Insights into my personal life.

This blog includes the personal details of my experiences as a recently diagnosed Type I diabetic and the impact of that diagnosis on my endurance athletic pursuits.

Please understand that I consider myself to be a work in progress. I am willing to share both my successes and failures, so please do not take my words to be professional dietary or medical advice. This is a blog, this is only a blog. I research my choices carefully, and take my health very seriously. The choices I make are my own, I am doing the best with the resources and support that I have. If you have questions or concerns feel free to comment, but please be constructive and understand that this is my life. I value it dearly.

My goal is to live a happy, healthy and active life where I can balance my internal drive to push my physical limits and the challenge of safely maintaining stability despite the challenges of Type I diabetes.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Kid President!  Wow, where has this been?  How have I missed it - my life hasn't been complete.  I love this kid - love the fact he picks on Wilfred Brimley.

In my continued nutritional exploration I came across an interview from Dr. Lim of Skratch Labs.  Skratch is a product we just started carrying at SBR, Jess came across Dr. Lim at Kona this year.  He also brought his mobile nourishment vehicle to cyclocross nations at Badger Prairie in Verona this year.  Our rocket tent was right next to them.

So after making the connection that this stuff might be worth looking into, I found an interesting article from Dr. Lim where he talks about hydration and race nutrition for the cyclocross racers in the cold weather.  Normally I'd disregard a California boys advice on how to manage in the cold, but as you could guess I have new concerns with the cold and how it relates to my diabetes.

Workout out in the cold complicates things for me.  First off, I'm on a reduced carb diet and feel like my body's thermostat has been reset and optimized for warmer climates.  I've been really enjoying hot yoga.  Circulation and nerve issues in the extremities are common with diabetes, and I doubt that I'm already experiencing any of those (nor hopefully will I ever), but I notice that I just don't enjoy the cold like I used to.  I'm constantly bundled up.

Cold is complicated for another reason.  I could freeze to death.  Not much margin for error if I went for a midnight run in below zero weather.  If my numbers dropped and I had problems I'd be rather S.O.L.  I've noticed that while cross-country skiing, my numbers drop much more apidly in the cold. It requires that I fequently stop to fuel with what I have (often gels, which are less than optimal from what I'd prefer to consume these days).

Working out in the cold also requires frequent testings of my blood glucose.  My meter doesn't work in the cold.  That's a problem I'll need to figure out.  I need to bring a hand warmer to tug in with it, but now I'm carrying a boatload of extra calories, a meter, a glucagon kit, two dogs with leashes, poop bags, a garmin with heart-rate monitor and I've suddenly became everything I hate about the 'modern athlete'.  Too much shit.  I just want to head out he door and relax!  Grrr.

Back to the topic.  Dr. Lim's article, which I was originally reading for a rice cake recipe got into the topic of the adrenal response from the cold and how the body responds to the stress by relying more heavily on carbs as it's primary fuel source. Ah hah.  That explains things.  Makes sense now that my numbers have been dropping on easy 3 mile endurance paced runs at a level similar to rate they would for a much more intense trainer workout (The Sufferfest,)  I love Sufferfest and will talk about them more on a future date - they're paired up with Davis Phinney to raise money for Parkinson's Disease.

So now that I know what's going on, I know how to better prepare.  But enough being a wimp.  I finally got up the nerve to run alone in the cold.  I got in a solid 5 miles on snowy slow trails averaging under 9 min pace overall.  Sub 8 minute pace on clear path, while not effortless, felt very efficient.

I'm excited to reboot my running.  The changes to my body composition as a result of my dietary adjustments has leaned my up.  I've gradually lost some of what I consider to be my "Wheat Belly".  Most of the loss is fluid and inflammation, but I predict that I'll continue to lean down.  I'm down to my Canadian racing weight at 214.  It feels great to run 10-15 lbs lighter than I was this summer.  But not much about this summer felt good so perhaps not the best base-line.

But I feel good.  Even rocked out a hard as all hell kettlebell workout that would have made Ber proud.  Even got through the warmup and stretch/cooldown.  My body feels great once got a little nap.  It's been a whole new experience with how I feel as a result of my improved fueling and my bodies ability to sustain energy is much more level.

That's all for today.  The journey continues.
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