Monday, October 14, 2013

3,000 miles

Last Saturday, October 12, I passed 3,000 miles for the year on my road bike. A lot of people do this or more, but for me this was pretty good. Through most of the year I spend two days a week commuting and working and can't ride on those days. Other days I might have to scrap to get in 20 miles. So for me to reach 3k in early October meant that I got out a lot. It shows too, as my last HBA1C was 6.55, which was great. Now if this rain will stop I will get out for a ride...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's not always the BG's fault

Quick 20 miles this AM before the heat hits. Humid, breezy, mid 80s. Not bad. Before the ride I overshot the morning high a bit and at 10 AM the BG had dropped to 64. I ate a bowl of cereal and headed out to hit the rolling hills. My thinking was that either the carbs from the cereal and milk would 1) use the last of the morning Novalog and Lantus to pick up my BG and fuel my ride; 2) I would not have enough insulin in my system and would go high, or 3) the cereal would not be enough and I would be sucking down goo.

This particular out-and-back is exactly 20 miles and I look at the clock at the turn-around to see how close I am to a 20-MPH average, and to see if I gain or lose time on the return trip. Usually it's a head-wind on the way out, but there are a couple long and painful hills going back.

I felt pretty good going out, and turned around. On the way back I started to feel lousy and started to wonder; my mind started playing games wondering what my BG was doing. I rode on home and tested my blood. 109. Perfect. My food and insulin worked perfectly--I'm just doggin it today! Maybe more coffee...

A positive from riding all the time

Regular workouts are not only fun to me, but I just got my blood tested and HBA1C was 6.55. Lowest ever. My mileage at this point of the year is one of the highest ever.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Long rides and high BGs?

I've gotten a lot of miles on the road in down here in the south land thanks to the mild winter and spring. The one thing that I hadn't done is get in a ride longer than 50 miles or so. So, when I decided to ride a local century ride, I was a little apprehensive. It started early, like 7:30 AM, and I took it easy for the first 50 miles. I met up with another cyclist who rode a bit slower than my pace, which was kind nice because it made me take it easy. I also stopped at several of the aid stations and got snacks. After 75 miles I felt pretty good. I had dropped the cyclist I was riding with and was catching and dropping other cyclists--not that this is a great feat, but it was showing that my pace was really holding up.

We had also had good weather and the blistering heat that we could have had was abated by some cloud cover, and there was a tail-wind or cross-wind the entire last 50 miles. I stopped at the 85-mile aid station, and having been on the road for about 5 hours, figured I needed some carbs. I slammed a Coke and headed off. Again I was riding well and spinning along.

But at 93 miles I started to feel sick. I lost all power in my legs. The clouds abandoned and the heat was climbing. I was wondering if I was overheating. The terrain was not difficult, and I tried to keep going. Eventually I just stopped under a tree and lay down on some grass. I felt miserable. After a little while I realized that I was not going to be able to ride. I got out my phone and called the ride sag truck and asked them for a ride--for the last 6 miles! And my legs were feeling just fine only 5 miles back. I felt dejected, but got the ride back to my car and headed home.

I tested my BG, and it was 325. Damn! That Coke made my BG shoot up. Apparently my morning shot had worn off and the Lantus wasn't enough, even during a long ride. And it shot up so high that I couldn't continue. It would have been unusual for me to carry insulin on a ride. Next time no Coke!

One bad side-effect from this is that I now start to wonder about eating on rides. Should I eat more? I'm feeling like I should, but what if I go high? Damn. It's a real tightrope.

Morning highs and lows

Gotta love the unpredictability of type 1 diabetes, especially when it comes to cycling. I tend to have morning highs--like 90% of the time--where my BG shoots up at about 7 AM, and from 7-9 I have a pretty good resistance to insulin. I normally get up and take 10 units of Novalog, and have no breakfast. If I'm going out for a morning ride I might eat something, but usually I can go ride for 1.5 to 2 hours without eating much and not go low--if I'm having a morning high, that is.

I had a Saturday group ride the other day with guys who were going to ride 17-19 MPH, a pace that I can normally hang with, for 40-50 miles. I got up, took a shot, packed a couple bottles of water and two PowerBar goo packs, and headed out. On the way, another cyclist called me to relay to the group that he would be a little late.

I rode hard to get to the meeting place, a local bike shop, on time, and felt good. Taking off on the ride across rural Oklahoma, however, I seemed to have no power. After 10 miles I started to wonder, and then knew that I needed to eat something because I could not stay on anyone's wheel. We stopped to regroup and I ate a goo and tested my blood: 58. Damn! The only explanation is that I had not had a morning high and the extra insulin was killing me. The other problem was that I had only one goo left and the group was heading further from town. There was a gas station about 10 miles on, and possibly one in a little village only 2 or 3 miles further. I had a credit card in my jersey pocket, so I could buy something at one of those places.

But I decided the risk was too high that the first place would be closed, and if I started to fade I didn't want to be asking people for their food. So I left the group and headed back to town. After about 8 miles I got to an intersection where I had to wait so I tested my BG again: friggin 56! This was crazy. I am treading water. And this should not be happening. I was also getting past the point where a morning high would affect insulin, so I would be dropping further. I ate my last goo and started the 5 miles or so back to town. I just had to make it to the gas station on the edge of town.

I spun down the road and made it easily. I rolled into the gas station and asked the attendant if I could fill my water bottle with soda and pay for a large drink. He said yes, and I filled it, grabbed a large Snickers, and reached for my credit card. It wasn't there! It must have fallen out on the road when I got the call earlier and pulled my cell out of my jersey pocket--I keep the two together and goo on the other side. The guy was nice and let me have the soda, and that was nice.

I drank the soda on the way home and though I didn't set any speed records, I did make it back with no problem at all. It is amazing how a simple ride, and expectations can result in a frustrating and somewhat tense ride. Other cyclists were also wondering why I wasn't riding the pace. I always have morning highs, and if I forget my morning shot I will be over 400 in 30 minutes, guaranteed. A week or so previously I forgot to take my morning shot and went out for a ride, and my BG soared such that I struggled to get home. It always happens except for that one time it decides not to happen. Preparation is very important. I had enough goo for the usual morning ride, and had my credit card, but these were not foolproof when things like this happen. Next time I'm going to put some cash in my bike tool bag, and eat something before heading out--and maybe three goo pouches just in case.