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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Birthday Challenge Update.

Hmm.  I wrote this post on June 26th, but just now realized that it's been sitting as a draft.  Whoops.


June 23rd has come and gone.  I have a tradition of treating that date as an opportunity of challenge myself.  This year is no exception, however I had a new idea.  My original idea for my birthday challenge was to train to race a 200 Butterfly.

Actually, the whole goal was to train a total distance of 10,000 yards of butterfly (in small sets and then I'd be ready for the 200).  I have to admit that I wasn't able to get the full training in.  No regrets however, I'm at about 40% of the way and I'm enjoying my butterfly training so much that I plan to continue it through the remainder of the season.  The butterfly sets have been making me a much better swimmer overall - but I've only been able to make it to a total of 100 yards consecutively.  200 Butterfly is going to be a challenge.

A 200 butterfly should take me somewhere around 3 minutes.  That's 3 minutes of high intensity (despite trying to relax as much as possible).  The anaerobic demands are currently beyond what I'm able to tap into.  I'm not providing an excuse, but it's a challenge with my current fueling strategy.  Aside from my 2 or 3 sets of butterfly per week the bigger priority in my life has been optimizing my aerobic endurance.  This side of my training has improved greatly - so I modified my birthday challenge to indulge in what I enjoy most.

Following up on my successful ride at the 200km HHH - I knew I'd be safe to head out for my first big solo ride in a long time.  I love long rides - they've never failed to make me feel good.  For my birthday I decided to check out a few roads I haven't ridden in a while.  I let nature choose my course.  Starting out into the wind (always makes for a better ride home).

Down to Paoli, I start to feel really good as I watch my CGM numbers drop from 120 to 60.  This steady drop seems to be the trend during my warmup period and lasts about 45 minutes.  I climb Observatory feeling strong - my GCM numbers level out - once I recover from the hill I feel the stronger than before.  I head out Hwy A with the goal of heading west.

I wasn't in the mood for Blue Mounds, but perhaps Blanchardville?  I really enjoy the large roller in that area.  On Hwy A I found very smooth new pavement, caught a bit of a downpour, but really started to feel good.  As the rollers grew bigger, my body responded with more energy.  And despite the headwind and hills and drinking only water and not consuming any carbs, I got to Gratiot in 5 hours, feeling strong.  I've been to Gratiot before and randomly found my way here again.  I had hopped onto 39 to Mineral Point and then had to take 23 south considering the number!  Beautiful roads.  At the convenience store in Gratiot  did my blood sugar test. 70- I ate some salted cashews and bought some hard peppermint candies just in case.

I recently stumbled upon an old blood-work from 2003 and my way back fasting blood sugar was 80.  And a reminder than my meter reports 8 points falsely low (compared to whole blood draw).  Riding my bike with a BG of 70 isn't as careless as it seems.  To the traditional diabetic rider it probably sounds like a level at which one would have absolutely no energy.  But I was humming along.  Long climbs of 4-5 minutes at a time - plenty of time out of the saddle, really putting the burn into my legs.

I could build up to a rather high level of work.  My legs seem to wake up the longer I went.  10 hours round trip.  156 miles.  Wind, rain, hills.  My CGM had me at 60's, my meter had me in the 70s.  To compare this to last week's HHH, I chose not to drink any UCAN this ride.  That difference explains the 30 point difference in the level of bloodsugar my body can keep up while I'm riding.  What's not clear is whether I felt stronger with or without the higher bloodsugar.

Considering it's not the carbs that are fueling my mind and muscle, I'm not sure how important worrying about bloodsugar really is.  I'm really growing in my confidence.  If my body can keep up for 150 miles already, as I continue to train and follow this diet I'm only going to improve at the level of intensity that I can maintain for that duration.

A very cool feature that I'm figuring out. Once I start to do a cooldown from my workouts, when I reach a point where my heart-rate is in the 120's, my blood sugar (according to my CGM) begins to raise naturally.  Over the twenty minutes of cooldown and 40 minutes of standing around the house, my numbers rose from the low 60's to mid 90's. All on it's own.  It didn't even overshoot this time.  My dinner was totally carb free.  There was meat.

Now for the part I'm quite excited to announce.  I spent the entire day of June 23rd free from insulin.  Not a drop for the entire 24 hours.  Within that time, my numbers according to my meter were between 70 and 130.

Not every day is perfect, but June 23rd was pretty close.

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