My Shelfari Bookshelf (These are seriously just a FEW of the hundreds of books I've read lately)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Experiential Diabetes Education

I just thought I would share a video of one of the excursions Insulindependence has sponsored for kids with diabetes. What an amazing experience they were able to have! I know from my weekend in St. George with the other 10 Team Captains how life changing it can be to spend time with other diabetics who have the same goals in mind. It helps you to realize how important it is to take care of yourself, and helps you to feel like you really are not alone. (Of course we know that we aren't, and that there are others out there just like us, but it feels good to be surrounded by them and to hear their stories and to see how they take care of themselves. It inspires you to do a better job of taking care of yourself).

Insulindependence is the group I am raising money for. The idea behind this nonprofit organization is not the same as the ADA or the JDRF who are actively researching cures to diabetes. Their idea is to help diabetics to manage their disease through peer-supported fitness and adventure programs. They want to inspire people with diabetes to set personal fitness goals, to educate them on how to manage diabetes through hands-on experience. This is why it makes sense to me! I would love for them to find a cure...but in the meantime, what can I be doing to live a healthy and full life? By racing in an Ironman I am proving that there really are NO limits for ANYONE!

There are a couple other videos I'll share sometime, but I thought this one was pretty neat. Can you imagine getting to go to Machu Picchu as a teenager? I have found that sometimes having things like diabetes or cancer or other diseases tends to open up doors that otherwise would not have been yours to go through. Of course there's the whole trade off that you have a disease...but still! There are some positives in every situation if you choose to look for them.

I hope this helps people to understand exactly what it is I'm racing (and fundraising) for. If you haven't visited my fundraising page, go to HERE

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Morning Ride!

**Before you read: To help you understand some of my "jargon" just a little background on blood sugar (BS). It should be between 80-100, but if I'm close to 80 I'm usually going low. Higher than 150 is pretty high, and not good! Bolused is what you do when you give yourself insulin. When I give myself a shot I do it in "units." I usually have to take 1 unit for every 20 carbs I eat. Phrendos are people on the diabetic network that are also into training. If you have any other questions, please comment and I'll try to answer!**

Very early this am (5:00 to be exact) a couple new friends and I got together for a 41 mile ride to Usery Pass and back. My husband and sister (who are very fast) were doing this ride, so I invited some other AZ phrendos to join us, and Lynanne Chapman and Jerry Nairn did. It was nice to meet Lynanne, and great to see Jerry again! I was especially glad to have them around because I am really not fast at all, and knew I couldn't keep up with the others. Turns out Troy and Dixie (hubby and sister) finished 1 HOUR before us...but whatever.

To back up a little, I went to a Shakespeare show at the Biltmore that my bro-in-law was performing in last night (very good! I took Cooper with me and he pretty much thought he'd died and gone to heaven getting to hang out with all the big people!), and afterwards we went for some dessert at the Cheesecake Factory...basically it was 1 am before I went to bed. I checked my email before crashing and saw that Lynanne and Jerry were indeed coming, so I set my alarm for 4:30 and hoped for sleep to come fast! (I'm a total insomniac, so this is something I definitely struggle with). Luckily I got some sleep, woke up to a BEAUTIFUL morning, and was ready to go.

Checked my BS and was at 289...YIKES! I guess that strawberry shortcake wasn't bolused correctly... However, I always tend to go low when I exercise (especially on long runs or rides), so it's always hard for me to decide what to do. Should I give myself some units to correct? I ate half a bagel with peanut butter and decided to give myself 2 units. One hour into the ride I was already at 99. Took some shot blocks and continued on my way. Let me just say, this was NOT an easy ride! It was absolutely gorgeous out this morning. It wasn't hot at all (which is unusual in AZ), it was windy (which was nice for keeping us cool, but sucked the big one for riding into. Lots of strong headwinds the whole time, esp. up the hills), and there were LOTS of bikers out on the roads. (I saw several of my friends out there!)

This ride started at my house, headed up to a place called Usery Pass, and then looped us around for 17 miles before we headed back home. Usery Pass is FULL of hills. There is an especially steep downhill that I thought I would be very scared of, but it turned out I LOVED the feeling of flying! I really am scared of what can happen when you're going that fast, but I tried not to think about it and ended up really enjoying it. However, that was the one nice stretch of the ride before some pretty ugly hills reared their heads. I was slow. Very slow. Poor Lynanne and Jerry--they were great sports sticking with me! (This just shows me how dang far I have to go to be ready for St. George. In fact, I kept thinking "What the h*** was I thinking saying I could do IMSG?????") There was one hill that just kept going for literally 4 miles, and I was getting passed left and right. I finally figured out how to change into the very lowest gears, which helped, but the bike I've got is not great and was really making it hard. But--I made it! We topped that hill and then finished the loop and headed for home. We had to stop 2 other times because I felt low and needed some GU, but I thought it was a very fun and awesome morning! I especially liked getting to know Lynanne, and having time to chat with both her and Jerry. Great people! I hope that next time we can have more Arizonans out with us! I know everyone is at different paces, but I think that would still work because we had 2 groups this time--fast and mega slow. :) We finished the 41 miles in 3 hours 45 minutes. (I'm pretty sure I was going about 3-4 mph on those killer hills! Not so hot...but hey, next time will be much better! Plus, when I get a bike that's actually good it will help a ton!)

If those 2 hadn't come, I would've slept in...SO GLAD THEY CAME!! Anyone else out there wanting to join us for long rides or runs, please let me know! I think I'm going to alternate each Saturday with a long run, then the next week a long ride.

Monday, June 7, 2010

So...The Slacker's Back Part Deux?

I'm not sure if anyone will even read my blog anymore, since I'm so suck-tastic at it! However, I have made a commitment to be a bloggy queen this year as I chronicle my journey to the Ironman St. George. Oh don't worry, I won't only type about exercise and diabetes (what's wrong with that anyway??). I'll also blog about my cute family, my life happenings, etc. But, the main focus will be on my Ironman training.

So I'm just going to start back at the beginning of this journey. (Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a...oh nevermind. Just a little Gilligan's Island for you there). As you may (or may not) recall, last year I began a crazy journey involving running. Before Ragnar of '09 I was definitely NOT a runner, and a friend of mine convinced me to run this little race (204 miles little race), and I strangely enough said yes. Well, to make a very long story short, I got hooked. I went on to run a 5k, a 10k, 2 triathlons, a 1/2 marathon, and then yes...the mother of all races (well, not really there are some seriously insane races out there in the 100 mile range, but that's neither here nor there), the 26.2 mile marathon. I completed that in January of 2010. So exactly a year after I started to run at all (and could only run for 1 to 2 minutes at a stretch without thinking I was literally dying), I ran a full marathon.

During that marathon I happened to notice 2 guys wearing "Triabetes" t-shirts. They passed me and I thought: "Oh good, if something happens to me on this race they're around and will know what to do." I saw them at the 13 mile turnaround, and really it made me feel much better about things. Finally as I was coming into the last 3 miles of this race I caught up with them, and it was a good thing I did. See, as a type 1 diabetic I should have known better than to go out on a huge run like this and not take my glucose monitor with me. I had sugar (the Gu gel stuff that makes me want to throw up but works wonders when you need instant sugar), but had gone through most of it, and I was beginning to feel a bit low. Since I didn't have a checker with me I wasn't sure where I was at.

I caught up to these 2 guys and said: "Hi! I'm a diabetic, too!" And the rest, as they say, is history. They gave me sugar and we ended up walking about a mile and a half together before I started running for the end. We pretty much finished together, and it was such a great moment! Those 2 guys (Jerry Nairn and Brian Foster) ended up not only helping me through that race, but changing my life forever.

Turns out they both belonged to this group called Triabetes that is full of diabetics who want to live healthy and active lives, and they want to be supported by others who are in the same situation. It's actually a branch off from the group Insulindependence (which is a nonprofit group dedicated to just this thing). Jerry hooked me up with the group and I was able to join. They've got a network for diabetics called Phrendo (which is basically facebook for diabetics), and I joined that and began meeting so many amazing people who all had one thing in common--diabetics that wanted to be active and healthy. There is a group for those most interested in triathlons (triabetes), one for runners (glucomotive), one for adventurers (testing limits), and one for those who love the water (a1sea).

As I was searching the site I saw a link for anyone interested in becoming a Triabetes Team captain. I clicked on it, and thought "Woa! That would be amazing." Basically you become like an ambassador in your region of the US to help others with diabetes (kind of like Jerry and Brian did for me), you mentor a child with type 1 diabetes (totally cool!), you put on a regional event in your area (like a race of some sort, or else help at a race), you have monthly activities (for anyone to join, diabetic or let's meet at Freestone and go for a run/walk and have bagels afterwards kind of thing), and you train for the Ironman St. George 2011. Oh yea, and you have to raise like $5000. They will give you coaches and support and give you a week of intensive training in Florida in November (and lots of other things), and then you will compete in this mother of all events...

I filled out the application, and then I threw it away. I don't have time for this. In case you've forgotten I work full time, I have 3 children, I'm in the scouting program for church...I'm BIZZ-AY! I put it out of my mind. Until I was just casually minding my own business (hanging out in Disneyland if you must know), and this guy named Peter Nerothin (founder of Insulindependence) calls me up out of the blue and asks if I want to be a Triabetes team captain. Uh..... what?? Remember the part where I threw that sucker away? The app was in the trash, and here he was calling me.

Basically, after long talks with him, with Troy, with my sister, with myself...I finally decided this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of. When else would I be able to work and train with other type 1 diabetics for an Ironman? When else would I get to be part of something so amazing and special that I could give back even a tiny bit of what others have given me? Never.

So I said yes. I went to St. George for a weekend to watch the SGIM 2010 and work an aid station. I met the other 9 team captains from across the country, as well as the 2 founders (Peter, and another guy named John Moore), and also JERRY NAIRN! The great guy who got me started in the first place! He's our honorary captain this year. I can tell you that weekend changed my life, and this year will be one I will never ever forget. My Ironman training has officially begun. If I was busy before, I'm even busier now!

So...if you ever want to go for a run, or a bike ride, or a swim, CALL ME! I want to go, too! If you know of any diabetics, please please please give them my email or phone number, or direct them to my blog. If you have some extra cash (HA!) PLEASE donate to my cause, because this is something that I believe VERY strongly in. (Visit, or email me for my exact link. For some reason it's not letting me put it here in this blog post). And if you have any encouraging words of advice...I can always use them!

Here's to the journey!