Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lessons learned from an oldie

On Saturday, Mario and I headed up to Seymour Demonstration Park for my first bike ride of the season. We chose that traffic-free destination as I hadn’t been on the Zing (my bike) in like 7 months and I think Mario was a little nervous about taking me out onto the busy Vancouver roads. I was quite aghast at the suggestion at first, I mean, sure I hadn’t been on Zing in 7 months, but I had been running for like six of those months, that had to mean something didn’t it?
Apparently not.

Route: 26.76 km
Trip time: 1:20:24
Average speed: 19.8
Max speed: 47.7

View Interactive Map on

My legs felt like lead for the first three to five kilometres; I was huffing and puffing, struggling for air up the hills; and dealing with major blood sugar dramas, which may explain the excessive huffing and puffing.
We parked the car a little ways out from the parking area to tack on a few more kilometres. I checked my blood glucose (BG) just before heading out, and it was 15.3 mmol! It was about two hours after lunch, so I still had about 2 units of insulin on board (IOB), but because they were so high, and I knew I’d be feeling like crap if I didn’t try to bring them down, I gave myself 0.20 units of extra insulin to somewhat counteract the high BG, but not so much that they’d bottom out half way through my ride. It’s quite a fine line getting the perfect reading before exercise, I find, as I do like my BG to be a bit higher, around 10 or 12, but not so high that I feel lethargic and ill – 15 is definitely too high.
It was a really hilly route, and while I love climbing hills while running, not so much while riding (I love going down them … my fastest speed is over 60 km/h!!!).

When I stopped at the top of one of the hills to grab some air and guzzle some water,  an old man, who looked to be in his 70s or 80s, casually rode on by me, slow and steady. At first, I’ll be honest, it pissed me off. How the heck was this old guy speeding on past me, a young fairly fit woman, and I’m the one gagging on the sidelines? But as soon as I was able to rid myself of that nasty thing called pride, I took a cue from the old dude’s book, and suddenly, I was good to go the entire way. And after awhile, I was even climbing those hills with great gusto – no problem.
By the end of the ride my BG was 7.0 – near perfect! But when I got home, I noticed that the canula inserted into my stomach for my insulin pump was filled with blood. It was my first ride with the insulin pump, and I’m thinking that maybe my tights were rubbing up against the site when I was pedaling, but I’m not too sure. Either way, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t such a good thing.
On Wednesday, I’m going to an event featuring Canadian cyclist and type 1 diabetic Jonny White, who’s also on the insulin pump – maybe I’ll ask him 🙂

My journey back

It’s been 42 days since I last laced up my sneakers and hit the pavement. I miss it. I miss the breeze dusting my face, the music filling my ears, the seemingly natural flow of my body, stride after stride after stride. I miss the ease of sorting through work issues as the cars speed past me; the nostalgia of running through my old neighbourhood; the endorphins that flush through me with every gusting breath.
Every time I walk up the stairs of my loft, the first thing I see is my Asics sitting under my desk; maybe it’s torture I put them there, maybe it’s motivation. My Garmin and Road ID lie side by side on the top of my desk; the Garmin hasn’t been plugged in since Feb. 7.
It was the day of our pre-run for the Historic Half, just two weeks before race day. My favourite running gals and I met early in the Fort and set out on the 20 km romp. I was both nervous and excited – excited because it was a hilly route, I love hills, love going up them, I even nicknamed myself “The Contador of Running” after Tour de France winner (and Spanish hottie) Alberto Contador. But I was also nervous for the same reason. As much as I love going up, going down has long been my Achilles heel, especially for the prior two months, of which I’d been dogging pain in my piriformis (otherwise known as tight butt) that would get worse with every stomp downhill I made.
At 3 km, I felt pain in my right knee, but just a dull pain, I could keep going. At 10 km, I tried stretching the pain out on a walk break. It didn’t work. At 12 km, pressure started building in my left knee. At 15 km, I tried walking it off. At 18 km, fighting the tears that were stinging my eyes and the F bombs that were thrashing around in my head, I was done. I walked the remaining two kilometres with tears of defeat soaking my cheeks.
Today, Day 1 of PrincessofPavement, is the first day of my recovery; the first day of my journey back to the road.