Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Running Low

I am into week four of my half ironman training plan and so far so good.  I have been putting a lot of miles in the pool, on the treadmill and road and on the bike!  It is definitely a challenging schedule, but I am loving it.  I find that I like being pushed and I am already seeing improvements in my performance, particularly in the pool.

I have only had a few lows during and after training which I am pleased about.  My insulin requirements have decreased due to the increase in activity, which has also resulted in losing a couple of pounds.  Luckily over the last few years I have been learning a lot about how my body reacts to intense activity and have found things that work for me - most of the time.  Of course since Diabetes is generally a total ass, it likes to throw me curveballs to try and catch.  Last week I had such a curveball thrown.  

I can usually feel a low coming on during exercise and can treat it before it gets out of hand.  Usually a few glucose tabs and swig of juice and I am good to keep going.  Last week I had one of those weird lows that crept up on me with weird symptoms and hit me pretty hard. 

I was about 20 minutes in to my 45 minute recovery run.  I was feeling great and just chugging along at a nice and easy pace.  My blood sugars before the run were where I wanted them to be, I had no insulin on board and had decreased my basal by 50% for 1.5 hours.  So there I was, running along listening to my play list when I started to notice my legs felt kind of numb.  They were moving just fine, I just could not really feel them.  It was like they were fuzzy.  I remember thinking in my mind, wow this is kind of nice, running without really feeling my legs.  Then I thought about how ridiculous that was and it was likely a sign something was not right.  As all of you know that have had low blood sugars, the thought process can slow down and we don't always make great decisions.  I knew something was not quite right, however I just kept running because.....why not?  After nearly 5 minutes of this I realized that I was sweating a ridiculous amount for the effort I was putting in.  This finally convinced my sugar deprived brain to stop and test.  2.6 mmol - ack!  I got off the treadmill, treated the low and waited it out.  By then I was shaky, dizzy etc.  all of the fun stuff.  

I only had 15 minutes left of the run to complete and could have easily called it a day.  Nope!  My stubbornness, and by then anger at having stupid Diabetes, had me back on the treadmill after I was recovered and I ran the final 15 minutes.  

I now know that if my legs start to feel numb or fuzzy I should stop and test!  Anyone else experienced this kind of low symptom?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I want to play! Things about me..

I first read this over on Scully's blog and then a bunch of other blogs.  A great way to post somethings you may or may not find interesting, as well as get the writing bug in gear.  Here goes.

1. Four names that people call me other than my real name:
1. J or Aunty J
2. J Bird or The Bird
3. Pickles (Ryan's name for me.  Not sure where it came from)
4. JAM (my older brother has always called me this)

2. Four jobs I’ve had:

1. I consider all of the weekends of endless chores on the acreage growing up as my first job
2. Working in a pub in England (best job ever)
3. Working as a waiter at a Conference Centre (had to wear a tux, hated the job, lasted 3 weeks)
4. Paralegal

3. Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

1. Annie - absolute favorite (the original, not this new age Annie where Jamie Foxx is Daddy Warbucks - WTF?)
2. Mary Poppins
3. Dead Poet's Society
4. Rocky Horror Picture Show (never ever gets old)

...I like movies with singing!

4. Four books I’d recommend:
1. Lord of the Rings (favorite of all time)
2. Lonesome Dove
3. Anything by Bill Bryson (technically not a book, but I could not choose just one)
4. Into Thin Air

5. Four places I’ve lived:
1. Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England
2. Manchester, England
3. Edmonton
4. St. Albert

6. Four places I’ve visited:

Only FOUR!? 

1. Australia
2. Greece
3. Ireland
4. Germany

7. Four things I prefer not to eat:

1. Tapioca Pudding (blech)
2. Soggy Cereal
3. Liver
4. Anything with Gluten (have no choice but to not eat this)

8. Four of my favorite foods:

1. Tomatoes
2. Cheese
3. Dark Chocolate
4. Big salads

9. Four TV shows I watch
1. Parenthood (guilty girly pleasure)
2. Sons of Anarchy
3. Walking Dead 
4. Game of Thrones

10. Four things I’m looking forward to this year: 

1. Half Ironman in July (eek)
2. Summer Camping
3. Going to Vegas next week (yahoo)
4. Having fun doing the things I love

11. Four things I’m always saying:

1. Basil and Kasper - get inside (mainly at 2:00am when they need to go outside and sniff stuff)
2. Can you turn the TV down?
3. It's hot in here 
4.  I love you

Feel free to copy and paste this! It's entertaining to write and read.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A New Year with New Goals

Happy Belated New Year to everyone!  I was struck down with the flu just after the New Year and have spent a good portion of 2015 recovering.  I am back to normal now and looking forward to the year ahead.  Ryan and I are heading to Mexico this coming weekend for a week of sun and sand, however when I get back things are going to get real.  

I registered for my first Half Ironman (eek) in July, 2015.  Just typing that made my stomach do a back flip.  This winter I have been working very hard at my strength training and have spent a lot of time on the bike, on the treadmill and in the pool.  After last seasons successful triathlon season and realizing how much fun I had, I decided I was ready for my next big challenge.  The race is the Great White North and takes place in Stony Plain, Alberta - where I grew up.  I am putting the finishing touches on my training plan and once I am back from vacation it will be full steam ahead.

If I am completely honest with myself, the thing that scares me the most about this is my diabetes management.  So far I have been pretty successful in managing my sugars during exercise, however I certainly have not embarked on a 6+ hour training day.  I know that as I train a large part will be my diabetes management and if I am consistent and remain determined, I should have a good plan in place for the race day.  I have been reading blogs of fellow T1D's who race long distances and am gathering some good tips!  Please feel free to chime in with any tips or experiences of your own.

I plan on doing a Friday wrap-up each week to summarize not only my training but experiences with the 'betes throughout the training.  Hopefully it will not only be a good log for me, but may help others who are contemplating a longer distance race.

See you all when I get back from the beach :)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My New Years resolution is to start blogging more!  I have so many posts to finish and look forward to getting back to it.  Have a fantastic holiday season!

Monday, 3 November 2014

CTV 2 Primetime - Raising Awareness of Type 1 Diabetes

Here is the full version of the CTV 2 clip.

Was such an exciting project to be part of.  The actual ADF event took place last weekend and I shall post about that shortly!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My TV Clip


A small clip from the interview I have been working on with CTV2 and the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.  Their campaign is Dispelling the Myths of Type 1 Diabetes.  The full interview will be out this Friday (September 26) at 6:00pm on CTV2 Alberta Primetime.  Excited!  Also, how weird is it to see yourself on TV?  Do I really sound like that?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Halloween Howl & The Alberta Diabetes Foundation

About a month ago I was contacted by a friend and previous colleague to see if I would be interested in helping to organize a fundraising run for the Alberta Diabetes Foundation (ADF).  The event is to be held on Saturday October 25, 2014 in Edmonton and is in the spirit of Halloween (it is also held in Calgary on Sunday October 26).  It is called the Halloween Howl.  2014 marks the 4th year for this particular fundraising event.  They had been following my blog and asked if I would be willing to do a short five minute talk prior to the run.  The topic to discuss is "Debunking the Myths of Type 1 Diabetes".  They want me to talk a bit about the fact that I was diagnosed later in life, and despite this, have continued with my athletic goals.  Of course I said yes!

Firstly, what is the Alberta Diabetes Foundation? ADF exists because they are not afraid to take risks in the diabetes research they fund.  Canadians have always been very innovative in diabetes research, starting with the discovery of insulin.  A big breakthrough happened in Alberta when ADF funded the first successful islet transplant after other fundraising organizations refused to do so.  ADF continues to fund research here in Alberta with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for diabetes. 

The ADF works together with the world renowned Alberta Diabetes Institute to allocate funding where and when it is needed most.  This helps to ensure that important diabetes research and projects are not stalled.  The ADF is able to fund research projects in their early stages, therefore filling the gaps left by traditional granting organizations.  2014 marks two monumental milestones for ADF.  It is the 25th anniversary of the foundation funding the first islet transplant and the 10th anniversary of the Alberta Diabetes Institute.

The ADF have many fundraisers throughout the year and I am excited to be part of this one.  Participants can either enter the 3km/5km fun run or walk, or register for the 10km competitive timed run.  There will be prizes in the 10km run for the top three finishes in the categories of adult male, adult female, youth male and youth female, as well as prizes for the best costumes.

I plan on running the 10km race and have a costume in mind (cannot tell).  I am excited to speak in front of the participants a bit about my journey so far.  I also get giddy at the thought of being around a bunch of people with diabetes :). 

If you are interested in participating in this event, please check out the website at

Another very cool thing that happened, which I shall detail in my next post, is that CTV news contacted me and asked to interview and film me for a piece they are doing on primetime!  How exciting is that?