Friday, July 3, 2015

Daydreaming Diabetes

Two example of what diabetes does to my brain...and my stress level.

Example one: Several of my colleagues were talking about the number of places that are opening up where people can go to buy medicinal marijuana. And how interesting it was that people could go into these little shops to purchase their medication. I popped my head out of my office and asked if anyone was interested in joining me on a new business venture:

Insulin caf├ęs

Think about it! A community place where you can go to purchase your insulin. Where you can hang out with people at the back table who are putting in their infusion sites. Maybe give a word of encouragement to someone who is still getting the hang of it. A place where you can chat with people about the best place to put your CGM or the best tape to use to keep it on. Where you can trade supplies you no longer use for supplies that you now need. Diabetes humour posters hanging on the walls. Jars of candy lying around...just in case.

I'm telling you this could be great.

Example two: Doug and I were cycling on Canada Day. As we sped along my mind kept wandering to my upcoming triathlon. I was imagining what would happen if the weather was bad on race day. I've never done a triathlon in nasty weather so I have no idea what happens. Do they still do a swim if it's a downpour? Do they do the bike? I guessed that they would cancel the swim in a downpour just in case there might be lightening while we are all out in the lake. And I guessed we would have the opportunity to switch to the duathlon which was what?  I think the Olympic duathlon is a 10k run, then a 40k bike, then a 5k run. I guess I could manage that although I would not like it nearly as much as a triathlon.

And then I almost fell off my bike in horror. OMIGOD! If they cancel the swim on the morning of and give us a chance to run twice instead, I'm in huge trouble.

Why?

Because I will already be two hours into my race day basal profile. A basal profile that is very specific and tailored to the fact that I swim, then bike, then do a 10k run. If I had to switch at the last minute, I couldn't undo the basal insulin I had already taken and I would have to eat a huge amount of food or I would have an almighty low partway through the first run. And then I would have no idea what to expect for the rest of the race and wouldn't know what was best - keep using the basal profile that was designed for a different event or switch back to my regular basal and just dial it back and cross my fingers.

Then I wrenched that train of thought from my mind and ran over it several times with my bike to ensure it didn't find its way back into my head.

The rest of the ride was lovely.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mid-Term Report

June is behind us, Canada has celebrated its 148th birthday and we are now closer to the end of 2015 than we are to the beginning. 

The end of another month means it's time for another fitness report as well as a mid-term report on how my goal to virtually swim, walk, run and bike my way from our front door to Regina, Saskatchewan is going. 

Race Report
It feels like months ago already but I managed to cross the finish line of the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon as well as the Welland Triathlon. Woot! 

Running
Running went well this month. My mileage is down but that's because I'm no longer training for a half marathon. Now I'm training for triathlons so weekend runs are 12k or so rather than the high teens and low twenties. In June I ran 11 times, covering 86.7km in a little over 10 hours. 

Cycling
In the past two weeks I've really increased my cycling in an effort to build some endurance on the bike. I've been getting up early and squeezing in 2 to 3 weekday bike rides in preparation for my Olympic triathlon in July. In June, I cycled 174km in 7 hours. 

Swimming
Swimming was hit and miss in June. The pool was closed for three weeks so most of my swimming was in open water which was also hit and miss. I only swam four times and covered 5450m in 2 hours. Gotta get those numbers up in July! 

Golf
Golf was also a little lacklustre in June. That I blame entirely on rainy days. I only managed to golf four times, walking a total of 30k in 12 hours.  

Total number of workouts: 26 
Distance covered: 296km

Wow! Adding some extra cycling to my routine has gotten me a lot closer to Regina. By the end of May I had covered 1086km. Add June to it and I am now 1,382km into my 2356km journey. 

1,382km brings me smack dab in the middle of Northern Ontario. There is nothing on the map near that location so the best I can say is that I am exactly 100km from Thunder Bay. 

Getting there! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Long Course Triathlon

Triathlons come in a whole range of distances. I guess the same can be said for other races but there is something interesting about looking at triathlon options. They all have a swim, bike and run component but, depending on the distance, the percentage of time spent doing each sport changes.

I've done one super sprint (aka try a tri) and the distances were 400m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run.

I've done a sprint which is 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.

I've done a bunch of triathlons that don't technically fall under a specific category. They tend to be something like this: 750m swim, 30k bike, 7.5k run, or 750m swim, 25k bike, 7k run.

I've done one olympic triathlon which is exactly twice the sprint triathlon distance: 1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run. My favourite triathlon distance so far.

And then there are the more famous half-ironman races which are 1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run.

And finally, the ironman which is 3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.2k run.

The jump from olympic to half-ironman is just big enough that I have tucked the half-ironman distance away in my 'maybe one day if I'm feeling crazy' drawer. But it's not a goal right now - not even a tiny spec on the horizon.

On Sunday I was browsing for another triathlon or two do to this summer. I found one in Kingston, Ontario and they have something called a 'long course triathlon'.

What?!

It's a 2k swim, 56.2k bike and 15k run.

The swim is actually longer than the half-ironman swim but 2k is not a big deal for me so that's fine. The bike and the run are the perfect distance. They are longer than the olympic and long enough to give a taste of a half-ironman without actually doing one.

The race is August 2nd which makes me thing it would be a great goal...for NEXT summer.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rained Out

Yesterday was supposed to be a pretty crazy day. 

Up before 4am. 

Pick up my sister and arrive at Turkey Point before 7am. 

Swim 1500m in Lake Erie. 

Home before 11:30am for a shower and a quick lunch. 

On the golf course by 1pm for a golf tournament. 

Dinner around 6:30pm and collapse into bed by 8pm. 

And then it rained...

Rained the way I'm guessing it rained when Noah was putting the finishing touches on the ark. 

It started on Saturday morning about 30 minutes after I came in from my run and it ended on Sunday morning around 11am. 

My sister, whose job gives her some extra insight into such things, insisted that we could not swim. After that much rain, the water quality would be very very poor. It's not worth our health to swim this race she said. I had no problem agreeing with her. 

I'm ok with swimming in cold water. I'm ok with currents and waves. I'm not ok with swimming in water that had a 'red alert' on its water quality status. 

So the race was off. 

Twenty-four hours of steady rain on a clay-based golf course meant that the bunkers and the fairways had turned into water hazards so the golf tournament was cancelled as well. 

I got up early anyway and headed to the pool, figuring I could at least get a good swim workout in. And since the pool had just re-opened after three weeks of closure, I was really looking forward to a good swim. 

I drove through the rain and made my way to the main doors hidden under my rain coat. A sign on the front door made my heart drop. 

"Lane pool closed."

Apparently all the rain had caused a power outage which had messed up the electrical system which meant that we couldn't swim until the electrician showed up and fixed the problem. I was home again by 8:15am and switched my swim workout to a weight/core workout in my living room.  

So Sunday became a quiet day. We watched Sunday Morning. We completed some of the final touches in our 'paint the entire house' project. We put on a pot of homemade bolognese sauce to simmer. We watched golf. 

Not the day I had planned but quite nice nonetheless. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Deer Friends

Last week I managed to squeeze in one early-morning bike ride.

This week, I've already managed to squeeze in two. Monday and Wednesday morning I was up before my alarm rang at 5am, ready to ride. I was dressed, fed and on my bike by 5:30am and I enjoyed a brisk 28km ride through the quiet country roads.

The first time I did this, I spotted two deer in field, half hidden in the morning mist.

The second time I rode the route, I saw two deer in the same spot.

The first time, I pointed them out to Doug and said "deer!".

The second time, I looked them in the eye and nodded. The way one nods to another early riser who is also out on the streets before the sunrise.

Yesterday, I rode the route for a third time and, as expected there they were. Heads up, watching me as I rode past, turned the corner and disappeared behind the trees.

I am one of those creatures of habit who loves adventure. I'll happily try pretty much anything but it doesn't take me long to find the patterns in it and turn something new into a new habit.

My two deer friends, not to be mistaken with dear friends which are very different, are a wonderful addition to my morning and an already familiar part of my new morning bike ride routine

And, to make early mornings even more wonderful, I saw a doe and her two fawns the other morning on a run. All three ran out from the woods. I stopped when I saw them and they stopped when they saw me and we all stared at each other for a few moments. Then mom broke the spell and the three of them scampered across the road and disappeared into the seemingly impenetrable bush on the other side.

I wonder if deers are just as awe-struck when they spot humans in the wild as we are when we spot them?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunday Madness

I'm all signed up for the 1500m (1.5k) open water swim this coming Sunday.

I checked and the race starts at 8am.

Which means that we need to be parked and unloading our stuff from the car by 7am at the latest.

I'll be picking up my sister at my parent's house.

The drive from my house to theirs is 20 minutes. The drive from their house to the start line is predicted to be 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Which means that I will be leaving my house before 4:30am on Sunday morning.

So that I can swim 1.5k in freezing cold lake water that may or may not have really big waves.

There are no medals at the end of this event, although I will have a new brightly coloured swim cap to add to my collection.

There are no t-shirts. There may or may not be food.

There will only be that addictive, compelling sense of accomplishment of having done something that most people would never do. For whatever that's worth.

And we have to be back in the car before 10am so that I can be home by noon in order to play in a golf tournament that Doug and I have signed up for.

Anyone want to guess what time I will be in bed on Sunday evening?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wetsuit Adventures

This coming weekend I will be swimming a 1.5K race with my sister. It’s along the north shore of Lake Erie and, based on the current water temps, I’m guessing I’ll be pulling on my new wetsuit for a second time in two weeks.

This past Saturday, Doug and I decided to head to our local open water swimming hole. I wanted to make sure that I could a) swim 1.5k in open water and b) do it in a wetsuit. A wetsuit, I discovered adds buoyancy but also adds a considerable amount of weight on the arms. I was surprised how quickly my arms got tired during the 750m triathlon swim. So I wanted to see if I actually had the strength to do 1500m.

Getting the damn thing on, I am happy to report, is much less of an ordeal than it was in the change room the day that I bought it. In no time were suited up and doing the wetsuit walk to the canal bank. He jumped and I slipped into the water without even a gasp as the water temperature.

We swam about 300m and then stopped to see how far we had swum.

Stopping mid swim was a bit of a mistake. Something shifted when I went from a swimming position to a bobbing upright in the water position and the neck of the wetsuit was suddenly very tight around my throat. Not tight enough to cut off my airway but tight enough to make me feel like it did which, of course, leads to an immediate feeling of panic.

I flipped onto my back and said “you’re FINE!” to myself. It worked like a charm because a) I tend to listen to the stern voice in my head and b) flipping onto my back took the pressure off my throat. I resumed the upright bobbing in the water position and my throat felt constricted again. I flipped onto my back a second time and made a plan. “You will flip directly over to your stomach and start swimming, that way you won’t feel constricted. Oh, and you’re FINE!!”

I was perfectly fine but I quickly realized that, just because swimming in a wetsuit went well during the triathlon doesn’t mean that I was given a free pass. Apparently the race gods were kind to me but I will still need to have a few panicky moments in the open water in a wetsuit before the adjustment period is over.

Bleh.

We swam some more and I managed to get 1500m in. But, instead of my usual post-swim desire to go just a few more hundred metres, I was more than happy to heave myself on to the dock and yank that wetsuit zipper down. In fact, I wanted nothing more than to pull the thing off, hop back in and swim the distance again in my bathing suit.

As you might imagine, I am now feeling a pretty major desire to get a few more wetsuit swims in before this Sunday’s race.

I’ll let you picture the look on my face when my sister said “I heard that they are going to cancel the race if the waves are more than 1 metre high”.

Waves?!?!? Who said anything about waves?!?!