Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last night I had the chance to meet 7 more Triabetics. This time though, instead of everyone being spread out across the country they were all local, or somewhat! (Within an hour and a half driving distance). We got to enjoy a short run through Central Park, followed by sushi and lessons on how to eat with chopsticks. The thing is, I always seem to learn something from other Triabetics. I always leave more inspired to train, race and take care of myself, and maybe I'll even try to eat with chopsticks again. Triabetes has just changed the way I manage my diabetes. No doctor in 24 years has ever been able to inspire me the way other Triabetics do. That's powerful stuff. My husband doesn't get it, he says I was just lazy before, anyone that knows me, knows I'm not lazy, but maybe I just needed the right tools and inspiration to take better care of "the betes" and Triabetes has been it. Years of being a nurse and watching the horrors of what this disease can do to your body if you allow it, was not good enough. It doesn't make sense to me either, but I know meeting other Triabetics has been key for me. Amputations, non healing wounds, blindness, kidney failure, nope not good enough. Go figure. So when I say Triabetes has been powerful, I really mean it.
Anyhow, once again last night, there was instantly a unique bond, one that I hope grows as the East coast Triabetes Team trains and races together. Being a captain of the team puts a little pressure on to keep this thing growing, it's a welcomed pressure though. Maybe it's the start of a strategically planned coping mechanism for myself. I've already started thinking about how sad I will be after Ironman AZ in November, coming down from a Ironman is hard enough, but coming down from one of the most amazing years of my life... I'm not looking forward to it. After Ironman AZ, will the 15 captains NEVER be together again. Reality tells me that is probably what will happen, the delusional side of me likes to think that we will all be able to meet up a few times a year. That's why I feel responsible to keep our East coast team connected and growing. If each captain can help make this team grow to inspire better diabetes management through exercise and continue to learn from each other, then we all will have done our job to make sure Triabetes is around forever. I remember feeling envious with the bond that Peter, Bill, Anne, Heather etc already had when I first met them in November. It did not take long to develop the same connections. I feel like I've known a bunch of them for a lifetime. After meeting some of the East coasters last night, it was clearly the same bond. As a team we are responsible for keeping this alive, I know I am captain for the New England region and if I was wealthy, (I'm not, see 3 blogs below....) I would love to train and race in New England. Recently, on Phrendo one of the New England members said they felt the region needed a boost. I had guilt over that comment, like I wasn't doing my job as a captain, the truth is we can all reach out to our local members and commit to making this team be well known in the triathlon world. There are 100 + members on the team now, and it is only growing. The New England region will meet at the DESA conference this weekend and I hope they can form a bond also. I hope in years to come, I will be at local tri's and see Triabetes jerseys all over the course. (Well at least a few-I guess asking for hundreds of diabetic triathletes in one race is a little optimistic) But seriously, I think we all owe it to ourselves to put the time in to keep these Phrenships alive ;) Jen had an idea last night that we all TRI to get together to meet at least every other month. I'm so on board with that. We have so many opportunities, to train and race together in this region and every region out there has the same opportunities. Life, time management it's all hard sometimes, it's easy to make excuses but I promise, these phrendships will be worth it. I don't ever want to be without my Triabetic friends. As I've said before, I need them in my life, they have motivated me with diabetes management, beyond what I ever thought possible. Who would've ever thought I'd be taking Symlin, Lantus, and wearing a pump, just to have better blood sugars! So thank you Becca, Kerry, Jen, Mark, Jason, Rob and of course Peter, looking forward to seeing you all again in the near future!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Black Bear

Well,I did my first Half Ironman in over 2 years. I kind of forgot how long a half really is. I almost disrespected the distance until I was in it once again! After doing a full, you get this mentality that "Oh it's just a half." Come race day, weather is perfect, chilly start, but it warms up to the 70's with some kicking wind. Like the hills on the bike were not enough, we had to add wind to the mix. Swim went great, after my near drowning experience at Irongirl I was a bit nervous to get out there again, in fear of another freak out moment and 160 heart rate. Surprisingly,I felt great and kept heart rate 130-140 entire swim, time was 45 minutes, right where I wanted to be. Need to cut off 5 minutes to have the 1:20 Ironman swim I would like. Still 5 months to go, should be possible.
The bike was a different beast. Hardest bike I've done to date, I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I'd thought I'd be done in a little less than 3 hours. Nope 4:05, I guess I under estimated the hills in the Poconos. It was sure a beautiful course though, one minute you were going 40 mph, than you were doing 5 I stopped at the bottle exchanges and poured my fluid into my Triabetes water bottles, I could not BEAR to throw them on the ground in replace for some Black BEAR labeled bottles. I'm sure I lost 30 seconds there:)My cleat broke the last 10 miles of the race and I had to ride with one in and one out, no big deal though, if this stuff has taught me anything, it's that there will always be some sort of glitch in the day. I wish I had put my compact crank back on though, I sure could've used it. Actually I was proud of myself that I could get up the hills without it, I know a few years ago, it would not have been possible! If anything it was a great training ride, it brought back memories of climbing Mount Lemmon with my Triabetes teammates!
Run went good, I was hoping for a 2:15 but had a 2:23, it was a beautiful trail run. I felt really great during the run though and talked to anyone who would talk back, I kept my heart rate below 150 the entire time(it was into the 170's during the bike-YIKES). Funny thing was, I kept looking at my Polar thinking, there is noo way this is right I am running faster than almost 11 minute miles, well Polar was dead on! Funny how I was convinced I was faster, can't even blame it on hyper-hypo glycemia, cause sugars were near perfect all day! That was the best part! Well maybe that was the second best part... I see my BFF on the run, now I'll rewind the story a bit. I gave her this race as a birthday present, and she winds up in the ambulance with a minor eye injury on the bike, but she carries on as she always does. So I see her and she is not looking very happy with me, I give her a big sweaty hug and say my usual "Love ya Sinibaldi." I love being at races with my friends, THAT is the best part.
On the ride home she is driving and says "You're going to need to drive", because, she has once again made herself "race" sick. We get a little farther and here it comes, she pukes her guts up. It sounded like everything she could have possibly drank the entire race, even her 6am coffee. That's why I couldn't Twitter on the ride home! At least she can now proudly wear the red headband I bought her at Irongirl that says, RIDE TILL YOU PUKE! Happy Birthday girl-- It's just a bonus birthday gift that I had to share that story with the world!

Inked up and ready to go

Now that warm weather is here, it's been easier to get out on the bike...except now that I'm following a training plan, the bike workouts are harder to follow from the saddle instead of on the trainer. High cadence, low cadence, 4 minutes at 95, stand up, sit down, max heart rate, moderate heart rate, blah, blah, blah! My friend Monica who is, oh so clever has come up with a great way to follow the workouts, we write them on our arms with a marker, much easier than following a piece of paper. I think it's a fabulous idea that works well, and I'd thought I'd share it with you all. If you're like me and don't shower for hours after a workout, you'll get lots of weird looks and "What's that on your arm?" but, nothing about this sport seems to be normal anyway! Angelina Jolie has nothing on us with all her tattoos, at least our ink has purpose!
Oh yeah, one more thing, now that the warm weather is here, for any of you that like solid food on long bike rides, cut up salt bagels in bite size pieces in Ziplocs work great. Of course, that was my idea because it revolves around food. Just my 2 cents for the day!