Week #’s 13-14: Turning a Barge into a Race Boat

Week #’s 13-14, by the numbers:

20.2 miles run on the road. 6.6 miles on the treadmill. 133.8 miles on the bike, 3 time on the trainer, and 5,916 yards (2.5 hours) in the pool.

I had no two/day workout days. A lot of rest days.

Average Blood Glucose: 134

No significant pattern of low blood glucose.

No significant pattern of high blood glucose.

Comments about training for the past two weeks:

I feel like I have found a balance between training, work and family life.  I am not getting 2/days in, but I feel I am getting stronger, faster and am able to go longer.  It’s a good spot to be in, with that balance.

Barge Bustin’ – Let’s Make it a Race Boat:


I never thought that when my daughter started swimming a couple of years ago that I would be in the pool training for Ironman…..

For the last eight weeks, I have fought the water.  Every stroke was a struggle, every breath I had to fight for.

But then, this week, it was almost like I was a swimmer.  Not a meathead, or a sinking ship, but a swimmer.

I changed my basal rates two weeks ago and I’m not chasing low blood glucose levels.  It’s not perfect, but its getting close.  There’s been some bumps along the way, but its close.  My average blood glucose level was up, but not a lot.  However, I have not been chasing low blood glucose levels and I have had more energy.

You sink, or you swim.  It’s not always perfect, sometimes gasping for breathe, but sometimes, you get just enough that you can get into a rhythm.  And then one length turns into two.  The flip turn temporary slows you down, but back at it down the lane.

Managing Type 1 Diabetes is not a sprint.  It is not easy, but by taking one step at a time, one stroke at a time, managing gets easier and you get down the lane.

Week #’s 9-12: Every 3 Month Anxiety…. and the “Bad” A1c

Week #’s 9-12, by the numbers:

51.3 miles run on the road. 15 miles on the treadmill. 86.8 miles on the bike, 0 time on the trainer, and 3:10 hours in the pool.

I had no two/day workout days. A lot of rest days.

Average Blood Glucose: 114

No significant pattern of low blood glucose.

No significant pattern of high blood glucose.

Comments about training for the past four weeks:

I spent my training over the past month getting in quality vs quantity.  My knee had hurt in January, from what appears to be either a quad weakness, arch drop in my foot on the bike, or both.  So, I spent the time getting in quality workouts, allowing for proper recovery, stretching and foam roller.

I have to admit, too, that my focus has dropped off.  Sore knee, “bad” A1c, and the variability in winter training…..all exposes any lack of focus/drive and impairs consistency.  Time to get it back, though.  Shooting for a 1/2 marathon PR at the April Fools 1/2 in April, and my first 1/2 distance tri in May.

I also started swimming……my only comment is that this barge needs some “reshaping”.

Every 3 Month Anxiety & The “Bad” A1c:

Every 3 months, those with T1D get blood work done to analyze for their “A1c”.  This is more formally known as the Hemaglobin A1c and is essentially a long-term blood glucose test.  This is what it looks like:

Mike Blood Draw


So, the results showed this:  Hemoglobin A1c: 7.2%

And I was livid!

Imagine my surprise when my last A1c was a 6.5% and my average numbers for the last 90 days show an average blood glucose of 118.

I had worked too hard for this!

Once the blood work is complete, then I, and those with T1D visit their Endocrine…..and this is where the anxiety starts.  “What’s my A1c?  How’s my endo going to react?  What changes is he/she going to make?”  These are all legitimate questions that run through our heads…..questions about how we are going to be judged…..

What we, the T1D community, don’t do, is use the numbers as tools.  I heard this this past weekend at a Riding on Insulin Camp, “No number is a bad number, we need the number to decide what to do.”

Endo’s, parents, and those with T1D, have a hard time remembering this…..however, it is important to keep the right mindset.  Making good choices without judging…..

So, what do my numbers tell me?  There are enough BG readings above the 140 level that have impacted my A1c.  The trick over the next 90 days will be to lower the number of outliers without increasing the amount of low blood glucose I experience.

It is only through the proper mindset that I will succeed in my triathlon goals.

The numbers are a tool to my success.

So, I’ll keep “tri-ing” and use the tools I have to improve.


Training Log – Week #8 – The Jesse Story – Why I Ride

Week #8, by the numbers:

0 miles run on the road. 15 miles on the treadmill. 0 miles on the bike, and 4 hours and 15 minutes on the trainer.

I had no two/day workout days. 2 rest days.

Average Blood Glucose: 123

Significant pattern of low blood glucose between 5:15am and 7:45am.

No significant pattern of high blood glucose.

Comments about training for the past two weeks:

I had a lingering cough that seemed to go away when working out.  The indoor workouts due to weather and schedule.  Hoping to break both bad habits this week.

The Jesse Story  – What I Ride

The reality I almost never allow myself to think about, and one in which I am in constant fear of living, or, of my family living, is the one of my friend, Michelle.  Four years ago, on February 3rd (2/3 or 23), she lost her son, Jesse, to Type 1 Diabetes.

I’ll be honest, I don’t like this topic. It scares me.  I could have been Jesse.  I could be Jesse.  Or Trent, Caleb, Hiedi, Caitlyn, Sarah, Chelsea, Brandon, or one of the many others who we have lost to Type 1 Diabetes.

And I have to hand it to Michelle, because she has rallied and faced her circumstances and helped others in the same position.  Leading in a subject matter where the #T1D community needs her.

I choose to ignore this reality and realize it at the same time (if that makes any sense), to maintain my focus on training and riding with the JDRF Ride to Cure program.  JDRF has been the #1 funding source for research on T1D prevention, treatment and cure therapies over the last 40 years.  And the Ride to Cure program is the #1 growing program in the organization.  I believe it’s because it brings the T1D community together with a focus on driving results.  The atmosphere is one of family.  An energy that just can’t be matched.  If you are in the T1D community, you just feel at home.  For those with no connection to T1D, you just get a feeling of wanting to help.

Mile 23 Jersey


The jersey worn in the photo above is the Mile 23 jersey, which is part of the memorial to the children we have lost to T1D.  The jersey holds the names of many children, Jesse’s and Trent’s on the shoulders and many others throughout.  The other part is Mile 23 of each of the JDRF Ride to Cure events, which we ride in silence.  We remember those we have lost.  We have lost some battles, but we are focused on winning the war.

Ride Finish with Kids

While the Jesse story is normally the focus, the other half of the story is that of Michelle’s response.  She has stayed in the T1D community and become a leader.  Working with those who have faced the challenges she has.  She works for Riding on Insulin, a non-profit snow boarding camp for those with T1D, empowering children to be active and engaged in the activities they want to enjoy.  She continues to rally with Team Honey Badger, the JDRF Wisonsin JDRF Ride to Cure Team.

Her story of fighting is an example of the mentality of the JDRF Ride to Cure program. Michelle fight’s.  JDRF Ride to Cure fight’s.  In spite of the challenges faced, the people in this community fight, painted in a corner, hungry for information, fists up and ready.

Our kids need us, that’s why we ride, and that’s why I ride.

If you want to know more about the JDRF Ride to Cure program, visit: ride.jdrf.org

Come for a bike ride with me, it’ll change your life.


Training Log – Weeks 6&7 – About Being Brave

Weeks #6 & 7, by the numbers:

28.9 miles run on the road.  11.5 miles on the treadmill.  87.3 miles on the bike, and 5 hours on the trainer.

I had no two/day workout days.  2 rest days.

Average Blood Glucose: 122

Significant pattern of low blood glucose between 6:00am and 8:10am.

No significant pattern of high blood glucose.

Comments about training for the past two weeks:

The past two weeks were a little weird, in that everyone in the family was sick, except for me….I’m normally the sick Dad, hiding under the covers for 3 days when everyone else was fine after 24 hours.  Oh well, I’ll take it, just kept on training.

About Being Brave

There’s been a lot of talk in the news and on Facebook this past week about brave people.  The Priests in the Ukraine, standing tall and peaceful among protesters.

Demetrius de Moors, the Atlanta, GA high school wrestler who just did the right thing.

Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman, Toledo, OH firemen who died in the line of duty.

These are all great examples of brave people.  No doubt about it.  However, I want to share with you what brave is in the T1D community.

IMG_6835The Study Participants-

People like my daughter and my niece, who are participating in TrialNet, a prevention study for those that have a blood relative who is T1D.  They participate because they are asked.  Not because they want to.  They go and allow themselves to be subjected to fasting mornings (without meals) blood work taken, and deal with highly anxious parents the whole time.  They think they are helping me, but in reality, they are helping the people that are years from being diagnosed.

The Parents of Those with T1D –

These parents face every day knowing the potential for disaster.  Essentially, they are helping make decisions about insulin delivery that, if a mistake is made, could kill their child.  The parents have to remain calm, allow their child to grow socially and still face the fact that they are solely responsible for their child’s health until they can educate and transfer care to their child.

The Kids with T1D –

They often don’t feel different, except when their blood sugar levels aren’t correct.  They are looked at differently and treated differently.  By other kids, by other kids parents, by educators and by the school districts.  It is most likely derived by fear, a typical human emotion.  And though not right, it often happens anyway.  But the children with T1D forge on and wake every morning knowing that they will face these challenges.  It takes guts to face the world every day when you know negativity is coming your way.

So – I will continue to train.  For my health, for the example for my children, and to show children with T1D that there is no need to pay attention to the negativity that they will face.  That they should not be afraid to face the day.



Training Log – Week 5 – What is Mikes Miles?

Weeks #5, by the numbers:

10.4 miles run on the road.  4 miles on the treadmill.  And 4 hours on the trainer.

I had no two/day workout days.  2 rest days.

Average Blood Glucose: 116

Significant pattern of low blood glucose between 6:20am and 8:05am.

No significant pattern of high blood glucose.

Comments about training for the past two weeks:

This past week was broken up a bit with some work travel and some significant cold weather.  I used it as a week to focus on the trainer and improve my cadence during interval work.

Mikes Miles – The Method Behind the Madness

The focus of Mikes Miles is multi-faceted, but let me give you the two main points:

Those families who live with T1D need help in two ways.  They need support for their family.  The need that support in care, knowledge and access to information.

They also need to an organization that is focused on improving the current standard of care and to find a CURE.

Mikes Miles is meant to support these two initiatives.  The Mikes Miles 5k at Cedarvale Winery is an annual 5k and 1 mile fun run (April 12th, 2014 at 10am)  that is organized to raise money for JDRF and to allow the local community to know there is a local resource for those with T1D.

With 80 people being diagnosed daily (40 kids and 40 adults), every community needs a reminder that there is someone local who can help them navigate the choppy waters.  Its a confusing disease to get used to managing, so a little help can go a long way.

The first person my parents talked to when I was diagnosed was a nurse, who was also a mother of 3, and lived with T1D.  She made all the difference in setting my family off down the right path.  Thank you , Jean.  I will always be grateful for your kind a loving words during such a tragic time.

Why JDRF?   Because it is the #1 funder of T1D research in the world.  The organization’s goal is to improve the lives of those with T1D by funding research in the areas of treatment, prevention and cure therapies.  Since I was diagnosed in 1982, research funded by JDRF has changed the way T1D is managed and drastically improved the lives of those living with T1D.  This organization has drastically improved my life.  With the threat of my children being diagnosed, I am proud to support them, and feel confident in knowing they are working to change my life, and ultimately cure T1D.  And it certainly helps that they were ranked in the top 5 in the US by Forbes Magazine last year for most efficient non-profits.  Greater than 82% of the money raised goes towards the mission.

Thanks again to everyone that has supported Mikes Miles (and JDRF) in the past, and I look forward to seeing everyone out at Cedarvale Winery again on April 12th!