Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year In Review

I might be getting ahead of things by a few days, but wanted to look at what happened this year. I challenged myself this year to do things that I wasn't comfortable with. I really wanted to start with a fresh attitude and new outlook. This seems to have worked out well. I went out on a catamaran with my friend Cynthia on New Year's Day and swam with fish--I realize that is not too crazy, but for me something that I do not like and typically have to start somewhere. I tried to learn how to surf. I went to Korea. I went out my first date in 12 years.

The best thing that I did by far this year was to link up with the Triabetes crew. This was scary. I didn't like to admit my diabetes to myself let alone talk to other people about it. I have gained so much through this program, and am glad that I took the chance. I have learned a lot and have met some amazing people. The best lesson that I learned is that living with diabetes involves more than insulin. It is a mix of nutrition, lifestyle, attitude, and insulin. I have been doing a lot of this for years, but am now more mindful of what I am doing.

Next project for 2011, "be happy." I don't think that it is necessarily hard to be happy, but many times it gets lost in the mix of daily stressors. I have set my sights to try to proactively capture happiness and hold on to it when times get tough.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Getting on the Training Bandwagon Sans Diet Coke

Holy crap, I quit drinking Diet Coke and gave up all artificial sweeteners this week. Whoa, it's been really easy, but really hard at the same time. I don't really like things with artificial sweeteners, but I thought that they were the best option given the fact that I had the 'betes. I have read and heard anecdotally that artificial sweeteners can actually raise or at least mess with your blood sugars. I decided to see if this was true and took the plunge. I really don't miss anything, but I have been really tired and out of sorts. Hopefully, those feelings are temporary and my sugars are good (or even improved?)

Started to get myself mentally in the game for training for St. George this week. Consistency and strength building is the name of the game for me right now. I feel that I am getting back on the training wagon in good time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Just wanted to in. This past week, I decided to get on the consistent, thought out, and executed training banwagon again. It's nice to be back!

As I was going for a post-bike ride swim this Saturday, someone on the beach saw my OmniPod and asked me about it. He had one too!! He also showed me his medic alert system--a tattoo on his upper arm. Pretty cool, I have never seen that before. It was really exciting to meet another local Type 1 who is active. Nice meeting you Emil--I hope to see you at a Dawn Phenom event soon!!

So, my well thought out plans for the near future are to build core and overall strength. Explosive plyometric training with my awesome trainer Nicky (who just one her division at a local figure contest) is going to help to get me there.

Another thing that is helping to get me there is inspiration from other Triabetes members like Alex who just completed and kicked butt at Ironman Kona and Brian who just finished his first marathon. Way to go guys! You are really helping me find my drive and committment again.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

DC Update

I just got back from a run and feel great! I feel like I did not give DC enough props yesterday. My run was not planned but I ran along the Mount Vernon trail. I wanted to run as long as I felt like without any speed or time criteria. It was amazing. It is so green here with so much activity. There were many people out running, cycling, playing soccer, and hanging with their families. I could not resist the lure of the Memorial Bridge and I am glad that I went over there. You can see many of the amazing monuments and beautiful aspects of the city along with the Potomac River--the Washington, Lincoln, and FDR Memorials, Arlington House on the hill overlooking the cemetery, and the 9/11 memorial. It is all very beautiful, peaceful, and filled with so much historic relevance.

Another amazing part of the Mount Vernon trail is Graveley Point right off of the main runway at National Airport. You can sit and watch planes take off and land right over and in front of you. It is really cool. The planes are so graceful and beautiful as they move along and above the runway. I like the possibilities that this represents--where are people going? what are they doing?

So, I may have had some weird consequences related to visiting DC, and I am still not sure if I am going to volunteer for any work trips any time soon. However, I no longer think that the city is out to get me--HA.

Friday, September 10, 2010

DC = Emotional Trouble

For this post, I need to start at the beginning which is to say that I used to live in the Washington, DC area. I moved away with a conscious choice of lifestyle over career potential. I was also sick of the politics, crazy post-9/11 security concerns, and my general dissatisfaction with the area. Over the years I have come to appreciate DC for the beautiful areas, the great museums, and the great friends that I am still in touch with. In fact, I thought that I was coming to an understanding with DC and have mildly flirted with moving back from time to time over the last year or so.
I don't think that DC wants me back! I travel there for work between three to four times per year. In the last four trips, something relatively horrible has happened to me. Last September, my grandfather died while I was enroute to DC. While waiting for my flight home, I ran over the Memorial Bridge to the World War II monument that always reminded me of him. This past February in DC, my estranged husband and I finally agreed to start divorce proceedings via e-mail. While not a surprise, it was still emotionally draining. That night I discovered the most decadent peanut butter and jelly sandwich at Potbellys. It was probably 5,000 calories and delicious. The story goes June my Grandmother died while I was on a trip that included DC. I diverted home to another funeral and found myself back in DC grieving. I took a boat ride on the Potomac one night marveling at the peacefulness and beauty of the lights and the river.

I am currently in DC and what could possibly happen? My 'boyfriend' breaks up with me out of the blue via text message with no explanation. If this wasn't happening to me, I would be laughing. In the meantime, I am going to run over the Memorial Bridge to a Potbellys to get a PB&J and take a boat back to my hotel via the river. Maybe that will center me.

In the meantime, I am not sure what to think about my next trip to DC...or if I even want to take it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hello Omnipod

I made the switch to an insulin pump this week and am still getting used to it. There is a sense of freedom in not having to worry about having your insulin in your purse and enough pen needles. That being said, I am still nervous about the bolus corrections (which I have never done before to this level) and varying the basal rate (I hope that this can come in handy while training and racing).

I have been trying different placement options for my trusty Omnipod unit. I wore one on the back of my arm. Today, I ran 11 miles and surfed for an hour. By the end of all this, it was barely hanging on. I'll need to work on this in the future, but an interesting experiment.

I look forward to learning more about the pump and how I can really leverage it with my lifestyle and training.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vineman 70.3 Recap

I participated in the Vineman 70.3 yesterday and had a great time. I was pretty nervous going in because of my lack of training over the last two months. That being said, I had a personal best finishing time at the half Ironman distance of 6:48. Wow-am I ever surprised.

I met Holly Pepper on the run course. She is another Triabetes member and Type 1 diabetic. Her husband and father-in-law were also racing. That was really cool and it was nice to talk to her about racing with diabetes...during a race. Talking to her made me realize that I had forgotten to take my Lantus before the race. A minor freak out ensued until I remembered that I had a great swim, a better than expected bike, and my run was going well despite nagging cramps in my quads. All that and I started the run out at 225, which wasn't too bad given the situation. As a result, I did not take any calories in on the run with the exception of Amino Vital and a handful of pretzels. When I finished I was at 160--so not too bad.

Vineman Lessons learned:
--Pay attention to your insulin intake before a race.
--Do not get your front and rear derailleur cables changed right before traveling with your bike and not riding it first. Bad idea.
--Racing with friends is always better than racing by yourself. I traveled to California with eight or nine other athletes from Hawaii. It was great to see their faces throughout the race and see that they were having a good day.
--Finally, maybe rest periods are good? That is a difficult pill to swallow for a Type A triathlete, but I'll do my best.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do Not Try This At Home

I started this year out with a bold idea to do things that I otherwise would not. This was meant to challenge myself and to learn about new things. For the most part, I have not done anything too crazy--I went sailing, I am learning how to surf, I have tried new foods, I have gone out with new friends, I am a Triabetes captain. This weekend I will be trying to complete the Vineman 70.3 race in California. For some reason, I feel as if this is going to be my biggest challenge to date.

Three reasons why racing Vineman is a bad idea:
1. I have not been on a 60 mile bike ride since May.
2. My training has been very inconsistent.
3. My mental focus on this race has been almost non-existent. (Normally, I would have printed out copies of race maps, know what time my swim wave starts, downloaded the athletes guide, know when and where the race registration is--I don't know any of this!)

Three reasons why I plan to race Vineman:
1. Why not? I have my plane ticket and lodging.
2. What is the worst that can happen? I DNF. This has happened to me before in much more emotional, spirit crushing circumstances and I survived it.
3. Maybe I can learn something from this--like how to enjoy a half ironman distance when you aren't worried about finishing within a certian time!

We'll see what happens. I am excited for my training parters--Lilian, Brian, Karen, Eric, Jodie, Cheryl, Jeff, Shelley, and Marcy. I am excited for my coach--Tim. They are ready to have a great race. I am glad that I'll be able to be there to share the experience with them. We are all traveling to CA wine country for a great weekend with friends.

Next posting, I'll let you know what happened. My experience with my new approach to life has worked out so far, so I hope that my luck holds out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Training Pause: Lessons Learned

My training has been a little unstructured over the last few weeks due to travel and work schedules. For the past few years, I have focused on being consistent with my training. I have reaped the benefits from this approach, but it is pretty rigid and does not leave a lot of room for other things. I have learned a lot from my training "pause".
  • Take the time to appreciate your surroundings. Instead of going for a run this weekend, I went on a hike that I have been wanting to do for years. It was amazing--wild guava, eucalyptus, bamboo. I was inspired to start incorporating trail running for my upcoming marathon training (Baltimore in October!)
  • I actually do like to train! I met with my training group last week for a structured workout and was nervous that I was not going to like getting back to the grind. I had an awesome time. I really like to swim! I really love my training partners! I am inspired to push myself when I see everyone working hard and supporting each other. I am so lucky.
  • Finding balance. I have always tried to balance my training goals with family committments, work, and other issues. Now I plan to ensure that "fun" is also in that mix. Additionally, I have learned that many of these things are not mutually exclusive.

I attended the Hawaii JDRF gala this weekend and met a lot of great Type 1s doing amazing things. There are a lot for great kids, families and adult diabetics in Hawaii who are living lifestyles that show that there are no limits to what we can do. I was inspired to keep it up, so I better get back into the grind...with a little more fun, flexibility into the mix.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fun Times in Korea

I haven't checked in lately because I have been in Seoul, Korea for a work trip. I was not sure what to expect because I have not traveled a lot in Asia. Wow, Seoul is a great cosmopolitan city with so much to offer. Korean food is wonderful and the people here are really nice and helpful. It has been such a trip, however, that my training has suffered. I ran a 5K on Memorial day, but since then it has been quick runs from meeting to meeting.

Since I have been gone, many of my training partners raced in the Hawaii 70.3 race. It sounds like it was a hard day. I am proud of their efforts and just wish that I could have been there to watch them cross the finish line.

I'll check in when I get back to Hawaii via Washington, DC. Hopefully by then, I'll be back in the groove.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Positive Mental Training

I have come a long way from where I started with regards to training and racing. In my first race, I was so scared to swim in water over my head that I grabbed onto a kayak about 100m from the finish in a 400m race. In my last race, I swam 2.4 miles in the Indian Ocean! Yes, the water (and things that live in it) still makes me nervous, but I have learned to face my fear and anxiety to deal with it.

I am very proud of my accomplishments in getting faster, stronger, and gaining more race experience. A lingering issue with me is my lack of confidence, which I feel holds me back. In the past, I always said to myself "You don't know if you can finish this, so stay conservative and do what you can." Now I know that I can go the distance and I want to get faster.

I am stealing some statements from "Cultivating Your Desire to Succeed" from This helped me to articulate what I want to mentally train for this year:

Believing that I can achieve my goal to finish and PR at Ironman St. George 2011.
Believing that I have what it takes to try.
Believing that I can bring everything I have within me to a moment that requires it.

One thing that has never been a factor in my mental race preparations is my diabetes. I don't ignore it, but I believe in my ability to control any issues that might arise during a race (which is normally--nothing). I have pulled out of races with low blood sugar, so what. People pull out of races due to a whole host of other reasons.

Wish me luck. This will definitely be more challenging than a 20 mile run or 100 mile bike ride!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bay to Breakers Madness

I am back from a wild weekend in San Francisco where I participated in the 99th running of the Bay to Breakers 12K. Me and 12 of my closest running friends were tied together in a centipede as we meandered around naked folks, drunk people, and others in all different costumes. The picture above is from the SF Gate and is a picture of us running. (I was in the rear wearing the stinger-don't mess with the bumble bee dragon...someone called us that during the run).

This was a great race. So many times we get absorbed with PRs and performance and forget about the joy of participating. This was a great race to remember the excitment of getting up early for a race. San Francisco is a great host city. My centipede partners were awesome. Brenda sewed and planned out our costumes and they were great. Chuck, the person that I was next to, provided great commentary throughout the race. I was surprised by our performance given the possibility of tripping, but we didn't do to badly and were able to run most of it.

Maybe next year some triabetes and glucomotive folks can join up in a centipede....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Overdose!?!

I eat a lot of peanut butter, but I am afraid I might have crossed the line. I eat almost a jar a week. I eat it for breakfast....everyday. I eat PB&J during workouts or even for dinner. I eat peanut butter with apples as a snack. I eat it with chocolate chips as a 'dessert' sometimes (no really, it is not every day).

This does sound a little overboard, but in my defense it is natural and a protein source. Recently, however, I have not been able to stand the smell of it and the thought of eating it is almost repulsive. What have I done? I'll need a new go-to food that is easy to eat with pretty much anything that I have in my pantry or fridge. Is there such a thing? I feel like it is breaking up with me.

The horror.

Anyways, I am gearing up for one of the best "block party" 12K races next weekend at Bay to Breakers in San Francisco. I am part of a centipede, which means I am tied to 11 or 12 other "runners" dressed in a crazy costume. Should be fun, however, I am not sure what I am going to bring with me to fuel up. Is there something like for your favorite (relatively healthy) snack?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pumps, Doctor's Appointments and Rainbows

I am not sure how many people can relate, but I have been frustrated with my health care lately. I really cannot say that it is anyone's fault, but why do things take so long? Why aren't doctor's more proactive in their approach to treating diabetes? Why aren't I researching possibilities that are out there for me? I am sick of settling for the easy way, and really hope to be more proactive. My frustration currently lies with the fact that, I finally agreed to getting a pump last October. I finally have it at my house as of last week, but due to work/training/schedules/life I won't be able to start using it until July. Sheesh.

When I got home, there was the perfect rainbow outside my window. I could actually see it end to end (although no gold was visible). It was amazing. The weather was beautiful and I had a great view of the ocean rolling in. This is the great thing about being in Hawaii. If you take the time to look around you and take it in, immediate frustrations are immediately put in perspective. I need to do this more often.

My First Blog Entry

Hi everyone, this is a true first for me. I am starting this blog to outline the trials, triumphs, and tribulations that I will experience over the next year training for Ironman St. George with the Triabetes team. I am a Type 1 diabetic living and training for triathlons in Hawaii. Triabetes is out there to change stereotypes about diabetes and educate people about the disease.

Let me tell you, even though I have lived with diabetes for 11 years, I learned a ton of things this weekend with my Triabetes teammates. Most importantly, I learned a lot about attitude. I have HATED having this disease since I was diagnosed. I have wanted nothing to do with it or acknowledging it as part of my life. I really see myself as a "normal" person who just happens to have to count carbs, test my blood sugars, and take insulin. I have never joked about the disease and have never been able to take it lightly....until this weekend when I met the 2010 Triabetes team and support crew. first They were able to share a new perspective that included a lighter side that could joke about things while still being steadfast in treating and dealing with the disease.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you over the next year. I hope to learn a lot.. Thanks for reading, I hope that you can get something from this.