Well, I fell off the blog wagon. Blogging takes a lot of work and as race season came upon me, I consciously chose to spend time training and time with the family than write. Priorities were in the right place, but I could’ve at least maybe not went radio silent. 😉 I missed blogging – it was a good release and way to clarify my thoughts on diabetes, active life, and all the things that overlap amongst them. So without further ado, I’ll talk a bit about my 2014 – what I accomplished and why I feel diabetes empowered, what I learned, and what I have in the pipes for 2015 (both activity and blog wise). This is a bit of a fluffy, nice post, but I need to ease back into so please be patient. 🙂
I had a nifty email from Strava the other day which did one of those corny, cheesy, “year in review” movies that I absolutely loathe, but it did have some really interesting stats in it. According to Strava, I have travelled 5746 km in 2014 by either running or cycling. That includes 29 km of elevation gain. In total, I spent 311 hours and 30 minutes of active time: 207 hours cycling and 160 hours running. I found that really put into perspective how much effort is involved in trying to be active and manage this disease. The best part though – I enjoyed almost every minute of it! 🙂
2014 was my first year racing. Sure, I dabbled in a sprint tri in 2013, but 2014 is when I actually tried it out in force. I ran 7 road races – the Flat Out 5K (18:38), Harbour Front 10K (38:02), Uniformed Services Run 1/2 Marathon (1:32:01), Mews 8K (29:11), Tely 10 (mile) (1:04:46), Marathon by the Sea (3:31:32) and the Cape to Cabot 20K (1:34:07). The best part about your first year racing is that every race is a new PB! 🙂 If asked what the most memorable race was for me, I’d be hard pressed to say – the Tely 10 was a fantastic amazing event from start to finish, and finishing in the top 50 of a field of 4000 was amazing.
The marathon by the sea was an experience all in it’s own, and was a humbling experience as I fell apart (yes I realize a 3:31 marathon time is not falling apart) during the event due to errors in training and electrolytes. I did hit my goals, so I’m still happy and elated, but I always know I can do better! What was awesome was running the event with my wife (5k) and friend (1/2 marathon), and the amount of family support I received (but I’ve saved posting their photos).
However, ending the year running the Cape to Cabot during Hurricane Gonzalo was epic in so many ways – I’ll tell you I was some happy I had a waterproof pump/CGM (Animas Vibe) as I was drenched to the bone! That run has four significant climbs and doing those into hurricane force winds with rain blasting you made for an adventure unlike anything else. Finishing that race meant topping out on Signal Hill and being met by my wife and Gus (our youngest pup) to run the last meters meant the world to me. The event photos are epic – I look in agony, tubing flying in the wind, but I felt amazing!
What’s most notable about these races is that, through training and lots of trial and error, I managed without severe highs or any real notable lows. I’m still learning how to manage pre-race jitters and post-race spikes, but overall it felt amazing to run these races and feel unhindered by diabetes. I ran most of these races in a “Changing Diabetes” singlet, and I hope at least one other diabetic saw the message and thought “I can do this”. But if not, I know it has at least changed me. I was also extremely fortunate to win one of Team Novo Nordisk’s #diabetesempowered challenges for my Tely 10 finisher photo and received a signed Team Novo Nordisk jersey!!!
2014 was not any easier for managing this disease. I have changed basal and bolus programs multiple times. I had a hypoglycaemic seizure that really caused me to doubt a lot of what I was doing and instilled a level of fear into my training. I modified my diabetes management and managed to get a 6.0 A1C. I’ve struggled with weight maintenance – finding it hard to lean up while managing highs and lows. Basically, for all the positivity I may have, I know that it’s not easy. But what in life is worth it that is easy to get? Plus, it’s another year, so that puts us another year closer to a cure right? Just another 5 years right? 🙂
So what does 2015 have in store? Well, less races overall – not because I didn’t enjoy them, but mostly because they consumed my entire summer between training, tapers, recovery and races. I do still plan to race, but to be a bit more selective so I don’t pass up a wonderful riding weekend because of tapers, so that I have more time to hike with my wife and our three dogs, so that we find time to go camping and climbing once more. If 2014 was about pushing myself to find out what my limits are, then 2015 is going to be about refining and balancing. So without, further ado, my 2015 goals:
- Ride in the Tour of Sufferlandria
- Cycle the Irish Loop (1 or 2 days, not sure yet!) – ~310 km, 3.6 km of elevation gain
- Become a Knight of Sufferlandria – because what doesn’t sound more fun than 11-12 hours on a Trainer! 🙂 Good prep for the Irish Loop ride? 🙂
- Run in the Tely 10 and Cape to Cabot again and another marathon (TBD – but training underway?)
- Be more spontaneous – camp and hike on a whim
- Add strength training back into my balance – basically start climbing again or learn to lift 😉
- Maintain a 6.0 A1C, but do so with less hypos – probably the hardest challenge of the year
- Learn to recover! Listen to my body an train smart – I’ll have a blog post about what not listening does! 🙂
And last, but certainly not least, blog more! In 2015 I plan to write about recovery (or my lack of), an Animas Vibe in depth review, infusion site issues, and many other topics. So thanks for reading, excuse my utter lack of posts for most of 2014, and trust me that I will write more next year, it shouldn’t be hard! 🙂
Here’s to 2015!