Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Season of mists and all that

Well it’s definitely the season of mellow fruitfulness around here at the moment, as the famous poet said.  It’s been a pretty bountiful year in the garden already with a good crop of gooseberries, blackcurrants, broad beans, French beans, rhubarb; the cucumber has been going great guns but is just now starting to subside as the tomatoes are really starting to ripen well. 

The courgettes are still going well, and the figs and raspberries are starting to come well into season as well.  Still to come, chillies and peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, plus the grapes if they ripen properly.  And that lot’s just in the garden.

I can’t believe how bountiful the hedgerows are this year as well.  In two foraging expeditions less than a mile from home, I’ve had enough crab apples to get a 5-gallon batch of wine going, enough sloes for another gallon and some sloe gin.  The blackberries are very sweet this year and quite a few of them didn’t make it into the tub to be brought home.  I’ll also be looking for a few rosehips and elderberries this year as well. 

I’ve had a few weeks at home over the last month or so and have had some time to get out for a couple of longer sessions and I think I’ve got these cracked now on the bike. 

 Recent three hour club ride with 15g carbs every 15 mins, or 30g every 30 mins, saw 30 min testing like this
7.9 30 mins before, on a reduced basal and bolus,
7.7 – post ride, with a 55g bolus of carbs about ten minutes before
10.5 – 1hour post lunch, with a reduced bolus
5.2 – 2 hours post lunch.

 Similar set of stats on a 2 hour ride on my own as well, so that’s working OK.

I’ve also worked out through experimentation that I don’t need any carbs for weights or yoga as long as I go in around 5.5 or higher.  I generally find either a steady reading or a drop of up to 1.0mmol/l

The shorter sessions remain a bit harder to work out though.  I’m trying to get to a point where I can go into them knowing that for a given pace/effort I’ll either be OK or need to take a certain amount of carbs before hand to make sure I don’t drop during or after by too much.   So far I’m seeing that intensity rather than duration seems to be the guiding factor.  Here’s a few examples
- Moderate session indoor rowing Ave HR 145, Max 162, approx. 45 mins, went from 5.9 to 3.9
- 1 hour easy run, Ave HR 144, Max 152, from 5.5 to 5.7, with a fig roll taken beforehand (13g carbs)

Here’s another good one, just last night, I did a real life video on the turbo trainer, following part of the course of the Amstel Gold race, which goes up and down the ridges of Flanders, short but very steep, and had me working hard, with an average of 189Watts output, but a maximum of 385W.  The heart rate was an average of 142, but a max of 169, showing the intensity of the session.  Over just over 50 mins, BG dropped from 6.3 to 3.9, a good indicator of either a time trial or a 10k race perhaps.

The other thing that seems to have been happening over the last week or two is a general degradation in blood sugar control.  Whereas I’d been finding it very easy to keep in a range of about 4.5-6.5, it had started drifting up and I was having a few readings >8mmol/l mainly after meals, including some getting up close to 10.  The diabetes nurse thinks the pancreas is starting to reduce its own production of insulin now.  I’ve taken advantage of having my new half unit pens to try and get a bit more sensitive control and also changed from an assumption of a 20:1 ratio of carbs:insulin down to somewhere between 15:1 and 17.5:1, seems to be working so far.

Oh, and one last thing, I’ve another pair of running shoes.  That makes seven now, but one or two pairs are really on their last legs now, so to speak.  A review will follow in due course.

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