Thought for the Day

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dancing with Dirt at Devil's Lake

Somehow I got registered for the Dances With Dirt Devil's Lake 50K. Well, I guess I know how it happened. My youngest brother Chris, who had done the marathon at Devil's Lake twice, and who lives in Wisconsin, asked me if I'd like to come out and run it with him. We've met up to do races before, some of them described elsewhere in this blog.
Chris has done at least a dozen marathons, but no ultra marathons. He was considering the 50K, I think, and I had always said that a 50K is really in the same category as a marathon, like a ten mile race is in the same category as a half marathon.
But then, as I said in an earlier post in this blog, I ran the Relay Del Sol with a team of diabetic runners, and got inspired.
One of the things I got inspired to do was to quick sign up for the 50K at Devil's Lake and call Chris. "Hey, Chris, I registered for the 50K. You better sign up before it fills up!"

So Chris and I did the 50K last weekend. No big deal.

Even death?
 We were only concerned about finishing. We were both under-trained. Chris continually said he was doing less than I was, but that's what he always does. Then usually he runs my butt off on race day.
Thankfully, that didn't happen this time. Chris really was as out of shape as I was.
We had to beat the cutoff by reaching the 25 mile point before 1 PM, 7:30 after the 5:30 AM start. We did it with minutes to spare, then walked it in.

We went all over the country you see in the background.
Overall, a nice trek through beautiful country with good company. We ran a lot at first, but walked the steep hills from the beginning, then every hill, then after the cutoff, we just walked.

Dirt dancing legs.
My blood sugar behaved. It was a little high through the early miles, but came down to normal and never got low.

I am now inspired to harden myself up at the Harding Hustle next week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

That Thing on my Arm

A couple of weeks ago, I was just getting ready to leave the gym, stuffing my sweaty shirt into my bag in the locker room, when this guy, Burt, came over and said, "I hope you don't mind my asking, but what's that thing on your arm?"

Actual photo of that thing on my arm
I said, "I don't mind you asking, but it's a long story, and you wouldn't believe it anyway."
He seemed amused, even though I wasn't trying to be funny. He kind of laughed and said, "Well, that just makes me more curious!"
I said, "Look, if I tell you what I know, you won't believe me, and you still won't know what it is."
Now his brow furrowed. I couldn't tell if his face was red because of his workout, or because he was getting pissed off at me.
"I'll believe you! Just tell me!"
"Then you'll just drop the subject and leave me alone?"
So I told him the story.
"OK. I was walking the dog one night, and suddenly I was surrounded by a bright light shining down from the sky. I looked up toward the source of the light, but it was so blindingly bright, I couldn't see any details. I could see that it was coming closer and closer, and as it did, I started to hear a high-pitched noise getting louder and louder... then I blacked out.
When I came to, it was hours later, in the early morning, before dawn. I was a mile away, lying in an empty parking lot, and I had this thing on my arm.
I knew where I was, so I was able to walk home. My dog was on the porch, all right, but shivering with fright.
Anyway, I don't know what it is, but that's how it got there."
"Why don't you just pull it off then?" He asked, clearly thinking I was pulling his leg.
"Whenever I think about doing something like that, a voice in my head says, 'DO NOT REMOVE THE TRACKING DEVICE.' and I forget about it. It really doesn't bother me."
"How about if I pull it off for you?" Burt was obviously angry now.
"Whenever someone starts to do that, I black out again. Please don't do that."
"Oh, so you do this a lot?" He asked, moving closer.
"I'm starting to hear that high-pitched noise. Please don't..."
Then I blacked out.
I came back to consciousness miles away, in the woods, with a shovel in my hands, standing on a mound of freshly turned earth. I was able to follow my footprints back to my car. They were deep footprints, as if I had been carrying something heavy. My phone was there, so I figured out where I was and drove home.
But I would like to know what happened when I blacked out. I would ask Burt, but I haven't seen him around the gym for a couple of weeks.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hello, Is this thing on?

First post on this blog in almost 5 years. I'm not sure who will notice this. The main reason I'm posting here is I'd like to write a little about an upcoming event, the St. George Marathon, and leave it here and link to it from Twitter and Facebook.

Type One Run has a few members going to the 2017 St. George Marathon, October 7, and is asking other interested runners with type 1 diabetes to register and run it with us.

If you buy a nice Type One Run running shirt, it will help us all make a good showing and represent people with diabetes. You can only get in on this order of shirts until 4/28/2017.

In the time since I last posted here, four and a half years, I ran 16 more marathons. Sadly, they were all terribly slow, mostly because I haven't trained properly.

Here are the details:

6:37:1915:102/7/2016126CASurf City Marathon
5:22:5312:2010/4/2015154MNMedtronic Twin Cities Marathon
5:21:3612:175/3/201564CAOC Marathon
6:29:4912:352/28/201527CAOrange Curtain 50K
5:06:0111:412/1/201585CASurf City Marathon
7:46:0817:4711/8/201427CACatalina Island Eco Marathon
5:26:1812:2710/12/201435CALong Beach Marathon
5:49:3813:219/7/201484CAVentura Marathon
5:51:1013:256/15/201442CAFathers Day Marathon*
5:30:5112:385/4/201444CAOC Marathon
9:01:2120:393/23/201435NMBataan Death March Marathon
5:27:1512:302/16/201428CAMajestic Marathon*
5:37:1112:521/19/2014133CACarlsbad Marathon
5:35:0712:479/8/2013224CAVentura Marathon
5:55:5713:351/27/201377CACarlsbad Marathon
6:06:0313:5911/11/2012294CAMalibu Marathon

That number between the date and the state in my spreadsheet is "days between", as in days between marathons. Since as you can see, the last marathon was February of 2016, and I'm not registered for another until July, the next "days between" number will be the highest ever. I've gone more than a year without running a marathon.

But just in time I've gotten inspired by this great group, Type One Run. I was incredibly fortunate to meet Craig Stubing, founder of Type One Run, at a JDRF Summit in Pasadena. We spoke briefly about running and the fact that Type One Run had a team in the Ragnar SoCal Relay.
Then a week later, I got an email saying that one of their runners had dropped out, and asking if I would like to join. Of course I would!

I've had this experience of being on an overnight relay with a team of diabetics four times now, and I would recommend it to anyone dealing with this disease.
My experience with Type One Run was relentlessly positive and inspiring. And it reminded me of a lot of things I've been missing in my life recently.

OK. A couple of things to explain in that list of marathons:
The Catalina Eco Marathon is just really, really tough, especially for a fat old, out of shape diabetic.
I did the Bataan Death March Marathon for my second time in 2014, but this time my youngest brother Chris did it with me, and we did it in the "Heavy" category, meaning we wore 35 pound backpacks. That is also a tough marathon, even without a pack, but not quite like Catalina Eco.

Friday, October 19, 2012

No, Dude Working at Vitamin Store...

Earlier this week I was shopping in a local franchise of a nationwide vitamin store chain, and the saleswoman there asked me about my tee shirt. I was wearing a "Team Diabetes" shirt from a marathon several years ago.
The vitamin store woman told me that her mother was a type 1 diabetic "Red Strider" and that they were going to do the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes together in Griffith Park on October 27th.
We had a nice talk about diabetes-related events. I told her I couldn't do the event in Griffith Park in LA because I was planning to go to the TCOYD Conference and Health Expo in San Diego. I told her about Insulindependence and some of the events I've been involved in with that organization.
So then the guy at the cash register said, "You know another web site you should check out is ..."
And he helpfully told me about a raw food diet web site, and assured me that it was helpful to many diabetics.
I started to explain that I was type 1, and he said he knew about type 1 and type 2 and the difference. He didn't seem totally ignorant. But as I tried to tell him that diet can only do so much, he would agree, then start telling me how good this raw food diet is.
So I started to tell him about this guy from Phoenix, a type 1 diabetic who earlier this year was convinced that a spiritual healer could cure him with a drastically modified diet, herbal detox, reducing his insulin...
While I told this story, the vitamin store dude kept saying, "Yeah!" "Uh huh." like it all made sense and sounded right to him.
I knew he wasn't getting the point of the story, but the look of shock on his face was so profound it shocked me when I finally said, "... then he died."
"He died?!"
"Yeah, he died."
Yes, vitamin store dude, he died. Yes, this is serious.
No, I can't cure myself by eating raw food.
I think the saleswoman smiled. She may have tried to have a talk about diabetes with this guy before.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Diabetic Running Gear

Hey, reader,
I've been doing a bit of running lately, but not enough. When I get out there, I'm having fun, so I'm confident that I'll be able to build up some more mileage before meeting up with the Insulindependence crowd at the Carlsbad Marathon, which is the next event in which I'm sure I'll participate.
But today I'm just going to share a report on the diabetes gear I take with me on runs.

Glucose tablets, or some source of quick carbohydrates:
These are the store brand glucose tablets. Glucolift makes a tastier, all-natural alternative, but this is what I have right now.
 Some ID, indicating that you are diabetic:
This is my MedicAlert ID. I started with the MedicAlert Foundation in 1974, so I'm not going to change now.
A meter:
OneTouch Ultra Mini meter, lancet device, a few strips in an old Listerine Strips container, a piece of tech fiber cloth (like ShamWow) and plastic bag to hold it all.
A meter is so much smaller than so many less important things people run with, there's really no excuse for not carrying one except if you're not going far. The little piece of cloth is for those few times when it might be necessary to dry your fingers to get a test.

An infusion site:
What a fat model I had pose for these pictures, huh?
An insulin pump:
My Animas Ping.
My DexCom sensor and transmitter:
That's the back of my arm near my shoulder.
My DexCom receiver:
It's in an iPhone arm band wrapped around my forearm. I can see my blood sugar trend as easily as the time on my watch.
Then of course there are all of the ordinary runner things, a watch, maybe some Gu, some water...
It does take some organization sometimes to get out the door.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chumash Trail

OK. Forget that last post. Let's talk about running.
Saturday I ran up the Chumash Trail to Rocky Peak Road and back from my house. It was pretty awesome. Here's the view back toward Simi Valley from the trail:

So I looked at this run on Google maps before. I tried to get up to Rocky Peak Road a couple of weeks ago, but I had wasted too much energy and time running around on trails which turned out not to be going in the right direction, and it was hot, and I ran out of water. So I turned around without reaching my objective. Twice. On two different days.
But on Saturday I went back up there with a Camelbak and a water bottle, and of course my meter, glucose tablets, insulin pump, Gu, all the trappings of a diabetic runner.
But I kept going, up and up and up, until I finally had to ask myself, "Is Rocky Peak a dirt road?" Of course it is. As I determined later, Rocky Peak Road is a dirt road only a little bit more substantial than the Chumash Trail, and I ran about a mile on it before I headed back for home.

The postscript today is that everyone should really check out Type 1 diabetic runner Dave Masiuk is running across the USA.
It's pretty clear to me that he and I have different perspectives, but he's doing something fantastic, and I'm very impressed.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Logical Post

"Boy, don't you worry, you'll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man"

Lynyrd Skynyrd

"They say now watch what you say. They'll be calling you a radical
Liberal, fanatical, criminal...
Won't you sign up your name? We'd like to feel you're
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable"


So here is some of who I am.
Some of my opinions will align with your opinions. I may just say them a different way. Some of my opinions may strike you as radical,  liberal, fanatical, criminal...
So be it. I want to be a simple kind of man.

I am opposed to killing human fetuses. Maybe it's not a human being. It's something, and it is a living thing that gets killed.
I am opposed to the goverment forcing women to carry unwanted fetuses in their wombs. I don't want the government to force women to bear children that they do not want to bear.
I am against forcing little girls to have the babies of rapist pedophiles. This is not a hypothetical. This is a position taken by the Irish government in its opposition to abortion.
No matter how I might feel about it, I don't think I have the right to decide, either personally, or as part of society. The decision belongs to one person, the woman whose body is involved.
I am pro-life, anti-abortion, pro-choice. I don't think that's a rare position to take.

I believe that in rare cases there are crimes which merit a penalty of death. That is not an issue in our society, though.
What we debate is executions by the state. When we give government the right to kill people, we get injustice, not justice.
Innocent people are executed. The question is not whether you are all right with some murderer being executed, the question is whether you are all right with the state killing you or your loved ones after an unfair mockery of a trial. Wealth and skin color still have an inordinate influence on our judicial system.
I am opposed to state executions. They are not justifiable. And such things should not be called "death penalty" or "capital punishment" since we are not certain of the guilt of those being executed.

Outlawing marijuana is basically outlawing an avenue in the pursuit of happiness.
We should not put people into prison for things that aren't crimes. We can agree that some things should be considered crimes under the law, assault, robbery, murder, fraud, trading in mortgage-backed securities until you crash the world economy...
But having marijuana illegal at this point in time is like making the eating of meat illegal. Most people think it's OK. There are undoubtedly some negative effects from it. A minority are strongly opposed to it.
It's not something we should be putting people into prison over.
If only some other nation would legalize marijuana first, so we could see what happens when it's legal, without risking our own fragile populace. Well, there are such nations, and they have fewer problems with it than we do.
And it hasn't always been illegal here.
We know what prohibition does. It creates profitable criminal industries. It does not stop people from exercising their inalienable right to pursue happiness by chemical means.

People will say that we shouldn't begrudge the 1% their millions and billions of dollars. They don't realize that the concentration of wealth in the hands of the 1% devalues the fraction of wealth remaining for the rest of us.

Ordinary people have always wanted to get the best home they could afford, the best car they could afford, etc. Ideally, money-lenders enable people to buy things that they can't pay for all at once, but can eventually pay off. The money-lenders who have money now, were supposed to make more money by loaning what they have now to people that will pay them back, plus interest, later.
However, at some point, money-lenders started treating IOUs as if they were money.
It no longer mattered whether a debt was going to be repaid, because the debt itself was what the lender was after. Accounting firms, insurance firms, banks, real estate investors, the entire financial sector participated, continues to participate in this game, because they take in debt and pay themselves in dollars, in real money.
We have been treating debt like money for several decades, and it's gotten progressively worse. The culmination of this pattern is triple-A rated mortgage-backed securities.
And this money made from nothing devalues the money made from real productivity.
While most of us need our income to keep pace with inflation or our buying power goes down, others are making millions, hundreds of millions, billions, from nothing. This flood of fake cash, based on IOUs, drives inflation.
It inflated the cost of our homes until the bubble burst and left us with the debt, but none of the phony profit made from the debt.
This inflation hits the 99% harder than the 1%. Their getting more cash causes our cash to be devalued.

How much more is the time of a bundler of mortgage-backed securities worth than the time of a fire-fighter? What exactly does one do to make more in an hour than most people make in their lives? Don't imagine that it's just too complicated for all of us to understand. Some of us who aren't in the 1% are pretty smart.

Some people do earn more than others, by the difficulty of their work or a unique set of skills or talent, or just by working harder.
But there are those who don't produce anything anyone really wants, yet seem as if they are winning the lottery every day of the year.

No CEO should make 100 times what his lowest paid employee makes. Any executive making that kind of money is underpaying employees, overpaying himself, or both.