Week 22

I just finished my biggest week (so far) of Ironman training. I’m four weeks out from Wisconsin—it’s on the 13th—and weeks 22, 23, and 24 are the hardest weeks of the plan in terms of training volume and trying to fit everything in without burning out or having anyone around me kill me.

Post-ride. It's hot here.

Here’s what those 16.5-ish hours of training were like.

Monday: The previous couple of days had included a 16.6-mile (26.7 km) long run (that I described as 15.0 good miles and 1.6 very bad ones) and a very good 80-mile (130 km) ride, which included climbing Mount Wachusett. So I was looking forward to a “rest day” that involved just an hour-long swim of 2,900 yards.

Tuesday: THE PLAN called for an hour-long run. On Monday one of my coworkers told me that he had joined Strava and totally kicked my ass on a particular hill near where we work. Well, I couldn’t let that stand, so I was going to include that hill on the route. Unfortunately I had some low blood sugar before I got to the hill, which left me walking for a bit. That good-natured grudge match is going to have to wait for another day.

Wednesday: Lisa and I swam again. For me it was another 3,200 yards, taking just longer than an hour. These are all structured workouts, and the knowledge that they’re making me faster and that I need the distance are the only things keeping me going to the pool in the middle of the summer when the lake is so nice right now. After work, I went for a 30-minute run. THE PLAN said to do the run at an easy, conversational pace (zone 2) which I find difficult. But I headed out, kept an eye on my heart rate, and thought about why I feel the need to maintain a particular outward appearance or speed for people I don’t know; and it became easier to run easy.

Thursday: Bike to work! THE PLAN said to ride for an hour-and-a-half, with about 40-50 minutes of it at “tempo” pace (zones 3-4). In order to have a good workout on the way home, I needed to take it very easy on the way to work. Pacing is a big theme here, you might have guessed; as is respecting the hard workout. I had good blood sugar mojo coming home, and my tempo ride went very well. I had to keep reminding myself that “tempo” doesn’t mean time trial, so I was continually telling myself to slow down. I see this as one of the big things I’ll need to be mindful of when I’m racing next month.

Friday: Friday was a light day for me, just a half-hour swim at the lake with one of my peeps from the pool. She’s easily the fastest person at my pool, and I would occasionally throw a look her direction and see her doing the breaststroke to keep from outdistancing me. I had never seen the lake so clear before. Of course, that meant I had a really good look at all of the weeds that had grown in the summer heat.

Saturday: One thing that’s hard to train for is how my blood sugar is going to respond during triathlon. One of the main reasons for this is that I just don’t do a full triathlon very often, about once a month. THE PLAN listed Saturday’s workout as a triathlon with time breakdowns that don’t match any common distance, so I decided to make my own. This would give me a chance to practice my diabetes, nutrition, and hydration strategies, too. Those strategies involve eating a healthy pasta dinner of a known size the night before, eating a peanut butter sandwich six-plus hours prior to the start of the tri, setting a temporary basal rate, and eating a Clif Bar with a little bit of insulin just beforehand.

Heading out for the Do-It-Yourself triathlon

Backset transition area

So I set my midnight and 5:00 AM alarms, ate my food, adjusted my insulin, drove to the lake with the bike on the car and my transition bag in the backseat, and did my “Do-It-Yourself” triathlon. The hour-long, 2-mile swim from one of the lake to the other and back dropped my blood sugar much more than I was expecting (down 100 mg/dL, 5.6 mmol/L), and the hour-long, 18-mile bike ride immediately afterward raised it quite a lot (up 200, 11.0). This pretty much matches my recent races, so it’s a good baseline for making changes.

Midway through my 1.5-hour run someone rolled up next to me on a bike. “What are you training for?” he asked.

Clearly, I look like a triathlete, I thought. Perhaps it’s the tri kit, complete with visor and hydration belt. “Ironman Wisconsin in four weeks.”

“Aw, man!” he said. “Why did you have to pick the hardest one?”

I shrugged, thinking It really wasn’t my choice and Why do people tell me how hard all of the races I’ve signed up to do are going to be? “I’ve heard that Lake Placid is worse.”

“I’m going to do the one in Maryland. Eagleman? It’s supposed to be super flat. Well, have fun!”

Sunday: The previous night I had cobbled together a 95 mile-long bike route that included several of the smaller rides I do. I set out to spend lots of time in the aero bars and to eat and drink according to my race plan. Five hours and fifteen minutes of riding later I was back home and feeling a bit spent from the week’s exertion.

Twenty-two weeks down, four left to go. This week and next are each going to have more volume than the previous. Wish me luck!

Posted in Cycling, Reluctant Triathlete, Running, Swimming | 2 Comments

So Much Fitnessing: July Round-up

Forgive me, dear readers, for being so late with the details about last month’s swim/bike/run activities. I have a few ride and travel posts in the hopper—including one about the JDRF ride and another about my ride through the Front Range on vacation—but those will have to wait until the weekend.

It was a busy month, fitness-wise, and I like the results of where I am. Everything is coming together nicely for Ironman Wisconsin on September 13.

  • Swim: 11 times, 10:03, 30,550 yards (17.4 miles, or 27.9 km) — Only 2 were open-water this month.
  • Bike: 15 times, 34:44, 562 miles (904 km) — So much climbing!
  • Run: 13 times, 14:18, 96 miles (154 km) — It still doesn’t feel like I’m marathon training.
  • Etc: 1 hike/walk, 1 zip-line canopy tour
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Four Notches and Two Tours

Saturday night, as I was falling asleep, I had a dream that woke me almost bolt upright. I was riding my bike, and suddenly I flew off the edge of a mountain. My tired subconscious had combined the two adventures from my day, apparently deciding to keep the most exciting parts.


The Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Its name suggests sweeping panoramic views of the Presidential Range and the fiery colors of a New England autumn. Every time I’ve driven over it I’ve wanted to ride it on my bike. Two years ago when I rode around Mount Washington (details on Strava), I said I would ride “The Kanc,” as it’s locally known, next time.

Lisa and I were already going to be in the White Mountains over last weekend, and my Ironman plan suggested that I needed to bike five hours this weekend. This was just perfect for the 80-mile (130 km) route I had mapped out. The ride would take me over four “notches:” Franconia Notch, Kancamagus Pass, Bear Notch, and Crawford Notch. Each of these would involve significant climbing. Perfect!

Kanc ride

I hadn’t expected rain when I got up at 5:00AM, although I had planned for it when I packed for the trip. I spent a few minutes wondering whether I really wanted to do this ride before realizing I would be so chagrined later if I didn’t. I needed to get the ride in and to be back in time for our 1:30PM zip-line tour, so there was no time to dilly dally. I put everything that needed to stay dry in Ziploc baggies and headed out from the hotel, eating my ClifBar breakfast as I rode into the gloom.

The rain picked up as I rolled along, pushed by a strong wind from the south. Gradually I turned westward and started climbing toward Franconia Notch. The Notch has one of the few two-lane stretches of interstate highway in the US and bikes are excluded from it. There is a paved bike path, which feels like a hiking trail. It’s windy and full of short, punchy hills. Some of the grades were ridiculously steep, and because of the rain I decided to take it easy. (If you’ve been reading these dispatches, you’ll know that I don’t like to take it easy when on a training ride.) About halfway down the Notch, I realized I was riding the trail like I would on a mountain bike. The wind—now hitting me square in the face—was pretty brutal, too, and there were whitecaps on the lakes I rode past.

The bike trail part of the ride ended, and almost immediately I was going 30 mph (50 km/h) down a rainy, straight road with a nice wide shoulder. This was more like it! I zipped up my jersey and rain jacket to keep warm and rolled past water parks and tacky tourist shops into the town of Lincoln. When I stopped to refill my water bottles, the cashiers at the convenience store looked at me with a hint of pity. I caught sight of myself in a mirror in the store and felt a little badass. “I’m going to go ride my bike up a mountain in the rain. Who does that?! You do that. Now get on your bike and ride.”

As soon as I arrived in Lincoln the road turned upward. Having driven this road before, I had a vague idea of the scenery I wasn’t seeing. I caught glimpses of the Pemigewasset River and the streams feeding into, and even when I couldn’t see it, I heard it crashing down its rocky bed. I was left to imagine the tall peaks across the valley. My speed played tricks with my brain. The road was definitely going up, but how was I still climbing in the big ring? Sometimes I was going 15-20 mph (25-30 km/h) as I rolled along. Other times I was closer to 10 mph (15 km/h). I couldn’t see the horizon, but I knew I was going uphill. Eventually it dawned on me that the wind, which I couldn’t really feel, wasn’t a cross-wind at all but was helping push me up the mountain as it funneled up the valley.

I knew this climb was going to take a while, so I just kept a steady tempo, working hard but not too hard. I started the climb at mile 30 of my ride and figured I would summit somewhere around mile 43-45. I calculated it would take me about a little over an hour. As I got to the steeper part of the climb and my speed started to hover around 10 mph, I began to wonder if I was going to make it back to the start in time to get some lunch before our zip line tour. “Hmm . . . It took me two hours to go the first 30 miles, but part of that was on the slow bike trail. Now it’s a half hour later, and I’m not quite halfway done with the ride and I probably have seven more miles of climbing. I’m averaging a mile every six minutes. At this rate, I won’t be back until noon. I think I’d better be prepared to call Lisa and have her drive out and meet me somewhere. We’ll see what time it is when I get to Bartlett around mile 60.”

I was ticking off the miles and counting down the time as I worked my way to the summit. 36. 37. 38. “36 more minutes. 30. 24. . . .” About 45 minutes in I passed the hairpin turn that I knew was about 3/4 of the way up. “Frankly, I feel pretty good. I still have lower gears left if I need them. The road is probably going to pitch upward soon.” About 15 minutes later I saw the sign for the scenic overlook, and I thought I was at the top. Except the sign pointed off to the right, and I distinctly remember looking northward the last time I was on this road, which meant the overlook should have been on the left. 1,000 feet later I passed the sign for the other overlook and then a different sign informing me of a 7% downgrade for the next five miles.

For me, the best thing about climbing a mountain by bike is the sense of accomplishment at the top, but a very close second is the descent. I’m not a daredevil, but I love the rush of straight-line speed and the way the bike feels as it carries momentum into a corner. I’m actually quite conservative when it comes to cornering, and I respect the quality of the road surface, but I love to open it up when I can. The rain was a bit of an X factor, however, so I wasn’t hell-bent for speed.

Fortunately, the same updraft that pushed me higher was also acting as a brake on the downhill. The descent was completely nontechnical, with just a few gentle turns. The road surface was pretty good, too. The rain had mostly ended by now, and visibility was good. It was still wet, though, so whenever my speed edged up toward 40 mph (65 km/h) I lightly tapped the brakes. I’m sure it was just a placebo effect, but it made me feel a little safer. Traffic was exceedingly light, so I took advantage of the whole lane. If there was anyone behind me, they could wait a few minutes to pass. (Two cars did, in fact, pass me during the 10 minutes of the steep part of my descent. Neither seemed too impatient.)

The wind that had been pushing me up the mountain and keeping my speed in check on the steep part of the downhill now turned into a bit of an unwelcome guest. I had been able to pedal the whole descent up to this point, but now I actually had to work. I was pushing a big gear—and I was averaging over 20 mph (32 km/h)—but I wondered how fast I could go on a calm day. The good news is that I had made up a bunch of time. In just under 10 minutes, I had gotten myself back on track to arrive around 11AM.

After another 15 minutes of descending I was on the third climb of the day to Bear Notch. This little road connects the Kancamagus Highway with US-302, is very lightly traveled, entirely skips the incredibly busy town of Conway and its outlet malls, and is super pretty. At only 4 miles long, it’s also quite a bit shorter than the climb I had just done.

Just after turning onto the road, I met my first cyclists of the day. First a couple of women, then a man and a woman, and then another couple of women. We exchanged pleasantries. As I approached the top of the notch, my jacket and jersey unzipped, I saw a man wearing a tie-dyed shirt and a big camera taking pictures of me. “Clearly an event photographer,” I thought as I zipped up my jacket. (If there are going to be pictures of me out there somewhere, they’re at least going to be beautiful ones.) Then I remembered that two years ago I saw a bunch of riders doing the Mount Washington Century. I passed a bunch of them over the next 25 miles.

The Bear Notch descent was fantastic! Still wet and winding, but completely safe. I don’t think I touched my brakes at all, sweeping through corners and touching speeds in excess of 45 mph (75 km/h). Those ten minutes were even more enjoyable than the descent from the ride’s high point at Kancamagus Pass.

I was now at the ride’s lowest point (elevation-wise). It would be almost all uphill from here until I passed over Crawford Notch four miles from the hotel. With only 20 miles and 1,300 feet of climbing left to go, I no longer had to worry about calling Lisa to pick me, especially since my route had turned to give me a tailwind boost again.

That help turned out to be most welcome when I got to the hardest part of the climb: the ascent of Crawford Notch. I remember reaching 50 mph (80 km/h) going down it in 2013. And it had a climbing lane, which I had not yet seen on my ride today. The skies cleared, and I saw my first blue sky of the day as I entered the valley that contained the actual pass. I had been riding steadily uphill for about 12 miles (20 km) before I got to the steep part, and then it was like I hit a wall. The climbing lane started, and I was out of gears. 5% grade. 10% grade! 15% GRADE! 20% GRADE!! I was pushing hard and breathing harder, and I felt like I was barely moving. I was, in fact, barely moving. I looked down at my GPS and saw 4 mph (6 km/h) and decided to stop looking. I was slowly passing people on the climb, and as I passed one on the steepest part, I said, “Oh, holy shit!” After a long moment, she looked over at me with hollow eyes and silently went back to eating her stem.

At the top of the pass, someone had spray painted “Payback Time!” It definitely wasn’t as steep or as fast (or as wet) as the previous descents of the day, and it was effectively straight as an arrow. And it had a wide, smooth shoulder. So I attacked it. It’s always nice to end a ride on a downhill, and I cruised to the Mount Washington Hotel in bright sun but still a bit damp at 10:30AM, five hours and 80 miles after I rolled out.


After a shower and a bit of lunch, Lisa and I headed over to the “Adventure Center” for the second adventure of the day: a zip-line canopy tour. I’ll confess to being slightly afraid of heights, but I love things like roller coasters and being way up high (as long as I know it’s safe). I don’t remember exactly why I decided to put “Go zip-lining” on my latest list of 101 things to do, but it probably had something to do with watching “The Amazing Race” on TV.

It was so much fun! Our canopy tour was about two hours long and included nine zips, a half-dozen rappels, and a couple of sky bridges. Our guides started us on short, easy segments before moving us down the mountain in longer and faster runs. A few of my coworkers were along on the tour, and part of the fun was talking nonsense while we waited to get hooked into the pulley system to take our turns. One person saw a hawk on our second-to-last zip. On the same one, I ended up getting turned around 180°. Oops! Like any good geeky speed demon would do, I wore my Garmin GPS on the tour. At one point, I was going 32 miles/hour (52 km/h). So awesome!

I was definitely in my element when we rappelled. I wish those had been longer. On the other hand, I was quite pleased that the sky bridges—basically suspended planking—weren’t any narrower. This was actually the part that I was most nervous about. I’d love to do it all again!

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Mass State Triathlon 2015

I never got around to giving a report for last year’s Mass State Triathlon. It was the weekend before I left for RAGBRAI, and writing up a lengthy post about the race wasn’t at the top of my priority list. So I didn’t tell you about how I discovered Chrissie, my tri bike, had a flat tire the morning of the race, so I just grabbed my road bike. Or that—just like the year before—it was really hot. Or how I had a pretty good swim and ran a 10K PR to finish the Olympic-distance race in two hours and twenty eight minutes. But there it is in a nutshell.

Last Sunday, the 12th, Lisa and I went back to Winchendon to do the same race, my last one before Ironman Wisconsin, which was nine weeks away on race day. At the beginning of the season the Ironman was very abstract, but it’s become more and more real as the spring progressed into summer. My training load is getting bigger, my body has become more tired, and I’ve been ticking off the races until there was only Mass State between me and IM Wisconsin. The fact that this was the last race beforehand had me feeling a little anxious in the days leading up to Sunday’s event. Have I biked enough? Have I run enough? Can I successfully ramp up my running? Even if my body is ready by September 13th, it’s going to be an immense day of racing. Will my mind and my ‘betes be ready for it? There are only so many races available to prepare. How will this one shake out?

After a mild couple of weeks, the temperatures ramped up over the days before the race. This race always seems to be hot, and the high was forecast at 92°F (33°C). And it was warm on race morning as the various swim waves waited on the beach for the race to start. But at 75°F (24°C) it wasn’t as oppressively hot as it was last year or the year before . . . at least not yet. I tried to follow the same nutrition and insulin plan that I found successful at Quassy, but the insulin timing turned out to be different than the previous race, and my initial BGs were a little higher, too. We’ll come back to that.

The swim went very well. I had been seeing good splits at the lake recently, and this was my fastest open-water swim ever. As usual, I started nearer to the front and sprinted the first 100 yards or so in order to get clear of as much of the crowd as possible. The swim field was very strong—the race is typically a USAT National qualifying event, so it draws fast swimmers—and it took over 15 minutes to get some separation within the field. There was a lot of jostling and swimming up onto people’s feet as they slowed down after going out too fast. A couple of times I had to skip a stroke to get room to maneuver to some unoccupied water. More often, though, I just had to assert myself and hold the line I had been following, even if it meant nudging someone who wasn’t sighting well out of the way. Coming around the second of four left-hand turns, the swimmer to my left kept swimming straight, so I kinda had to swim over him. I got back to shore and into transition after swimming the 1500 meters, or 0.9 miles, in 26:36.

My Ironman and 70.3 bike plans have me biking at a pace to keep my heart rate between 135-145 beats/minute. That’s about 75-80% of my maximum heart rate and just below threshold, which I can only sustain for about an hour. When I race a sprint, I aim much closer my lactate threshold heart rate of 155 BPM. How to approach the Olympic-distance? I decided—after getting a couple of miles into it—to treat it more like a sprint than a long-course race. It wasn’t a complete hammer-fest, but I definitely pushed the pace. From last year, I remember a couple of big hills, but they never seemed to materialize. Evidently all of the climbing in the Quassy Half altered my perspective a bit.

I passed people. I got passed by others. One particular rider passed me and then immediately slowed down. This is my biggest triathlon pet peeve. There are a few key “position” rules in triathlon:

  1. Keep 3 bike lengths between you and the rider ahead of you unless you’re passing. Otherwise, you’re drafting.
  2. You have 15 seconds from when you enter the drafting zone to complete the pass. It’s up to you as the passer to complete the pass, not the person being passed.
  3. Once the front the passer’s front wheel passes the front of your front wheel, you’re passed. It’s now your responsibility to fall back out of the 3 bike length zone.

Ideally, when a fellow triathlete passes you, he or she is going fast enough that you don’t have to do anything and can just keep going your original pace. Sometimes, they pull directly in front of you as they pull away, giving you 2-3 seconds of unintentional drafting. I don’t look this gift horse in the mouth, by the way, but I don’t try to exploit it by stretching it out either. The fact that it’s my responsibility to leave the drafting zone quickly after being passed is why it’s so annoying to have people slow down after passing. Technically, I have to drop back 15 feet, just to ramp up to a passing speed to get back to my previous pace.

The worst thing is when someone actively stymies your attempt to pass. I had one guy do this a few times on the back half of the course. He caught me and then slowed down. I dropped back. I sped up to pass, and as I pulled even with him, he pushed the pace to make it hard to pass. Over the span of a few miles, this happened three times. Once I actually had to drop back, he sped up so much. Technically, I could have gotten a two-minute penalty if one of the referees had been there. Eventually, much to my relief, I got past him on a fast section and didn’t see him again until the run.

I surprised Lisa coming back into the park to transition to the run. She spent a good deal of my ride listening to a real-life edition of “Shit Triathlon Coaches Say.” She was just tucking into a freshly opened granola bar when I spotted her in her bright orange “Team Jeff” shirt. I heard her swear through a mouth full of granola bar, grab the camera hanging around her neck, and take a few quick photos. When she asked before the race how long I thought the bike would take me, I overestimated by quite a lot, saying “about an hour and a half.” And here I was, back from covering the 22 miles in just 1:03.

It was warming right up by the time I headed out onto the run course. The first time I did this race, the course seemed interminably long and convoluted. On my third time around, I knew what to expect. I knew where the fast downhills were, where the aid stations were located, which parts of the course were shady or sunny, where to kick it up a bit, and where to hold back. I definitely feel that I race better when I know the course. When I was still in my first of ten kilometers, I saw the eventual winning man coming back, more than 9 kilometers ahead of me.

I ran well enough, but I never really engaged with it mentally. Perhaps I pushed too hard on the bike and my body was just ready to be done. Perhaps I was slightly dehydrated. I hydrated well and ate a few times on the bike, but I had trouble getting water on the course. There weren’t enough volunteers handing out water, and I ended up having to run through half of the aid stations without really getting any. Perhaps all of the Ironman training was catching up with me. Or perhaps after ramping up my distance and expectations for the Ironman, I needed to spend more time telling myself to be serious about this shorter race. Nothing felt bad while I ran, but I also felt pretty “flat.” I pushed myself over the last mile, saw Lisa on my way into the finish, and stopped my watch at 2:21:33, a new Olympic-distance PR.

Only 56 days until Wisconsin!

Here are some of Lisa’s awesome photos.

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The Shortest Distance Between Two Points is a Rail Trail

Today I did something that I’ve never done before: I ran to work.

My Ironman plan said that I needed to run for a bit more than two hours, but we’re going out of town this weekend, and a run that long really didn’t fit well with the trip. I looked at how far I might run in 2:15 (roughly 15-16 miles, or 24-26km), thought about the distance to the office (16 miles), and decided to combine my commute and my long run.

This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. There’s no way it could be. I can carry a bunch of stuff in my backpack when I bike to work, but I didn’t want to do the same thing when I run. So I brought clothes to the office on Thursday and made a plan to have Lisa pick me up after work on our way out of town. (My original plan—to drive my bike to work on Wednesday, ride it home that evening, run on Thursday morning, and then drive myself home—was thwarted by rain in the weather forecast. It never rained.)

In addition to about 40 oz (1L) of water, I only carried things with me this morning which I absolutely needed and which would fit in my minimalist hydration pack:

  • My phone
  • Some cash
  • My wallet and access key for the office
  • BG meter, test strips, lancing device
  • 4 Hammer Nutrition gels
  • A pack of Clif ShotBloks
  • Glucose tablets

The first part of my run was really beautiful. There’s a rail trail with branches that run north and east from the center of my town. Taking the eastern line, I can run about 8 miles completely free of traffic. The part in my town is paved, and the neighboring town is gradually improving its section. So I ran on pavement and then crushed stone and then single-track for the first hour-plus of the journey. At one point I ran through a tunnel (in the shape of a tall tanker rail-car) that someone had put fairy lights around. A little while later, I was looking down on the cars who were hopefully looking up and seeing some crazy guy.

Eventually the trail ended and I had to turn onto the highway. The nice thing about those 3.5 miles was that they’re very flat and went directly toward my office. The unpleasant aspect was that there’s no sidewalk and not even much of a shoulder. The next time I do this, I’ll try to find some quiet, flat back roads (which probably don’t exist). Drivers were very courteous, and I did my best to stay out of their way. By this time I was pretty much soaked clear through from sweat, and I was feeling very happy that the office has a nice gym with showers.

When I got to Sherborn Center, I picked up a sidewalk for about a mile before heading into another mile-long stretch without one. Fortunately, almost everyone was driving the other way. Plus, it was Friday, which meant traffic was rather light. I had pretty much been in the zone until this point, not really thinking about much of anything as I kept a steady rhythm. But once I got into Natick (the town where I work) I was starting to wonder how many miles I actually had left. “Let’s see. I can get from Sherborn to the office in about 15 minutes. That’s going about 20 mph. And I’m running about 1/3 that fast, so 45 minutes. Really? Damn. How long ago was I in the center of Sherborn. Ugh.”

I was quite happy to arrive in downtown Natick, because I knew exactly how far I had left to go: 1.7 miles. They would be all uphill, of course, but I knew that, so somehow it didn’t seem so bad. Two hours and twenty-two minutes and 16.2 miles (26.1 km) after leaving home I arrived at the office. I decided to take the elevator to my office on the third floor to retrieve the clothes I had cached there yesterday.

I passed by the office of one of my coworkers, who has a bowl of fun-sized candies on the edge of her desk. “Mmm . . . candy,” I said trying to grab something and quickly leave without sweating on anything.

“Did you ride in today?”

“Actually, I ran.”

“You ran?! Take as much as you want!” she said while pushing the bowl in my direction.

Mmm . .  candy.

Posted in Reluctant Triathlete, Running | Leave a comment

Take Care of Yourself

A few weeks ago some of us were talking while waiting for Pool Guy to show up and let us in. Somehow diabetes came up in the conversation. I might have been saying how I had a very good diabetes day during the 70.3, or someone could have been mentioning how they heard about an advance in diabetes research and thought of me. I can’t honestly remember. I don’t make a big deal about the ‘betes at the pool (or most other places for that matter) and not everyone I swim with knows that I live with it.

“My sister has type-1 diabetes,” one of the pool regulars said. “She doesn’t take very good care of herself, though.”

Honestly, this is one of the hardest things for me to hear and respond to. It’s easy enough to educate someone about how the various kinds of diabetes actually work. I can tell people what my diabetes experience is, but I wouldn’t imagine trying to speak for others. Nevertheless, I know that lots and lots of us try hard and alternately succeed and struggle. And I know that friends and relatives don’t see enough of our lives with diabetes to get an accurate picture of how it’s going. Most of all, I know that comments about how well we take care of ourselves are rooted in concern for our well-being. I try to tread lightly and politely all without throwing any of my fellow type-1 folks under the bus. Besides what does “taking very good care of oneself” really mean?

So I made a sympathetic face—at least, as sympathetic as my face gets—and said what I usually do. “Diabetes is tough. There’s a lot that goes into taking care of ourselves, and it’s not always easy to see.” Fortunately, Pool Guy showed up shortly afterward to let us in to swim.


Fast forward to last Wednesday when I went for a run after work. I had miscounted the amount of carbohydrates in my lunch, and my blood sugar by the time I was ready to exercise was 410 mg/dL (22.8 mmol/L). I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go for my regularly scheduled run, but I also figured that exercising would be the most effective way of bringing it down. I took a unit of insulin, put on my running clothes, laced up my shoes, and headed out toward the rotary two miles from my house.

I had originally intended to run to the rotary—which, BTW, hasn’t been a rotary since they did the construction work to turn it into an intersection with 3-way STOP signs—but I was feeling the need to go a little farther and to do something a little badass, so I kept going once I got there. Soon I was running down one of the biggest hills in town, dropping over 150 feet in less than half a mile. And then I was running up the other side of the valley, gaining 200 feet in 2/3 of a mile, before making a left turn to drop down another, shallower hill, and looping my way back to the foot of the first big hill.

It was slow, steady work to get myself back up those 150 feet. This is one of the most difficult hills in town (#3 by my estimation), and there are a few places where it doesn’t feel like you’re actually making any forward progress. Eventually, I got back to the not-rotary at the top of the hill and turned right, towards home, which was just two miles away.

About a half-mile later, I started to feel “not quite right” in that way that accompanies hypoglycemia. Is it possible that I had dropped 340 mg/dL (18.9) or more in less than an hour? It seemed inconceivable, but I had taken that insulin, and I’d been running a little longer than I had expected, so it was entirely possible. It certainly felt like it. My CGM hadn’t said I was low, but it was pointed sharply downward.

I ate four glucose tablets and kept running at a slower pace. And then a few minutes later, the feeling was more pronounced. I ate four more glucose tablets, stopped running, and walked slowly toward home. If I were riding my bike, I would hang out on the side of the road for the 10 minutes or so it would take to get over the low. For whatever reason I don’t do the same thing when I’m running; it just seems like a waste of time in my hypoglycemic-but-not-yet-incapacitated brain. So I walked and ate the last two glucose tablets in the tube.

I gritted it out and held on and got home. Testing my blood glucose, I saw 70 (3.9), and I could feel that my BGs were on the way up.


Later I thought about the somewhat one-sided conversation I had with the person at the pool about her sister. Would she say that I’m not taking very good care of myself? Some might look at that 410 mg/dL or the 340 drop on my run and say, no, I’m not. I didn’t almost pass out, but it was a possibility, especially with a drop like that, which clearly I had contributed to by taking more insulin than I needed.

It’s also possible to look at that experience and note that I’m training for an Ironman triathlon (with diabetes!), that I train everyday, that this kind of drop is uncommon but more likely given the amount I train, and that I prepared for the possibility of hypoglycemia by carrying glucose tablets every time I leave the house. Clearly, there’s a lot of gray in “Taking Care of Oneself.”

Diabetes is a constant fixture in the lives of those of us with it, and the best we can do is work with it, trying to actively manage it. Doing so falls on the tedious end of the excitement spectrum. Most of the time, we do the best with the information we have and the variability in our disease. Occasionally we get tired of it, have a momentary lapse in judgment or attention, or just do a plain ole half-assed job. But that’s true in all aspects of our lives, diabetes or no.

Posted in Diabetes, Life Lessons, Running | 1 Comment

June Round-up

I’m having trouble accepting that it’s July. It just doesn’t seem possible.

Fitness-wise, May and June look a lot alike. The weather didn’t really cooperate for my long rides on the weekend, but I started commuting to work more by bike. I definitely need to get some longer outings in this month. (And with JDRF’s Burlington Ride to Cure Diabetes just around the corner, I’m going to get my wish. You can help make it a success with a donation to help fight diabetes.)

I also didn’t do quite as much running as I had expected. The brutal 70.3 on the 7th left me feeling pretty flat for a couple of weeks afterward. I definitely need to start adding some length to my long runs so that I’m ready for the marathon at the end of the Ironman. (That’s just 10 weeks away!)

Without further ado, here are the totals:

June — 43 workouts

  • Swim: 12 times, 9:39 — 28,500 yards (16.2 miles, or 26,000 meters)
  • Bike: 15 times, 24:03, 387 miles (623 km)
  • Run: 12 times, 11:09, 78.7 miles (126.7 km)
  • Kayak: Once, for just over an hour
  • Strength: 3 times

While we’re counting stuff, lots talk about license plates. Every month I play my own version of the license plate game. I keep track of all the different states and provinces whose plates I see. Last year, because of my RAGBRAI road trip, I think I got all of the U.S. states. June brought a pretty good haul, too. (Well, for the U.S., at least.) It’s probably easiest to list the states I didn’t get, since I saw 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

  • States missing: Oregon, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia.
  • Provinces I saw: Ontario, Québec, Alberta, Nouveau Brunswick
Posted in Cycling, Reluctant Triathlete, Running, Swimming | 1 Comment

This Old Man Cray Cray

Last Friday I posted about how I’ll be riding my bike more because, when it comes right down to it, cycling is often a more relaxing way to commute than driving. Earlier in the morning I had driven to the lake, swam 1.7 miles (about 3,000 yards, or 2,700 meters), and tried to take it easy on the bike into the office. I had a nice tailwind that moved me right along before it turned into light rain for the last 10 minutes.

After putting in a full day at work, I headed home, telling myself that I wasn’t going to work too hard or add too much distance. An hour should do it. An hour of relaxed cycling on a beautiful afternoon. The first 59 minutes of that ride were great, and then it got weird.

Some background: There are some things you should know about me. (1) I’m pretty laid back when I’m riding, and I like to follow the rules, but I don’t take shit when I’m within my rights. (2) I have a very loud yell when I need it. (3) While I usually reserve the yelling for people who aren’t paying attention and are about to hit me, I will occasionally chastise bad driving behavior. (4) My biggest pet peeve when I’m riding is drivers who pass me and then immediately turn right. Someone hit me this way when I was a teenager. (5) It’s illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to turn directly after passing, and it’s not a legal defense for a driver to say that he or she didn’t see the rider.

With that set up, back to our story.

I’m literally one minute from my car at the lake when I sense a car behind me. We’re at the crest of a very steep uphill on a narrow road without lane markings. I’m going 10-15 mph, but in 10 seconds I’ll be going 35 mph. At the bottom of the hill there’s a dangerous intersection, and I frankly don’t want to deal with being behind a car going into that intersection, so I’m in the middle of where my lane would be if it were marked.

The driver has personal issues, so he decides to pass me on this blind uphill, gets just past me, and puts on his right turn signal.

So I shout, “HEY, C’MON!”

And he hits the brakes and comes to a screeching stop. I’m getting ready to go past him—like I said, it’s a fast downhill—but I’m cautious, which is good because he just about doors me.

I stop, and this old man is immediately in my face, raving and cursing.

“WAS THERE SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO FUCKING SAY TO ME?”

I’m calm, but I’m thinking, “This old man be cray!” He had already done three dangerous things, and now he’s raving. Who knows what he’s going to do next. I couldn’t see myself making any headway in a reasonable conversation, and I could honestly imagine him trying to take a swing at me. So I start to clip back into my pedals preparing to leave. I simply say, “What you did was illegal and dangerous.”

“THAT’S BULLSHIT! AND YOU CAN’T RIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. THAT’S ILLEGAL!”

Like I said, the sputtering old man cray-cray, so I just said at a normal voice, “That’s not true,” and I take off. And he pulls into his driveway, which is 20 yards after where he passed me.

As I was pulling up to my car in the parking lot I was still thinking about what had just happened. Mostly I was bemused by how ridiculous that old man was. I’ve had altercations with drivers who didn’t like cyclists in the past, but this was the most ludicrously venomous one of all. And I was also feeling just a little proud of how I handled the situation. A couple of years ago I was occasionally chasing down drivers who acted dangerously. Now I’m trying to stay Zen about the whole thing.

I’m going to call that ride a success.

Posted in Cycling, Life Lessons | 5 Comments

Rock Beats Scissors. Bike Beats Car.

My office is 16 miles from my house. That’s via the most direct route, which is frequently slow in a car because the backroads are actually main streets, and it passes through four town centers—Milford, Holliston, Sherborn, and Natick—each of which brings traffic to a crawl. It’s usually faster to take 495 and the Mass Pike; sure it’s 8 miles longer, but it usually gets me there in 30-40 minutes depending on when I leave. Coming home has been a crazy-making experience the last few weeks. Yesterday, I spent 90 frustrating minutes in the car crawling along to get home. I actually went 20 miles out of my way, going past the interchange I needed and then taking some roads I know from my weekend bike outings.

When I ride my bike from the house to the office, it takes 60-70 minutes depending on how energetic I’m feeling and whether I throw in some gratuitous hills. If I leave my car at the lake after swimming, 40 minutes later I’m at work. On the return trip, lately I’ve been choosing routes home that have me riding for 80-90 minutes, either home or back to my car at the lake. Sometimes it’s so that I can miss a particularly rough or busy stretch of road, but mostly because it’s so nice to be in the saddle. By the time I’m home I’ve done my workout(s) for the day, and I can help out and settle in for the evening.

Last night, as I grumbled to myself while going nowhere in traffic, I decided to commit to something I’ve been thinking about for a while: I should bike to and from work more often. I’m happier when I ride, and it seems to take almost as long whether I’m in the car or on a bike. Plus, it will help my training. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. And here comes the tricky part. I’m going to have to slow down most days when I ride. (I’m not sure how many days each week I’ll be able to ride because of weather or after-work commitments or really long swim sessions at the pool. Although that last one might not be a thing. I’ll have to think about it some more.)

Slowing down is going to be hard. Riding a bike is fun, especially in that “I’m kicking ass!” kind of way. My legs and lungs and heart have a set-point where we like to be: just at the edge of too hard. The pedals are always turning, and there’s the hint of a burn on my muscles and the knowledge that, while I could go faster, I’m moving right along. My PM commute is often my hard bike workout for the week, and I push the pace according to my training plan. Riding three or four days a week isn’t going to be sustainable if I always take the long or hilly route or if I treat it as a tempo ride. I figure I need to drop my speed by 1-2 MPH and my heart rate by 10-15 BPM (basically from zone 3 to 2) in order not to commute myself into over-training. It’s going to be a challenge to do and to feel okay with. (And I’m also going to have to figure out how to fit my running and recovery days into this plan.)

I was thinking about this last week on one of my rides to work, and I shared the following reflection on a Facebook fitness group.

I opted for the 20-mile route on my ride into work today. It’s kind of a beautiful morning out there in New England. I did my very, very best not to treat the commute in as a training ride by keeping my heart rate low. (The ride home is the training ride.) I mostly succeeded.

I’ve noticed on my rides recently that, the more traffic there is, the harder I push myself. I think I have some kind of need to “perform” the activity of cycling to all of the drivers out there. And riding “slow”—even if it’s what the terrain or the PLAN requires—is very difficult to be okay with. What’s wrong with me?

I don’t feel this need very much when I’m running, and I don’t care so much about getting passed by other cyclists. I pass tons of people, and if you’re stronger than me today, you are awesome, too! (Although that one time when the teenager with sagging shorts passed me on a mountain bike going up the big hill into Grafton when I’d bonked… that was a tough one to be okay with.) I kinda feel like I have to prove that bikes belong, and it’s harder to feel that way when I’m going 10 mph up a hill (because the PLAN) than when I’m pushing myself to go a few mph faster. Or if I’m just leisurely tooling around on my commute vs. throwing down and (almost) keeping up with traffic.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Posted in Cycling | 2 Comments

I Like Big Hills: Quassy Half-ironman

Training for an Ironman is a funny thing. The distances and times involved in the event are so long that, on one level, I sort of forgot that a half-ironman is the longest athletic event I’ve ever done. In the days leading up to Sunday’s Challenge Quassy half-ironman, I was feeling pretty relaxed about the distances but kept reminding myself not to underestimate the event.

For one thing, everyone I ever talked to about Quassy took a particular amount of glee informing me that it was a hilly course. I live in the hills—and I’d been riding them this year since there was still snow on the ground—so I wasn’t terribly worried. But still . . .

And then there were my wicked high blood sugar readings during my last few triathlons. This is stuff I can’t practice during my regular workouts, because the highs are from race-day stress, and I just don’t get that worked up on a daily or weekly basis. This triathlon was a chance to make some changes involving extra insulin, which is scary stuff. So I was a little nervous.

What would happen? Would the hills kill me? Would my BGs behave? Would extra insulin put me in the BG penalty box? How is my nutrition and hydration plan working? Is my fitness where it should be just under halfway through my Ironman training?

Let’s find out . . .


Swim: The Flat Part of the Race. Once upon a time, I wasn’t very good at swimming. At least, that’s what I told myself. I mean, it was kinda true. Compared to my peers, I was near the back. Nowadays, I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that I can keep up pretty well—actually, that I’m far enough ahead of the flailing mob that the swim doesn’t seem so bad.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On Friday I went to a diabetes technology conference. Cliff Scherb, who at one point held the record for the quickest Ironman by anyone with diabetes at 9:07, was also there. We talked triathlon a bit, and he told me how he balances insulin, food, and tri. It involved a lot of insulin going into the event and was frankly a bit scary. In a recent comment here, Peej told me what she did. Not surprisingly, it included more insulin than I had been taking. I decided to be a little conservative and change what I had been doing in a small way.

It started on Saturday by upping my insulin intake by 20% for the whole day. I went to bed needing a little snack, and when I woke at 1AM to have my “breakfast” peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I saw this CGM trace:

Boom! 104

BOOM! I bolused slightly less insulin than the sandwich required, was woken an hour later by my CGM’s “Predicted High” alarm, delivered a bit more insulin, and tried to sleep for a couple more hours. (It didn’t really work.) I felt fine—more or less—knowing that having a bit of insulin on board would probably be okay. Probably.

Fast-forward a few hours. While setting up my spot in transition, I saw one of my fellow triathletes, who was doing the bike leg on a relay team. But that was later, right now he was wearing a crown and heavy red cape and talking with the race director. He was pretty fly. I dubbed him “El Rey de Tri,” the king of triathlon. He would become a recurring figure throughout the rest of the day.

When I left my CGM in transition, I was hovering around 160 mg/dL (8.9 mmol/L) and feeling alternately good and nervous. About 15 minutes before my start, I ate a Clif Bar, took 1.5 units of insulin, and got ready for the swim.

The water was the perfect temperature and it was so clean and clear. I sighted well, held a nice straight line, and swam hard. A few times I felt people drafting off me, as they accidentally grabbed my feet. The 1.2 miles of the swim passed quickly in 35:36. When I got back to transition, my continuous glucose monitor told me good news.


Bike: I Like Big Hills and I Cannot Lie. Quassy wasn’t my first choice, but I missed my opportunity to sign up for the Patriot Half, so I did this other kind-of-local race I’d heard about. Hills? Ironman Wisconsin is supposed to be hilly. Why not do this race?

Although it’s hilly where I live, you can find some flattish stretches if you try. Whoever made this course decided to find the hilliest 56 miles possible, it seems. Anyway, this course had it all: long, gradual uphills; short, steep uphills; long, steep uphills; and wicked-fast descents, often with sharp turns along the way. One of the climbs was 4.5 miles long and gained over 750 feet (roughly 3% grade). Another, shorter hill had me out of the saddle, struggling to stay upright.

My speed was about 2.5 miles per hour slower than my usual 70.3 pace. I got passed by so many people on the bike. I guess this is the downside of having a stronger swim. :-) Clearly it’s something to work on for the next few months. The bike was a bit painful, all 3 hours and 15 minutes of it. I finished just ahead of El Rey.


Run: Satan Made This Course. And when I said “painful,” I meant it literally. When I headed out for the run, my left groin felt really tight, and there was a bit of a hitch in my gait. I’m sure it was from pushing up the hills on the bike. And, of course, the run course started on an uphill. I wasn’t sure how much of the run I was going to have to walk. It turned out, none of it. After about the first mile and a half—when I got to the first downhill—my muscles had loosened up. I played a bit of leap-frog with a guy whom I would pass on the downhills only to have him pass me on the ups. He was never more than 200 yards away from me until the final three miles when I threw down. I finished the run in 1:53:57, which is much better than I had expected.

Right around the time I left my leap-frog companion behind, I saw Cliff Scherb. He’s a coach, and several of his triathletes were racing. He was running around to give his athletes encouragement, when he saw me. About 15 seconds after we saw each other, I felt a big strong arm around my shoulder, literally propelling me forward. We chatted for about a minute, with him giving me lots of encouragement. It really got me going for the last couple miles.

The run course had 1,900 feet of elevation gain and barely had any flat sections. It made a sort of figure eight, and the crossover was a spot near the start/finish. Just before starting the second loop of the “8” I saw El Rey, who was standing on the course with a bullhorn, just being awesome and giving encouragement. “¡El Rey de Tri!” I called out, and he gave me a few motivating words. Six miles later, I was finishing the last, painful uphill when I saw him again. “It has finally come to pass. Competitor number 1-2-3-8 is heading into the finish.” I gave him some finger guns and made a left turn . . . straight into the finish.

I saw Lisa a few times out on the course. She’s been wearing her bright orange “Team Jeff” T-shirt, which makes her nearly impossible to miss. I love that woman! It just makes me so happy to see her there. On the way home I looked over her pictures and we talked about our respective race experiences. You’ve read my take. Here’s Lisa’s view.

Posted in Cycling, Diabetes, Reluctant Triathlete, Running, Swimming | 2 Comments

Come What May (Round-up)

“It’s the First of June,” I told myself on the way to work this morning. “Huh. I guess it’s time to recap the last month of fitnessy good times.” Between working from home, volunteering, and riding my bike to work, it was the first time I drove to the office in 12 days.

May — 48 workouts

  • Swim: 10 times, 7:40, 23,375 yards (The pool was closed a lot in May.)
  • Bike: 19 times, 23:22, 367 miles (Eight of these were commutes. Five other rides were with Lisa.)
  • Run: 13 times, 13:31, 92.8 miles (There was a lot of exploring new roads in my neighborhood.)
  • Walk: Once, 2:29, 9.1 miles (I’ve been doing the same charity walk every year since 1999. This year I ran part of it.)
  • Kayak: Once, for about an hour. (Super-duper fun!)
  • Strength: 4 times

Stats for the previous months

Posted in Cycling, Reluctant Triathlete, Running, Swimming | 1 Comment

Pimp My Ride

It’s the time of the season for riding my bike to and from work. It’s bright in the morning. The temperatures are warm . . . well, warm enough. And the crack in Tommy V’s carbon fiber chainstay is fixed. I’m aiming to ride twice a week, which leaves plenty of time for running and swimming and—I’m really trying here—strength training.

Last Friday I started swimming at the reservoir. The pool is closed for the school year, although it will reopen in a couple weeks for those of us looking for some speed and strength workouts. It’s great being back at the lake! The water is still cool, but it’s warm enough for a sleeveless wetsuit. The first couple hundred yards are cool, but after that it’s perfect for swimming fast!

Today and last Friday I put my bike on the car at 5:30, drove to the lake, swam, and then rode my bike 10 miles to work. Friday I found a 20-mile route from the office back to the ‘res. Today’s ride was slightly more direct at 16 miles.

After my swim this morning, Sir Alex discovered that my car was going to be hanging out a couple miles from her house all day without me. When I arrived back at the lake this afternoon, I saw her handiwork. I love my crazy friends!

Lots of leis

Not a parking ticket

IM Wisconsin training

I got lei'ed

Posted in Cycling, Reluctant Triathlete, Swimming | Leave a comment

Round and Round We Go

This post about trying to set a 10K PR has been sitting around in my drafts folder for over six months. It seems relevant to today, when I headed over to the track to do speedwork for the first time in six months. Alas, the lacrosse team was practicing, so I’ll have to wait for another day. But at least I can post this. :-)

Sunday [November 9th, 2014], as I drove home from donating platelets, a thought came to me: “Next Saturday I should go to the high school track and try to set a 10K PR.”

Yesterday [the 11th], as I drove home from work, I had a different thought: “The weather is beautiful tonight, and I’m feeling good. I should try for the PR tonight.”

The Track

I tried to remember my best 10K time as I ran from my house to the track for a little warm up, but I couldn’t. An online race-time calculator estimated that I should be able to run it in 43:47 based on the 5K I ran in 21:00 a couple of months ago, which was almost exactly the same time as my season-opening 5K in April. I figured that if I was below 45 minutes, I was going to call it a PR. (I’ve since looked it up. I ran a 44:58 at the 2002 James Joyce Ramble.) As I changed into my track spikes and did a short warm up lap, I figured that I would need to run better than 7:15/mile (4:30/km).

Rounding the corner at a jog, I hit the start line, started my watch, and picked up the pace. The track wasn’t too busy, and I only occasionally had to swing wide to pass other walkers and runners. The 10K would require 25 laps of the 400 meter track, and I tried to hold back a bit. True to form, though, I did the first mile too quickly: 6:53.

At first I wasn’t thinking about the number of laps I would have to run. Twenty-five is just an abstract number when you’re not that tired, but it became much more concrete the further into the run that I got. So I decided not to think about it. Instead I thought about my pace and what was going on around me. Some students started a pickup soccer game. At one point a ball crossed my path, and I kicked it back better than I ever did when I played soccer as a teenager. Runners came and went. At one point, a father and his two young children started running, and every time I ran past them, the five-or-so-year-old would race me. It was pretty cute.

When I came through the 5K at 21:57, I was feeling pretty good. It was tough, but the fact that I was hitting my goal pace buoyed me. But I was only half done. I kept going. I’m sure it must have seemed odd to anyone paying attention that I was running so many laps. The last mile was tough. Without anyone to chase, I only had myself to push the pace. I watched my heart-rate creep higher. I kicked the last 400 meters, giving everything I had. (I also ran an extra 50 meters, just to make sure Strava would give me credit for the full 10K.)

My time? 44:27! Woot woot!

My 10k

Posted in Running | Leave a comment

What’s new, Canada?

Hey, Canada? What’s up?

You know, I think about you all the time. You’re home to some of my favorite people. I read their blogs and Facebook updates. I see details about their cycling and running on Strava. I’d love to see you and them again soon. Et j’écoute à ta musique francophone sur la radio et les balados tout le temps.

For whatever reason a few weeks ago I got interested in the October Crisis of 1970, when the FLQ took some hostages and Pierre Trudeau instituted martial law in Montréal. I quickly fell down a Wikipedia vortex, which “required” me to read the relevant portion of my copy of J.M. Bumsted’s A History of the Canadian Peoples that I bought when Lisa and I first visited Montréal in 2001. Of course, chapter 10 (“Edging Towards the Abyss, 1958-1972″) led to chapter 11 (“Coming Apart, 1972-1992″), and before I knew it, I was reading the chapter on international relations and then the final chapter (“Freefalling into the Twenty-first Century”).

The only problem is that my book was published in 1998, which means the “end of history” and the freefall pretty much coincide with the time I was listening to the CBC’s “As It Happens” on public radio as I drove around Iowa and Wyoming before Lisa and I moved out to Massachusetts. At the time it really did seem like Canada was having an existential crisis about what kind of confederation it was going to have: Urban vs. rural. Francophone vs. Anglo. Liberalism vs. conservatism. Federal vs. provincial governments. Vive le Québec libre vs. a unified Canada. Alberta vs. everybody else. First Nations’ rights. Etc. Etc.

But that was 17 years ago. Surely a lot has happened since then.

What have I missed?

Posted in Canada | 1 Comment

Brekkie

Diabetes Blog Week Banner

I intended to post this last Friday for Day 5 of (the now past) Diabetes Blog Week, but life got in the way.

“Write a post documenting what you eat in a day! Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever. Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.”

Last Friday I did my typical #FridayLongSwim at the pool. All of these workouts are at least 3,000 yards, and many of them are just endurance swims without any real structure except swimming continuously. I figure—if nothing else—I’m building mental fortitude for the Ironman swim. Friday’s swim was 4,525 yards long (4,138 meters), and I was powerful hungry by the time I got to work. (I almost ate my lunch on the drive there.)

Mmm... Breakfast

Mmm… food. Lunch (seen below) was a little more sedate, and dinner was spaghetti with sauce. There might have been ice cream.

Mmm... Lunch

Posted in Diabetes, Diabetes Blog Week | Leave a comment