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There've been a number of questions over the last 6 months about how to
handle the logistics of a marathon or other long race. I never saw any info
about triathlons, and all of a sudden on Saturday I realized I knew how to
handle swimming, biking, and running individually, but had no idea about
I did the Danskin Triathlon on Sunday.
For those who don't know, it benefits breast cancer research, and they make
a BIG deal about the breast cancer survivors who do it. :-) It's women
only, and gets a lot of first-time triathletes (like me). The distances are
short: 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I finished in something
like 1 hour 49 minutes, though I won't get an official time for a few
weeks. My goal was to complete it running, and I did, so I was pleased even
though my run was SLOW.
Anyway: the race started at 7am. I had to get up at 5:30am, and I was
220. Yuck - must have been the Thai food for dinner. I bolused 1 unit, but
was afraid to overbolus. I should have bolused 2. I stayed about 200 until
I started the race at 8:15 (in the 15th heat) -- I kept testing every 1/2
hour but then drank juice just before the swim. I disconnected to swim (I
have a MM 507) at 8am and left my pump and meter in the transition area by
After the swim (about 8:35) I was 287. Yikes! I bolused another 1/2 unit,
and got on my bike with a water bottle. After the bike ride (about 9:30) I
was 157, so I drank 4 oz of juice + water and started running. I finished
the race about 10:05, and tested at 177 around 10:15. It could have been
better with better bg, but it definitely could have been worse. I think I
should have bolused more to start with, at 5:30, and ate more. I did nibble
on balance bars between 6 and 8am (20-30g), but I could have eaten or drunk
much more before the race started if I were worried about being low. And I
drank water while biking -- it could have been juice.
Logistics: I used the Dex meter because it's the fastest one I own. I also
changed the strip cartridge right before the race to make sure I had enough
already IN the meter. Testing took less time than putting on my shoes
before the bike, but I had to wait for the meter between the bike and run,
and still more time to drink the juice.
I disconnected my pump about 15 min before the swim, reconnected before the
bike, and stayed connected through the bike and run. I kept my normal basal
rates. I have problems when I lower my basal rates... and I was already a
bit high. Plus, it would have taken time. I had bought a neoprene pack to
keep my meter and some glucose gel in while running and biking, but I
didn't use it. I knew I wouldn't need it while biking, and they were
handing out juice and gel and water along the way during the run.
The odd thing for me is that even though my bg was closest to normal (and I
don't usually keep it over 150!!) during the run, the run was by far the
hardest. Then again, it's the part I didn't train for... and the last leg.
If I had a continuous glucose sensor, you can bet I would have used it!
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Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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