Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quick Post

Haven't posted for a week, with kids ill and getting it myself, not much time has been spent sitting up. In thinking about previous post about depression and the blues, I went back and re-read a summation of viktor Frankl's quotes in Dave Shield's The Tour and try my hand a what I think it means.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Blues- or more?

Some call it the blues, some call it depression, some even call it seasonal affective disorder, but it feels the same. I just feel it is important for me to provide a quick commentary on this issue. The unfortunate connection between diabetes and depression is out there with no real causal relationship found. That saidwith many of us who experience depression may not seek treatment because this in some perverse way is a sign of weakness. From a book I read in Grad school, A Man's Search for Meaning, by Vicktor Frankl, and recently re-read as it was referenced in Dave Shields's book The Tour, describes suffering as a condition of human existence. One quote that stands out , "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering." However, from a closer analysis, I deduce that part of our finding meaning involves reduction of the suffering. Those who have experienced depression understand all to well the suffering. Additionally, depression can follow seasonal patterns. Like many people, you may develop cabin fever during the winter months. Or you may find yourself eating more or sleeping more when the temperature drops and darkness falls earlier. While those are common and normal reactions to the changing seasons, people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experience a much more serious reaction when summer shifts to fall and on to winter.
SO, what is the link, no one really knows, here's a quote from the Diabetes Monitor:
Causes underlying the association between depression and diabetes are unclear. Depression
may develop because of stress but also may result from the metabolic effects of diabetes on
the brain. Studies suggest that people with diabetes who have a history of depression are
more likely to develop diabetic complications than those without depression. People who
suffer from both diabetes and depression tend to have higher health care costs in primary
Despite the higher health care costs, the impact is enourmous. As a clincal social worker, I expereinced the impact through my clients. But, personaally, my expreiences with SAD and depression "proper" is a living hell, and needs to be addressed. Treatments include: talk therapy, medication regime, and for SAD, light therapy. What I can say is with proper treatment,it works and the meaning in suffering can be found. So, when you see that the blues are taking longer to kick, please bring this to your endo or your family doc because you don't need or deserve the pain associated with a treatable disease like depression.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Here we Go Again

Well, I have been battling illness, businees, and the winter blues this week. I have found when things are good, they are really good, but when Bad it gets really bad. After battling a stomach virus, I got back on the bike Saturday and felt "ok" with maintaining a B/S of 150 during the ride with power output averaging about 160 watts, mainly due to the hills of the course I chose. But it was "ok." Sunday's run was a nice hour jaunt with a balmy high of 13 and went into the woods to get out of the wind. Used my Polar to track speed and mileage and was ok with 5.97 miles at 1 hr 2 minutes total run time. Off on Monday and Tuesday was a heavy work and travel day that forced me to take off. SO I am back on schedule and hopefully making some ground in fitness. My swim today was a nice endurace "challenge" as I have not been in the water much but working a bunch on the Vasa, and swam for 30 minute. Despite not being a "fish" today was the best I felt in the water since Iroman Arizona training in 2005. Tonight holds, daughter's basketball practice (me missing all of my shots) and a 50 minute bike after everyone goes to bed then tomorrow.... It is Ironman! I hope to blog tomorrow and talk about winter blues a bit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back Again

What a challengin week. Sick for 2 days, and out of it for the rest. A stomach bug hit my household and we were down for the count! It was 2 on and 2 off and back at it today with an easy course for 90 minutes rolling. Will run outside as usual ans see how I respond today. Nothing much more to report so I will muse again on Monday!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Musings- Podcasts

What was working out like before the Sony Walkman? Well I can remember this as I was cutting weight for wrestling and running miles on miles bundled up to lose that last bit of weight! Can you say boring? The the Walkman came out, that huge bulky tape player that made those runs a bit more manageable, but also got a nice upper body workout carrying that thing. Fast Forward to now, we have mp3 players. And I have moved into the 2008's as I found podcasts. Typically I used my mp3 player to carry my favorite power songs to help me through a workout, but this year I have been doing things differently. I began listening to podcasts I have been listening to these on my computer and sometime downloaded them to a CD and listen in my car, but running or on the bike trainer, no way. I was even on a podcast a few years ago, EndurancePlanet, September 15, 2005, but never thought to download and workout while listening. But that all changed, I began downloading my favorites, Simply Stu (from Madison area ) and the Extra Mile Podcast, and Endurance Planet (not so much recently). What I found in listening that not only do podcast talk about the sports I love, but they are like me! I love the Extra Mile's updates as the runners talk about their running, times, struggles, life and I can totally relate. Yesterday in particular, I was listening to a contribution on the Extra Mile of a fellow in Sweden who was running at paces I can relate to. Before I knew it I made the turnaround fop my run and was back at my front door step. Pretty cool!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Finished another training block and week! It has been a busy and week of redeveloping routines, workouts, work, family and sleep. Unfortunately, sleep gets short changed. I felt strong but tired this week as strength training and workouts are doing their job. B/S ranged from 220- 100 during workouts and Dr. Matt's advice seems to be working as I have begun setting my temp basil rate 60 to 90 minutes before workouts and have increase the amount of insulin of the basil from 50% to 70%. Tweaks like this seem to be helping with recovery,or it is my imagination. Whatever it is, it is working. Got to ride outside yesterday and tried riding a "new" 14.2 mile course with some challenging climbs. Spout Hill is a .5 mile climb that average 6.33 % slope, maxing at 14%. I am setting this course as a benchmark for this season as it has a nice profile of rolling hills, flats, and can be a challenge. First report is 177.7 average watts, max at 494, time 55 minutes, average speed 15.3. Not great but I was happy with the average power output. As it is reported widely, can't fool power training. I will be testing on a longer course (36 miles) in March.

I am using the iBike wireless with the updated iBike 2 analysis software. I am a techno-junkie and was drawn to the iBike as there are continued developments and it is half the cost of other power meters. There are many knocks against the iBike, but recently the developers have done a great job of resolving many of the power spike and inaccurate reading the meter has. Also, with each new advent of software (firmware) is a simple download and not needing to buy a new one. In my use, I have found the power readings on iBike and Computrainer have been within 2 to 4 % of each on the same course. I can live with that!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Moment

As I sat around this morning after working out, I decided to check out the Triabetes Google group discussion pages to see what is happening ( ) and saw the official program of the project. Thought to myself wow, despite my age being younger than I am I was really hit emotionally. This is really happening! I am so humbled to be surrounded by my teammates as they are all extraordinary people! I began questioning my worthiness of such an honor. I am a fortunate person on so many levels and at times can take the goodness that I experience for granted. As I read the bio's, I was very inspired to do what is necessary to get to the start in September. I served as a reminder that lives already have been touched and transformed! Then it hit me, my daughter, Brianna, wants to race an Ironman with me. Those close to me know I love my kids more than anything, yet I continue to question myself whether I am a good father. Then it sunk in as it seems that my baby girl is inspired by her Dad.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Feels like Spring in January

Well, in my area it is Spring in January! We have 65 degrees sunny and no wind! Too bad today is an off day so to speak. I have used Mondays, my day off from training, to get an extra swim in of about 1k with focus on stroke and technique. Nothing hard except trying to stay afloat. In looking back on the past week, it was good to get to structured workouts and seeing in the progressive weeks of building. In my bike workouts I felt really good with averaging 150 watts per ride, with my BS staying at 145 average on both rides. Running was good this week as kept my heart rate at 155 to 165. My long run yesterday felt really good as it was very, very nice out, 50 degrees. I listen to my last Christmas time podcast during the run and reflected on just how fun my house was with my kids during Christmas time! This time of joy and elation will pass as I know the Spring like weather will pass and the snow and cold weather will be back, but not until after tomorrow's run.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Weekends

The official build period has begun. Looking at the workout schedule Coach Dave has prepared, we are in it now. I swam twice this week and lived to tell about it (new goggles work). Vasa's twice so actually got 4 swim specific workouts done. Rode twice, once with a brick (45 min B, 30 min R) and about to do my 3rd bike today. Ran 3 times. I will also do weight for a 2nd time this week. Right now everything is balanced. I have a feeling that nothing extraordinary or exciting will be going the next 3 weeks so back to the grind.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Winfield Mile- 2008 Season Begins

We made it a family affair at the annual Winfield Mile race. This marks the beginning of a New Year and comes with the anticipation of good season results. This year the whole Chop family ran. Denise and Bri ran just ahead of Tommy and me as Tommy out sprinted Dad in the final 50 meters. I enjoyed this race more than ever this year. While at the start line, my wife and I were asked about our t-shirts, by a father of twins who have been diagnosed with t-1, and what is Triabetes? We explained what we are doing how she supports me as a t-1'er and how I train and race endurance sports. This fellow introduced us to his son who was diagnosed a year ago with t-1 and was racing as well. After the race we chatted a bit, with me sharing my trials and tribulations of racing with diabetes and my finishing 2 Ironmans. During the conversation, I noticed the father's facial expression and the sense of "relief" he seemed to experience in knowing that if his son and daughter wanted to do something crazy like Ironman that it is possible to do with diabetes. What occurred to me, after we left the race, is that I would not have this type of conversation if I was not connected to the Triabetes cause! Wow, just by wearing our team shirt and this starting a conversation that seemed to help this father. A pretty good start to 2008!