Monday, December 31, 2007

Bye Bye 2007 - Hello 2008

It is finally the end of another year! I look back and reflect. In retrospect, it was an interesting year where personal/ professional stuff overshadowed athletics. I use the analogy of having a number of curve balls thrown at me on the personal/ professional side that at times distracted me from my training. Most pronounced was the challenges I faced in June while in my final build phase of Ironman training. Some people really don't get it on how being on a bike for 5 hours running for 3 hours and the solitude of training is fulfilling. While most of my supporters were very understanding and encouraging, some just don't get it. This effected me as I was presented with an issue of how training impacts the time spent with my family, my work, and my life. I found during my final preparation, I am typically more strong minded, I slipped and doubted myself at the worst time. In training for Ironman, I often wake up at 4 am to complete my workouts during the week and long days during the weekend I often finished by noon. Was my training for Ironman effecting those things that are meaningful in life like family and work? Ironman is a race that requires balance and full commitment. Not the 90-95% I felt I was going in to Lake Placid. I have concluded that some people just don't get it! That is going to be ok. I am looking so forward to 2008. This is a significant year to me- I turn 40, I am racing Ironman again, and I am part of Triabetes. My family gets it, and I will be able to share in the experience with my Triabetes teammates! As I am sure that as we prepare for Wisconsin, we all will get it!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today's Ride

Well the mercury hit 45 degrees and out I went. Did a 25 mile ride with 3 sustained 4-5% grade climbs early and 2 significant climbs hitting 13-16% grade. Starting BS of 165, temp basil set at 50% (.65) of 1.3 u/ hr. Started the ride and felt OK but hit some good spots during the early climbs, checked bs at 5 miles as felt I was going down (CGM's are great on the bike) and saw my graph going down fast (89), ate some pretzel sticks approximately 60 g of carbs at that check (after the climb). Saw my BS stabilize for much of the ride between 100 and 111. Hit the hard climbs and was fatigued and struggled but worked through it. At one point during the penultimate climb where the grade hit 16% and the wind gusting across the bare corn field, I couldn't help but savor the moment. In moments like this riding and suffering, I felt in my element. I talked about this with Coach Dave describing these moments with great "pleasure." Ironman hurts, but hurts good! Finished the ride dreaming about my recovery bars and energy drink and checked the CGM. I was at 69! Ate a couple of glucose tabs and brought it home. Looked at my numbers, 163 watts, 1hr 32 minutes, winds gusting between 15 to 30 mph. Not too bad I thought. Tomorrow's run will be very early as me and my son are going to the Pittsburgh Steelers game in Baltimore!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Today is a Gift

As the struggles of Post Christmas blues take hold, it really is a gift of today. I look back on what really stinks about my situation and reframe it. I can run, which I did today in the rain... B/S start 131 end 79 with a shot of Hammer gel at 30 minutes. I can bike, which I did yesterday, starting B/S 225, basil at 55% , Gatorade water mix, and ending B/S 123 after 22 hilly miles (1hr 17 minutes at average 141 watts). I swim sometimes ( got new goggles). I will race Ironman again.. It really ain't so bad. Thanks Steve Ahn for your previous comment!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why am I doing this?

I was going to post something witty but really have no energy to do so. I swam and rode with no real punch, but it gave me time to think. In my mind I recounted the year. I thought about the Triabetes project and checked my reasons for wanting to be involved. I needed only to look at some comments my team members left on my tough day post. Thanks Michelle and Ann, you words really helped.

For years I trained and raced in isolation as I am not a real social person. I tended to keep my diabetes silent but loved the competition. I guess I wanted to be a voice but didn't know how. As I rode, I kept thinking to myself, racing Ironman, doing a documentary is really secondary to the legacy this team will leave. After the final finsher's medal is awarded, the chronicle of this experience will live on. I probably go overboard about my children, they are worth it, but I look back on the possible impact our project will have and settle in to think that someday my children will be proud of this. Also this will give hope to those parents who worry about their newly diagnosed diabetic child future. That is something I can get stoked for, as my energy level kicked up for the final part of the ride!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tough Days

Despite having some good days when it gets tough it gets tough. Saturday night had one of those nights where the blood sugar fairies pushed it to the limits of the low's. We had our annual Christmas party and I ate and bolus'd what I thought wisely until about 11:30 pm. That's when it felt like the bottom fell out and I began feeling like I was going to pass out. I am fortunate my wife doesn't panic and we began testing and I dropped into the 30's and still dropping according to her. I was out of it but responsive to her and drank oj and ate a bunch of carbs to bring me up. The next "moment" I remember was about 12:50 am and began to shake the low off. Yuk part of diabetes. In looking back, I ran before the party along with my increased activity level at our party (playing with the kids and numerous games of air hockey, etc), and my trying to be responsible probably was my downfall as I didn't take into account the rebound effect exercise has on blood sugar, and I got "caught." Felt terribly drained Sunday and was worthless the whole day. I appreciated that e are not in full training tilt and decided to take a day off from training. Today is much better and will get on the bike for a few hours today. As I said before just when you think you got a handle on Diabetes, it comes back to keep you honest and keeps things interesting.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More '08 Musings

Met with Coach Dave yesterday. It is always good to see him and talk to him as he has a great way to keep everything in perspective. We discussed the '08 season and training for Ironman again. Sometimes I go back and wonder what it would be like again not knowing what is ahead of me, but our plan is solid. Last season, I felt was successful in may regards, more about this next week when I post 2007 in review. Two areas that I am working on is getting my body weight in check and improving my strength. I will be doing a consult with Coach Dave next week to re-structure my strength training routine. With body weight, being close to 40, metabolism seems to "stopped" and I am targeting my race weight at a more reasonable 178 as opposed to my 184 at Lake Placid. Additionally, I will be getting into the pool (ugh) but working on some improving my swim technique with Coach Dave. I am hoping to be at 1 hr 25 minutes come September 7th., but more importantly trying to come out of the water feeling good. We also discussed my nutrition plan and more importantly my recovery nutrition plan after workouts and the diabetes aspect of this. What is a challenge is when exercising especially in long endurance sessions, the liver excretes glycogen, thus post-exercise highs I have experience. I am taking this information to my endo and educator to see what if anything I can do to mitigated this issue. Anyway the next 2 months will be a build, technique, and strength block.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Water-less Swimming & '08 Musings

As I noted in an earlier post, the off-season is "officially" over and the work is beginning or at least my mindset has changed to a more focused approach to workouts developed by Coach Dave. I began with my "first" 5:30 am workout in a long time where I was on the Vasa and did core exercises in between Vasa sets. Started with a BS of 140! I have been a good diabetic or at least my blood sugars have in a good range all week. I finished the workout with a good tired feeling, not to mention beginning to waking up earlier than I have been accustomed to during the off season, but it felt good to start the day this way.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with Coach Dave and laying out my plan. I will be reviewing with him my proposed 08 race schedule with some interesting changes and twists. I recieved an email from Inside-Out Sports in NC, and found there is a Long Course Du in Cary, NC on March 22 (8kR-53kB, 8kR). I am contemplating not running a half marathon around that time and making the trek down South for the race to visit my good friend Howard, who I will post about later. He and his wife live in Sanford about 40 minutesd from the race site It is my hope to see him before he deploys to Iraq. Last year I ran a Long Course Du in Richmond at the beginning of April and felt it was a great way to start the season. This race will be a good fitness test for my Eagleman 70.3 prep as well.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Swim, Bike, Run Weekend

Well, this weekend I did all 3 sports, kind of. For the swim I am fortunate to have a Vasa Ergometer, swimming treadmill. This way I am not bound by pool schedules and can simulate transitions. I did a 15 minute Vasa workout with a 60 minute bike ride. It felt like a tri transition without the water. On the bike I did a simulate course of South Mountain, just outside of Gettysburg. I struggled climbing on this course but sweat through it. Still a lot of work to be done! Today is a run day, weather is crappy (rainy) but I will still try to get outside as I really want to wait for really bad weather to get on the treadmill.

Ran trails today in the rain. Nice and muddy which challenged me to keep good running form and work on short strides and cadence. Started with BS of 150, a bit better than last weeks 310. I found my stride at about 30 minutes in and ran for an hour. During my run, I began visualizing how I want to approach runs in 2008. My plantar is settling and I hope to continue running with minimal pain. Only time will tell.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Well Getting better was a good thing and rode 60 minutes yesterday. I kept my ride in zone 1 (hear rate no greater than 70% of my max), and although I didn't feel as though I was working, I was. In running LSD (long slow distance) is common, and it suggests there is not the need to bust -a- gut workout everytime out. Part of the trouble we face is really understanding the importance of intensity and varying those intensites as we prepare. This was a lesson I learned and is supported by Coach Dave in our planning and prep for the tri season. This weekend marks our "official" end of the off season as my wife begins her work towards the Columbia Tri, a Spring Classic Olympic Distance race in the Mid-Atlantic. Last season she was able to go under 3 hours and 10 minutes (3.08) This season we will be breaking the 3 hour mark! She provides a great deal of inspiration to me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Under the Weather

One bad thing about running in the cold rain is the potential for getting sick. And I did! Took Monday and half of a day Tuesday to shake this bugger. When ill I go back to one of my early coach's (Bob Miteria) remedies- college broth, low aerobic-end work, and rest. It worked when I got really sick a month and a half before Ironman Arizona. Also, as a diabetic, we tend to have compromised immune systems so it is a double whammy and more reason to work harder to get better because a cold has the potential to put us down longer. Fluids and monitoring blood sugar (200 now) and more fluids, followed by monitoring blood sugar! Off to do weights and a 30 minute run on the dreaded treadmill and get that blood sugar down to 150!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"High" ho "High" ho off to Work I go...

Started today with High Blood Sugar (BS) of 310, just don't tell my endo! Did a 45 min run and barely made 4.7 miles :( Felt horrible on the home part of the run (an out and back), did I mention it was cold, windy and rainy... yuk kind of work out day. I finished with a BS of 190 (Temp Basil cut to 50% of my 1.3 units per hour on pump). I keep in mind a thousand reasons to not run, but 1 to do it..and that is IRONMAN! Plantar is acting up and back into the night splint to stretch it tonight. Despite today's crappy feeling, I feel good about this weekends workouts (bike and Vasa Saturday and run today). Added an article on 12 steps on ramping down from the season the "Articles of Interest" for those who stumble on this. By the way, only 272 days until race day in Madison.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What an Opportunity!

I have a great opportunity, not only do I get to coach my son and daughter's basketball teams, but I have a chance to make it right for a young athlete! I have the opportunity to NOT do what Brian, a Triabetes teammate, had done to him when the Track coach discouraged him from running because he had diabetes! I can encourage a beginning athlete to use diabetes as an opportunity rather than an obstacle and share in our belief that Anything is Possible with diabetes! What an inspiration for todays workout!

Friday, December 7, 2007

It is about the Week not the Day....

Got an email from Charmichael Training systems that said during the holidays look at a week of training not days. Take home lesson...If training for a September Ironman look at staying active but not be too concerned about missing workouts due to other holiday obligations. Not true for those training for April Ironman.

Did some more of Dane County Loop. Has some challenging parts and has me wondering about gearing for Ironman. Typically run a 12-25, but changed to a 12-27 for Lake Placid due to the topography. It is early and will consult those who have done the course about best gearing options. My thoughts is I will train both and see where my legs are, Coach Dave will have something to say about that also. After biking did an vasa erg workout about 900 m (40 second intervals) on a moderately hard setting, excellent work but I have a lot to work on in the swim!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Wow, triabetes! As I am working out this project is alwasy finds its way into my brain. Before I got involved with venure, I always trained and raced in isolation. I would talk about racing with diabetes as folks at the transition racks would ask what that, pointing to my insulin pump, was for in the race. Now, we can tell a story. How cool is the finish line photo going to be with the team!

Trianing continues to be less structured. In 2006, I trained and peaked too early and was toast fot the Great Floridian. So, Coach Dave and I are planning the season around 2 A races, Eagleman and IM Wisconsin. Along the way, some B-races will be good tests to see where IM training is going. In years past, I like to do some road races in the winter and early spring, but may decide to bypass again this year with my plantar problem and pain finally discipating. So with that said...

Swim- What pool? I haven't been in the pool since October, but have been working out ont he Vasa Ergometer, a swim treadmill, and doign about 1 to 2k per week. My thoughts, paired with Coach Dave is to build functional strength now and the erg helps with that. I hope to be back in the pool soon, or maybe not

Bike- I am fortunate that my wife is a tri-geek too so we treated ourselves a few years ago to Computrainer. I have ridden Ironman Wisconsin a few times already and have the 2 loops through Dane County as my target courses now. Also doing a bit of ATB'ing and feeling that my endurance is low, but leg strenght is building with ATB'ong, not to mention is is fun.

Run-Doing 2 runs per week and will incorporate some bricks come January. SLD (Slow Long Distance) on Sundays keeping heart rate under 155. Attempting to teach my body to burn my excess fat. The weekday run is about 45 minutes same type of pace.

Overall- Keeping body moving and that's my primary goal. Moving toward 40 and racing Iroman again, can't let thing be on shut down mode for too long. It snowed yesterday and hope it stays around to do some X-Country Skiing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Off-Season and Strength Training

Man, Coach Dave has really challenging job- holding me back early in the process, and motivating me later in training. I am fortunate as I am working with Dave Amato a seasoned bike racer, triathlete and coach through Training Tempered. He and I have been working together for the past year with him bringing sense and balance to my training program.

I love December- February off season work as it allows me to get back to weight training (hopefully not weight gaining) I used to love when I wrestled in college. When I Coach Dave developed my strength training plan, it was different in that it is a functional program that targets the muscle groups used in triathlon. Also during this time I am able to do some mountain biking for my bike workouts and trail running. These are great strength builders and changes the pace, figuratively and literally. I typically trail run through the season as it helps my knees and joints recover from the pounding and the hill work will build strength to challenge the Madison run course. As far as the swim, I have been working about 1k, 2 times per week on the vasa erg, I haven't been near the pool since October. More on this later.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lake Placid Memories

In starting for Wisconsin, this helped me get my workout in yesterday. There is nothing like crossing the line with my kids!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Start

Today is a great day to start blogging! It has been almost 2 months since starting this adventure and wow, before we know it it will be time to race. I have begun planning the 08 season with the idea that if going 140.6 miles on September 7th. Along the way there is quite a bit of work that goes into it. Sometimes I wonder if not knowing what ahead is better than knowing and experiencing. Anyway, I am fortunate to have a family who gets into the Ironman experience. Started the blogging after my Computrainer ride of 20 miles of the 2 loops in Dane County of the IM Wisconsin Course. Love the course already. More soon....