A rebirth of my blog tracking my attempts to fulfill my new mission statement:-
1) life does not stop with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes
2) showing the benefits of exercise for a type 1 diabetic
3) how to go about it, managing training and diet based on my experiment of one
4) report back on my training progress and the occasional race I manage to compete in
5) share my travels around the globe having a great time in the name of work (yes, I like my job)
So who else
managed to make a whole weekend out of one day’s race?
started on the Thursday when I headed up from the flatlands of North Cambridgeshire
to the equally wild but much more hilly Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria where my parents
live.The keener eyed among you may have
spotted the reference to Thursday there, correct.I just didn’t fancy two long consecutive
drives and of course it gave me the opportunity to hone my taper week and carb
loading with a good old pub meal, followed by a pub quiz and then back to my
folks’ for a nice single malt nightcap.Friday morning dawned.
The rest of
Friday was not particularly momentous and certainly involved a lot less booze
and one important decision.My parents
decided to have a day out and come and watch the race, which meant that I
needed to be at Glenbuck for about 8:15 rather than Dam Park for 7am, net
result being an extra hour in bed.
dawned much more brightly than Friday, at least in my mind; it was much greyer
out than I’d been expecting, with forecast high teens.It looked more like 5-6 out there with a
wind, low cloud and general greyness.
A couple of
eggs on toast for breakfast, starting the race mentally and medically.This is where I start managing blood glucose
with intent.The insulin pump gets
turned down to 30% for the next 3 hours to Glenbuck, then again on arrival for
the expected race duration plus 2 hours. Breakfast bolus was down to the minimum.All of this to pre-empt the experimentally determined
massive BG drop in the first 5km if I don’t, brought on by the combination of
increased insulin sensitivity and the switch on of additional glucose transport
mechanisms like GLU4 when we exercise. Plus I’ve spent years training the fat metabolism,
which you can’t utilise with excess insulin whanging around your system.
Still grey and
nasty on the drive up to Glenbuck, with fog, low cloud, rain, not looking like
a nice autumn day at all. Eventually find the carpark, final kit checks, decide
to wear the day-glo buff as a beanie to start with, check carbs, water bottle,
blood glucose again – high, but where I was expecting it, with a drop to follow
soon.Last minute nervous chatter, trips
to the bushes, more chatter, photo calls and then 9am finally arrives in front
of the sculpture.
off.Having no experience of this race
whatever, of this race, I settle down into the train with a couple of markers
that appear to be around my target pace,
only they weren’t, they were much quicker than I ought to have been for a
40-miler.Time for the race plan to kick
in, 25 minute run/5 minute walk, absolutely stuck to.That 5 minutes being used to check blood
glucose, eat if necessary to maintain target, take in electrolytes and give the
muscles something of a rest.Long
experience tells me that if I don’t enforce it I go out too hard for a
sustainable pace over the 40 miles.
experiment I need about 20-25g carbs every 30 mins to maintain stable blood
glucose, and was not planning to stop until the second drop box station, so had
the pockets of the camelback full of dried bananas, and gels with other stuff
in the two drop boxes at the farm and Annbank.Hydration would be at the water stops, quick gulp every time, and carry
a 750 ml bottle of concentrated electrolytes to sip as I went.All was going well until about 8km in when I
started to feel soggy down my left hand side only to find at the next slurp
from the bottle, it had a 2” split right down one side.Enforced strategy revision then; grab a 500ml
bottle of water at each stop to keep me going until the drop boxes where I had
more electrolyes waiting.
By this time
my delusions of grandeur had disappeared and I was back to my 25/5 schedule and
about 5:50-6:10/km, just where I should be.
appeared eventually after two minor routing errors, with my first drop box
sitting happily waiting for me with a nice lunch of cheese filled bagel, double
expresso gel and after dinner mint to go with what I had left in my
pockets.Only trouble was I forgot the electrolyte
tabs in my hurry to keep moving.
For me the
next section with a lot of road was quite tedious, and my feet were starting to
ache a bit to be honest.I’d expected
hard ground, but the gravel path with the 1” stones was particularly hard on the
feet.Everything else was feeling good
by this point though and pace was still going well, swapping places with two or
three other runners every time I went through the run/walk cycle.I made absolutely no attempt to run up those
nasty little short sharp climbs with energy conservation in the latter stages
being more important than pace.
arrived a lot earlier than expected and I was definitely psychologically lifted
when I was told that it was only about 8 miles to go as my left hip and knee
(mainly ITB) were starting to play up, but with less than 14km to go, there was
no way I was stopping.Restock and off
again, but this time unable to keep to 25run/5 walk, it was down to closer to
parity, with more walking creeping in and the pace drifting the wrong way.Mental calculation telling me that the 6hr 30
mark was gone, but 6hr 45 was still a possible, and sub-7 was an absolute cert
unless I had a complete meltdown.
This is where
the race becomes mental for me, not physical, forcing the now protesting knee
to keep running for an extra 45-30-now 15 seconds at a time until I’d got to
2min on/2 mins off. One last routing
error at the bypass had me sandwiched between two runners I’d passed around the
40-45km mark, and that’s where it stayed to the end with the 300 yards of the
stadium separating one from the other over a distance of 62.9km for me in 6hr
still running, just about
absolutely chuffed at that given the knee troubles and the routing errors, as
it was over an hour quicker than my previous 40 miler PB and the RAW was a
tougher course to me.
just 300 yards between us after nearly 40 miles
damage two days later, calves OK, Achilles OK, quads knowing they’ve been in a
race, shoulders tight, but unlike previous endeavours walking is not an issue,
blister on my left big toes that I didn’t feel during the race. Last time I was
struggling with stairs for a week afterwards, so something went right in the
training and conditioning this year.Only
thing complaining is my big toe joints.
For some reason
my cannula for the insulin delivery was giving me grief all through the race as
well, kept catching a nerve or something with sharp pains in the area if I
twisted or moved wrongly.I’d had a
cuple of twinges the day before but decided not t change it.It got so bad that I almost stopped and
replaced it mid race with the spare in my bag, but oddly enough it stopped
hurting later in the race.When I looked
at it in the shower, the cannula was full of blood and it was quite sore and
bruised for a few days.
Only fly in
the ointment was Sunday evening after driving home, I was pressing some apples
and pears (juice now fermenting nicely) when I managed to drop a 5kg weight
disc on my left big toe joint.
Time / Pace /Avg HR / Max HR
1 / 25:51/ 5:10 / 156 / 170
2 / 28:00 / 5:36 / 157 / 167
3 / 28:52 / 5:46 / 157 / 166
4 / 30:16 / 6:03 / 153 / 162
5 / 31:47 / 6:22 / 150 / 164
6 / 31:54 / 6:23 / 147 / 161
7 / 37:52 / 7:35 / 143 / 160
8 / 31:51 / 6:22 / 146 / 157
9 / 35:34 / 7:07 / 148 / 160
10/ 34:43 / 6:57 / 143 / 154
11/ 37:14 / 7:27 / 140 / 156
12/ 38:08 / 7:38 / 134 / 150
13/ 19:40 / 6:47 / 144 / 152
/ 62.9km / 6:33 / 147 / 170 / elev gain 460 / loss 725
Came in 24th of 47 finishers
Blood glucoses for those that were interested (using a 30%
basal rate in the pump for three hours before, during the race and two hours
after, with novorapid insulin)
Prebreafast 6.1, 35g carbs, 0.6 Unit bolus
Plus 2 hours 11.3 – much higher than normal, but I know it’s
going to come down
???is because stupidly, I’d not got enough battery in the BG
meter to last race distance.Bloody
stupid and dangerous, and if it had happened earlier in the race would have
meant pulling out.Another good learning
point, but luckily I had a good idea of how much I need to eat by now.
Post race, meter recharged, 6.4 an hour later and a 40g
snack with 0.5 units insulin (50% of normal, as I know by experience that
several hours later my BG can drop rapidly).Instead I let it go higher (but not intentionaly as high as the 13.7
this time, and adjust downwards), but still by bedtime I was needing to take a
couple of snacks to stop dropping into hypo territory.