Although I am painstakingly thinking of a 1,001 ways to avoid it, I cannot honestly report on this 24 event without acknowledging the passing of our dear friend Travis Goodman. Travis, known affectionately to those of us who loved him as TPG, was lost to cancer <72 hours before this race. TPG was 32 years old.
After the initial shock of receiving the news, I forced myself to suppress my sorrow until after the race was over. I wanted to race with as clear of a head as possible, and have the ability to focus on hitting my blood glucose targets, staying on top of my nutrition, and having a solid finish. Just needed to avoid thinking and talking about it. Regular race prep week. Finish the workouts strong.
Wait and “unpack” those emotions post race. It almost worked too.
The crew from Trek Raleigh headed up to Dark Mountain in North Wilkesboro, NC on Friday morning to setup a sweet pit area. It was perfect, and the 20+ of us racers who were there were all members of the Trek and Fisher family, and we had the mindset of a celebration of the memory of Travis. A lot of family members came as well, including my 2 young boys. It was the first time they had been to an overnight race of mine.
I drove up race morning, and the BG was pretty much good to go. Around 08:00 I set my target BG for my pump calculation to 150. Took in a nice pasta breakfast while traveling at 09:00.
Once there I got to our pit site, got my bib and timing chip (thank you SO MUCH Jason and Cricket), set up my families tent, and finished all my pre-race prep. I lowered my basal rate to a 60% reduction at about 10:30 for a 12:00 noon start time as I was feeling a little more nervous then normal.
About 20 minutes before the race started my good friend walked up, and said I have something for you. Marcee handed me a yellow sticker with the letters TPG on it. I gave her a long hug (lots of those between everyone at this race), and said thank you. I needed to cut her off because I could feel the lump in my throat and the tears beginning to swell.
I fought to hold it all back as I applied the sticker to my Superfly. I could feel the emotional response causing my BG to dive, and sure enough 15 minutes before race start I was a 60. I was able to quickly gather myself back up, ate an apple, and discontinued insulin delivery via my pump for 90 minutes. Figured this would give me time to start the race, finish a strong lap, and test when I got back.
During the beginning of the first lap I did let a few tears roll as I found my thoughts drifting. The slick course forced me to snap back to be focused on the work at hand, and before long I got into my race rhythm.
The next 6 laps were completed near perfectly. Was a little behind on my hydration as it was nearly 90 degrees, but I was on schedule, and my nutrition and BG was right were they needed to be.
During lap 7 another racer and I found ourselves pacing each other up the switchbacks of the last climb. She was on a team from a shop that was a Trek/Fisher dealer, and she knew about Travis. She offered her condolences, and then noticed my bibs with the words 'DIABETIC' on the side. She asked if my name was Tony, and if I was the Type 1 diabetic that road on the 29er Crew. After confirming that I was that person, she informed me that someone in the shop was also Type 1. She went on to explain that TPG used to mention my cause each time he was in the store. He would tell about races I was doing, and how stoked he was that I was using the 29er Crew as a vehicle to promote diabetes awareness and encouragement. I forced out a thank you and pulled over to the side of the trail.
Everything I had been trying to hold in all week rushed out at once. I sat for a while in the dark on the side of the trail sobbing with thoughts about what a great guy Trav was. How cool CK and TPG were together. How much he showed that he truly believed in me and the mission of Type1Rider. How he had offered me the opportunity of a lifetime to ride for The Crew. How all of us benefited from knowing him, and how much we all missed him.
And I laughed out loud when I thought of how many dang times I had interrupted their dinner when I just “stopped” by their house back in Chapel Hill.
I took a couple of very deep breaths, turned my light back on, and finished the rest of the lap feeling less laden then when I started this loop 7 miles earlier.
When I got to my pit, I could sense that the emotional breakdown had definitely affected my BG level. Sure enough, down in the 40s. For the next 10 hours I would patiently wait for it elevate enough for me to resume taking laps. I didn't want to make the BG too high, as that would be an accelerator of possible dehydration, and my thinking was to keep a basal rate active so I could prevent the typical ride stoppage BG increase. I just slowly kept taking in simple carbs to get back above 125, so I could go back out. It just took FOREVER!!
I stayed dressed in my kit, and just kept testing every 30-45 minutes. Boy, a CGMS would have been the ticket here! BG was between 26 and 60, before spiking suddenly around 07:30 at 269. Time to go.
I was 8 laps short of my very realistic pre-race goal of 15 laps which would land me around the top ten. So I figured if I clipped off 1 lap an hour until 13:00 I would only be 2 laps short of that goal.
I set my temp basal to a 70% reduction, and about 20 minutes later was back on the bike doing a lap. I was pushing pretty hard as I was now annoyed at my bg for taking SO long to resolve itself. Definitely on my fastest lap of the event, and, of course, I could see it coming, the BG dropped through the floor about ¾ way through. Not enough pre-ride temp basal time, and no glycogen stores to speak of. I knew at that point there would be no recovery, and my event was pretty much over.
As I was coasting it back down the mountain for the final time, I was feeling pretty bad that I didn't do as well as I wanted to. I had felt like I had failed. Thanks to my coaching I felt I was most assuredly physically prepared, and my race nutrition was 100% spot on. I just couldn't put it all together this weekend. Too much stuff to deal with.
Heading towards the finish line, while making my way around the infield for the last time, I saw my good friend Cricket Butler from TeamUp4Type1 (http://www.teamup4type1.com/). I stopped to chat with her. She talked to me for a long time about the race, the importance of what we are trying to do, and how just being out here really makes a difference. She also informed me there was an 8 year old young man from Ohio who was diagnosed with Type 1 not too long ago who, along with his siblings and his parents, wanted to talk with me.
Cricket was so right... sometimes just being out racing can make a world of difference.
As I was riding back to my pit, a pair of other racers approached individually to tell me that they had relatives with diabetes, and thought it was great that I was out there racing a 24 hour solo with Type 1. I spoke to each of them for a few minutes, and thanked them for caring about their family members enough to stop and ask some questions.
Arriving back at the tent I found my BG to be in the low 50s. The icing on the cake was the text msg waiting from a close friend of mine that I have an infinite amount of respect for not just as an athlete, but also for her immense knowledge of diabetes. It simply read “You're as tough as nails”.
Soon after getting packed up, the family from Ohio came by with Cricket, and we spent a great deal of time talking....
The 2010 24 Hours of Burn was a success after all. A much larger one then I could have hoped in the wee hours of the morning.
The spirit of Travis Goodman lives on in all of us who know him. He has enabled me to try to lend some encouragement to other diabetics like the one I met today, by his generous actions and unwaivering support.
Daily Total: 37.43 units
Daily Carb Intake Bolused For: 232g
Had the day off from work today to get a jump on getting organized for the 24 Hours of Burn which starts at noon tomorrow. First thing was coffee and breakfast, and then a ride to complete the training for the week.
I met up with my friend Karla at 10:45 to hit the trails for exactly 75 minutes (see Chris, I was listening. LOL). I had set my basal rate to a 60% reduction at 09:30 in preparation. The ride was fun, and I think Karla has caught the 29er bug... having her ride the Superfly SS will have that effect. :)
BG was 89 when we got done, and I took a 3.0u bolus to correct the normal BG post ride whip that happens.
I went straight to meet an Abbott Navigator rep with Chris from Endurance NEWTrition for lunch. We had a good meeting, and I got some software for loaded on the laptop to download my un-retired Navigator data. I am trying to get some sensors covered through insurance so I can start using this tool again. That story to be continued on another day... :)
After that I hit the grocery store to grab the things I needed for the race. It wasn't until I got home and starting unpacking the items I purchased that it dawned on me....
I had picked up just the smallest number of emergency simple sugar items. In the past I have always noticed myself buying tons of emergency sugar supplies. Not intentionally, but those items just appeared in my checkout bag. Today, however, it represents < 10% of the total things I bought.
I realized that for the first time EVER I have no subconscious fear of a hypo while racing this weekend. None. Not an once of worry. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
I am completely and totally confident in my race nutrition, and fear free. Fear free. I'm speechless. I know it sounds small and ridiculous to most, but to me it is beyond a major milestone. I was rendered speechless, and I just sat there and looked at the groceries I had purchased. I was packing as a non diabetic. So COOL!
A HUGE thanks to Chris Newport from Endurance NEWTrition for making that happen. She has been working SO hard with me to make this happen. Success!!! Once the family got home I started packing the truck. It seems I either have less stuff then normal, or I am better organized. Either way.... I am all good to go.
Hopefully the sets of big thunderstorms blowing through the race site don't hang around to long tomorrow. It seems lately I have just been racing in the rain. I REALLY appreciate all the well wishes, txt msg's, and calls I received today. I am pretty prepared, and just need a little luck (and the red Specialized Epic riders to stay away from me) to have a positive day. I will try to blog a bit before the race, and will TRY to have a support person upload BGs real time during the 24 hour event. No promises on that though. :) Have a great holiday weekend!
It was overcast, and there was a threat of thunderstorms through out the day.
After breakfast we went to watch my oldest play his soccer game, and it was AWESOME! He played great and scored 2 goals (I mean, not that we keep score or anything). I was so incredibly proud of him!! He was just SO into playing the game, running down the ball, taking shots on goal, and blocking shots. Just a joy to watch him... rendered me speechless.
Around 15:30 I lowered my basal rate to a 70% reduction and prepared my Superfly Single Speed for a 3hr training ride at 16:30.
I drove over to the UNC Wellness Center ready to go. Pulled the bike off the car, loaded my nutrition in my pockets, and.... BAM! The skies opened up.
For a few seconds I had the thought sprint through my head of just heading home, but that was quickly replaced with the idea that it might not be raining at the trails and they would be empty. Plus I needed to get the time in.
I road through sheets of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning strikes for about 20 minutes as I completed one loop of me and Marcee's 'ole rain loop (missed you today T2), the rain tapered off.
As I expected the trail system hadn't been rained on yet, so I was able to finish the next 60 minutes or so drying off. As I neared the trail head to get back on the road for return trip I passed this sign nailed to a tree:
As my front tire touch the tarmac, the rain began pouring down again. It continued until late this evening.
Got the basal rate back to normal about 30 minutes from the car. Once I stopped riding I gave myself a 3u bolus just to prevent the post ride BG increase whip.
The delivery summary data yields some pretty easy math. You have to love a day with no correction boluses, eh?
Went to Trek Raleigh today at lunch to drop the Superfly off for some fork maintenance, and to pick up my 29er Crew jerseys I ordered. I will get these to WinSkins tomorrow so they work on getting my sponsor logos on them. It should look hot when it is all done. I will post some pics as soon as I can. Big thanks to the team at 8Dot Graphics for getting all the formatting done. Yup, I'm a pain. But I love you guys!!
After work I hustled over to the UNC Wellness Center to head out for some road hill repeat work on the Paragon. I ran into John and George and we discussed the ride yesterday and some goings on in the area. It was great to meet John and Andy on the ride yesterday morning, and I hope to have a chance to ride with them again soon.
On the way over to the Wellness Center at 16:35, I set the basal rate on the pump to a 70% reduction. Went with a slightly steeper rate of reduction based upon the difficulty of taking nutrition in when working at the rivet, which I imagined today would be. I wasn't wrong. :)
Although these rides are TOUGH these are my favorite types of training days. I love the high volume of work load, and the feeling once complete.
The HR graph mostly follows the route. :)
Took just short of an hour to get through the repeat section of the workout, in which I went about 1750ft of vert. It felt absolutely GREAT!!
I felt so good I went the hilly way home to be able to lay down a few more up hill sprints.
Make that curve and this hill really kicks up for a bit.
Was very satsified and spent when I got home. Funny thing about hard workouts, once you enter the cool down (re-entry) it begins to hurt. :) Not to bad when in the middle of it, but boy... I needed to take about 10 minutes once I got back to the car before heading home.
BG at ride end was a 87 - not totally unexpected given the shortage of nutrition taken in during the harder efforts.
I did set the basal rate back to normal and bolus for 1.5u to correct the standard post ride BG upward swing.
I set a 15% basal reduction for my over nite post ride rate.
So the name of my pump is.... What you don't name your pump?
That was the first question I was asked after I walked into the meeting room at Rex Hospital in Raleigh for my talk with the Triangle Insulin Pump Support (TIPS) group. The nice young lady who asked me that question, in her "British" accent, informed me that hers was named "Antonio Banderas".
The day had been pretty hectic but ordinary right up to that point. Had the day off from work, and I basically took care of a bunch of long overdue chores in the morning. Renewed some domain names, bought some clothes, went to the store, blah, blah, blah...
Took my basal rate to a temp rate of 40% around 12:30 to prep for the 2.5 hour ride I was scheduled to get in today. Was parked at the UNC Wellness Center and on my bike by 13:30 - right on schedule.
This ride was ok... but a challenge. BG was not on par right when the ride started. I got through it, but was happy when it was over. It ran long too... which put me behind for my making it out to Raleigh for my meeting.
And... of course.... I made it with just 20 minutes to spare. The traffic at that time of the day is pretty nuts. (yes, bike would have been faster). Too many 3 minute interruptions all add up. :) You know.. well that will only take 3w minutes, and that will only take three minutes, etc....
The group meeting was good. We had a nice discussion with lots of good questions. This is a fantastic group, and if you ever get a chance to make a meeting I would recommend it. I met some very motivated Type 1s, and I look forward to speaking with them again soon. Thanks so much for the invite!
Big thanks to Chris Newport (what else is new) for coming out for the support, and playing a major role in the information exchange during the session.