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Showing posts from October, 2011

Magnification - From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America

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Magnification by Marcus Grimm

Caption: Brian Foster takes his turn in the Recovery Pump
As Team Type 1 SANOFI nears Flagstaff, Arizona, Van B’s Chris Zenker observes that everything the runners do is intensely magnified.

“Every decision we make reaps a result,” he says. “A great choice in anything leads to great running and recovery, but the opposite has an equally negative effect.”

Like their teammates, the runners first had to deal with ratcheting down their insulin requirements. Failure to do so results in low blood sugars. CGM alarms and the intuition of your teammates prevent the athletes from being in danger, but a runner with a low blood sugar is also a slower runner, and despite this being the most ultra of runs, speed is somewhat of the essence.

And as the miles pile up, how the runners prevent injuries is equally important to Zenker’s magnification theory. Indeed, if you don’t do everything you can to keep healthy, you, your teammates and the entire journey are put at risk.

Sleep…

Adjustments - from Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America

Adjustments by Marcus Grimm October 29, 2011
After a night of running through the Mojave Desert, Team Type 1 SANOFI now finds itself in Arizona, the third state in their RUN ACROSS AMERICA. Gone is the excitement from the pier in Oceanside, CA and the pandemonium of the first day and well-wishes of friends and family. What remains now is the realization that the desert is very quiet and that the team has so very far to go.
In Van A, the runners are learning what twenty miles a day of work means to their diabetes.
“I’ve lowered my basal rates by about 30%,” says Tom Grossman, referring to the amount of long-acting insulin that regularly enters his body via his insulin pump. Matt Patrick counters that he’s down 20%, while Ironman Casey Boren hasn’t adjusted his rates a bit. It’s one of the many ironies of diabetes; it’s such a personal disease that even if you and another man are spending all of your time together doing the same thing, you won’t slay this dragon the same way.
To a man,…

Lost, from Team Type 1 SANOFI RUN ACROSS AMERICA

Lost by Marcus Grimm
After the seven-mile hill into Beaumont, CA, a weary Van A gratefully passed the baton to Van B, whose runners include team manager Tom Kingery and Kona Ironman finisher Ben Semeyn. Unlike Van A, whose participants had been forced to run on little or no sleep, Van B’s day started with a siesta in the RV’s.
Despite the excitement of the day, Kingery said sleep came quickly for him and his teammates. Figuring they got about four good hours of rest, the day seemed to be off to a great start for the group. But when Semeyn missed a turn onto a tiny dirt road early into his run, the runners in Van B instead found themselves looking for the Ironman in the California desert.
Semeyn wasn’t concerned for his diabetes. A wise diabetic plans for such contingencies and he had plenty of carbohydrates to maintain his blood sugars. But still, time was wasting. Semeyn had persuaded a kind stranger to use their cellphone just as Van B tracked him down forty-five minutes later. Sem…

From Team Type 1 SANOFI Run Across America

The first leg – by Marcus Grimm
It’s hard to imagine Team Type 1 SANOFI finding a more beautiful town to run through than Oceanside, California, but with three thousands miles in front of them, there’s no need to award that distinction just yet.
Still, there’s no arguing that the small city, just up the coast from San Diego, is the kind of place you’d be fortunate to call home, with its ample coastline and year-round weather to die for.
It’s also the childhood home of Barbara Mandrell, which doesn’t mean much for today and the Oceanside Pier, which does.
The pier is the longest in the WesternCoast of the US, stretching nearly two thousand feet into the Pacific Ocean. The pier is also where Team Type 1 SANOFI started the Run Across America last night.
In the past twenty-four hours, the athletes have flown in from all around the country. Their support crew has worked tirelessly to prepare the two vans and RV.Twenty-four hours, of course, does nothing to get you used to the West Coast t…

We Interrupt This Blog...

When I joined Team Type 1 last year, I regrettably told them the only commitment I wouldn't be able to agree to was to participate in the Run Across America, a relay style journey with a squad of some of the finest diabetic endurance athletes in the nation crossing 3,000 miles.

It was an amazing idea. I thought so then and I think so now. It broke my heart to say no, but with work and family commitments, it just didn't fit. To be clear, I never asked my employer or my wife because I think both of them could've been persuaded; I just didn't think it was fair of me to put them in that position.

As it stands, it was the right call for me. I typically have 2-3 speaking engagements for work per year. Incredibly, I have 4 in the next 3 weeks including our most important tradeshow of the year. None of these opportunities would've been able to happen if I was running across the country, so from a professional standpoint, it was the right thing to do.

In talking to Team Typ…

Fidelis 5k Race Report - Not as Mean as I Thought

I tend to think of myself as a grumpy competitor. Simply put, if you're in front of me during the race, I want to put you behind me. But maybe that's not always the case.

After last week's Chicago Marathon, I took a solid 5 days off from running. Because I've been on an amazing streak of no injuries, I hadn't had a break that long in over a year. But with 2 marathons in the next 2 months, it seemed like the smart thing to do.

But the problem with being a diabetic athlete is after a few days of not working out, your blood sugars start to creep higher. By the 4th day, you're doing a lot of correction boluses and by the 5th day, you either need to correct constantly or - if you're a pumper like me - be prepared to redo all of your basal rates.

Or... jump back into running full stream with a 5k race on the 6th day.

To be clear, you will never find any coach that recommends running a marathon, taking five days off and running a race right away. It's dangerou…

Race Report - Chicago Marathon

Yesterday, I posted about my awesome teammates at Team Type 1 and the great time we all had together in Chicago. But at the end of the day, we were all there to do some "road work" in Chicago, specifically 26.2 miles of it.

As a precursor: I was coming off a 3:17:30 marathon in May. My training all summer and into the early fall had gone well, and I was hopeful that a 3:15 was well within my range and toyed with the idea of hooking up with the 3:10 pace group.

As last week progressed, however, each day seemed to bring a higher predicted temperature. And while the conditions couldn't be called horrible, the temperature at the start was 64 - about 14 degrees higher than ideal.

The night before the race, Brian Foster (another TT1 athlete) and I decided that given the temps, we'd aim for a 3:15. Both of us, I think, were too nervous about the weather to go for the 3:10.

The 48 hours prior to the race were absolutely ideal for me - plenty of rest, plenty of food, plenty …

Chicago Marathon - The Post Before the Post

While I do have a race report coming (3:23 marathon in blah conditions), I first want to write about my Team Type 1 teammates.

While the March event was a better race experience for many of us, the nature of this weekend allowed for infinitely more team bonding. Most of us got in Friday, which allowed ample time for the expo, pre-race chilling out and pretty much just being a bunch of marathoners who happen to have diabetes.

The cast of characters for this crew was slightly different than the March one; some guys who were at the UltraFest weren't here and vice versa, but those I hadn't met before were just as awesome as the ones I had. So, because I have this thing for trying to learn whenever ever possible, here's what I learned from the Team Type 1 participants at the Chicago Marathon:

1) Ben Semeyn - It's about more than the workouts. The day before the marathon, Ben put on a "display" with an assorted list of torture tools I've seen in the back of run…

Chicago Marathon 2011 - the Goals Post

So this Sunday I'll be running in the Chicago Marathon - my 6th marathon and 9th race of marathon distance or longer.

My PR for the marathon distance is 3:17:30, set last May. Goal-wise, I'm tempted to go for a 3:10 (7:15 miles), but would happily settle for a 3:15 (7:27 miles). Realistically, I plan to let things shake out for a few miles and then settle into 7:15-7:20 pace and see what happens.

Here are five reasons why I'll have a great race:

1.) Best long run build ever. I've done 7 twenty milers and 3 other 16-18 milers in this build. That's way more than I've done before.
2.) The Chicago Marathon course is the flattest, fastest course I've ever run. My PR came on a flat course, but it was a rail-trail course. Asphalt is faster than trail.
3.) 2011 has been an awesome year. While this past 4 month build has been good, the one in the Spring was also great.
4.) Team Type 1. My wife will tell you that the reason why the NJ Ultra Fest 50 Miler went so well…