Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ironman Lake Placid Bike

After running through the swim chute and the cheering crowds I made it to my bike bag and headed to the women’s changing tent where a wonderful volunteer helped me with everything. I checked my BS first. 308. Damn. I finish dressing and cancel the temp basal I had going for the swim so during the ride I’m at normal basal. I punch my combo bolus into my pump for the foods I was going to eat on the bike. I was supposed to give myself 30units over 7hours; I was thinking I would be done with bike within 7hrs 45min. So rather than give 30 units to avoid a low later in the bike I gave myself 25units over 7hrs with 5% upfront and 95% over the 7hrs. I run across the field to Starlite and then head out. Right as I was getting on my bike I saw Danny again and he was telling me to take it easy, don’t worry, take it slow at the beginning. Again, he was the calm comforting voice I needed to hear.

I knew I needed to spin my legs and drink my Nuun water in the first 10 miles. Don’t push it. The first 7miles are uphill followed by the 7mile descent. I had my Dexcom CGM hooked up and it was alarming with arrows going up and my BS saying 300. I pull over to check at around mile 5 at 9:15am and I’m 331. “What to do, what to do”. I decide to give myself 1.2 units of a correction because I’m still climbing and the only active insulin on board is for the food I haven’t yet started to eat. And I needed to eat. Remember what my coach Tom said: eat as much of my solid foods at the beginning of the bike because later in the day my stomach wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. I cross the timing mat around mile 30 and feel really good, I had checked my BS right before that point and I was 179 but with arrows now coming straight down. I didn’t realize this then but I had dropped 150 points within an hour. That’s way too much too fast a drop. I finish the first loop very strong and my legs felt great, I was able to keep my cadence up around 90rpm’s for the entire loop dropping down to 85 on climbs. I was so happy I had changed my rear cassette to an 11-28. Climbing up the last hills in the first loop I could see all the written words of encouragement written by spectators; one of the funniest things written on that final hill was: “Remember…you PAID to do this” I thought that was hilarious. I was all smiles seeing my friends at the top of the hill; my friends Seb and Sarah were there to greet me, Sarah started running alongside me cheering that I was doing great. I was stellar. Felt strong. I could do another loop no problem.

I stop at the special needs bags to switch bottles and get more nutrition, I started to ride away and had to go back because I FORGOT my bars. The whole reason I needed to stop in the first place. Back on track I start the second loop same way I started the first, spinning my legs and cheering my fellow racers. We were halfway through the bike! I see a fellow Tri Latino athlete and start talking to him. He had forgotten his salt pills at special needs. I offered him 6 of my pills since I knew I had more than I would need. He thanked me and said the Karma would come back tenfold; I had just saved his race. I was happy I could help and we part ways. I pull over to check my BS and I’m 120 at 11:55am with an arrow still coming down but now it seemed it was starting to slow down so I have a GU and continue to eat my Powerbar. Right before I start the downhill I check my BS one more time, I was concerned with being low on the descent, I check and I’m 148. Perfect. Get through the descent and start riding towards Jay and Upper Jay. This is a nice stretch of flat but I don’t feel ok. I start to feel a little wobbly on the bike and realize I must pull over my CGM is alarming and it says I’m low 50. I think it must be wrong. I see a race support vehicle and decide to stop near him. I check my BS and I’m 47. Crap. I checked my pump to see how far along my combo bolus was and I still had 5 more units to be delivered. I had 2.65 IOB (insulin on board). I cancelled the combo bolus. I thought I was going to die of hypoglycemia if I kept it going. This isn’t good. I have zero energy. No power. I suck down a GU, drink some of my EFS, and eat a banana the race support guy had given me. I saved the trail mix he gave me in case I needed it for later. I realized I was now at mile 75-80 and I couldn’t just wait until my BS went up. Even if I was going slower I needed to keep moving. Time was getting away from me.

Mile 110 speeding to the bike finish IMLP
The next 2 ½ hours were a major struggle. I knew I had no power because I couldn’t bring my cadence up above 80. I was fighting the battle of low BS. I kept on eating my powerbars but they were starting to make me nauseous. I didn’t know if this was from heat, low BS or the race itself. I started to eat my PB crackers instead and it helped immensely. I also was eating bananas from the aid stations. I still had no energy though. My BS went up to 102, then dropped back to 76, and then 82. I couldn’t bring it up. While those numbers are normal numbers they are not good numbers to be riding in for me. I need to be above 100. It’s physically draining to battle lows. Once I finished the last out and back I had about 13more miles til the bike was over. I stopped at a rest stop and the volunteers were amazing. I was so hot and the guy asked if I wanted water poured on my head. He saved me with that water and bananas. I left feeling restored. Best of all I could FEEL that my blood sugar had finally broken 100. I was riding at 115BS with a steady arrow on the CGM. It was crazy how one minute I wasn’t ok and I was battling it out with my BS but then I won! My energy came back, just in time too because the last 12 miles are hilly with Whiteface mountain my nemesis. I checked the time and knew I had to keep moving quickly because it was now 3:45pm. I was riding stronger, and coaxing my fellow racers to keep moving because we didn’t have that much time left. We couldn’t remember if the cut off time was 5:20 or 5:30. In my head I put it as 5:15 better to be safe than sorry. Climbing those final hills I was making each mile faster than the last. I finally get up the bears and see that funny inscription on the ground. No one is at the hill. I felt like I was flying on Northwood Rd. As I approach the house I rented I could see my group of friends and I could hear them: “is that her? It’s her!!” I flew past them shaking my head and rounding the corner into the last mile and a half of the bike. I had lost almost 30min dealing with those lows. It was close. No way did I come this far to fail and not make it to the run. I was making that bike cut off.

T1: 14:25

Final Bike Time: 112 miles 8:27:34 13.24avg mph

Bike Split 1 30mi: 30mi 1:52:50 15.9mph
Bike Split 2 86mi: 56mi 4:13:06 13.28mph
Bike Split 3 112mi: 26mi 2:21:29 11.03mph

BS Info: Full basal and a combo bolus of 20.65 units 5%:95% (had put in 25u but cancelled 5units due to low)

8:50am 308
9:15am 331
10:10am 340
11:05am 179
11:55am 120
12:50pm 148
1:45pm 47
2:20pm 102
2:50pm 76
3:05pm 82
3:45pm 115

Nutrition: 2760 calories

4 bottles of EFS = 3 scoops for 3 bottles and 2.5 for one bottle = 275g carbs
3-4 bottles of Nuun water
1 bottle plain water
2 bananas = 40g carbs
5 Powerbars = 225g carbs
1pkg of PB crackers = 25g carbs
5 GU’s = 125g carbs
2 salt pills (just for good measure hehe)

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