Monday, March 24, 2014

Beating Diabetes through Triathlon

t has long been a goal of mine to complete a triathlon.  In fact, over five years ago I bought a cheap starter bike to begin and with a little excitement around the house (birth of two girls), ,I litany deployments, and job changes it became nearly impossible for me to begin training.  All told, after purchasing the bike over 6 years ago, I had logged a whopping total of 12 miles on the bike, zero laps in the pool, but had run a few 5ks to keep up with my wife (although I must admit, I complained, I despise running). 

As some of you may know, I am diabetic and have been for over 10 years.  The lineage runs deep in my family and I was tested every six months from the time I was 13.  Over the last few years I have let it slip a bit, well more than a bit, and it has started to get the best of me, more mentally than anything.  My sugars and A1C levels were out of whack and like a roller coaster.  I knew that I needed to begin a concerted effort exercise effort to have control of my diabetes and beat this crappy(insert another word) disease.  

(Sound the trumpets) Entering the ring to beat this dreaded disease was the goal I had years ago a Triathlon.  I found a training plan in "Triathlete" magazine that I decided to buy one day on my IPad through the Newstand app.  It seemed easy to use and was rather straight forward, which I knew I needed to not be overwhelmed.  In fact, I highly recommend you get a copy if you are interested in beginning a triathlons journey.  The plan was put out by 's Lance Watson and can be found in the FEB 2014 issue of Triathlete.   

Fast forward now 9 weeks to today, a mere 5 days away from my first race and things have been going well.  In fact, my blood sugar levels have evened out tremendously, I feel heather and now make time for exercise instead of it being an afterthought.  I find out next week how much my A1C levels have dropped and I will be sure to let you folks know.  As far as the training was concerned, I found it to be manageable.  Don't get me wrong, in the beginning it kicked my butt, however towards the end of the plan, I found myself wanting to do more (but resisted the urge, per the advice of numerous Twitter feeds and article post).  

 Over the last 8, almost 9 weeks now, I have logged over 200 miles on the bike, run over 50, and swam I don't even know how many laps!  This first Triathlon will be much less than that, a sprint distance, but I am ready!  The only piece that I am nervous about is the combining of all three events, the plan at most had me do two at once.  However, I am trusting Mr. Watson's expertise that I won't fall over dead doing this!  

When I started this journey my goal was to finish a triathlon but the more I get engrossed with this multi sport event, the more I want to place in my age group.  I know it's likely unrealistic given it's my first race, but I think my swim times and bike times (on a woman's road bike nonetheless) could keep me towards the front of the pack.  My struggle will be the run.  And if I get slow on the bike or passed then it's obviously the equipment :-) and I might be able to convince my wife to let me get the Quintana Roo bike I've been wanting.

Sorry to ramble on here, I am excited about this adventure and looking forward to posting my results and future success on the blog.  Thanks for reading this far and if you'll allow me, I'd like to thank a few folks/companies.  BTW, I am not sponsored but would be willing to if any companies are interested :-). First, to my beautiful wife who has always pushed me beyond believe, sometimes not with words but with your scowls.  To my girls, for cheering for me after each training day and asking me how I did!  
To my in-laws for keeping our girls while I go try this dream.  

Thanks to the City of Morganton, NC for an incredible greenway and aquatic center in which to train, by the far the best greenway I have ever been on.  

Thanks to TYR for making goggles that don't leak for folks with a little extra meat around their skulls.   

Thanks to AquaSphere for some amazing paddles that bunt the crap out of my arms when I am in the pool, feel the burn baby!

Thanks to Schwinn bikes (Schwinn Varsity)for producing an affordable bike that while small on me, will get me through my first race and has gotten me through training with no problems. 

A special and heartfelt thanks to All3Sports, specifically Mike, for taking care of me when I came to visit on a drive through Atlanta.  I was nervous about going in to a store like this, but Mike was great at helping me understand what I truly needed for my first attempt and for not trying to upsale me on things.  In reality, he and a few other staff members encouraged me not to purchase a few items.  Because of their honestly, all of my triathlon purchases will be made through their store, regardless of price.  Thanks guys!

A final thanks to diabetes.  You made me do this and now be prepared because as each new day passes, I am kicking your ass a little bit more!  You will NOT beat me!!!!!!!