at the same time? When did it start? How bad did it get? What was my heart rate and blood sugar when they started plugging? Etc etc etc.

Which meant my foot was completely ignored and able to go for a run without constant supervision...for the first time since May.

Turn out that not dealing with a problem is sometimes a very effective way of dealing with it.

For the record:
- my ears plugged up a bit but didn't get nearly as bad as the week before
- my foot didn't hurt at all during or after the run
- my blood sugar was 4.8 before I started. I ate a banana and a GU gel and did not bolus for it. I also didn't change my basal rate. I was 14.4 at 7.5k, 10.6 at 15k and 6.5 at 20k.
- my heart rate hovered around 165 bpm which is 85% of my max
- I tried a new anti-chafing product and did not chafe at all...except in the one spot I forgot to apply it. Sigh.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Twinkle Toes...Sort of.

There are plenty of bandwagons out that there I refuse to jump on.

Atkins diet? No thanks. Eliminating entire food groups just sees wrong to me...and so sad considering how tasty that food group is.

Skinny jeans? Nope...although I must admit that I did try on a pair. I am proud to say that I have a little too much muscle in my legs to make those puppies look anything other than very unflattering.

The whole "Keep Calm and...blah blah blah" thing? Rather annoying actually.

I also tend to dismiss many of the tips I read in magazines. Especially the really specific workout-type tips that you often find in health magazines. You know the ones. In order to strengthen the one muscle in your leg that you didn't even realize you have you have to balance precariously on a chair with your other leg up against the wall and then squat 20 times. Or something like that.

I always read the articles themselves. I learn all about the rationale behind why I should strengthen or stretch a particular body part, I look at the step by step exercise photos. I read the captions. And then I turn the page to read reviews of the latest running shoes.

Until last week when I was reading the latest issue of Runners World and they were talking about plantar fasciitis and shin/calf issues. Those three things are what always sidelines me when I run. The article talked about the inherent weaknesses in the feet of people who over-pronate (me), how those weaknesses create other problems that lead to injuries like, oh I don't know, stress fractures!

They gave a list of exercises to do to strengthen the muscles in my feet. None of them looked too crazy. And none of them required any special equipment that I didn't already own.

Best of all, some of the exercises I could do while sitting on the couch writing my daily blog.

So I headed to the kitchen, opened the drawer that holds the tin foil and plastic wrap and I grabbed an elastic. Then I headed upstairs to my nail polish supply bag and I grabbed my little plastic thing I use to separate my toes before I paint my toe nails.

I came back down to the couch and grinned at Doug who was looking at me a little warily.

I wrapped the elastic around the toes of my right foot and proceeded to try to separate my toes.

Like this! 

Doug didn't say much but I'm pretty sure he was impressed at how far I could separate them. 

After I did that 20-ish times on each foot, I put the elastic down and I shoved the plastic divider between my toes. And then I started squeezing my toes together as hard as I could. 

Again, Doug was so amazed at my toe talent he couldn't say a word. Just kinda stared at me... 

Who knows really if this is going to do anything to prevent future fractures or shin splints. I just like it because it's easy enough to do and can be done while I'm doing more important things. Like sitting on the couch reading a magazine or watching Game of Thrones. 

I asked Doug if he was going to tell all his golf buddies about my latest toe fitness routine. He said he didn't think so. Probably a good idea. We wouldn't want to make them all jealous at the strength in my toes now would we?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Long Run Battle with BGs, Dehydration and my Dang Ears Again!

Last Saturday, I was supposed to run 20k. 

I ran 19k. 

And I spent the last 7k debating whether I was cutting it short because I was a lazy person or because it made sense. 

The run started off ok. I was feeling good when I woke up and psychologically ready to tackle the distance. My blood sugar was 4.8 but I had a banana and a GU gel which would normally be fine for at least 12k of solid running. 

I headed off. I ran past downtown where people were already lining their chairs along the route for our annual Grape and Wine Parade. I ran down a busy street, down one side and up the other side of a rather large valley and headed off into the countryside. At 6k, I reached a stop sign and stopped because of all the cars. When it was my turn to go, I ran across the intersection and felt so strange that I immediately stopped again. It felt like the earth had tilted on its axis which usually happens when I'm exercising and my blood sugar is dropping. 

I checked and it was 5.1. Way too low after only six kilometres of running. 

I ate a box of raisins and took off again but at a slightly slower pace. At 8k I stopped to drink. I had already drained all of my water and almost all of my Nuun (did I mention it was hot?). I started running again and the earth didn't tilt which was good. At 11k, I stopped to walk because I was overheating. I was now completely out of liquids and seriously wondering what to do. I haven't been that hot on a run in weeks and weeks. If I had known, I would have picked a different route or planted water but I didn't and the shortest route home from was 7k. 

I spotted a woman heading to the end of the driveway to check her mail. I ran towards her yelling "excuse me!". She stopped. I waved an empty bottle and asked for water. She filled me up with ice cold, refreshing water and I thanked her profusely. 

I could make it home in 7k if I headed straight back. I still had 9k to do and had been planning to add a 2k loop but I decided not to. I wanted to be closer to home and figured I could loop my neighbourhood a few times to make up the distance...if I felt up to it once I actually made it within site of home.

I resumed my run and stopped again almost immediately. The tilty feeling was back. I checked and I was 5.8. I had a gel and carried on. 

That's about the point when my ears started plugging up. They do this sometimes on long runs. I have yet to figure out what causes it but I have ruled out blood sugar issues and temperature because it happens throughout the year and when I'm high, stable or low. It's also not my ear buds because it happens whether I'm wearing them or not. I think it might have something to do with pace and heart rate. If I'm running my regular pace and my heart rate is sitting around 165, I'm fine. If it is a little higher and won't go down even when I slow down, the ear plugging starts. It could also be dehydration.

The problem when it starts is that I can't make it go away until I stop running. Not just for a minute or two but stop the run. The longer I run once it starts, the more I plug up. Twice now I've finished a run being unable to hear anything. It's very uncomfortable and rather freaky. It seems to be connected to my ears/nose/throat area. It gets harder to breathe (like mild asthma or something) and there is no pushing through it. 

So I settled on running for 10 minutes and then walking for a few seconds while I drank more ice cold water. Run, walk, drink. Repeat until I was 4k from home (and 6k from reaching my goal of 20k) and I knew my blood sugar was down again. I tested and was 6.1. I had my last box of raisins and was now completely out of carbs and quickly running out of water again. 

I ran the last four kilometres without incident and wanted to just head home. My stubborn side refused and I turned right to start the first loop of the neighbourhood. I was thirsty, out of carbs and my ears were plugged. 

This is ridiculous. 

At 19k I called it a day. I walked the last 500m home figuring that one less kilometre during training will not affect my race day in the least. I chugged some water, stretched, drank chocolate milk and had a lovely shower. I felt great afterwards and my legs didn't complain at all about the distance. Probably because of all the rest breaks they got. 

I'm not sure what to make of the ear plugging thing. I've been to my family doctor and my diabetes doctor. I was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist who couldn't find anything wrong even after two visits. It's rather hit and miss but, when it hits, the run deteriorates pretty quickly. 

If it happens on race day, it's going to be a tough slog to the finish. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Test or Trial? They're Both Rather Hard

Last Friday we were told we were going to be doing a Time Test at the pool.

Not a Time Trial.

Any idea what the difference is?

It's ok. I didn't really know either but apparently the word 'test' is supposed to be more comforting than the word 'trial'.

A bunch of nervous swimmers showed up - several of whom has never done a time trial or a time test before. I had done a few time trials and was used to the routine. For time trials, half of us get out of the pool to time the other half. The ones swimming have to swim 300m as fast as they can. They get a few minutes rest and then do it again. Three times in total. Then we switch and the timers swim while the swimmers time.

This time, we were doing a time test and we were all in the pool together. In fact there were three swimmers in my lane alone. We warmed up with freestyle, pulling, kicking, 4x50m while pulling buckets and then 4x25.

The time test itself consisted of 16x100m. Each 100m was going to be done on 2:00. That means that every 2 minutes we start the next 100m. If we finish each one in, say, 1:50, we get ten seconds rest. If we finish them in 1:58, we get two seconds rest. Every two minutes the clock starts and you'd better be ready to swim.

Mr 70.3 led our lane. I was second. Touch my Toes (as I've decided to call her) was third. We left five seconds between us.

I mentally prepared myself with the thought that, in 32 minutes, it will all be over. Just chase Mr 70.3's bubbles and try not to die.

The first 100m, as usual, was really fast. I touched the wall in 1:38. Egad! There is no way I can keep that up for 15 more.

The second was 1:39.

The third was 1:40.

After that, I stayed between 1:39 and 1:41. Like clockwork. I didn't slow down but Touch my Toes sped up. Just a bit with every 100m but enough that she was starting to make up the five second difference between us and was catching up to me. I offered to switch places but she said no. She said that the only thing motivating her was to keep chasing my bubbles.

So I spent the workout trying not to let her catch me. She spent the workout trying to catch me. Win win.

This kind of workout is pretty intense and rather tiring because you never get a break. I mean, yes, we had about 20 seconds between each but it was never enough to catch my breath. I barely had time to grab a sip of Nuun.

On number 13 (out of 16), I felt Touch my Toes touch my toes.


I hate that feeling.

I kicked hard and revved it up a notch.

And the last two I gave it everything I had left and finished them in 1:38 and 1:37.

She never touched me again.

Mr. 70.3 always stayed the same distance ahead of me because he was doing 1:39s and 1:40s as well. I was disappointed that I never caught him but I was pleased to learn that he and I were essentially the same pace.

That means I'm getting faster!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Goal Update

This may be my last official goal update of this year?


Wait and see..

Here is my goal list from wayyyy back in January.

- complete the Tel Aviv half marathon
- stay injury free
- complete three triathlons, including an Olympic distance
- pay down debt
- log 1000k of running this year
- complete two events in the Aktiv Swim Series this summer
- play 10 round of golf
- play the baby steps golf course until I can do it in 50 rather than 61.

And here are the updates: 

Tel Aviv half marathon - done! 

Stay injury free - that goal went flying out the window after I stress fractured my foot from, of all things, walking. 

Complete three triathlons - done! I completed four, including one Olympic distance. The season is over so that's it until next June. 

Pay down debt - done! Well, not done done but it's been a good month. Last week, after one year of waiting, appealing, waiting, and more waiting, I received the reassessment of my taxes based on the fact that I was approved for the Disability Tax Credit. A lovely sum of money made its way into my bank account. With that money I did the following: 
- I payed off all credit card debt
- I put money away for a trip that Doug and I are planning for next year
- I earmarked money to go into a Retired Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (I just need to make an appointment at the bank to open it).
- I put money into savings for unexpected things like car repairs and new tires. 

I still have a car loan as well as another loan. The car loan is finished next June (hurray!) and the other loan still has three years on it but, once the car loan is paid off I will take the money I was putting on my car payments and apply it to my loan which should knock it down in half the time. So, while my debt is not yet paid off, I am in a much better place finally and that huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. 

Log 1000k of running - I managed to run 105k in September. That ties my biggest month of the year (February). I'm pretty happy that my foot has withstood the increase with very little whining. My year to date total is now 599k. I don't imagine I will be able to run 400k in three months but I may get close to 300k. Not bad after two months off to recover from my broken foot (see above). 

Complete two Aktiv Swim Series events - done! I managed to complete two events (both 1.9k swims). There are no more this season so that number won't change now. 

Complete 10 rounds of golf - done! I was able to get out on the course a lot more in September than in August. I have now played 14 rounds of golf as well as one 'tournament'. It wasn't really a tournament - just a bunch of foursomes playing at the local Golf and Country Club. We did end up coming in second and we won - wait for it - four golf balls. 

Not four each. Four total. Doug gave me his though so I totally scored. Plus the golf balls had the Giant Tiger logo on them which makes they way more fun to play with. Neither have ended up in a water hazard yet. 

Play the baby steps golf course and get a score of 50 or less - I've played this course six times now. The first time I played, I got a 61. Since then, I've scored 50, 50, 49, 47, 45 and 43 (which I scored last night thank you very much!). So I consider this goal officially met - six times. 

There isn't much left to work on. 

I will obviously keep running and we'll see how close I get to 1000k by the end of the year.  

I will obviously keep paying down my fixed payment debts and I will certainly NOT be putting anything on my credit card other than things that I cannot pay in cash (like race entry fees) but I will no longer be carrying a balance. I have money in savings. My financial house is in much better order than it was in January. Whew!

Now do you see why I said this might be my last official goal update for the year? 

I'll keep you posted on the running totals and any other significant advancements in debt reduction. And I guess I'll have to start planning next year's list eh?