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Showing posts from 2009

5k PR, et. al.

I realized I should probably say Merry Christmas in this post because my blog is definitely at the bottom of the priority list. Chances are, this will be the last I post for a few weeks. But even so, no blogging doesn't mean things aren't going well...

For the past six weeks or so, I've been running under the guidance of Missy Foy, the first "coach" I've had in more than fifteen years. The goal? Get me over the Boston hump.

Because the marathon isn't until May, we're in a looong slow build-up. Even so, she has me doing a lot of new stuff, including:

* drills
* core work
* odd hill workouts
* tempos on long runs

In short, a lot of different stuff and I'm a big believer in different.

Yesterday, I did the local Jingle Bell 5k - my last race of the year. Despite the 35 degree weather and freezing rain, I knocked off a 19:38 PR, along the way beating a handful of guys that - quite frankly - I never beat. Considering we're just beginning training, I was pre…

The Caring Diabetic

I'm so grateful for all of the comments I get on this blog, but I've always been partial to Al's. Why? Because he's not a diabetic. His son is and he reads my blog for insight into how to be a better parent. As a parent of two little riddles, myself, I soooo get that.

At any rate, Al posted a great comment last week:
"Have you always been so successful with controlling your bg levels? My son really does "care" about his diabetes, but struggles with roller coaster bgs. In your early 20's at college, were you as successful controlling your diabetes as you are now?

He adds: Right now he is very scared of lows and therefore runs high a lot."

Since going on the pump eight years ago, I haven't had an A1C over 7 that I can recall. Before that, I had tons of 7's with a smattering of 8's. During phases in my life where I didn't test as often, I'd rarely go beyond 8 but do recall a few 9's and one time (I think it was college) being ov…

Not My Diabetes

When I was in high school, I was one of 4 diabetics (that I know of). This week, the second one of the other 3 died of diabetic complications.

And yet, even writing that, it sounds absurd. After all, I'm sitting here, more than 25 years into this thing, without a single complication and a nearly non-diabetic blood sugar of 137, 30 minutes after eating a bag of chips.

There's a lot I don't know, but probably the biggest thing I don't know is why this disease is fairly easy for me, compared to so many Type 1 diabetics. On one hand, I could take the credit - say I *care* more than others, or stay up on the technology more than others or say I can count carbs faster and more accurate than others. Those things could be true.

But on the other hand, maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe my body chemistry causes me to process artificial insulin the way the chemists intended. Maybe my fat content is ideal for sticking a thin needle in me and delivering the goods. Maybe running 30-50 mil…

Moving Forward...

I really don't blog much these days, so hopefully you've been finding some good things to read.

As I hinted a few weeks ago, I've climbed out of my post-marathon-blow-up and yesterday, started training for my 4th marathon, which isn't until the middle of May.

So how does someone go from saying they're done with the marathon to beginning a 26-ish week plan for one? Welll.... a few things happened.

1) I'm stubborn and stupid. If you're a runner, you know that's a big part of it. Don't discount it.
2) I'm not a bad runner. I just ran a particularly crappy race. In the month following the marathon, I had a 5k PR and a near half-marathon PR. Those short races helped me believe that while my marathon hadn't gone well, I'm not that old or fat, yet. This weekend, I'm going after a 5 mile PR, and I frankly like my chances.
3) An offer I couldn't refuse. After my last marathon, Missy Foy reached out to me, and offered help in getting over the B…

The Makings of a Dynasty....

At the end of the day, I'm an age-grouper. Though, I've never read a definition, here's what that means to me:

1) You'll never see my on the "podium" after a race. I'll never take home money and never be in the Top 3 overall.
2) However, depending on who shows up on the starting line, I might sneak into an age-group award. Age group awards are particularly whimsical. I won first place at a local 4 miler in 2008, only to come back and finish 6th a year later. I should add, I actually ran faster the second year. Like I said, whimsical.

That being said, Knoebels Lumber 5k has been my bitch since 2007 when I showed up and said, "Isn't there anybody here my age??" And apparently there wasn't, as I ran a 20:30 the day before a 20 miler.

In 2008, I did the 20 miler the day before and allowed myself to "let it all hang out" on the 5k. But there ain't much to hang after a 20 miler, and I came in 20:11, but also good enough for the secon…

The Nearly 1/2 Marathon PR, Apidra & Other Stuff...

As a reader, I can tell you: sporadic blogs suck. When I'm enjoying reading someone, I expect them to post regularly, and I haven't.

But as a writer, I made a deal with myself a long time ago: I write what I want, when I want. There's no need for another chore in my life because, believe me: I've got plenty of them.

But still, I do have some things to say.

First up, running. Last weekend was the Hands on House 1/2 Marathon, one of the bigger 1/2 marathons I do and my 3rd time on this course. It was also my first race since my marathon melt-down three weeks prior. While I expected to be a little tired, I was also a little eager to repair my ego.

Due to construction, the course was re-routed and that led to some problems, most notably when the 4th mile marker gave way to the 5th after only 1/2 mile. Yes - you heard it correct: the course was off by more than 1/2 mile.

From that point on, the pack was made up of 2 kinds of runners: those who were amazed at their fitness and t…

Reboot, Rebuild, Retry...

So here we are, two weeks after the marathon. In no particular order:

1) I'm back to a decent workout level, but certainly not recovered. I ended up doing more than 15 miles over two workouts last Sunday (that probably wasn't brilliant), and while I was initially excited about that, I found I wasn't fresh enough to run again until Wednesday. So Thursday, I hopped on the bike (which I hadn't done for over a year) and banged out a nice lunch time ride). I'm planning on running trails over lunch today, resting tomorrow, and knocking out 8 or so on Sunday.

I'm going to make it an effort to cross-train 1-2 days per week for the time being so that I can keep up my fitness while my legs recover from marathon pounding.

2) I am hopeful I get a little spring back in my step, as I'm planning on doing a half marathon next weekend, followed by a 5k the following weekend. The distance won't be a problem, but I'm a little curious if I'll have any speed.

3) I'm…

Running More is Overrated...

Well, that's probably not true, though it seems to feel that way to me this year.

During this year's marathon plan, I averaged 46 miles per week and ran a 3:33. Last year, I averaged 32 miles per week and ran a 3:23. In 2007, I ran 30 miles per week (plus two days on the bike) and ran a 3:18.

Sort of flies in the race of that, "to run faster, run further" talk, eh?

Honestly, I don't know. I'm eager to blame the poor day on a lack of speed training, but am still wrapping my head around it all.

The best part about blowing up your marathon plan so early in the season is that it leaves a lot of fall to race in. I'm looking forward to the Hands-on-House 1/2 Marathon in two weeks (where I have my current 1/2M PR) and a week after that will try to defend my title of two-time age group champion of the Knoebels Lumber 5k. Big dreams, folks, big dreams.

Technically, the 1/2 marathon is three weeks after my marathon, and you're supposed to wait a month before racing,…

30 Things About My Invisible Illness

Apparently, Invisible Illness Week was this week? I didn't even know it until now. At any rate, there's a meme going around about it, and though I don't usually play, I did. Enjoy...

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:1984

3. But I had symptoms since: A few months before.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Wow. I must be well-adjusted because nothing comes to mind.

5. Most people assume: I don't have diabetes.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: usually before I've had coffee.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: none of them unless by medical you mean the part in Road House where Swayze got stitches without a local.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my insulin pump, blood sugar meter and my CGM. I'm a diagadgaholic.

9. The hardest part about nights are: when I've had a very fatty meal (like a big steak) and can't tell what it will do to my…

Lehigh Valley Marathon - Post Mortem

Well, that didn't go as planned at all.

DISCLAIMER: I've found that there are three kinds of people in this world. A. People who don't set goals. B. People who set reasonable goals because they get mighty upset if they miss them. C. People who set stretch goals and are cool with missing them.

It's important to note that I'm a C. While what follows could be taken as ripping my performance apart, I'm really not. Well, I really am, but I'm ok with it. Understand, that I'm eternally grateful to complete my third marathon and that I'm especially grateful to be healthy enough to run at all. That being said, yesterday pretty much sucked.

Reader's Digest Version:
I finished in 3:33:45. 5th out of 30 in my AG (I mistakenly Tweeted 4th yesterday) and 37th out of 305 overall.

It was 15 minutes slower than my fastest marathon, and ten minutes slower than last year.

The Summary:
I went out according to plan and did a pretty good job of running 7:23 miles. I had tw…

9 Reasons I'll Qualify for Boston This Time and 5 Reasons I Might Not

The Lehigh Valley Marathon is in 48 hours. Actually, in 49 hours I hope to be finishing it, in a Boston Marathon Qualifying time of 3:15:59 or better. This is my third shot at it, after an encouraging 3:18 two years ago and a somewhat disappointing 3:23 last year (both at the Harrisburg Marathon).

I've been asked what my chances are and I've said I've got no reason to think I'm necessarily fitter this time around, but I have trained quite differently this time. In that spirit - and because taper madness has rendered me fairly useless for the regular duties of the day - I'm offering up 9 Reasons I'll Qualify for Boston This Time and 5 Reasons I Might Not...

The good news...
1) I've put in more miles. Mind you, not dramatically more. My peak month last year was 182 and this year it was 191. However, my peak month this year came just last month, whereas in my earlier plan it was three months prior to the race. Common sense says to be a faster runner, run more. Al…

Wholefoods CEO Is An Idiot, But So What?

Those who follow diabetes dust-ups intently (I'm not one of them) have been pointing out an Op-Ed piece by Wholefoods CEO John Mackey in which he said, "Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices."

Reaction from the diabetic community has been predictably unfavorable, particularly from the Type 1 diabetic crowd, where we are the lottery "winners" of an autoimmune disorder and have no ability to prevent anything.

I've found that diabetics don't like getting blamed for the disease and there's no reason we should, since there's nothing that would've prevented it. And while it's true that stupid editorials from guys like Mackey don't help the public understanding of the disease, here's the thing: it will have ze…

If It's Good Enough for Lance...

After last Sunday's 22 miler, I'm now in taper mode, which could also be described as "voodoo" mode for me. Over the next 20 days, I'll be taking every supplement I come across that offers promises of enhanced performance (not THAT kind - I've got enough spam about THAT), but the kind that might help me shave exactly three minutes off my marathon PR so I can get to Boston.

One of the substances I'd been curious about is FRS, which I first learned about when I clicked on a banner ad with Lance Armstrong a few months ago. Think of that: I don't click on many banner ads, but Lance Armstrong's face was enough to make me curious enough to stretch my mouse a few pixels and click.

While the website was interesting and believable, the fact is that at $2.50/serving, it ain't cheap. The market for something to believe in might be infinite, but my budget isn't.

But over the weekend, three things happened:
1.) I stumbled across this article in Men's J…

The Cayenne Pepper Experiment: Mixed Results

About a month ago, I started The Cayenne Pepper Experiment.

In an earlier post, I discussed how one of the things that hasn't gone well with this particular marathon season is that I'm 4 pounds heavier than I was last season and 8 pounds heavier than I was 2 years ago when I had a 3:18 PR.

While this still puts me at an "ideal" BMI, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that carrying extra weight around during a marathon isn't ideal for PR's.

At the same time, my diet is mostly-somewhat-reasonably healthy, so outright "dieting" when I was running 50 miles a week didn't seem to make sense.

However, I remembered that when I went on my insulin pump eight years ago, the more efficient use of insulin changed my total daily dose from 60 units to roughly 42. When I did that, I lost 15 pounds without changing anything. This caused me to conclude that if I could lower my average insulin dosage further, maybe those 4 pounds would just slide away.

Abou…

First A1C on the Dexcom...

After 62 days of wearing the Dexcom, my A1C is either 6.2 or 5.8, depending on which chart you believe.

According to both the Dex and my labs, my average blood sugar for the period was 131. (More on this in a minute.)

According to this chart, that converts to a 5.8. According to my lab paperwork, however, that's a 6.2.

I don't know why that is, and I also know that 6.2 is good - in fact probably the best A1C I've had in 25 years with diabetes. But dammit, I expected a 5.8, so something that starts with a 6 kind of bugs me.

That being said, my Doc seemed a little worried that my actual blood tests per day had dropped from 4-5 to 2-3 and that I was trusting the Dex so much. But I'd say if the Dex says my average blood sugar is 131 and so did the labs, I think it's reliable enough.

I also talked to the doc a little bit about trying Apidra. When I look at my Dex wave, my meals have a habit of taking me quite high (220-250) and then it's a good 2.5 hours 'til I'm…

Perpeteum & the Long Run

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I've done a lot of things different on this marathon plan, but one of the most important has been switching from a wide variety of less expensive fueling systems to Hammer Nutrition.

Hammer had first been recommended to me by a local Ironman athlete who joined me for a few long runs last year. At the time, it was too late in my training to risk adding something new to the mix, but I've been using HEED and Hammer Gel for several months now.

(Side note: My Ironman friend told the about reading that Hammer was formulated well for diabetics. I found it a little strange that a non-diabetic would know this until I became a Hammer customer. Simply put, Hammer sends copious amount to education to their customers. While the material is always marketing their products, there's gobs of research and education in the newsletters. Impressive stuff.)

Until this past weekend, though, I'd never tried Perpeteum, which is the specific Hammer product for events greater than two hours. While …

What Non-Runners Know About the Boston Marathon

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Let's face it: this obsession with Boston is something only runners understand. To most of the non-running community, saying you're running the Boston marathon doesn't mean much. Half the time, you'll get the, "Oh a marathon.. how far is this one?" But very few people outside of us idiots know what it takes to get there.

Even so, I wonder about the standards a lot. For me, I love them: they were made for a guy like me who on a good day, with a good plan and a good tail wind might get there. Yet at the same time, I read a lot of running blogs. Some of the writers (thesetwo come to mind) would be embarrassed if all they could say was that they qualified for Boston. These guys don't get out of bed for anything slower than a 2:50. A slothly 3:15 would be a tremendous failure in their world. And that's not a bad thing: it's just how their world is.

Meanwhile, guys like Steve Walker are the epitome of the word "runner," yet - and I think he woul…

Boardwalk Running Analyzed

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While at the beach last week, I enjoyed 4 of my 5 runs on the boardwalk. I use the word "enjoy" somewhat loosely, though I was certainly entertained.

To the buff guy who raced me for a mile at 6:30 pace, only to suddenly stop and call it a day while I still had 3 miles left, I say, thanks for the company.

To the kid on the bike who drove like he needed a breathalyzer test, I say move it over.

And to the girl who ran every day in a bikini and loafers, I wonder: were you Jenn Shelton? I'm pretty sure you were but couldn't think of a way to ask without sounding creepy.

Vacation 20 Miler

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Summer vacation 2009 is history. As is typical, I spent the time either drinking more expensive beer than usual, consuming gut-busting amounts of seafood, assuring my children that despite what shark week says, the surf is safe... or running.

The day after arriving in Ocean City, I went for what was supposed to be my first 20 miler of the marathon season (which has 3 total). This was basically the course I had in mind. While the course was 19.25, I knew some places I could pick up the difference. In the end, though, I cut it at 19.6 because I was whooped. Other notes:

1) If you wish to copy this course, be forewarned you're not supposed to run on the Route 90 bridge. There is a decent sized lane, but you're not supposed to do it. Also, if a car were to swerve, your only move is to vault over the railing into the bay.
2) Fortunately, there's not a ton of traffic when I went over it at 7:30 AM.
3) If you want to get off Route 90 onto Ocean Parkway, keep in mind, this isn't a…

What I Think About During Recovery Runs

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Hal Higdon's Intermediate II plan has two "recovery" runs per week. By recovery, Hal means they should be leisurely, fun and relaxed. They're designed to help rejuvenate your muscles and spirit, while increasing your running economy. All of which will help you focus and perform better on your key days. I think recovery runs do all of these things. Except they also suck.

The worst part, I've found, is that without putting myself into either a "zone" or oxygen debt, my mind has time to think about a lot of things. But what it thinks about mostly is how this isn't much fun.

When I do a marathon pace run, I don't have time to worry if a dog's on a leash. If he's not, I'll just out-run him. I don't worry about the strange twinges in my knee or shin or foot because all of that will be dealt with only after I've put those marathon pace miles in the bank.

But on the recovery runs, I just feel like an old guy with ADD shuffling through s…

World's Worst Morning Runner

If running were only allowed to be done in the morning, I would not be a runner.

There, I said it.

Not only that, but I'm incredibly jealous of those you who bop out of bed at 5am (or earlier!). How do you do that?? When do you sleep??

Here's my deal: I'm mostly a lunchtime runner, thanks to shower facilities at my employer. The only time I get out of bed to run early is on the weekend. Most weekends, that's only one day and on that one day, I find it crazy crazy difficult to do. The creativity of the groggy whining in my head at 7am on Saturday surprises even me.

Today, however, I had a client coming to the office around lunchtime. Tomorrow, I have a morning long run planned. Running after work would mean barely 12 hours between two hard workouts, which meant: a morning run for me today, too.

I should also mention that while walking the dog PRIOR to my run at 7am, my neighbor drove by on the way home from his 5:30am run, playing loud music and waving frantically. God, morn…

Supplements, Pepper Doping and Getting Faster...

Until yesterday, I'd never taken a supplement for my diabetes.

Mind you, I munch on a small handful of pills with my breakfast. Things that promise optimum recovery, endurance, etc. The types of pills one finds when wandering the drug store aimlessly while one's wife and daughter decide whether they want to buy autumn chestnut or summer sunset to give their hair a little something-something extra.

But I've never bought anything specifically for my diabetes simply because most of those supplements say they help you even out your blood sugars, and (thankfully) I got that covered.

But then commenter Jed from yesterday suggested I add Cayenne pepper to my program, saying that he uses it and it reduces the amount of insulin he needs. Truth be told, I wouldn't care how much insulin I need, except for the crux of my argument, which was: more insulin = more weight retention = heavy marathoner. Here's a link from a guy who seems to think Cayenne fixes pretty much everything ex…

Harder Than an Ironman?

I don't know about that, but I think the Vermont Death Race might be trickier to train for. Here's hoping it's a sweet t-shirt.

Naked in the New Nike Free

I'm currently rotating three pairs of shoes: Asics Hyperspeed II racing flats, Asics DS Trainers and the Nike Lunar Trainers. I've been totally out of my orthotics for nine months now.

Shin-wise, I'm in a good place. Haven't been injured in a few months, which I chalk up to rotating shoes and keeping the miles fairly slow.

That being said, I didn't really want to buy the Lunar Trainers, but I needed a new pair of shoes a few months ago, and the New Nike Free wasn't out yet. It is, now, and I can't wait to need a pair.

That being said, I might train differently in them than the crew in this hilarious Nike spot:

If You're a Runner, Buy This Book...

Hardly a out-on-the-ledge pick, as Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall is currently ranked #61 on Amazon. Still, the PR department at Knopf can't take all the credit. This book is insanely good.

Here's the deal:
The author stumbles across a mysterious trail guide who takes him to see the Tarahumara, the famed reclusive Mexican runners of the Copper Canyons. While there, he learns the secrets of their injury-free (and FUN!) running. You could stop the book there and still have it be a good read, but noooo..

From there, the author returns to the Copper Canyons to compete in a 50 mile race against the Tarahumara, Barefoot Ted, Scott Jurek, Jenn Shelton, et. al.

Not convinced? How about cameos by Joe Vigil and some of the best theories of Why We Run sprinkled in for fun? Oh yeah, there's nutrition, too, as evidenced by the two bags of chia seeds I just bought. It's been a quiet summer for running books, but this one makes up for it. It's truly 2 (or 3) great books in o…

Tiny Post....

I just got my Spi-belt and will never wear another belt for running again. Simply put, they're ridiculously better than anything on the market:

1. When nothing's in a pocket, the elastic pocket is sleek and small.
2. When putting things in the pocket, it expands quite wide (enough for my BlackBerry storm in one pocket and my DexCom in another)
3. It doesn't bounce. At all.

Big fan. You need something to carry your stuff? Look no further. I've used a couple other belt/bag combos but previously tended to favor my RaceReady shorts over belts and bags. I'll still use the RaceReady shorts sometimes, but a BlackBerry and a DexCom are a tight fit and you get a little bounce in the RaceReady. You get none of that with the Spi-belt, plus the feeling that everything is safe and secure. And for the fashion conscious, the Spi-belt looks way cooler than the RaceReady shorts.

I'd expect to use the Spi-belt for my average runs, and a combo Spi-belt and RaceReady shorts for the 15-…

Chasing Ghosts

"Time and tears ago,
I chased my dreams without a single fear
That I'd ever miss the treasures of my youth.
But recently I thought I'd take a trip back through the years
And it hurts me just a bit to face the truth." - The Rarely Herd. Part of Growing Up (That Gets Me Down)

Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Solanco Alumni XC Meet (which I also waxed poetic about last year).

Highlights:

1.Last year, I lamented the fact that I was one of only 2 guys from the White Snake era. This year, we had four additional runners from my time, 3 of which I can take credit for (though Facebook certainly helped). I cajoled local legend Connie Buckwalter into coming, as well as Chris McAndrews and Alan Martin - the two guys who handed me my hat week in and week out during the late 80's.

Just seeing Chris for the first time in twenty years was a HUGE highlight. It sounded as if he hadn't changed a bit and that's one of those things I say as a sincere compliment. He cracked me up ba…

Dexcom CGM - 1 Week Later

So yesterday the DexCom sent me a few warnings telling me I'd need to change the sensor soon. Hmm... I thought. I have more than a day to go. I guess that's nice to get a 24 hour warning??

Turns out I forgot that I was off work last Friday so I was on my 7th day. After three more warnings, the sensor turned itself off at 11 last night.

There's plenty of Internet chatter about restarting Dex sensors and getting 12-13 days out of them, but I opted not to for the following reasons:

1) It was 11pm. If I did a restart then, I'd need to calibrate at 1am.
2) I'm running a 5k race tomorrow and one of the main reasons I'm doing CGM is to monitor myself better doing races. Using a sensor for a race beyond the FDA recommendations didn't sound bright.
3) Insurance is paying 100% for sensors, and it's not like they're going to cut me a check for spending their money better.

Taking off the sensor at bedtime was interesting. First off, not having something else on my be…

Recovery Socks - Need a New Brand

Summer is here and the running is... well, heavy. Four weeks into the marathon season and the miles are adding up.

Last year, I become "compression crazy" and used Zensah recovery sleeves and Skins all during the fall.

In a nutshell, I found the Zensahs to be superior for recovery but too warm for running and I found the Skins to be cool enough for running, but they lost their elasticity within a month (which pretty much rendered them all but useless).

Research is sketchy on the power of recovery socks while running but from personal experience I can tell you that wearing them after running helps BIG time. But I'm wondering if I need to put up with sweaty calves all summer long from the Zensahs?

First Long Run With the Dexcom 7

On Saturday, I took the DexCom with me for a 14 miler.

My biggest fear about using the Dex (instead of Medtronic) was having a second device and a relatively big one at that. The DexCom receiver is actually a little taller than my BlackBerry storm and is exactly as wide at its widest point.

My idea was to put the Dex into the big pocket of my RaceReady shorts, but once the Storm was in there, that wasn't happening. (Side note: I love my BlackBerry Storm, but it's not good for hauling around on the roads.)

Instead, I decided to use the DexCom holster and just clip it to my waistband. Surprisingly, this worked like a charm. In the end, what I didn't realize about the Dex is that while it is every bit as big as a cellphone, it's not nearly as dense. It's a relatively lightweight device and with a secure clip in place, it doesn't bounce at all.

When I hit the road, my blood sugar was 125. I didn't want to obsess about it, though, so I decided to check it every 2-3…

DexCom 7 - The Insurance Story

So, I'm currently rocking the DexCom 7 and have been for 4 days. I love it, love it, love it. For most of the posts, I'll likely be talking about how I use it for running, but this time around, I'm going to tell the insurance story, because I wouldn't be using it if insurance didn't pay for it. Not that my health isn't worth the $140 a month the sucker would've cost me, just that... well just that I guess I didn't think it was.

To recap, this all started late last fall when I met with my Dr. and asked them if my insurance was approving CGMS, yet. Without asking me what insurance I had, the doc pretty much dismissed it, saying that with my good A1C's, it wasn't happening.

About a month later, I was talking to a co-worker who told me his wife just approved on our health insurance.

At the time, I was actually on my wife's health insurance. I'm incredibly blessed to have two wonderful insurances to choose from. The wife's is a teeny bit wo…

Marathon Consolation Prize...

Earlier in the year, I'd planned on running a spring marathon this past weekend, but after I lost my peak 8 days of training, I bagged that idea. All of which meant that I'm pretty fit right now, though not peaked for a marathon.

As I wrote last week, the goal for this year's Red Rose Run was to beat last year's time of 33:48. I felt I was in sub-33 shape, but not in this course, which is far from easy. Still, I surprised myself.

The plan was to go out with two 6:20 miles and then hold on. Last year, I'd run a 6:55 3rd mile, a 7:21 4th and a 6:59 5th.

This year, I did a 6:18 and a 6:15, but then only slowed down to a 6:47. The true torture mile of this race is mile 4, and I slowed down to a 7:13. Surprisingly, I had a nice 6:32 5th mile, so I came in at 33:04, a real shock.

I'm crediting a good chunk of the time on the weather, which was much milder this year. But I was pretty pleased with coming in 69th out of 1100 (last year I was 71) and 13th out of 140 in my AG…

5K PR?

So I might have set a 5k PR last Monday.

I have a rule with myself that the closer a race is to my house, the more I feel I need to do it. Currently, there's a 4 miler four miles from my house and a 5k three miles from my house - both of which I always hit. On Memorial Day, the Run for Literacy 5k debuted, just two miles from my driveway. How do you say no?

Like most first year races, it was small, with only 102 finishers. I had a goal of 19:30, but felt it would take a great run to get there. When I hit the mile mark at 5:52, I knew it was either a great mile or a stupid start.

The course was flat and fast and I went through the 2 mile mark at 12:20.

Since the beginning I hadn't done much passing. I'd settled in at 10th place, well behind the lead pack, but well ahead of the main pack, which is pretty much where I always am. Around the 2.2 mile mark, though, I saw one of the high school kids in the main pack falling back and I made a move on him. I surged twice but he pushed…

I forgot my anniversary....

No, not that one. That 16th anniversary is coming up and we're celebrating it by spending our first night without the kids. Yes, you heard that right: first night without the kids, ever. That's worthy of a blog post in and of, itself, but nevermind...

Sometime last month (I truly don't know the date), I passed my 25th anniversary w/ diabetes. Twenty five years. The "silver" anniversary, if you will. Random thoughts:

* 25 years without a complication, which is really all that matters. One spot on one eye, that went away by itself. That's it.

* Five kinds of insulin, along the way: Pork Regular, NPH (was it beef?), Synthetic R, Synthetic N (after the others were discontinued --- I was on the piggie stuff 'til the end) and Humalog

* I originally had one of the first Accu-Chek monitors (which I believe cost around $400 and took about three minutes to do a test), moved to a Diascan (sp?), which took 70 seconds. Then I think I went to my first OneTouch, which I thi…

Back in the Groove....

As we head into week 2 of the Marathon Plan, things seem firmly back on track.

Rather than a 3+rest+2 as planned last week, I did five days in a row, with no problems. This week, my schedule will probably require a 4+rest+1, which will be easier and the long run only goes to 11 miles. My pace is also fairly close to pre-injury speeds, too.

More than anything, I'm comforted with a really light travel schedule over the next few months. I'm speaking on one panel in NYC, which will be a day trip, and aside from that, my only travels are for fun, not for business. Moreover, the kids will be out of school soon, too, so I start work earlier in the day and get every other Friday off for summer hours. All in all, I'm heading into a season with ample opportunity to get fit and fast.

RE: Dexcom, hmmmmm, my first impression of the company isn't super ideal. When the rep took my info last week, he told me the next thing that would happen would be his assistant would contact me for mor…

I Feel My Blood Sugar Rising

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Using sex to sell diabetes meds? Frankly, I prefer that over Wilford Brimley.

Dusting Off the Blogshelf

When last before we were so rudely interrupted....

1) My injury was followed by a week's worth of meetings and culminated in an overseas trip to France & the UK. Because this isn't a travel blog, I'll cut to the chase: my spring marathon season is officially over.

Now mostly mended (aside from a nasty bug I picked up during an otherwise wonderful trip), I've just started Day 1, Week 1 of Hal Higdon Intermediate II, culminating in the Allentown Marathon in mid-September. Nothing says you're early in the marathon plan like a three mile run, which is what the plan had me do over lunch.

2) While in the UK, I was fortunate enough to do the London Tower Jog --- 10-12 (who's counting?) laps around the moat of the Tower of London. This being the UK (or being a jog?), they didn't count my laps, or my time or the people I beat. But I did get a t-shirt and a finisher's medal, so who am I to complain?

3) Thank you muchly for all of the CGM advice. I have decided to…

A Season, Interrupted....

The bad news: I've officially postponed plans for a Spring '09 marathon. While my shin has made dramatic improvements in the past three days, I missed more than a week of training, including two critical long runs. May 31 is a long time from now and there's no doubt I could run a decent marathon then, but I'm just not interested in running a "decent" marathon. I need to be fit, trained and tapered to have a shot at 3:15, and I just wouldn't be.

The good news: is plenty enough to offset the bad news

1) My shin is mostly better. I've gotten many recommendations about pursuing ART treatments and massage and I'm not ruling it out at some point, but I'm also not doing it right now. I have a strong aversion to most medical things (aside from my diabetes I haven't seen a doctor in years). Moreover, I believe in the concepts of things like Chi running and believe that the answer isn't in repairing wrong running, but in running right. At least, …

Realignment

This hasn't been the week I expected.

Less important: my cell-phone died. Necessities and contractual obligations I won't bore you with thrust me into the Blackberry age, via the Storm. I'm enjoying this muchly, though - like I said - a week ago I had no plans to have any smartphone, Blackberry or otherwise.

Harry Kalas died. And like John Finger wrote, I have no idea how Phillies baseball sounds without him, and I'm not very eager to find out. It's kind of a bummer.

And then - more specific to this blog - I am injured. My recurring shin problem flared up very much on a Saturday ten miler with Dave and then went full-bore on Monday, turning an anticipated 20 into a measly 9. And while I've cut back recovery runs to hold off injuries, this was the first long run I've had to bag since I don't know when.

Tues. and Wed., the pain persisted. I'd hoped to bike but it rained to beat the band those days. Today it's gorgeous, but I still have the pain, so I …

Warning: Grumpy Post

So I want to get my bloodwork done this AM... Fasting bloodwork, which means I'm hungry, which equals grumpy.

They told me the wait would be an hour. AN HOUR. I was like, no way, and they were like, yes way, so I scheduled an appointment to come back on Friday. This Friday. Good Friday. Otherwise known as the first day I was going to sleep in since like... before my marathon plan started about a million years ago.

And then... driving in to work, my 2008 Scion XB check engine light came on AGAIN. For the third time...

Good news: I'm a grumpy enough customer that the dealership KNOWS I'll be getting a loaner at this point. Bad news: I got better things to do w/ my time then give my car to the dealership every few weeks so they can look under the hood and go, Huh?

And while I'm being grumpy: Accu-Chek is now giving users FREE skins. Why does this piss me off? Because Minimed charges ten bucks for the same thing? (Albeit for a different device.)

Which reminds me: I haven't…

Hal Higdon's Making Me Stronger...

Though my overall mileage isn't much higher this time around than my last marathon, my 25:12 four miler has me feeling great about BQ-ing in May. Why is that? Thanks to Hal Higdon, my miles have been shuffled quite a bit.

Here's three ways I'm training differently:

1) Not being afraid of the long run. In the old days, I was scared enough of my long runs that I'd rest the day before and after them. Hal's got me running 8-10 miles the day before the 17-20's, and many of those mid-long runs are at marathon pace. While I don't like running both days on the weekend, there's no denying it's made a big difference. I will say, though, that Hal wants me to cross-train on Monday's, and I'm making a slight concession to my age there and resting, instead.

2) The mid-week, mid-long run. I've always felt this was lacking in my plan. For previous marathons, I rarely went beyond six miles during the week, but Hal has me going 8-10 every Wednesday. Though i…