Monday, 24 February 2014

A bit of a change in the wind

So, how easy is it going to be to keep up 500 words a week?  I’m hoping not too hard at all, and having run off an example 500-word short story for my daughter last week just to prove a point, in about half an hour.  That was pure nonsense, hopefully this will make a bit more sense. 

Since last weekend it’s been a bit up and downy to be honest with a currently stressful period at work and some less than favourable happenings in my athletic world.  But before I get into that, what a cracking winter Olympic games we’ve just had. Unsurprisingly I’ve never been one for the glitz and glamour of the alpine events, or the figure skating; for me it’s always been the grit and the grind of the skeleton bob, the ice hockey and the Nordic events.  The cross country for me has really been the star of the show from the sprints to the 50km to the biathlon and the Nordic combined.  I’ve been on the edge of my seat and cursing my luck to be born in a damp, tepid climate.
Personally, I’ve had a reasonably productive, but tiring week, and for the first time managed to actually hit my designated average target for running.  I’m trying to hit 1000miles again this year, average 20 miles a week, but with no real goal at the moment, it’s slow and steady.  I know it will take off later in the year, in fact as soon as March when I start adding in the long runs and the speedwork.  I actually managed 23 miles (37km) this week plus an hour of particularly knackering yoga and an ad-hoc very windy outing on the mountain bike for an eye screening appointment.  In fact given second thoughts I’d have driven. 
Total for this week 4hr 41.
Sunday was not quite so much fun, having the intent to get out on the bike with the club, I’d implemented a fairly vigorous dose reduction, but then the weather turned nasty between breakfast and setting out time.  Now I don’t mind a little adverse weather, but my main aim on the bike is to enjoy it, and I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed Sunday.  So what to do now?  The answer is an hour and a half of VR video on the turbo. 
BG at the start 12.3 (dose reduction remember)
At 40 mintutes after the hardest part of the session – 4.4 – banana time
80 minutes – 10.7?
90 minutes – 12.3?

Not sure if I’d got some banana on my fingers, but after a shower and 30 mins later it was back down to 4.3, a quick fig roll in order then.
The rest of the day was a bit up and down to be honest, both on the blood sugar and other levels, leading to a decision to focus more on the running again this year, with the bike being a cross training and enjoyment based tool.  I’ve been a member of my local bike club for a few years now, and raced over the summer at time trials and a few Sunday club runs.  I’m not really a club person to be honest and lately, it’s been generating a few cliques, a sure sign to me to get out and get back to why I took the bike up again – fun.  Everything has it’s natural span and this was it.

That makes 569 words with hardly a mention of blood sugar so far.  That’s not been too bad either, just a coupel of out of range highs and one hypo not related to exercise.  Jerusalem artichokes, bloody tasty, but it seems that the carb content is not yet agreed on.  Foolishly I went away from what had worked in the past and dosed according to a nutritional analysis from a website.  Result 75 mins later, 3.4.

Oh well, still learning.

See you next week

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Insert Title Here

I can't think of one, so you might as well do it for me - suggestions on a postcard in best Radio 2 fashion please.

This time of year my full mental faculties, such as they are, are being spent on one of the busiest work periods of the year and then the other part goes into the mental fortitude to keep training though the darkest, dismal part of the year.

And this year has been more dismal, and more dark than usual.  It's been a real struggle at times just to get that first foot out the door with the wind, rain and cold.  February has to be my least favourite month of the year; having got over Christmas and the relaxation into January, you're into the cold and dark, with a long way to go to spring.  While we've been flood free so far in the Fens thanks to pumps and well kept ditches, they're filling up, and the disaster area of the rest of the country doesn't look like going away soon. 

So, what do I do?  Make the most of the calm, clear days and get out when I can, revert back to the indoor trainers when it's really crappy outside.  With no spring events to train for, this is my base building period and I'm not losing anything with cross training.  That's given the rower and static bike a bit of use so far and I've also got myself a new 29"er MTB which has had a couple of good runs so far.

With this basebuilding period, the intent is that everything is done in an easy aerobic HR, in my case anything less than 148.  This is the third year now that I've taken this approach, with a two month easy period after new year, then start training for an early summer race. One thing I've noticed, and it's the same again this year is that there comes a point at which things start to change.  You go from trotting along at an easy pace and easy HR, to a sudden increase in pace that still feels easy but just kicks the HR up over the limit.  I've just hit that point again with a 15s/km gain in pace from around 5:00-5:10/km to 4:45-4:55, but then struggling to keep the HR down.  Another couple of weeks and the HR will catch up again.

The one thing that's not been hampering me too much is the diabetes, apart from the frustration of needing to eat where I never needed to in the past.  Typically anything less than an hour really shouldn't need to take on any extra carbs at all, but depending how close to a meal I go, and how much insulin on board, I can really chew through the blood sugar quicker than the liver can replenish it.  When a hypo is anything less than 3.5, seeing 2.9 on your meter midway through a run is a bit of a shock, especially with no symptoms because the exercise is masking it.

On the long stuff I've got my dose reduction worked out pretty well, but still playing around with the shorter stuff.  Today, for instance, I beefed up my breakfast porridge from 30g carbs to 50g, but did a 35% dose reduction.  I could still do more.

Blood glucose went from 5.1 before breakfast to 7.9 an hour later (not really high enough knowing I still have fast acting insulin on board).  5km into the run it was down to 3.9, far too low for another 7km.  7-10g carbs taken, and 5km later measured at 4.4, still a bit too low, so another 7-10g dose.  2km later up to 5.6 at the end of the run, but I'll expect that to have dropped by lunch as the glycogen replacement into the muscles takes place.

I'm making a bit of a new year's resolution here as well, once a month is really not enough here, I need to be getting this a bit more regular. I think 500 words a week should be easy enough really, and will be a good look back at progression as I pick up the workload a bit.

And please, don't forget to sponsor me