Adventures in T1 with Alex 05/15/17

Here we are - the first post of the series!

I have been struggling with how to start this blog, teetering between a video post or text, if weekend is better than weekday, and if a small training day would seem more accessible to the community than a bigger.  I realized that my failed training day last week is the perfect way to start this dialogue. 

This was supposed to be the start of bigger weeks of training for the ultimate goal of Ironman Cozumel.  I would finally break into double digit hours of workouts for the week.  Then came the cough, a remnant of a cold from a few weeks ago.   It impacted most of my week, and last Sunday, I was starting to feel better, so I decided to try to go for my long run, ideally 9 miles.  I knew this might be a bit much, but previous weeks of 8 and 8.5 went fine, so why not.  As I prepped to leave, I had a sudden coughing fit that left me with a stiff neck – good start.

It was beautiful out, sunny and warm.  I started out on a new path from my condo in Shoreline, because the typical path is getting a bit boring.  The first mile and a half went reasonably ok.  There was the occasional coughing fit, but I was able to keep moving, albeit slowly.  I crossed over the I-5 pedestrian bridge, and started climbing uphill, and started feeling weaker, but still ok.  As I got to about 3 miles, I just felt completely drained.  Was it the cold draining my energy?  Was I still feeling the effects from a Thursday blood draw?  Then a very familiar feeling came over me, and I reached for my CGM.  It claimed 75 with a down arrow, but now recognizing what was happening, I knew that was probably generous.  My 3 week old sensor was beginning to lose reliability.  I had started in my typical range, set up a temp basal, and drank half a Gatorade before leaving, but it wasn’t enough.  I ate my two remaining shot blocks and a gel, drank some water, and tried to keep moving, but it wasn’t to be.  It was walking time, but at least it was a nice day for it.  As I walked, I was frustrated.  My cough was back, I couldn’t turn my head because of the stiff neck, I am further falling behind in training.  Now I am low – stupid low blood sugar!

As I slowly walked back alone and frustrated, my mind drifted to previous conversations.  I listened to my brother’s voice in my head saying to settle down, get home, and come out stronger next time.  I heard my roommate’s voice tell me about his crazy stories of low blood sugars at endurance events.  I relived conversations I had with teammates regarding our mutual disdain for the taste of gels.  Somewhere in the middle of these conversations, I began running again.  I was snapped out of memory lane by the three beeps of my CGM telling me I was low – pff, that’s old news.  I was starting to feel better, and before I knew it was nearly home again.  The cough came back as I got back to the street I live on, so any hope of continuing was gone, but I could go in, play with Echo, and try again next time.

I think this is a fitting first story for the blog, because it is not at all an uncommon struggle.  Whether it is on a run, or in the middle of a work meeting, those of us with Type 1 have all had a similar experience, probably with some regularity.  I fight through mine with the help of the community, whether they are next to me at the time or not.  We do not do this alone, and that is why I am pushing to do this race in November.  To me, this is a celebration of what makes our community great.  It is why we at ConnecT1D have created the Challenge Type 1 Fund – to ensure that our network continues to grow, explore, struggle, and excel.  This is how we are “All Alpha, No Beta”.

Join us next week for a new story of Adventures in T1.  Same bat time, same bat channel.

If you have a story you would like to share, please comment below, or email to get your own post up.