The Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet came out as the best race. A surprise to many but the blessing was my favorite race. It had the crowd and I had perfect blood sugars and a great race. For anyone that is in or close to Narragansett on July 25th this year I encourage you to signup for the race.
Before every race, it doesn't matter the weather or the event, I'm always "angry". I'm not sure if it is an athlete thing or a diabetes thing. I'm focused on the event that is before me and want nothing to do with what is going on around me. I have had people that know me stay away from me before a race because they say "You looked like you were ready to kill someone" It isn't because of my blood sugar, I have started races with a blood sugar of 140 and 240 but my attitude has been the same. A part of me believes that diabetes does have a part in my attitude however, many of the racers don't know that I'm a diabetic so why do I have this "I have to do well to prove what I can do with diabetes attitude"?
I'm so competitive that my wife has nicknamed me "Oscar the Grouch", after one of my first bike races she said she had never seen me so angry. I start every race with the same song, "Runnin' (Dying to Live) by 2Pac and Biggie Smalls. The first line of the song is `"I grew up a f#ckin screw up" that just adds to the anger and off I go to enjoy my race. That may be why I have a history of starting so fast, I'm almost like a bull being held in a cage, I can't wait to breakout and start running. As the race progress the anger doesn't go away, yes I'm taking in the beautiful scenery as I race but I'm still angry, I may be next to someone for a few miles and if they start to get ahead of me I think "You're not beating me" and off I go with another quick burst to get ahead of this person. For whatever reason I have this attitude that I can't lose, yet I'll finish in the top 25% of a race and up to twenty minutes behind the overall winner.
I'm racing because I love to run and ride my bike, I love the competitiveness of the races and hope to one day be near the front. After speaking to a good friend over the weekend we got to the
As the weather very slowly starts to change in southern New England my blood sugars are changing as well. Starting tomorrow I will be on my spring schedule when it comes to my basal rates and work. That means more lows than I would like over the next two weeks. At work I will be going from walking three miles a day up to ten in the coming weeks and maxing out at fifteen to twenty miles a day while working in the summer. Even with changes to my basal rates it is not clear what I will be doing at work day in and day out. I could be walking all day or I could be sitting on a machine, I don't know what I'm doing until that morning.
With that comes a crazy blood sugar ride. It takes a good two weeks to get everything dialed in, from basal rates to how much insulin to take at break and meals. I experience a lot of lows while working, that is a given I can change basal rates and eat correctly but I will still be low at least twice a day. The important thing is handling those lows, I need to put the right food in so I'm not low thirty minutes later and also need food that is healthy and fits my diet.
My goal this season is to eliminate all sugary beverages, no more using Gatorade or regular soda to fix a low. My plan is to try and use natural fruit juice, apple sauce packets, honey and GU for lows. Those foods fit in to my diet and for the most part are healthy. The key will be eating before I go low, I'm low at the same time so if I have a small snack at 10 before my 11am low I should avoid the low.
I'm not sure what this year will bring but I'm very happy that I'm trying my best to solve the problem before it gets out of control. Low blood sugars take away from how well I do my job, I want to do more at work and better blood sugars will give me that ability.
With the NCAA basketball and hockey tournaments taking center stage this weekend i figured what better time to throw together my own bracket! Each night as I head downstairs to write my blog, I walk past all of my medals and bib numbers that are hanging on the wall. It brings a smile to my face each and every time that I walk downstairs and reminds me of all the great races that I have entered.
I had to cut the field down to 16, that does mean some races were left off the bracket. It was tough picking just sixteen races but a bracket with 26 teams would have been weird. Looking at the Final Four it looks boring with the top four teams making it but trust me all of the races could have made it. The second round matchup between the NYC Marathon and RI Duatholon festival was the game of the tournament. Both races mean a lot to me and they both fought hard but only one team could win and at the final buzzer the NYC Marathon came out as the winner.
The winners were not just decided by how big the race was. A lot went in to picking each winner. (Wow I'm a loser!!) I took in to account, scenery, participants, performance, blood sugar, diabetes management, and meaning of the race. Below I will breakdown the Final Four Matchup's. I have added a poll to each match, feel free to vote or leave a comment about why a certain race should win. The finals will be announced tomorrow and the winner will be announced on Monday!!
1)NYC MARATHON VS 4)TGC MEMORIAL 5k
NYC Marathon- This was a once in a lifetime race, I dream of completing the four major marathons. NYC will always hold a special place in my heart. From seeing the joy in my families face as I finished (the respect I got from my brother for finishing was amazing, I think he now understands why I race the way I do.) to how well I managed my diabetes the race was one of the best. I didn't race that well, in fact it is one of the worse races time wise that I have ever run. With that said it was one of the greatest days of my life and is number one for a reason.
TGC Memorial 5k- This race has been run for just two years but holds a very special place in my heart. It is a beautiful and challenging course. With a good size turn out for a family race it has the size to be competitive yet is small enough to know a majority of the people running. This race has gotten a little higher ranking and has gotten farther than many think it should but a race that remembers one of my good friends is always going to be a race that I love. Not to mention that I have raced Toms brothers each year at the race, I'm currently 1-1 but will be looking to avenge last years loss to Jimmy when this race is run this year.
2) Bike MS Ride 2009 vs 3) Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet
Bike MS Ride 2009- In 2009 I had just gotten my road bike and this was my first ever ride. All fundraising rides are for fun, unless you are very competitive and find other riders that are just competitive as you. As I was warming up before the ride I another rider came up to me and asked why I was riding. After explaining that I just started riding and needed a way to judge how I could ride he asked if I was interested in racing, I answered yes thinking he would know of some local races that were coming up. That wasn't the case he said when the ride starts be at the front, me and about twenty other guys are going to race. It would be a 75 mile race on a course that was very hilly, I would go on to win by over five minutes and the rest is history. Without this ride (race) I don't know where I would be as a cyclist, the race gave me a confidence that I never had before.
Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet- This was my first big running race, I was training for the NYC marathon and this was my first race over five miles. Until this race I didn't know how to run over five miles or if I could even handle a ten mile race. Blood sugar wise this was one of my best races ever, I felt great and everything went perfectly. I actually paced myself correctly and had a great kick as finished the race. With a large group running and a lot of spectators the adrenaline was at an all time high!! This was the first race that a crowd was present at the finish and hearing the cheers gave me a little extra, nothing was better until the final mile of the NYC marathon.
Once you get past my passion for cycling and sports you will find out that I'm very passionate and know more than most about World War II. My grandfather on my mothers side had fought in World War II and the Korean War. As a young child I remember that my Grandfather only watched three three things on tv, The Price is Right, New York Yankees baseball and World War II shows on PBS. As a child I didn't understand why he talk about the ships and aircraft that were on the television. When I was a sophomore in high school the Navy was in our lunchroom and talking to students about joining. As I spoke to them I told them I was a diabetic and I quickly was informed that I would never be able to join the Navy because of my diabetes.
As I got older I began to read and learn more about World War II, I would talk to my grandfather for hours on end about his days in the Navy. He was my hero and I had so much respect for him, I always told my grandfather that I wanted his medals. Today those medals hang in my "man cave" above my computer that I sit down at to write every night. Not a night goes by that I think about how he fought for what was right and was a part of the greatest generation. Many nights I sit back and think about how I would have never made it out of World War II as a diabetic.
This afternoon diabetes.co.uk posted this article about "Surviving the Holocaust" I read this article and could help but have chills. The story is amazing and I encourage everyone to read it. I can say that after reading that I don't know if I would have been able to survive through those circumstances
March 24th, 1991 my life changed forever, I was eight years old and for the two weeks prior I had been feeling like garbage. Rather than being outside playing and every sport that i could think of I was sitting watching tv, I was very tired, drinking a lot of fluids and was taking a lot of naps. March 24th my parents brought me to the local hospital where they ran every test possible, as I sat in the hospital with my father I could sense some nervousness as more and more time passed. I could tell something was wrong, eventually my mother would come running in with the stuffed Figment and a Bart Simpson doll that were always on my bed. She ran up to me crying and telling me that everything would be ok, I had no clue what was going on. I was told I would be brought up to Rhode Island hospital for treatment and to learn about diabetes. I didn't care I just wanted to ride in the ambulance, I had never done so and I felt ok so it would be fun. The 24th was a Sunday and my brother was an alter server at the local church, as they started to wheel to the ambulance we had to go through a set of doors and I remember the nurse saying to me "We have a surprise for you behind the doors, what do you think it is?" I answered quickly "MY BROTHER" as I sat up in my bed. While it was Palm Sunday and Easter was the next weekend, the Easter Bunny was behind the doors. I have hated ever since!! I remember seeing the Easter Bunny and being so sad, I sat back in my bed as he gave me stuff and off I went.
Those are my only memories from that day, I have written my story and shared enough. Everyone knows what I have gone through and how I shouldn't be alive, how I was in denial and now am doing amazing things with diabetes. As I awoke this morning and prepared my supplies to speak again at the local high school I broke down. That would be a common theme today. For the first time in twenty four years I finally know what this disease is about and what it does to not only my life but to the lives of the people closest to me. I can't think about my parents and my diagnosis without crying like a child that lost his favorite toy. I mean "Sharkie" or "Minnie" cough or fall and I'm a nervous wreck, I'm peeking in their rooms to make sure their ok as they sleep. I can't imagine what my parents were thinking and how scared they were. They did a great job, they did the best they could and I messed it up and it even worse for them. I basically tried to kill myself for fifteen years and they had to watch all of it, I lied to them about everything in my life for fifteen years. I can't fix that, not a day goes by that I don't think about how I messed up their lives and my own. I don't want to hear "But look what you are doing now" I can't fix fifteen years of being a loser.
The you my wife. Why is she still with me, another person that I lied to over and over again. I have treated her like crap and still she is by my side. She has dealt with the low blood sugar temper, the rage that comes with high blood sugars. She sat by my side as I was told I should be dead and got yelled at by a doctor. She saved my life, she got me my first road bike, she made the man that is doing of this good for diabetes. She doesn't get the attention, she sits by my side, watches me race my bike, watches me speak and does nothing but support me. I treated her like crap and can't fix that, we are a normal couple, we have good days and bad days. We yell at each other but I can never be mad at her, I lay in bed every night and think how lucky I am to have her, when I wake up I smile because I'm alive and that smile gets bigger as I try my best to not wake her as I go to make my breakfast at 430 in the morning.
I have amazing friends, I have new friends and one that watched me speak this afternoon and that was in shock when he heard just how much bad I did to myself in fifteen years. After twenty-four years of living with diabetes it all hit me today, I finally understand the disease, it has taught me more about life than anything else could. He has taught me how to live, how to appreciate every little thing from having a heart rate of 180 while riding my bike and seeing the sunrise to seeing "Sharkie" and "Minnie" crawl, walk and talk. Without diabetes I don't believe that I would be enjoying my life as much as I do. I love my parents, my wife and my friends they are my life. I loved my diabetes before today but on a day of reflection I believe that I finally understand and respect my diabetes. I owe my life to diabetes, that sounds crazy but is so true!!
Milan-San Remo was won by John DegenKolb a German rider who is a member of Team Giant-Alpecin. With the race just ending official results have yet to be announced, but a Team Novo Nordisk rider was unable to crack the top ten. Team Novo Nordisk did however have Andrea Peron an Italian rider in the 11 man break that held an advantage of five minutes at the half way mark of the race.
Without a Team Novo Nordisk rider in the top ten why is it that I can't stop smiling. Today was not about a bike race for the millions of people around the world living with diabetes, it was about proving to the world what is possible with diabetes. The eight riders that put on the Team Novo Nordisk kit this morning in Milan taught me that anything is possible with diabetes. Personally I have a new confidence after spending all morning following the race on twitter and watching the final two hours on the internet. For all my life the odds have been stacked against me as an athlete because of diabetes, today those walls were knocked down. I don't believe I have reached my potential as a cyclist or runner because I'm still scared, I'm scared because I'm afraid to take that jump to the next level because of diabetes. I have been afraid to ride my bike with a local group of very strong riders because of my diabetes, I'm scared of having a low while riding with them. I'm sure I could keep up with them on the bike but will my diabetes allow me? The answer is and always has been yes!!! I just needed to see Team Novo Nordisk race Milan San Remo today to realize that.
Phil Southerland and every member of Team Novo Nordisk weren't scared, if Phil Southerland was scared he wouldn't have had the courage to race with diabetes and to turn that passion in to an all diabetes professional cycling team. Team Novo Nordisk could be happy with racing Milan San Remo and stay where they are but that is not what the team is about. They want to reach the pinnacle of the cycling world. They will have bad races and they will get discouraged but the team is made up of diabetics that are ready to fight to get where they want to be. Team Novo Nordisk shows what is possible with diabetes, personally I get goosebumps when I put on my Novo Nordisk cycling kit but for two years I haven't been racing to the best of my ability with that kit on. Today Team Novo Nordisk taught me another lesson about diabetes and life, because of that I will be a new man when I put on the Team Novo Nordisk kit when I train or race. Thank you to each and every member of Team Novo Nordisk you continue to show what is possible with diabetes and because of that any and all diabetic athletes owe it to you to be the best that they can be in all facets of life!!
Thursday just after lunch my stomach suddenly felt off and I raced off to the bathroom. Little did I know that the bathroom would be where I would spend most of my time for the next three days. Whatever this sickness is it started with "sharky" on Wednesday and spread to everyone else in the family by the end of the day on Thursday. I'm happy to report that everyone is doing much better now but I have yet to completey shake this sickness.
Over three days I have lost almost ten pounds and have become severely dehydrated. Having toast just minutes ago has been my biggest meal in three days. As you can imagine this has been a very interesting few days of blood sugars.
When I got home from work on Thursday after hanging out with the toilet for an hour or so I was extremely weak and dizzy, just keeping my eyes open was a challenge. Being dizzy and unable to keep my eyes open I figured my blood sugar was very low, I unhooked my pump and headed to test. With a blood sugar of 81 I was very surprised but with no food in my system keeping the pump unhooked was the best idea. For the next three hours my blood sugars never went above 90. Before bed I reconnected my pump as my blood sugar was at 245 at 9pm. All day Friday my blood sugars would stay around 230, being unable to eat taking the normal amount of insulin to correct the high blood sugar wasn't the best of ideas.
Today things started to get just a little better. Blood sugars around 180 and being able to eat little more food is a good sign but I'm far from being myself. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully better than today, I just want to be back to normal and on the bike.
Starting last Spring Team Novo Nordisk encouraged people living with diabetes to use the hashtag #diabetesempowered with a photo select one winner
Hi, my name is Zander. I am a type 1 diabetic and a honorary member of Team Novo Nordisk. I was diagnosed with diabetes in the beginning of last year. I had a hard time the first week... But then I remembered about Team Novo Nordisk, and searched, Team Novo Nordisk on Google. I began reading, I found out how much you could do with Diabetes, and then I couldn't wait to go to the forest with my mountain bike. The staff at the hospital said that I could go for a ride, and it would be good for my blood sugar too! Afterwards I emailed Team Novo Nordisk, a month after i received a lot of Team Novo Nordisk cycling clothing! I've ridden with it since.
The 8 January I was flying to Spain to the Team Novo Nordisk training camp. I arrived at late mid day. I met Phil Southerland and some of the others.
Here are some of the bigger highlights (They were all big for me)
Friday: Me and my dad were supposed to come Friday, but there was something with plane tickets etc.
So after team breakfast we went out to explore Altea (The town) afterwards we picked up our bikes, and went for a little ride. After that i was talking to some of the guys. Before the dinner Phil, Zach, Vassili and Matt had a speech, and showed a video.
Saturday: After breakfast I went on a ride with the Devo/jr team. Later i met Phil, then me and Phil Climbed up Coll De Rates, and down again, where Phil teached me how to ride fast down, but safe!
After lunch. Me, My dad and Robert went to Carrefour some miles away from Altea, to pick up supplies (Water) that took some hours, so after there was dinner.
Sunday: I started Sunday with breakfast with Phil & his family. After I got pictures with the Pro/Devos. Then i went in the follow car, behind the Pro guys and Phil!
After that I hang out in the lobby, and spoke with more of the guys.
Monday: Was the bad day, I had to depart back to Denmark and School. I only brought good things, Memories and experience with me home...
I learned many to know, and I am really happy to know nearly all of them. I wanna thank Team Novo Nordisk, for a trip I won't ever forget. I also wanna thank the athletes and staff for being so nice and welcome to me, I will never forget that!
I usually like to train alone, with a hectic work schedule from April until November most of my training takes place from 5am until 6am, or in the middle of the day on the weekends. It is what is, although having someone to train with would be beneficial it has been difficult to find anyone with the same schedule. Today with the weather very favorable I decided to skip the gym at 5am this morning, a run after work from 3:30 until 4:30 would be a nice change of pace.
I planned on running alone but as I reached mile three it felt like someone had joined me. I looked around and noticed that diabetes good friend Mr. Low Blood Sugar had joined me. I have known the Blood Sugar family for almost twenty-four years and for as long as I have known them they always decide to join me at the weirdest times. They come visit when I'm speaking to groups about diabetes, while coaching, in "bed" and when I'm running or cycling. With a blood sugar of 114 thirty minutes before my ride I thought that Low Blood Sugar would stay away, I even fought him off with a few ounces of Powerade and two peanut butter crackers before I left for my run. As Mr. Low Blood Sugar caught up to me around mile three I was mad but knew that he wouldn't beat me. I grabbed a GU and ate five glucose tabs. As I waited for them to kick in I decided to keep walking, I knew that I would be fine in five minutes or so.
As my blood sugar started to go up I started feeling like myself again and returned to my run. Mr. Low Blood Sugar will be seeing me a lot more as my activity level increases at work, this also means he will be testing me while I'm running and on the bike. Luckily I will have a friend on the bike with me while training on the weekends, which will be reassuring for Leanne. As for my other training days I hope that I'm alone and Mr. Low Blood Sugar is far away. He likes to test me but I know that I will always beat him. I just need to make sure I follow my pre training temp basal rate chart and take the appropriate steps while training to make sure my blood sugar stays around 130.
Team Sky, Trek Factory Racing, BMC Racing Team, and Team Novo Nordisk. Those teams and many more will be racing in one of the most prestigoues cycling races on March 22nd. Milan-San Remo is the longest professional one day race clocking in at a unheard of 298km. With a course that is mainly flat, Milan-San Remo is one fastest races speed wise all year. Cycling is a very much so a thinking mans sport, Milan-San Remo is no different, the race will test everyone from the racer looking to make an early break from the peloton to the sprinters. If the sprinters can't get over the climbs they will have no chance of winning. If a racers want to try and break from the peloton in hopes of shocking the world they better do so a little later than usual, this race is to long to breakaway right from the start. Riders will take crazy risks on descents, every rider will be looking to save a half second whenever they can. To give you an idea of how fast the race will be think about this while watching the race, the average speed of the winner of the race in 2006 was an astounding 28mph, oh and it took the winner 6hrs 29min 41sec to finish the 185 mile course!!
Alexander Kristoff, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan, André Greipel, and Charles Planet all of these riders have a chance of winning the race. That is what makes Milan-San Remo so great every rider that is in the race has a legit chance of winning. Team Novo Nordisk will be making its debut in The Spring Classic. As a follower of Team novo Nordisk it will be amazing to see the members of the team racing against the best cyclists in the world. Many of the riders competing will be racing in The Tour De France in July. Next Sunday I will have a smile from ear to ear seeing Team Novo Nordisk members racing in one of the biggest races of the year. I mean Peter Sagan is like a mythical figure in the cycling world, he is the future and has all of the tools to be the next face of cycling. Seeing the white jersey of Team Novo Nordisk next to a possible cycling god is crazy. I shouldn't be surprised though, the work that the team puts in is amazing. It amazes me how quickly they have made an impression on the cycling world and how many of the teams riders have been on the podium this season.
Milan-San Rimo is known as "The Spring Classic" at the end of the race on March 22nd I have a feeling that I will refer to it as the "Novo Nordisk Classic". Team Novo Nordisk will have a rider finish in the top 15, if and when Team Novo Nordisk gets a rider in the final sprint to the finish anything is possible. It is tough to not to think about what would happen to the cycling world and diabetes if a Novo Nordisk team member wins Milan-San Remo.
Earlier this week I decided that enough was enough, I would get outside on the bike on Saturday. Part of the decision was made because I saw a chance of rain in the forecast, I don't know what it is about the rain but I love to ride my bike while it rains. The rain increases my focus which in turn makes me enjoy the ride a lot more.
This morning the main focus would be my blood sugar before I headed out for my bike ride. Any kind of physical activity is tough for me when it is done just after breakfast. Going for a bike ride at 8am would be a true test so early in the season. Luck was on my side this morning though, I woke up at 5 to run to the bathroom which allowed me to set my temp basal. This was a huge help, if I had not woken up at 5 I believe my ride would have to be delayed until 9am so that the temp basal would take effect. Just before breakfast a blood sugar of 124 had me smiling from ear to ear, I could have my normal breakfast and take .7 units of insulin so my blood sugar was right around 220 when I began my ride.
As I got on my bike I was so excited to finally be riding outside again. Three months of temperatures in the low twenties and so much snow on the roads it made it very dangerous to be riding outside. Even with a steady rain falling I couldn't help but smile, as my ride began that smile went away quickly. The roads were soaked and slick, not ideal conditions. I would have to go a little slower than I would've like but I didn't want to crash being dumb on recreational Saturday ride so losing a couple miles per hour was ok. The good news is that my legs felt very strong, small hills that I usually stood up to get over I was able to stay in gear and sit while going up the hills. As I got more comfortable and my ride was coming to an end I started to ride with a little more speed which felt amazing. I can't wait for my first duathlon in just over a month.
My blood sugars made my day, coming home and seeing a blood sugar of 173 proved to me that I know what I'm doing. Obviously my next ride will not be the same blood sugar wise but I will have a lot of confidence moving forward. Today was a good start to the outdoor season, I just need the weather to cooperate. I'm ready for those nice sixty mile rides with temperatures in the fifties.
For the past week or so I have been off. With a small nagging cough that I thought nothing of I went on business as usual. Coughing fits before bed and when I awoke were annoying but again nothing that I was worried about. I was tapering for the half marathon so I was working out less and figured I was so tired because I wasn't in my usual active routine.
When my blood sugars started to be higher than average I got a little worried. My diet is very simple and consists of the same foods day in and day out. I'm so scheduled that my blood sugars rarely change unless I "cheat" and eat something out of the ordinary. For the past week I would wake up with a great blood sugar, take my usual insulin and eat my normal meal. Less than an hour after eating my blood sugar I would be around 300!! I would take insulin to correct the high blood sugar but would never get lower than 200. I should've known I was sick when the guys at work and Leanne started to ask if I was ok. The guys at work noticed I wasn't myself, very quiet and short tempered. Leanne became worried when I would be in bed before nine and noticed that I wasn't writing my blog every night. I said it was a stressful week and that I'd be ok in a couple days.
After the half marathon I was coughing like crazy and felt horrible. I was very sore after the half marathon which is very rare. Not to sound cocky but I usually feel fine after any run or cycling race, no soreness just dehydrated. The day after the half marathon I couldn't walk, my legs were killing me and I felt like I had run for days on end with no rest.
Luckily this morning I woke up and felt like my old self. My energy was back and the guys were happy to see that I was my crazy energetic self bouncing all over the place. I woke up at 5 and was happy to see my blood sugar at 123 but expected to be up to 250 again, I took a little more insulin and was down to 70 at 7am. Blood sugar wise I was back to normal, all day my blood sugars have been around 130 which let me know I'm back. It sounds crazy but I'm ready to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow morning and head to the gym. I think next time I don't feel well I will bite the bullet and head to the doctor. A week of bad blood sugars and not being myself is not worth it.
Yesterday on the Team Novo Nordisk website they published a great article about 2016 Olympic hopeful and Team Novo Nordisk member Tommy Neal. I had heard about Tommy Neal before this I read this article, I didn't know his entire story however. I just figured he was diagnosed while in grade school and had managed his diabetes much better than I did while he was in his high school and college years. After reading the article I was shocked at his story as an athlete and as a diabetic.
Tommys story is what makes me love everything about Team Novo Nordisk. Each team member has their own story just like every diabetic in the world has their own unique story. After reading the article I imagined that I was Tommy, would I have the work ethic that he has had? Honestly, I don't think I would, I don't know many people that would fight like he has to get back to the elite level that they were once at physically. We all complain about diabetes and how our diagnosis came at the wrong time, how it changed our lives and took things away from us. Tommy was on the doorstep of realizing his dream and then he was diagnosed with diabetes, two months before the biggest race of his life. Diabetes came out fighting and it seems that it gave Tommy quite the challenge early on, rather than complaining and giving in to his diabetes he found what worked best for him. It didn't happen over night, Tommy had to fight and claw to get back to where he was before his diabetes diagnosis. Now he is back at the doorstep of his dream and he is stronger and better than he was just two years ago.
Tommy will not be the first diabetic to compete in the Olympics (He has yet to qualify but this writer believes that he will be racing in the 2016 Olympic Games) but for me he will be the only olympian that I have ever truly cared and rooted for. Tommy is what diabetes is all about, Tommy is what life is about. It is about fighting and getting up after being knocked down, I love that Tommy is a diabetic and yet another role model for not just me but diabetics and diabetic athletes all over the world. If Tommy wasn't a diabetic he would be just another runner at the 2016 Olympics, I would hear his story and think thats nice, I hope he does well. Diabetes changes all of that, I feel that Tommy and I have a common bond. I love that I can a show video of Tommy running at the olympics to my children one day. I love that they will watch the video and I will be telling them "See diabetes isn't bad, Daddy is fine as long as he takes care of himself. If diabetes was a bad disease it wouldn't allow someone to run in the Olympics right "Sharkie" and "Minnie Mouse"? Thank you Tommy, I wish you the best of luck and I can't wait to see you with an olympic medal around your neck!!
The first race of the 2015 season went well despite a blood sugar of 326 an hour before the race. A high blood sugar was the first of many mistakes yesterday, I looked like i had not run a race in almost three months. All of the advances that I made last season were nowhere to be found yesterday. I'm stronger from months in the gym but a lot more goes into racing than just fitness.
After taking two units of insulin after my high blood sugar I was ready to begin my stretching and warmup. With the temperature at 26 degrees it took longer than usual to warmup, the blood sugar didn't help my cause either. As I headed to the start line I could feel the insulin I took an hour earlier starting to work, it was crazy my mouth was no longer dry and my muscles felt loose. As the race began I felt very strong, I told myself to make sure that I ran the first few miles around a 9 minute pace. If I did that I would conserve enough energy and be able to finish strong. As usual I felt so good at the start that I went out a lot faster than I planned on, the worse part was I felt that I was holding back. My first three miles were as follows, 8:31, 8:04, 7:51. Horrible time if I was running a 5k but to fast for a half marathon, I continued to feel very strong and hit the 6 mile marker at 46:04. Then everything caught up to me. I would run the last three miles of the race in 9:31, 9:41 and 9:02. I wanted to start the race with mile times like that. The only thing that made me happy at the end of the race was my blood sugar of 94, the day started off rough but I was happy that I was able to run the half marathon with blood sugars below 180.
I put a lot of work in this winter, a lot of time on the treadmill, bike and in the weight room. I forgot to work on pacing which was evident yesterday. I would finish with a respectable time of 1:49:26 but I felt like I had run a horrible race. I was not happy with my performance. I have almost two months to prepare for the biggest race of my spring season. The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Half Marathon, it will be a dream fulfilling weekend in which I will have the honor to interview Team Novo Nordisk memberStephen England. I want to run the NJ half marathon in under 1:40:00, I will be working like crazy for the next two months, pacing will be the key to realizing a PR at the NJ Marathon.
Team Novo Nordisk is looking for young, active, elite cyclists with diabetes to participate in their Talent Identification Camps. Personally I'm going to shave, dye the gray hairs that are slowly invading my hair and apply to be a part of the camps. This is an opportunity like no other for young cyclists living with diabetes, the people that attend this camp may have the chance to represent Team Novo Nordisk when the team hopes to race in the Tour De France in the year 2021. The team that is changing the public perception of diabetes is looking for people to be a part of one of the best up and coming cycling teams in the world, I'd give anything to be 16 and have this opportunity.
For anyone that follows Team Novo Nordisk knows that it is not a team, it is a family. Following numerous team members on social media I get jealous of anyone that works with or is a part of the team. The team is made up of athletes from all over the globe that act like they grew up together and are the closest of friends. For example one team member posted about wanting to have an omelette for dinner and another member of the team brought over hard boiled eggs, it sounds like something members of the high school basketball team I coach would do. At the same time though they are a family, that is just my assumption but I find it very hard to believe that members of the team don't have heart to heart conversations about diabetes. That is the common bond of the team/family and any future member knows about the struggles and joys that diabetes brings to the table. From high or low blood sugars during training rides or races anyone that cycles with diabetes has probably been there. When you are surrounded with almost twenty other athletes that have had the experiences it is tough not to be a family and learn from one another.
The future is very bright for Team Novo Nordisk and I know that anyone who attends the training camps will walk away with memories that will last a lifetime. Anyone that is interested in applying to attend the training camps please click here to be taken to the application. I wish the best to everyone that applies to attend the camps and for future members of Team Novo Nordisk.
This evening I decided to face my fears and head to the local YMCA to swim some laps. When you can't swim, swimming laps is very difficult. I walked to the pool area so confidently but as soon as I entered the pool that confidence was nowhere to be found. I started with a freestyle (I guess that's a swim stroke) lap, it was the worse lap anyone has ever done. As I finished I looked around and people in the other lanes including the lifeguard were looking at me like I was crazy. After that my confidence was shot, I felt like I was in middle school and gave a presentation in front of the entire school with the zipper of my pants down!!
I'm sure I was imagining what the other people in the pool were thinking but I had lost my confidence. I'm used to running and cycling, I'm not the best but I can hold my own. My goal whenever I race in either sport is to see the cop car that leads the way for leaders. I entered the pool with that confidence tonight but quickly realized that I need help, I need someone to coach me. I have six months to become a half decent swimmer, the good news is that I'm so mad that I suck at swimming that I am determined to get better. I can't wait for the day that I can look back at this post and laugh, I know I will never be the best swimmer but I need to hold my own when it comes to swimming. The cycling and running will make me competitive in any triathlon or ironman that I compete in.
Some good did come from tonights debacle in the pool, my blood sugars were great. That will give me a lot of confidence moving forward, I was fearing how my blood sugar would do while I swam or in tonights case, ran in the pool. Yes after a few ugly laps I decided to just run in my lane. That got some even weirder looks but what are you going to do. I'm happy to have a friend lined up to coach me when it comes to swimming, I embarrassed myself and need to make sure that never happens again in the pool.
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