Thought for the Day

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's in a name?

I am considering moving this blog to WordPress and getting a domain name for it. There's a poll on the left side of the blog to see if anyone reading this has any preferences. Suggestions can be made as comments on this blog post. I appreciate your input.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Diabetes Training Camp

Diabetes Training Camp was awesome... incredible.

I want to name a few of the personnel, to give an idea of the level of training at the camp, but it's not really fair. There are many others involved, and they were all fantastic at their jobs.

Missy Foy, type 1 diabetic and world class marathoner and ultra marathoner, and for a long time a personal hero of mine, was our running coach at the camp.

Rick Crawford, a former pro bike rider and triathlete, now a coach, who has coached many pro triathletes and cyclists, including a kid named Lance Armstrong, lectured us on training the central nervous system and was available for private consultations. We had a beer together and talked for about an hour about my Ironman training program.
He wrote this article the day after our camp ended:

Carrie Cheadle was there to help us with the mental part of the event.

Nicole Freedman, former pro rider and Olympic competitor, and Bike Czar of Boston, was our bike coach.

I rode to the top of Gates Pass from the "easy" side.
I had an opportunity to do a supported ride up Mt. Lemmon, but it seemed like a bad idea for the day before Old Pueblo.
If I hadn't been running Old Pueblo, I could have done a run with Dave Scott that morning, as part of TriFest, instead.

It was just an incredible week.
So why do I have mixed feelings about it? I'll have to cover that in another post.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Relay Haiku

I may not be much of a poet, but I enjoy writing, so this blog will occasionally contain verse, as well as prose.
Here are a couple of Haiku inspired by the Relay Del Sol.

desert run at night
point headlamp upward to see
a sky full of stars

running beside you
I hear your feet, your breathing
and your damn ipod

Hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Old Pueblo 50

I'm finally posting my account, such as it is, of the Old Pueblo 50.
I got sore, especially in the quads, but I had no injuries and nothing much to complain about. I finished in 13 hours and 23 minutes, so my goal of 10 hours was out of the question.
I didn't have much of a break after the Ragnar Relay. I had one night at home, then was off to Diabetes Training Camp for four and a half full days of workouts and lectures. Seriously, they had us at the first workout at 6:30 AM every day, and then workouts and lectures, consultations, medical testing, fittings for bikes and gear, etc. all day, every day, usually until past 10 at night.
So the day after DTC, all I had to do was sit around at the Triabetes booth at Tri-Fest for half a day, then rest up for the Old Pueblo 50 mile trail run on Saturday.
I knew just driving out to the start that I was too tired to really race it. I didn't have enough time to recover from all of the previous marathons and 50Ks going into the Ragnar relay, and after the relay, I had no real chance to recover from that experience.
So I was walking the uphills from the start, and always trying to conserve energy while maintaining some momentum. Later in the day, it helped to use some of the techniques Carrie Cheadle had taught us at Diabetes Training Camp to keep my shoulders relaxed and not expend any extra energy on useless tension.
The course was a lot tougher than I expected. Even on fresh legs I don't think I would have been ready to do it in 10 hours. But now that I know what it's like, I think I could train for it and make it.
I did best against the competition in a couple of sections that were steep, rocky downhills for miles. Others were walking them, but I let gravity carry me and tried to stay light on my feet. I didn't trip anywhere, but the few places that I came close were where it was mostly level and there were only a few rocks sticking up.
This was 50 miles of mountainous trails and dirt roads. 51 miles by my Garmin. Don't get me started. Well, I am started.
The other place I did well was nearing the finish late in the day. I thought I was going to finish before the sun set if I just kept running, so I was running even uphill, for a while, after the 40 mile aid station. Since I had been taking it easy all day, most of the people around me were really spent, and weren't running at all.
I passed about six people between the 40 mile aid station and where my Garmin said it was 45 miles. Then, when the Garmin said I was 46.75 into the race, I came upon a sign that said I was 1/4 mile from the 46 mile aid station.
That totally knocked the wind out of me. I thought I was a little over 3 miles from the finish, and I suddenly found I was still more than 4 miles out. I'm sure it doesn't sound like much, but for some reason, at the time it mentally crushed me.
But I kept running to the aid station, ate a little more, (I ate like a pig through the whole race.) and ran on.
At this point, I was running with a small group leaving the aid station more or less together. I think we were all looking forward to finishing.
Then with three miles to go we came to the base of a set of wicked steep switchbacks, maybe the steepest hill on the course, rising hundreds of feet in a few hundred yards. I probably wouldn't run this hill if it was in a 10K, let alone at the end of a 50 miler. It was just a sick joke.
I made it to the top, though, and kept on chugging toward the finish.
However, the sun had set, and it was rapidly getting darker and colder. My little headlight that clips onto my cap, which was fine for running on the road in the relay, was totally inadequate on the narrow, twisty, rocky trail of the last mile. My shirt was also inadequate, as the temperature was dropping rapidly.
It took me half an hour to go the last mile, and by the time I crossed the finish line, I think I had borderline hypothermia. It felt good to get some hot coffee, hot chili, and a warm burger.
My blood sugars were manageable. I checked at every aid station, and once between aid stations. The first few miles I was a little high, and bolused conservatively to correct and cover what I was eating. As the day wore on, I didn't need to bolus at all in spite of eating almost everything available, gels, V8, bananas, pretzels, potato chips, salt potatoes, chicken noodle soup, etc.
My basal was at a reduced rate all day until I finished. I stayed up late (with a couple of naps thrown in) and ate heavily, checking my blood sugar frequently, and had no post-race problems.

There's actually a whole other story about post-race activities, but it will have to wait for another day, like if we ever meet and you ask me about it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

strips everywhere

Like some of you out there, I spend a fair amount of time checking my blood sugar in my car. I get in and decide to test before driving somewhere, or I drive somewhere and decide I'd like to test before I go in.
So I was sitting in my car preparing to test my blood sugar when I dropped a test strip. I looked, and I could see the strip between the base of the seat and the side of the saddle over the transmission. Each strip is worth about $1, and we're in some kind of a global economic downturn, so I decided I had to recover it.
But as I reached to grab it, the strip slid away. I couldn't get my thumb down there, so I tried to squeeze it between my first and second finger. It slid further down. I reached again, I strained, I got it, I pulled it up, and saw the test strip I recovered was from a meter I hadn't used in years.
OK, I couldn't give up now, so I opened my door, got out and got down near the floor of the car and reached from the other side. And I pulled back two strips. I thought this was weird, because while I use a lot of strips, I generally keep all of the used ones in the change tray in front of the gear shift lever. I don't throw them all over.
When all cars had ash trays, mine used to always fill up with test strips. I'm sure some of you reading this know how that is.
Anyway, unsure that I had recovered the strip I had just dropped, I kept reaching under that part of the seat. Understand that I wasn't reaching all over, combing the carpeting for strips. I was just finding the one strip I had just dropped. And soon I had eight strips.
I never considered it a design flaw before, but these Freestyle test strips don't look any different after they've been used. You can't see if they have old dried blood in them. You have to put them in the meter to see if they're going to work.
It turned out that none of the strips I found under the seat was functional, and in the end I had to pull out a new strip to get my blood sugar.
Five or ten minutes in the life of a diabetic.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Scattered Pictures

I took a few pictures, very few, over the past few weeks, but I think they're at least a little interesting.
First is this picture of Greg Florian's SpiBelt with a OneTouch Mini and lancet device mounted on it. It reminded me of the TV Batman's utility belt, and I mean that in a good way. I love it. I may work out something like this for my long runs.

This illustrates a couple of things. One of them is how when you get a group of diabetics together, they can learn a lot from each other. Greg was one of the teammates in the Glucomotive all diabetic team in the Relay Del Sol.
The other thing it shows is the functionality of a SpiBelt, which is a product of a great sponsor of Triabetes and Insulindependence.

Speaking of sponsors, below is a picture of a pile of swag I recieved from sponsors at Diabetes Training Camp. Featured prominently is a huge stack of PureFit bars, which I am getting plenty of use out of.

The picture below is very simple. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't think this picture is better than a thousand word description of the Old Pueblo Run.
However, it does kind of tell a story succinctly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 So Far

I haven't posted here since February 26, when I had done only four marathons and one ultra-marathon this year.
What's happened since?

The Ragnar Relay Del Sol, 204 miles with 12 diabetic runners, 2/27-28.

Diabetes Training Camp in Tucson, 3/1-5.

TriFest 2009, 3/6-8.

The Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run, 3/7.

Half century birthday, 3/13.

Tour de Cure Phoenix 100K Ride, 3/14.

Those are just the highlights, and each one of them is worth at least a page here, but if I take the time to do that, I'll never get caught up to today. Once again, my life is outrunning my blogging.

As time permits, I'll try to post something about each of these events over the next few weeks. My plans don't call for anything big, just Ironman training, until a marathon in May. After that, I will be totally focused on Ironman Arizona in November.