As some of you may know, the part of the triathlon that is scaring me the most is the bike ride. I am sure I should be just as nervous (or maybe even more nervous) about swimming in the Schuykill River or trying to get my legs to even move after a swim and a 25 mile bike ride, but the biking is what worries me the most. Getting comfortable on my new bike has been a sloooooow process but I am happy to say that I survived our first group bike ride this past Sunday.
My practice on the bike before Sunday had progressed from riding around an open parking lot near my house and just practicing getting on and off the bike to being out for close to 45 minutes on West River Drive two Saturdays ago. I was pretty excited about my 45 minute/8 mile personal record but realized I still had a long way to go when I overheard some real bikers say at a bike “101” last week that 45 minutes is a mere warm up. (I didn’t realize this sport was going to be so time consuming!?! Sheesh!)
Anyway I was very nervous for Sundays bike ride since I knew we would likely be going 20 miles or so and I still get nervous about other bikers, curves in the road, how to pass, and lots of other things related to my bike. I wasn’t sure exactly how long the ride would be but I wanted to make sure I was prepared with all my diabetes stuff just in case. When go out running I typically carry glucose tabs or GU but I rarely bring a meter or my CGM. Since we would be out biking for a while and for a distance I had never gone before, I figured I needed to load up my bike bags with as much as I could.
In my front bag (one I could access with my hands if I had the courage to take one hand off the handle bars while the bike is in motion) I had my CGM, a meter, strips, a lancet, and glucose tabs- all in plastic baggies in case it rained. In my bag in the back I had my stuff to fix a flat (yea…not like I know how to use that yet…), a protein bar, sugary GU candy things, and a small Gatorade. It was a tight fit but I felt more comfortable knowing I had all of this with me.
My blood sugar was high when I woke up Sunday AM from Sean and I going a bit too nuts with the chips and guac at dinner out the night before so I took some correction insulin, but reduced my bolus in half for my toast with PB & banana to account for the ride. The ride began right near my house which was super convenient and I along with all my diabetes stuff, started out the ride near the back of the pack but with some teammates I had rode with before. The ride overall went well. Near mile 9 or so I saw my CGM buzz “LOW- Under 70” so I stopped to check my sugar. Some of the girls went ahead to stop off at the bathroom and I stayed back shifting through my front bike bag for my meter and strips. Although my CGM said I had dropped to 48 my blood sugar was 101- which wasn’t all that bad. I popped a few glucose tabs since I knew we were only about half way through and we went on our way. My sugar stabilized the rest of the ride and I ended the 20 mile bike ride with a BG around 140. We were out for about an hour and half and I felt good. I was tired but not too exhausted and had gone a lot faster and further than I had before. I had gotten practice on some small curves and hills and was getting a little more usto yelling “left” when riding by people on the bike path.
Today my legs are sore but a good sore. And if it wasn’t for the 80 degree weather I probably would have taken the day off from training since I had pushed myself hard with my work outs Friday and Saturday too- but I just had to get out there and run today since the weather was so beautiful. I know I still have a lot of training and practicing to do, but overall I am feeling a lot better about the biking. When I go out on my bike it is now more because I want to- instead of feeling like I NEED to in order to overcome my fears and begin training. Now if I could only get usto my clip-in bike shoes!!!