Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Highs and Lows of the Week

This week as I continued my training and preparation for the PHLY Tri, I found myself at both ends of the spectrum in terms of emotions and blood sugars.  This past week has been both exhausting and energizing, filled with discouragement and promise, and certainly had some highs and lows.  
On Thursday I went for my final bike fitting with the folks at Wheel Wright Bike Shop and could not have been more excited to get the final tweaks made to my bike and load it up in my car to take it home. It was definitely a high point of the week. I officially owned a bike- complete with everything from a new helmet and shoes to a tire pump and a little compartment to hold all my diabetes necessities.
The low point and discouragement came into play when I went out on my bike Friday after work. Friday afternoon was an atypical February day here in the Philadelphia area with temperatures close to 65 degrees. Having brought my new bike home the night before, I could not wait to get home to take it for spin. I was quickly brought back to reality as I realized that this new bike, although custom fit to me, definitely has a different feel and fit than that mountain bike I rode as a kid.  It was not as simple as I had hoped to just jump on the bike, clip in my new fancy shoes, and ride off into the distance.  Let’s just say after a few falls and some discouragement and embarrassment, I walked my bike back to my house realizing I have a long way to with this bike thing.
My blood sugars have also seen both the tippy tops and lowest of lows this week. I‘m loving the change in my workouts in terms of adding spinning and swimming to my routine, but it has been a challenge (and exhausting) to try to balance my sugars with these changes.  The swimming drills at the our Team in Training swim practices have not been lowering my blood sugars as much as I expected and I was left with a 318 reading this past Saturday when I got out of the pool. Ugh.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had my lowest reading to date this past week.  I could hardly believe it when my meter showed me a glaring “26” after dinner reinforcing that my new work outs are really pushing me and I may need to make some insulin adjustments to account for it.

Another high point of the week came as I began fundraising for my event.  As I drafted my letters, set up my website and sent emails to my family and friends, I was grateful and energized about the opportunity to make a difference for those suffering from blood cancers. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a wonderful organization that is committed to finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins disease and myeloma. They work to improve the quality of lives of patients and their families and I am so excited and honored to be a part of this effort.  With each donation that came through this week, I was touched by the generosity of my family and friends and filled with hope and promise for these the patients whose lives will be greatly impacted by our support.
This high point of my week is truly the most important aspect of all of my efforts related to this triathlon and through times of discouragement, low blood sugars, and feelings of exhaustion, I work to remember all of the patients so deserving of our help and why I have challenged myself to this effort.  I already know that despite any roadblocks or lows along the way, what we are doing for these individuals will make it far worth it in the end.
If you are interested in supporting the LLS, feel free to visit my site for more information:
Thank You!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Did I really just sign up for a Triathlon?!?!

Last Thursday night I went with a friend of mine from work to a Team In Training Meeting. I had heard such great things about Team In Training, which raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so I tagged along. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to sign up to participate in one of the events because I have always fought a fear of doing any sort of run or race while managing my diabetes. Nevertheless I went to the meeting. After 20 minutes of chatting with some super nice and encouraging TNT staff and participants, my friend Sara and I found ourselves signing up for the Philly Triathlon this June! I left the meeting feeling both excited and nervous for what I had just gotten myself into. I am thrilled about the opportunity to help such a wonderful cause and be able to meet what I am sure will be some amazing people along the way. I am also excited for both the physical and emotional challenge this will for me since I am not much of a swimmer or biker, and because I will need to manage my sugars very closely while I train and participate in the event. And that is where the nerves come in. I am nervous about low blood sugars and nervous about preparation. I am even nervous about managing potential high blood sugars and how my body will react to the stress and event of the actual race day. A lot about this scares me, but overall I am really excited to begin training and participating in something that helps people so deserving of hope for a better future.

Since last Thursday I have taken some small steps in my triathlon journey including bike shopping and taking my first spin class in years. The spin classes have been a welcome change in my typical workout routine (I feel like I can barely walk afterwards!) and the bike shopping has been a success as well. I found a great bike shop in my area where the staff took LOTS of time explaining to me all different types of bikes and what all I need to get me started. The best part about the bike shopping was that the staff was so supportive and excited for me and my new challenge. It made me even more eager to get fitted and started on the bike.

I know I will have lots more to blog about over the coming weeks and months as re-learn how to ride a bike, begin training, and start fundraising for the event. I am sure parts of it will not be easy and that it will test me both physically and emotionally, but it will be nothing compared to what those fighting Leukemia & Lymphoma go through every day. I look forward to the chance to be a part of something that will really make a significant difference in these inspiring people’s lives. (And I look forward to sharing it with all of you as well!!) Wish me luck!!