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 not...like 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 insulindependence.org, 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!
I'm a 36 year old mom of 3, a teacher, an avid reader, an amateur writer, a type 1 diabetic, a crazy person training for an ironman, and a person who likes to hang out with others and have a great time!