This year and IMOO training.

Ironman-logoSo here I go again.  In two weeks I’ll be hopefully finishing my fourth ironman.  When I signed up I had every intention of beating my previous course record which was also my first ironman in 2011.  I started off the year building a huge cycling base with a 6 day cycling camp in Spain, several gravel races, another 3 day camp in Wisconsin and finally Dirty Kanza a 200 mile gravel race.  I really felt myself getting strong on the bike and it showed as I finally took a power test putting me 10% over my previous test.

After Kanza I went into serious ironman training mode.  My swim still sucked but I was working on it.  I hired a swim coach.  I was doing decent paces on my tempo runs and it felt great.

Trimonsters at IMOO 2011

Trimonsters 2011

Leaving for swim

Leaving for swim

At the beginning of July I ran into a roadblock well actually it was a giant recumbent tandem bike parked on the road (sans owners).   It was a charity ride in the suburbs with not a car in site and I was having a great day. I was in aero on the tri-bike going 25 mph.  The result of the crash was a large deep gash down to the knee cap and bruised ribs.  I got 6 stiches in the knee which were conveniently located right on top of my knee cap so bending my knee was not an option.  Although my injuries were not earth shattering.  I was unable to swim, bike or run for about 4  weeks during peak ironman training.  I remember the first time I tried to pedal after the accident.  I had rented a divvy bike to get from work to a friend’s party.  With each pedal stroke I cringed with pain and I ended up pedaling with one leg while keeping the other straight.  I tried swimming that day and got in a few hundred yards before my ribs started to hurt.

Waiting in Emergency

Waiting in Emergency

Since then I have recovered for the most part.   My ribs still hurt a bit and my knee still aches but I am able to train without much discomfort.

Unfortunately although my body recovered my mind didn’t I was unable to get the momentum back.  I no longer had the drive or the focus.  In addition around the same time my beloved 15 year old cat Ruby was stricken with cancer.  I felt compelled to stay at home and spend her last days with her rather than train.  I was also suddenly overwhelmed by many memories of the past 15 years.  I had gone through a pretty rough patch in my life back then and am not particularly proud of some of the things I did.  Things came back in my head that I thought had been gone forever.  I struggled with making the decision of whether to start the race and the struggle caused me some anxiety.  I don’t operate very well when I am not focused.  If I am not set on my goals or my plan my mind gets mixed up and I can’t function very well and I second guess everything.  I’m not good at making up a workout or a plan as I go along.  In the meantime while recovering, I was given a promotion at work.  I have gone from having 1 direct report to nearly 50.  This has fatigued me mentally when I needed to be strong mental focus the most for my IM training, it just wasn’t there.  I found myself exhausted from the day at work  without the willpower to do a workout and just wanted to drink wine.  When my weekly hours should have been 15+ I was lucky to get in 8 or 9.  As my teammates racked up the hours mine dwindled and I was spending more time at home and making excuses than I was training.

With July over Ruby was put to rest and I decided to get to the start line at IMOO.  I know that in a few years this will just be a “blip” in my racing career.  There will be plenty more!   I feel that my biking base will hopefully carry me through.  The swim will be like always – slow and the run – who the heck knows.  I haven’t even done one triathlon since November 2013 when I did IMAZ.  I have no race plan I have no nutrition plan I haven’t been practicing my nutrition or with proper insulin levels.  I am a hot mess of an Ironman Athlete.

Trimonsters 2015

Trimonsters 2015

I signed up for the Michigan Titanium Aqua bike which was a full 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike.  I planned on doing a short run afterwards it was going to be my last big test.  I headed out on the swim feeling pretty good but as I swam I started to get nauseous.  I had never felt this on the swim.  I could only assume it was my blood sugar.  My goal of swimming long and strong was shattered… instead I paddled about and float on my back every so often to try and avoid throwing up.  I got out of the swim feeling awful. I tested my blood sugar and it was all good at 155.  I got on the bike course.  I felt strong on the bike but as the miles clicked by I couldn’t help but think that I wasn’t really enjoying it and how much I prefer my gravel bike races over the post-swim tri-bike pain in the neck and back.  I really just wanted to quit but I would never do that.  Unfortunately for my training plan the race ended up being cancelled half way through the bike due to a lightning storm.   Although I knew I need to get the training in I was happy that it was done however again I had once again doubt about the big dance on September 13.  I failed the test miserably but I had fun with the girls!

Girls with the 'betes in Michigan.

Girls with the ‘betes in Michigan.

I made myself a little list of things to draw strength from.  I will somehow try to write these on my arms and legs so that i can read them as I go.

  • I’ve got my 80+ year old parents flying in to see me race again – must appear strong and brave.
  • I’ve got the riding on insulin team standing with me at the start line.  I did fundraising for the charity on the premise that I would complete the race! Donation page:  Riding on Insulin
  • I’ve also got my niece who tells me I can power through it because I am her Aunty G.  I definitely don’t want to disappoint my favorite girl.
  • I have my coach Mike who despite having had numerous injuries and setbacks he comes back stronger than ever. Mike recently was hit by a car and has some serious injuries, I will be thinking of him and his strength.
  • I will think about how lucky I am to have functioning arms, legs, eyes etc. that allow me to even participate in these races and the fact that I don’t have any other conditions such as  Missy Foy who has had to give up her running career due to illnesses and autoimmune conditions including diabetes and fights just to get out of bed in the morning.
  • And of Katie and Ruby who were taken from me too early because of cancer. Life is too short to quit.
Me and Katie

Me and Katie



I know full well that I’ll be kicking myself during the race for not training more and for being weak.  Hopefully I won’t let these voices of negativity get to me.   I know that mental strength is as important if not more important than physical strength in an ironman and negativity will just eat away at you.  The “i wanna stop” voice gets pretty darn strong.

I am hoping that if I ride easy I can power through the marathon and try to give and receive encouragement.  I will try my best to smile.  I am looking forward to cheering my ROI, Trimonster and VQ teammates on the run course.  I have many many friends out there so that will be fun.  And as usual my #1 supporter Tom will be there.  I will look forward to spending the week with my parents afterwards.

Over the next week or so I will try to figure out a nutrition plan and think about my transitions and special needs which will hopefully get me thinking about what I should do on race day! At the end of the day I will just have to do my best!

Nickname at 2011 race

Nickname at 2011 race

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barry roubaixMy first race of 2015 is in the books.

On Sunday I finished a 62 mile gravel bike race in Hastings, Michigan called the Barry Roubaix.  Although it’s a four hour drive it’s a great early season race and it always feels great to get outdoors.  What doesn’t feel great and the challenging part of this race is the weather.  Conditions are far from predictable and racers can expect anything from cold ice and snow to 40-50’s and sunny.

I looked at the weather early in the week and it predicted 40’s and sunny.  Perfect!  However as the week progressed the start of the race was going to be more in the low 20’s.  But still sunny!

I booked a hotel in Kalamazoo, MI an hour away from the race start but given the 10am start that was acceptable.  The race is 4 hours and 1 time zone away making it almost necessary to drive out the night before.

I packed different types of layers for the bike.  I packed sandwiches for breakfast and dinner, a small red wine for the room, red bull and diet coke for the drive home and plenty of water and electrolyte drink for pre-race fueling.

I arrived in Kalamazoo and re-arranged my bags since I had packed in a bit of a hurry.  I put all my cycling nutrition and gear in 1 bag and laid out my cycling clothes for the morning.

The Clothing:  A spring race is always hard to dress for but here is what I went with:

  • Craft winter cycling tights – fleece lined, wind proof front the warmest in my collection
  • Mid-weight craft cycling jacket – not quite fleece lined but wind proof
  • VQ winter fleece lined vest – love this item fits over jackets and has 3 deep pockets in the back – capo
  • Gore windstopper balaclava
  • Winter Pearl Izumi lobster gloves and chemical hand warmers inserted inside.
  • Giro wool cycling sox, toe warmers and thick wool socks over top – I am deathly afraid of cold feet.  Too many bad experiences during my winter commutes.  The pain in insane.
  • Winter SIDI gore-tex cycling boots – a size and half too big too fit extra layers and still have room.

My trusty rig of course was Peters Power my Trek Cronus X bike.  I love riding this bike it is smooth and light.  I had ridden it a week prior and unfortunately it was a bit gritty because of course I didn’t clean it like I should have.  Luckily I bought a bike cleaning punch card from Trek HP so will be having it cleaned next time!  My only worry was that I had just installed new pedals myself and had only tightened them by hand. Any time I do any mechanical work of any time I have concern but I had ridden it to work during the week and the pedals seemed ok.

Tucked in behind trying to get a break in the wind.

Tucked in behind trying to get a break in the wind.

The nutrition: was not terribly planned out.

  • Two bottles which were meant to have Skratch but I forgot it so one had water and one had a Hammer fizz tablet.
  • Packed 2 packets of cliff blocks, 2 gels and a tube of glucose tablets.
  • For breakfast at 7:15 was 2 low carb bread sandwiches with Jason’s chocolate hazelnut butter and banana and hotel coffee.  Bolused 60%.
  • No temp basal mainly because I just forgot.  Apparently a four hour ride isn’t worth worry about?
  • Waking BG was 120!
  • What I ended up eating:
    • 1 packet of blocks
    • 1 half pb and j sandwich at the first aid station

I got to the race site at 8:30.  I picked up my packet and went in search of a parking spot.  I decided to go for the charity pay lot.  I entered and the lady told me there was one spot left but it was tight because 1 guy had not parked straight (non-racer).  I decided to take my chances and squeeze in.  As I was getting ready the owners of the one car arrived and I asked if she had enough room to get in.  She started bitching about the race and said she was told to park there and she lived across and they were not told “nothin’”  I commiserated with her and apologized and told her that was terrible.. etc.  I don’t need to make any enemies after all and it was Tom’s car.

Once I had everything in order I did one last check on the bike.  I spun both wheels.  The back wheel was rubbing slightly on the brake.  Not good!  I took it over to the mechanics and lucky I had time for him to fix it.  I really need to learn this stuff!

It was now about 9:50.  The race started at 10:00 with my wave going off at 10:02 which included all women and masters men.  I walked up to the start and saw some friendly faces – Cecilia, Nan and Dave Noda.

Last year I used my mountain bike and right from the beginning I had been dropped by everyone.  In fact I remember hardly seeing anyone during the first half of the race last year then eventually catching up to people during the second half.

We started off and I realized I hadn’t checked my dexcom again prior to the race but it wasn’t alarming.  I was so sidetracked with the brake issue on the bike and the parking spot issue I just ran out of time.

A gravel race is not the easiest race for testing blood sugar either, pulling things out of pockets or even grabbing a drink.  Immediately I had regretted not using the camelback.  Although I feel like I’m a good bike handler it is still pretty hard to get a drink without slowing down a bit.  I tried to drink on the smoother parts as much as possible.  In addition I had used an insulated water bottle which I think actually caused it to freeze faster.  The bottle was hard to squeeze and each time I tried to use it a small dribble would come out.

The race started, and although I felt like I was still at the back of the wave I didn’t feel like I had been totally left behind.  I was still able to keep up with racers and draft as much as I could, it was a very windy day drafting definitely helped.

Despite the wind the course was in better condition this year, less mud.   There were plenty of rocks and sand and some rutted sections.  On one of the rough dirt sections I had to ride around two stopped riders, which I did and as I was pedaling cautiously around some deep hazards a guy came from behind and fell into me.  I landed in the bushes.  I was pretty annoyed considering I had been proud for navigating through the tough section.  I didn’t feel anything then but the day after I definitely feel a strain in my neck and my right glute.

I stopped at the first aid station to grab more fluids although it was water which seemed to freeze instantaneously!

During the leg 2 (20-40 miles) Laurie Mann another VQ’er caught up to me.  We ended up riding together most of the way in.  We had a small pace group going with another guy and a girl.  We arrived at the second aid station, had I been on my own… I probably would have stopped, however the rest of the group didn’t seem to be stopping so I rolled through grabbing several cups of water from the volunteers.  I was really thirsty.  I knew I was sweating and I knew I had not been drinking enough.  My insulated bottle had completely frozen.  I had been sipping the fizz bottle but it was still about ½ full at that point.  Laurie and I lost the other two at some point and rode most of the way in together.

The thoughts in my head were as follows:

  • Why didn’t I lube my chain it is squeaking so badly
  • I wonder what my blood sugar is, I don’t feel bad.
  • I should really stop and check my blood sugar, but I can’t (don’t want to)
  • What is that other squeak? I think it is the # plate at the front of my bike
  • Why do I race
  • Its so pretty out here
  • I’m not an athlete
  • Should I be riding faster because of bike camp
  • Should I tuck in behind this guy I’m coming up to or pass him?
  • Can I finish in 4 hours this year
  • I’m so thirsty
  • I’m pretty comfortable my feet and hands are toasty
  • I need to stretch my back out
  • I need to get my front derailleur tweaked (I had a hard time getting into the big ring)
  • I need an uphill my toes are starting to get cold

10 miles out I still felt good and had many guys commenting on my speed up the hills (thank you bike camp).  I made a conscious effort to continue the same effort as I crested the hills and into the flats rather than getting to the top and taking a break.

The best part – sprinting to the finish while hearing GO VQ!!! a quick arm pump and I was done!  30 minutes faster than last year’s race partly better conditions partly better fitness.  4:04:45 for 17th out of  27 women.  Check the deets here:  strava file

Despite not checking, my blood sugars were fairly good throughout.


Blood sugar readings for the race.

Blood sugar readings for the race.

I joined the VQ crowd after the race to chat with Mike, Robbie and some others and had an amazing Porter by Founders Brewery one of the sponsors.  I watched some of the awards then started packing up my car to head home with my red bull and a sandwich.   Tom even commented that I was more alert that evening than I normally am after races – fitter?

The day after:

I woke up the next day with an aching back and a sore neck.  My training schedule gave me the choice of a sub max run or taking the day off.  I knew that I would run outside that day the weather was cold and blustery.  After stretching for a half hour my back felt better and I left for my run around 1 pm, after a pleasant morning of oatmeal and coffee.  I set my basal (constant drip)  to 60% for 90 minutes about 30 minutes prior to leaving knowing that I would have a high chance of going low after yesterdays ride.  Sure enough about 4 miles in and prior to my warning alarm I felt it.  I quickly inhaled 2 blocks and continued on.  10 minutes later I still felt the bonking so I suspended my insulin and took another block.  Another 10 minutes still feeling it I ate my last block.  Finally, like a light switch I felt normal and was able to finish my run.  I ended up running 10.5 miles which I was pleased with.  A great weekend overall.

Next up the Rough Road 100 and the Grumpy Grind 3 in 2 weeks as prep for the DK200 in May.  In the meantime ironman training and “the swim thing” is like a monkey on my back during the week I have been trying to get 3 swims, 2 other runs and an intensity ride in.  My goal this week is to at the very least  get my entire swim workout done.  Lately I am lucky if I make it through the warm up and have been maxing out at 2000 yards…time to embrace the swim.



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I hate swimming laps in a pool.  I don’t hate swimming per se just the lap swimming.  I liked being in water and partaking in indoor tri’s or swimming on vacation.  It’s the boring monotony of swimming back and forth for what seems a thousand times. It’s not have a view, I love everything outdoors and will choose outdoors any day over indoor training anything.  When I swim laps I get to look at a blue line at the bottom of the pool and maybe the odd swimmer in the next lane.    It’s the horrible chlorine that dries out your skin and hair and makes you smell all day.  It is goggle eyes.  Goggle eyes are the worst… or at least I seem to get them very bad, especially when I swim in the morning before going to my office job.  I have had colleagues ask if everything is ok thinking that my eyes are puffy from crying.

Since I’ve started to train for another Ironman (wisconsin 2015) after taking nearly a year off of triathlon (aka swimming)  I asked for a waterproof iPod for Christmas.  It won’t resolve the dry skin or puffy eyes but I thought if might alleviate the boredom. So without much research (when do i have time for research) I chose the audioflood.

The iPod shuffle I got came in a regular case with its own headphones and charger etc. identical to my regular non-waterproof shuffle.

It also came with a cute little bag with waterproof headphones, a swim cap and various earbud attachments.  Pictured here:




I tried it for the first time this past Sunday.  I got to the pool late and dreaded every minute of it. It had snowed the entire day before and I didn’t want to drive in the bad roads/ weather so my previous workout plans were put on hold as I figured out what I was going to do (or maybe it was just avoidance). Finally after spending the day indoors working and doing some wardrobe spring cleaning I had to get out.  So I gathered all my stuff put on many layers and my big winter boots and walked to the closest FFC location.  It was nice to get out and there was a sprinkling of snow coming down… so pretty.

At 4:30  ish I finally arrived at the pool deck.  Delaying as much as possible I jumped in.   I attached the headphones to the iPod and inserted them in my ears and pulled my cap over my ears.  Good so far.  I turned the iPod on and clipped it to the back of my cap.  Satisfied with the volume etc. I started swimming… all I could hear was a buzzing or white noise in the background.  I stopped to adjust the volume and this time clipped the iPod to my suit in front.  Starting to swim again I could sort of hear the music and it came in and out in line with my breathing.  Apparently when my head turned out of the water for a breath I could hear better…  I kept swimming, the earbuds fell out.  I pushed them in my eardrums and pulled the cap down again.  I clipped the iPod to the back of my cap.  I worked my way through myself made workout – of 200 swim, 200 breath left side only, 200 kick, 200 pull all x 2.  At this pool I do 10 lengths for a 200 vs the normal 8 because the pool is really short.  The earbuds fell out several times and I could sort of hear the music.

I was thinking maybe I could load it with some podcasts or something but if the sound doesn’t get much better I might just stick to music.

Next time I will try different earbuds.  It came with shorter ones so I think these might fit my ear better.  I hope it works!!!!

Well its noon here in Chicago and I’m already trying to prep myself for tonight’s swim at 8 pm… Its cold the pool is cold, it’s at a high school (think high school kids who have just swam in the pool- ewe!)

They don’t call it triathlon because there is no swim…

Stay tuned for trial #2. Anyone else out there have any thoughts on this? I would love to hear what others think.

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A DIAGNOSIS DIDN’T END THE RUN – Medtronic Global Hero Marathon Weekend




I wish I could get these posts out sooner but I do take very good notes!

The weekend and this report is more than just a race or race report about the Twin Cities Marathon it is about the joining of 25 individuals brought together in the face of some sort of medical condition.  The tagline of the event best describes it “A DIAGNOSIS DIDN’T END THE RUN”.  These individuals share one common trait and that is they have not let their medical condition slow them down.  I always say that although I HATE diabetes I also LOVE diabetes because without it I definitely would not be the same person I am today and I would never have met some of the most amazing individuals I have in my life right now.

In the summer my friend and colleague Adam and fellow T1 Diabetic nominated me to be a Medtronic Global Hero.

What does it mean to be a Medtronic Global Hero?

The global hero program is a cooperative effort between Twin Cities In Motion and Medtronic Philanthropy, the Global Heroes program recognizes runners from around the world who have a medical device to treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain and spinal and neurological disorders.

As a global hero I was given an all expenses paid trip for me and Tom and an entry to the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota.  We arrived in St. Paul Thursday prior to the marathon where we were greeted at the airport with snacks and water then whisked away in a car to the hotel.  From the minute we arrived we were treated like royalty.

That evening we attended a welcome happy  hour where we got to meet the other 24 global heroes.   I won’t be able to give everyone’s stories justice here but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least provide a summary of the 24 because they were such an amazing group of people. So I’d like to introduce to you my 24 global hero brothers and sisters and SOME of their stories (at least the ones I could find).

Molly Dicroce, Arvada, Colorado

Dicroce has a spinal and bone fusion device to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease.


Jason Dunn, Smithville, Missouri

Dunn has a stent to treat coronary artery disease.


Gillian Forsyth, Chicago, Illinois

Forsyth has an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes.


Kent Grelling, Orinda, California

Grelling has an artificial heart valve and a conduit to treat a congenital bicuspid aorta and ascending aortic aneurysm.


Lynn Hall, Lafayette, Colorado

Hall has a neurostimulator to manage pain.


Kristen Hallock-Waters, Tabernacle, New Jersey

Hallock-Waters has a pacemaker to treat heart sinus node dysfunction.

Roberto Itimura, Jundiai, Brazil

Itimura has a stent to treat coronary artery disease.

Dawn Kenwright, Lampeter, United Kingdom

Kenwright has an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes.

Luis Moreira Da Silva, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Moreira Da Silva has an artificial heart valve to treat ascending aorta aneurism and aortic stenosis on bicuspid valve.


Saci Mowinski, Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada

Mowinski has an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes.


Joshua Simon, Key Biscayne, Florida

Simon has a shunt to treat hydrocephalus.


Amanda Zullo, Saranac Lake, New York

Zullo has an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes.

Ten Mile Participants

Monika Allen, San Diego, California

Allen has a shunt to treat hydrocephalus.

Brad Ashfield, Haddon Township, New Jersey

Ashfield has a lumbar cage to correct a ruptured spinal disc and a stent to treat coronary artery disease.


Rachel Bishop, Holland, Michigan

Bishop has an artificial heart valve to treat a congenital bicuspid aorta and ascending aortic aneurysm.


Gabriel Estrada Mejia, Bogota, Colombia

Estrada Mejia has an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes.


Roger Frisch, Plymouth, Minnesota

Frisch receives deep brain stimulation therapy to help manage symptoms of essential tremor.


George Gilbert, Cuffley, United Kingdom

Gilbert has an artificial heart valve to treat bicuspid aortic valve regurgitation.

Kimi Hall, Southlake, Texas

Hall has a pacemaker to treat arrhythmia caused by heart block.


Geoff Henderson, Binalong, Australia

Henderson has a pacemaker to treat sick sinus syndrome.

Fei Jiao, Sanmenxia City, China

Jiao receives deep brain stimulation therapy to help manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Carrie Romero, Columbia, Tennessee

Romero has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to treat cardiomyopathy.


Alana Savage, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Savage has a septal occluder device to treat an atrial septal defect.

Carolin Suhayda, Roma, Italy

Suhayda has a pacemaker to treat sick sinus syndrome.


Guy Yohanan, Givat Ela, Israel

Yohanan receives deep brain stimulation therapy to help manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

More info on these amazing people can also be found here:  .

We also had Global Hero Alumni and fellow Canadian Debbie Muir Zelez and Aussie and musician Warren Williams to help us with the lay of the land.  

Friday after an amazing breakfast and presentation we were all given an awesome backpack filled with team swag then we were bused out to the Medtronic headquarters.  Here we were given a fantastic tour and shown some very cool devices that were being developed.  One was a blood dialysis machine which was portable so that people didn’t have to go to a hospital 3 x a week for blood transfusions.  Listening to the employees speak about their projects you couldn’t help but feel the passion and desire in their voices to make medical improvements for people in need.  Listening to and seeing the history behind the company and my insulin pump a few of us were brought to tears of gratitude knowing that our lives had been changed forever by these people and this company. After the tour we were treated to a VIP lunch at the headquarters and were each presented with a beautiful crystal globe engraved with our names.  We were also treated to a musical performance by global hero Roger Frisch a concertmaster for the Minnesota Orchestra and a violinist.

Getting my award!  I was so honored that I missed half the presentation!

Getting my award! I was so honored that I missed half the presentation!


My beautiful crystal award.

My beautiful crystal award.



Musical treat.

Musical treat.


Outside Medtronic Headquarters with the famous logo.

Outside Medtronic Headquarters with the famous logo.



After the lunch we were off to packet pickup and a VIP reception for marathoner organizers and elite athletes.  We were honored at the reception as well.

Saturday we had pictures with the team then time on our own.  I decided to go for a run to shake out the cobwebs.  I felt like had been eating and drinking for the whole time.  As I left the hotel another woman was also leaving the hotel.  We just naturally started to run together.  She was tiny and looked like a good runner.  As we ran together we talked.  As it turns out it she is masters runner Christine Kennedy who will be turning 60 in December.  She is hoping to break the 60+ record and run under 3 hours.  Her marathon PR after 50 was 2:51 she told me she was seconds from getting into the Olympics she ran a 18 minute 5k at age 53.  A reminder to not let age ever get in your way!   Luckily she was going for an “easy” run which still left me gasping, Thank goodness we hit a few red lights and I managed to keep up for the 4 miles we ran together.

Later, Tom and I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota which coincidently had a butterfly exhibit happening.  Everyone who knows about my friend Katie knows that if you see a butterfly it is Katie letting you know that she is with you from above.  We went to the butterfly room where immediately 3 butterflies landed on my head and didn’t leave until we left. It was definitely Katie saying that she was with me for this race.

A visit from Katie and her friends.

A visit from Katie and her friends.

For dinner we went to the marathon pasta dinner then off to bed early.

Marathon morning near Vikings stadium being rebuilt

Marathon morning near Vikings stadium being rebuilt

Amanda and I waiting to go to our start corrals.

Amanda and I waiting to go to our start corrals.

Sunday was marathon day.  It had been two years since I had run a stand-alone marathon.  Waking up to do a marathon is so much easier than a triathlon or even a long bike race.  I woke up at 5am and ate my usual pre-race meal of bagel, jason’s chocolate hazelnut butter and banana and gave myself my full bolus.  My BG was 202, as my pump delivered the insulin I chickened out and stopped the insulin with 1 unit to go.   The temperatures were fairly cold to start but I had plenty of “disposable” clothes with me so I was plenty warm getting to the race start.  I tested prior to dropping off my bag at 236 so I was happy.  I set my basil at 60% for 4 hours.

I had not followed any typical training program.  I did a lot of bike racing and training all summer so hadn’t been running, aside from once per week as marathon coaching started up in June.  I had run one 15 miler prior to the end of August.  At the end of August I traveled to the west coast for races.  I ran the hood to coast relay race in Portland which included 3 legs at 4-7 miles each.  The following weekend I raced in Rebecca’s private Idaho a 100 mile gravel bike race (RPI Post) .  My real marathon training started when I got back after labor day weekend. I had 3 weeks to train.

I ran 3-4 times a week for the 3 weeks.  I tried to run the mid-week runs at a decent tempo place and I ran 2 20 milers.  Something I definitely would recommend for any beginner but knowing my body and knowing my pace I felt confident enough to not overdo it.   I hoped that my biking fitness would transfer over to the marathon.  I looked up my last marathon time and splits. It was 2012 Chicago where I ran 2:00 in the first half and 1:50 ish in the second half.  I knew I had run negative splits that day but that is crazy.  I decided for this marathon I would aim for 2 hours at the half again then see where that would take me.  At my ripe old age I only need 3:55 to have a Boston qualifying time.  Not that I want to run Boston soon but I’d still like to keep my Boston Qualifying time alive.

For the cool weather I wore a thin base long sleeved layer with shorts and my Medtronic singlet. I also made sure that I had the purple butterfly cancer pin that Chris Navin had given me to my jersey as a reminder of Katie.

Butterfly Pin

Butterfly Pin

As I was running my shorts kept falling down.  I couldn’t figure out why but I was quite annoyed by it.  I had worn the shorts before I didn’t know what had changed.  Then I realized that it was because I had my base layer tucked into my shorts.  The waistband was not gripping onto my skin but rather was sliding down my torso with the jersey.    Once that was fixed I was happy.  The chocolate cherry gel I had stored in my shorts fell out and all I had left was my sleeve of blocks but that was plenty. The gel was really just for the caffeine if I needed it later in the race.

Cool temperatures and being well rested seemed to be a good mix, I felt great.  The miles were flying by.  It was a bit hillier than I was used to but it was extremely pretty and the streets were lined with people the entire way.  I watched my pace and stuck to my plan.  I let fellow diabetics and global hero’s Saci and Amanda go as they were going at a faster pace than I had planned so ended up on my own.  As I got to mile 10 I thought to myself only 7 miles before I get to see TeamWild founder Mari Ruddy.   I got to mile 13 exactly on pace at 2 hours.  I still felt great.  There were even a few mile markers that I just missed completely! The sights and the people were just so amazing.  The marathon course led runners through beautiful neighborhoods with lovely lakes and throughout the neighborhood people got together and looked like they were having a blast.   I finally saw Mari in the distance with her teamwild jacket.  I yelled Mari, Mari!  She finally saw me and I slowed down to give her a hug.  It’s always nice to anticipate people on the race course.   At mile 19 I heard my name being called as a global hero over the loud speaker I raised my arms and cheered and so did everyone else… it was awesome and gave me a nice boost!  I was supposed to meet up with Adam at mile 19 he had offered to run with me and I honestly felt I could use a bit of a push but we never saw each other.  After that bit of excitement I knew that the toughest part of any marathon was coming up.  Mile 20!  I also knew that there was a 2 mile uphill between miles 21-23 ish.  It wasn’t over yet.  I continued on. People every once in a while yelled go global hero! It felt great.  I was pushing it but kept up the pace with all my might in the last few miles, honestly I felt like I would never get to that last downhill mile. As we were coming down the final stretch I saw the parliament building in the distance and thought to myself it is so far I’m not going to make it at this pace!  Then I realized that the finish line wasn’t quite at the building so I was able to pick it up.  As I came down the finishers chute I veered to the left where I knew the Medtronic VIP section was.  I heard all my fellow global heroes as well as Tom cheering and tears came to my eyes.  I had finished in just under 3:55 and had qualified for Boston for a 5th time.  Yay! My splits can be seen here:

I slowly made my way through the finish line area.  I definitely felt every last mile in my body as it started to shut down as the adrenaline wore off.

I arrived at the Medtronic tent and was greeted immediately by Ranita the Global Hero Program coordinator she had been and is amazing and made you feel like you were special the entire weekend.  She gave me a huge hug which was exactly what I needed.  The tent was heated and had plenty of snacks and hot soup which hit the spot.  Another peasant surprise was seeing Team 2 End Aids endurance program director Jonathan who oversaw the marathon program that I had been coaching back in Chicago.  He was there with his wife and family.  It was so nice to see a familiar face and to meet his family.  Of course Tom my forever supporter as always was there to get me what I needed.

The Medtronic team had written out messages from friends and family on cards and had hung them in the tent.  I loved reading them.

IMG_0414 IMG_0397 IMG_0399 IMG_0400

Messages from friends and loved ones.

Messages from friends and loved ones.


I quickly tested my blood sugar for the first time since before the marathon I was 125 ! yay The 60% basil worked and I had eaten my sleeve of blocks evenly throughout the marathon and had drank water/Gatorade at the aid stations.  I also may have eaten a donut hole or two J, a couple of orange wedges and a ¼ banana. My Dexcom had crapped out on me and I didn’t have my tester so I went totally by feel.  Something I would only recommend if you have marathon experience!

After waiting for some of the others to finish we hopped on a bus and headed back to the hotel.  I had a nice hot shower a little drink then headed over to a brew pub for post race food and beverages.

"The Diabetics"

“The Diabetics”

We all chatted and took pictures and were sad that our weekend was over.  My life has definitely been enriched from this weekend as I now have 24 new bionic sisters and brothers.  We continue to this day to share stories of exercise and life on our facebook group page.  I have NO doubt that I will see many of them again.  I know for one I will see Saci since the two of us are both doing Ironman Wisconsin in 2015 with the “Riding on Insulin” group.  We have 100 people so far signed up many of whom are diabetic.  I am also raising money for the Riding on Insulin charity which is a great organization which provides athletic outlet for kids and adults with diabetes.  Riding on Insulin Fundraising Page  Sorry for the plug here but please consider a small donation!

The next day we said our final good byes and headed to the airport.  Tom had surprised me with a first class up grade!  Woo hoo, my weekend of VIP treatment lasted that much longer!

Until we meet again my fellow global heroes (and I know we will) love all of you and i’m glad I get to be a part of your lives forever.

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Rebecca’s Private Idaho – Part 2


After running in the hood to coast race in Portland and spending a week working in Vancouver, WA  I started the drive to Idaho.  Besides a $260 speeding ticket my drive to Idaho was spectacular. I really like driving and have no problem driving long distances on my own.  After working all day, I made it to Ontario, Oregon on the first night which is just west of the Idaho state line.  I arrived at the Hailey airport 2 hours ahead of schedule and made friends with the hotel shuttle driver who was waiting for the next flight to come in.  I assumed that it would be all the VQ people and it was.  It was nice to finally see some familiar faces after 5 days of being on my own.  Everyone piled in the bus and the chatter began.

Not long into the drive Robbie received a call from my coach Mike.  Apparently he had been mountain biking with his brother earlier and flipped and broke his collar bone.  We all sort of sat in disbelief.  He was so dialed in for this race and I couldn’t believe that once again he had such bad luck.  In Kanza in May he experienced 5 flats and a fall and now this.  He wasn’t even going to be able to start this race.  I knew knowing him that he would put on a brave face but I also knew that he had worked really hard to be ready for this particular race. Where most people would be crushed and likely would have flown home to have the shoulder taken care of right away he embraced the chance to cheer his teammates on despite the pain. I just can’t begin to explain the gratitude the whole team had for his encouragement at the 40 & 60 mile aid station of the race.  I also can’t even begin to imagine exactly how much pain he was in.  Later he found out that it was one of worst breaks the surgeon had seen, apparently his collar bone was splintered in several pieces.  If Rebecca Rusch is the queen of pain, this guy is definitely the King.  His strength and determination is infectious, when you are around him you want to do well.

So here I was again at another race.  You may wonder and I wonder why the hell I keep doing this.  I think about all the training I do for these race and yes sometimes I think I should just stop, sleep in have a lazy Saturday or Sunday.  Instead I get up early to run or get up early to go on a long bike ride on the weekends. And certainly July was one of the hardest months mentally that I have had in a while. I think Rebecca Rusch said it best in her book “I am addicted to finish lines” I love the way it feels when you come across that line and your team/or friends are cheering for you or the feeling of even finishing at all.  My experience at the Boulder Ironman this past August was  case in point.  I had flown out to spectate since I knew several people who were competing.  The whole time I was watching and cheering in the heat and seeing some of athletes suffer from the altitude and the heat I just thanked god it was not me and after seeing the carnage of the marathon I had no interest in doing another ironman.  Then, as soon as I got to that finish line and I was banging on those boards listening to Mike Reilly call out the names of the new or once again crowned ironmen I wanted it so bad. I wanted to go through all that pain and suffering just to see that finish line.  I’m not anywhere good enough at any race to worry about winning or placing in my age group, I don’t think my nerves could handle that pressure but I like to get out there and train as hard as I can to see that finish line.   I don’t think my brain or my body would be happy if I wasn’t doing something.

After we were dropped off at the our awesome hotel – the sun valley resortsun valley resort we all got into our bike gear and headed out for a quick ride.  It was a short steep ride we were all trying to watch our watts but as we climbed I found myself in the lowest gear almost immediately.  This concerned me because up until now I had always used my mountain bike for these gravel events.  I had a ton of easy gears and I could bomb down the hills as well.  The rest of the day I spent worrying about my gearing.

Later that night we got to go to a VIP party in town for the race.  We were given some cool swag and got to meet the girls Katie and Jen from World Bicycle Relief an organization that provides bikes to 3rd world countries as a means to go about their daily lives with improved efficiency. You can find more information to this great organization at this link:  World Bicycle Relief . Visionquest raised enough money for 68 bikes! I also saw some of the folks from Dirty Kanza.  I spoke with the race director and tried to talk him into sending me a 200 sticker that I had lost at the end of the DK200 race but he wouldn’t budge.  I guess this means I need to go back.  Kristin another Kanza organizer said she remembered me finishing and said that she had hugged me which I thought was really cool.  The party was a lot of fun we had some great food and good wine.  I soon forgot about my gears.

Picture with Rebecca at the party.

Picture with Rebecca at the party.

The next morning we went out on another ride, this time with the Queen of pain herself – Rebecca Rusch.  This was about the 3rd time I’d met her and she recognized me from Kanza which I thought was nice.  This time we rode the entire first climb of the course.  I managed up it with my gears albeit slowly.  Once I realized I could actually hang on even in the lowest gear I felt a little more comfortable.  We had fun talking to Rebecca and enjoying the fabulous view.  On the downhill we experienced the infamous washboards of the race.  It was seriously so bumpy I felt my brain smashing around inside my skull.  My arms and hands were shaking so much it was hard to hang on.  You didn’t know whether to ride it fast to get it over quicker or ride it slow to slow down the bumps!

Recon ride with Rebecca (on the left) (me on right)

Recon ride with Rebecca (on the left) (me on right)

Top of climb.  It was a bit rainy and cold that day.

Top of climb. It was a bit rainy and cold that day.

During the day we all watched the wagon days parade.

Wagon Days Parade

Wagon Days Parade

Then headed back to the hotel for a big pizza / pasta dinner.  Apparently I  had worked up a hunger because I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs and the pizza.  I ended up paying the price later as I woke in the middle of the night with sky high blood sugar.  I hardly ever eat pasta and pizza is pretty infrequent too so I definitely misjudged my insulin requirements.  Luckily I did wake up and was able to give myself a correction and was fine again for race morning.  It could have been ugly if I hadn’t woken up.  Thank goodness for the dexcom alarm!

We woke up to a chilly morning.  I ate my usual breakfast in my room of wheat bread, crunchy peanut butter and a banana, while the rest ate breakfast together.  With a blood sugar reading of 100 I bolused about 50% for the meal and increased my basil to 120% for 2 hours to account for start-line adrenaline. Other than that I planned to keep my basil at 100% for the remainder of the ride.  I had packed my bento box and shirt with cliff blocks and gels.  For the first time in a long time I didn’t have my hydration pack or a liquid nutrition bottle with sustained energy. It was a bit of a risk but I planned on using more cliff blocks, gels and aid station food.  I wrote on my arm my inspiration – Katie love.



I packed up my things and met some others to head to the start.  I wore my arm coolers, thin vest and my VQ kit with long fingered gloves.  I knew that we would hit the hill soon enough where I would get warm.  Hopefully the vest would keep me warm on the downhill.

Race Start

Race Start

The race started on a paved road, in fact the first 6 miles or so were paved.  I tried to draft off of as many people as I could until we got to the gravel.  I felt pretty good on the uphill and noticed that I climbed it faster than the day before.  I came across a few teammates and one of the World Bicycle Relief girls.  We chatted until we got to the top which made the hill go buy much quicker and it felt really easy.  Later she said that she had been struggling and that I helped take her mind off of the struggle.  It is always nice when we can help each other out during some tough times.

We arrived at the first aid station and got a refill of gu roctane.  I had only drank 1 bottle of skratch at this point.  Although I made sure I drank I wasn’t sure if I had enough.  I also had a qtr of pbj and one of the amazing roasted potatoes. Although I had been popping some cliff blocks along the way I figured I’d better eat some solids while I felt like it.  I make my stop quick like I had been working on.  The next several miles were a gradual downhill and I felt superfast on the Trek Cronus that Mike had so kindly lent me, the gravel was fairly hard packed.  I averaged nearly 21 MPH.  The next aid station arrived fast again I made it quick, having a couple of potatoes and a few sips of cold coke.  All the time I had been slowly sipping on bottle # 2 of skratch and refilled again on GU roctane.  I had brought extra skratch with me but rather than taking the time to mix it I just used what they had on the course.  I wished I had taken the time because I felt that the GU roctane didn’t quite agree with me, it wasn’t what I was used to.  At this point I hadn’t heard any dexcom beeping and I felt good so didn’t manually check my sugar.  I took off heading to the 3rd aid station.  Which was a slight uphill.  During this section I experienced lower back pain to the point where I was having to relieve it every few minutes.  I figured it had something to do with increasing my running mileage.    I tried to alleviate by going in the drops getting out of the drops but the only thing that would help was to stand up and give it a good stretch.  At least it was nothing that was going to stop, it was just annoying.

Aid Station and spectacular views

Aid Station and spectacular views

Before I knew it I arrived to see Mike’s smiling face at the 3rd aid station.  What a treat.  I knew he was going to be in the course but didn’t know where.  Seeing him gave me a big boost. He asked if I had seen the cows and the antelope, I had not. I wonder if I just wasn’t paying attention?  I thought I was enjoying the scenery.    I grabbed half a pbj and 1 potato and continued on into the loop of the lollipop route.   I noticed a girl wearing a bright pink t-shirt and bright pink compression socks and ended up behind her the whole way.  I made it my goal to keep her in my sight.  At one point she stopped at the side of the road  I made sure she was ok and continued on.  On this loop I did see the cows but no antelope, in fact at one point I slowed down as a cow was approaching the road and I thought he was going to walk in front of me but he stopped as he saw me.  I guess I looked scary.  At the end of the loop I ran into my teammate Andy.  He wasn’t doing to well and had lost a bottle along the way.  All I could say was 1 mile until we get to see Mike!  In fact the entire loop that is all I thought about.  15 miles to Mike, 10 miles to Mike… We arrived at the aid station together I grabbed some more roctane and headed out.  By this time “Pink Girl” had passed me again. She didn’t stop at the aid station like I did.  I knew I was going to stop at each aid station because I only had two bottles with me but it turned out I really only needed 1.  My back one was still fairly full at each aid station but better safe than sorry.  I didn’t test at that aid station either because I really felt good and my Dex was not alarming. At this point I felt great and was excited that I was already 2/3rd of the way in.

more amazing scenery

more amazing scenery

The next section was the stick part of the lollipop which we had ridden out on. This time we had a benefit of a gradual downhill for a while.  The wind had really noticeably picked up.  I stopped again at the next aid station had a diet red bull.  In hindsight I should have has a regular one.  I ran into another teammate Eric he was extremely tall and apparently his longest ride before this was like 65 miles.  He was suffering quite a bit and the wind was really strong this 2nd to last leg and we  also had a gradual uphill.  I tried to pull as long as I could then I had to let him go for a bit.  We worked together for a bit then I lost him.  It was during this time that I heard the beeping of my dexcom coming from my bento box.  I honestly was not sure if I was low or high at this point.  I took the machine out and tried to read it in the sun, no easy feat.  I finally got to some shade and saw that I was in the red low.  I took this opportunity to have my salted caramel gu and I also had a few glucose tablets.  I arrived at the final aid station and although I didn’t need to stop I stopped anyway.  The rest of the way would be the really quick albeit painful downhill then the quicker paved section.  I grabbed more liquid for some reason and ate a bit of a banana.  Eric also had come in.  I took off and started bombing down the hill.  I felt pretty good and confident with my hands in the drops ready to apply the cantilever breaks on the cross bike.  Shortly after my descent started Eric caught up to me and passed me.  Then I passed him again once we were on the flatter section.  I also passed the girl in pink and spoke to her briefly.  I don’t think she was happy that I passed her because she wasn’t really friendly.  I finally saw the mile to finish sign and saw another woman I rode past her at the pace I was going , then she picked it up and put the hammer down.  I thought I didn’t have anything in me at that point to push that sort of power and told her I had nothing.  But then something happened and I was able to sprint with her to the finish.  We ended up with the identical time and tied for 10th place.  Had I known it was for 10th I might have pushed it a little more but honestly I don’t think I could have.  The finishing timer mat was about 2 miles from the actual “finishers” chute so we ended up chatting the rest of the way.  She told me that her and her husband usually do 400-500 mile races.  I asked her about them, about sleeping in tents /food etc. Then I told her I did Kanza and she said she DNF’d because she underestimated it.  Later when I looked at the results I realized that she was Jay Petervarys’s wife.  Jay Petervary link

I arrived at the finish with some great cheers from the team and they said I was probably only the 10 or 11th girl to finish.  I had no idea who was in front of me or who was behind me at this point. I just had a great race, it was an amazing fabulous day.  I just couldn’t help think about how lucky I was to be enjoying this glorious ride and day.  The views were spectacular to say the least and although my blood sugar dipped low I really like it better when I can maintain a more normal range rather than running high which is usually the case.

These last few sentences sum up why I have forgotten about all trials and tribulations, all the mental anguish, all the tired Sundays and why I am signed up for my next big adventure! Even after I arrived home and was back at work I was basking in the glow of that race and the whole RPI camp.  It was a great time with great people. It made me smile.

I ended up eating:

1 Salted Caramel Gu

1 Chocolate Razberry Gu

2 packs of shot blocks

1 pack of GU chomps

2 bottles of skratch and 4 bottles of roctane

Approx 4 small-med red potatoes roasted in olive oil and rosemary with salt (so awesome!)

¾ PBJ sandwich.

½ banana

Awesome Idaho Potatoes at aid station.

Awesome Idaho Potatoes at aid station.

Finishing time was 6:37:08 over 94 miles and 5,200 feet of climbing. My max speed was 38.5 mph (woo hoo).  Lesson learned – I should have stuck with my Skratch.

Race Day BG

Race Day BG

Strava File

More amazing shots can be found here:

Linda Guerrette Photos


Although most people left the next day I had arranged to stay another day in this spectacular place.  I woke up late, went for a swim, I rented a city cruiser bike and rode it to the ski lift at Bald mountain and breathed the beautiful mountain air.  I ate lunch at the roundhouse at the top of the ski lift.  The views were stunning and it was so nice to just chill after racing.   Mentally I usually prefer to take a day to relax after a race.  I hate packing everything up and getting on a plane back to reality.  A day is nice to soak it all up especially if you are surrounded by mountains. Honestly this place was a little slice of heaven.

Top of Bald Mountain at the roundhouse

Top of Bald Mountain at the roundhouse


NEXT UP THE TWIN CITIES MARATHON ON OCTOBER 5TH.  I need to start doing some serious running!!!!

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The road to Rebecca’s Private Idaho – part 1

These are my hi-lights of the summer getting ready for RPI part 2 will be the race report.  I wanted to write about them as I went but well, you know, life.

I just returned from Sun Valley, Idaho.  A place I never imagined I’d visit, knew about or thought about. It is a place where the sun always shines, the people are happy and unicorns prance around freely.  This is what I love about racing and training is that  I get to see places that I would never have known about.  This year I got to visit St. Louis, Emporia, Kansas; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Washington; and Sun Valley, Idaho.  I discovered Seaside, Oregon an area of beautiful little cottage homes and a ginormous beach.  I also got to see the haystack rock, and the Columbia gorge.

Beautiful Sun Valley

Sun Valley Idaho



Haystack Rock after Hood to Coast

Haystack Rock after Hood to Coast


The Columbia Gorge

The Columbia Gorge


The week after Kanza was the Tour de Cure a recreational ride where participants raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I raised over $2,000 dollars.

Tour de Cure ride for American Diabetes Association:

This  year our team made the ride in honor of my best friend Katie. If you have read previous posts you will know that Katie passed away in March from a rare cancer at the age of 33.  A lesson to us all that life is short.  Don’t live with regrets get out there and do what you love! We called our team Team Katie Cyclemonsters.  My dear friend Katie always made an effort to help out the diabetes cause  and it was also the event of her first long endurance ride.  We were all so very proud of her.  It was bittersweet to do it this year since she would not be there for it but it was nice because we had so much support from friends and family either who did the event or donated money.  Some of my diabadass girlfriends (a secret sisterhood of girls with T1 diabetes) even flew in from out of town for the event.    Katie’s boyfriend and my good friend Chris Navin helped organize fund-raising efforts and also selflessly gave his time to the ADA. We had a lot of fun working with Bill Nedza and David Gibbs doing some course recon and filming the route!    Chris and I both raised over $1000 and became ADA Champions.  We also appeared on the CBC morning news where we were interviewed by Derrick Young.  It was so great to see all the pictures they posted of Katie as well as helping to spread the word about the benefits of exercise to diabetics.

And I did an interview for ADA social media talking about the red rider program.  A program started by Mari Ruddy to help honor those that ride with diabetes.  Check it out here:

I also enjoy this event because it is one of the few events that my boyfriend and I do together.  He is not a huge biker but every year he signs up to do it and rides 60 miles on his huge heavy clunker bike. After Kanza this was a nice slow easy ride with lots of rest stops!  I would encourage everyone to sign up for this great event which starts and ends at the two brothers roundhouse brewery in Aurora!  Yum.

If you want to join our team for next year please do so at:

Team Katie Cyclemonsters

ADA Ride - diabadass girls and Derrick Young

ADA Ride – diabadass girls and Derrick Young


Overall my training for June included 540 miles on the bike and about 35 miles of running. Why running?  I started my 3rd year as a marathon coach for FFC.  This year we are coaching a great bunch of Team 2 End Aids athletes. I was also planning on running the Chicago marathon until this:

I applied in June to become a GLOBAL MEDTRONIC HERO and my application was accepted.  I was one of 25 individuals from across the globe, chosen for this and I could not be more proud and humbled.  Again, I think it is a great program to help spread the word about the benefits of exercise even if you use a medical device to help you.   So I get an all expenses paid trip for me and Tom to fly to Minnesota and run the marathon!  I also get $1,000 donated to a charity in my name. Unfortunately it is a week early so my already short training schedule will be cut even shorter!

Despite all the great things that were happening, July was a very hard month for me emotionally.  Work was nutty and the reality of Katie was very heavy on my heart.  I did a lot of long training rides on my own which I typically don’t mind but I think some distraction might have been useful.  I really went through a tough time.  This is when my coach Mike stepped up and helped me through the tough times.  He is truly part therapist part athletic coach.  I guess that is the sign of a good coach. He is the best.

10,000 5,600:

My next event (training event) was this puppy:  I was signed up for the long course 10,000 feet of climbing over 124 miles on July 12th.

It just wasn’t my day.  I rarely do not finish up a day until my goal has been met and I rarely give in.  This race I did.  In my eyes I failed.  At the long-course cut off point I just decided that I did not want to be out there for 12 hours on that course.  My bike was off and was squeaking incessantly, I had lost a contact near the start, I had gotten a flat early on, there were a million bugs in the air.  With the humidity and the lost contact I couldn’t see for shit and I was barreling down gravel roads without a clue as to where I was or what was in front of me. I was also carrying far too much food and water.  I had two bottles on my bike, two bottles in my hydration pack and a full 3L bladder.  It weighed a ton.  My back was killing me from the start.  I think being diabetic makes me over prepare and over concerned about running out of food and water.  With no SAG at this event and only 1 place to get water I thought more was better.  Mike and I were the only VQ members doing it and we had both agreed that since there was no SAG we would wait for each other in case either of us needed help or needed to be picked up.  The race organizers were fairly adamant about the lack of aid in their advertising.  Had I gone on I would have been lucky to have finished by 7pm.  I was not going to have Mike wait that long and with the way I felt it was the right thing to do regardless of how it made me feel.  I rarely make the best decisions in the world because I’m so stubborn but this was the right thing to do.  It still ended up being 75 miles with 5600 feet of climbing and took me nearly 6.5 hours!   I happily finished, changed and waited for the first long course riders to come in which was exciting.  I was expecting Mike to be in that bunch but turns out his day was not the greatest either and I was happy to be there for him when he arrived.   Due to Dexcom delivery issues I was without my dex but I tested less than 200 each time. Not finishing what I started was a hard pill to swallow but the right thing to do. I will back to get my revenge next year.

When I look back at the numbers now I see that I still cranked out 540 miles of biking and 66 miles of running in July.

In the meantime while working insane hours and training for Rebecca’s I was asked by my friend Aliki to join her team for the Hood to Coast relay running race.  This race is practically impossible to get into.  When I talked to Mike about it he was as excited about it as I was, which is why I think we get along so well!   The link is here to read all about it. Basically a team of 12 people run various legs from Mt. Hood to the coast, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that! I ran 16 miles in total over 3 different legs.  The race was the week before Rebecca’s so the travel and coordination to make both happen was pretty interesting.  So I flew out and spent 40 hours in a van with 4 girls I didn’t know and one I did know. Why not?! What a blast! I will post a follow up on my BG’s for HTC because relay racing has its challenges in that regard.

Hood to Coast Gang Two Vans Twelve people 200 miles!

Hood to Coast Gang Two Vans Twelve people 200 miles!

Hood to Coast Van decoration . I'm so flexible.

Hood to Coast Van decoration . I’m so flexible.

So with Hood to Coast plans, marathon coaching picking up, marathon training and a trip to Boulder to spectate Ironman in between I arrived in August with some renewed motivation!

The sisterhood of the Diabadasses at the Boulder IM swim start.  What a day!

The sisterhood of the Diabadasses at the Boulder IM swim start. What a day!

Mrs. Rocks:

Next up on the training plan was the Dairyland Dare on August 9th, my last big training ride before Rebecca’s.

The ride included 11,700 feet of climbing over 250k and 11 hours of cycling. I used my osprey synchro hydration pack again with 3L of hydration and I used a bento box with some solid nutrition. Carrying the 3L of Skratch allows me to skip aid stations and have plenty of the hydration mix that I like, although I was careful after the 10,000 race not to overpack.   Although this ride provides plenty of aid stations I like to try to stick with my own nutrition – sustained energy mix, blocks and skratch. The syncro appears quite big, it has a frame keeping if off your back to avoid excessive heat, over the past year I’ve been teased by a certain VQ employee about how I ride with a tent.  Here is the pack Osprey Syncro 10.  I think the straw broke the camels back was when an older gentleman on the ride asked if I was carrying a bag of rocks and from that point on he called me Mrs. Rocks. It’s true it was a bit heavy, especially in hills.   It was then that I decided at Rebecca’s I would go sans hydration pack and just go with the bottles and refill at aid stations which there were plenty of for the race.

The climbs of the ride were constant not long slow gradual climbs but relentless sharp hard climbs which were made even harder with my pack of rocks.  I felt fine until about mile 130 however those  last 20 miles felt like 100 miles.  I rode my Madone road bike and I ended up getting severe foot pain from hot feet which got harder and harder to ignore.  I tried all the tricks but it wouldn’t alleviate.     Luckily I hooked up with a few guys in the last 20-30 miles which allowed some great bitching sessions.   After discussing the ride with Mike I found out that even Robbie thought the ride was really hard. This made me feel a little better.  I had no dex readings because of the aforementioned delivery issues with the sensors. I did test the old-fashioned way and my blood sugars remained fairly consistent at least when I tested at 160.  Yes this ride was a huge struggle but as I learned last year I need to “trust the struggle”  which I feel like I have done a lot of this summer. Ride file is here:

Dairyland Dare

Overall for August I was down to 410 miles of biking and about 60 miles of running.  My mileage was down due to my Boulder trip and Hood to Coast but as I said earlier life is short and I don’t train for these events to win. Being in Boulder for Chris and Karen was too important and the chance to participate in Hood to Coast was too good to pass up and

I feel so lucky and fortunate that I have the financial means, the use of my legs, arms, body and mind to be able to participate and complete the events that I sign up for. I think Katie would agree.

Rebecca’s Private Idaho race report – Part 2 to follow

Here is a little view of what it was like:



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