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Hillsboro Triathlon

July 6, 2009

Hey!  Look who showed up at another one of my races!

duck in rainOn Saturday, July 4th I participated in the 21st running of the Hillsboro, IL Triathlon.  This was my  first Triathlon.  It included a 500 yard swim, a 19 mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run.  I planned to take it pretty easy and just enjoy myself and that’s exactly what I did.

The first thing you think of when you mention the 4th of July in St. Louis is, of course, the cold and rain that occurs this time of year…  Wait.  No it’s not.  Normally, we’re talking about 95 degrees and 90% humidity in July.  Not this year.  7:30 AM race start weather report – 65 degrees and rain.  Pretty much the exact same conditions as my first Half.  Sweet.  So, to add to the complexity of my first Tri, I now have to attempt to keep my BG Monitor dry enough to test during my transitions.  Not easy.

Wake up BG: 112  (Ate 3 scrambled eggs and a slice of wheat toast at 4:30 AM)
Pre-Race BG: 124 (7:00 AM)

The Swim
I have only been swimming for about 5 weeks, so my primary goal was to make it out of this Open Water Swim safely.  I’m a decent swimmer (I didn’t just *start* swimming 5 weeks ago 😉  ), but I had planned to do a freestyle/breast stroke combo to get me through.  I spent over half of the time doing the breast stroke as I just couldn’t get comfortable putting my head down and going without worrying about running into somebody.  Definitely something to work on in the future.  The swim course didn’t look intimidating at all and with the rain and everything else, I was pretty relaxed about the swim.  My swim time was 12:50.  Just about where I thought I’d be.

Transition 1millivanilli
Ugh.  Now the rain comes into play.  Testing your BG is difficult enough, now add trying to keep the tester and the strips dry and you’re in for a real challenge.  I had my tester in a Ziploc bag and I think it may have taken me 2 or 3 attempts, but I got ‘er done and tested at 197 before the bike.  Not bad.  It took me a total of 3:17 to get out of T1, nearly the longest time of any of the participants.  Again, something to work on in the future, but this time I’m going to blame it on the rain.

The Bike
The 19 mile bike ride was a flat, out and back course.  The rain was just a steady drizzle, so it was no big deal at all.  I FLEW out the out portion of the ride and at the turn-around, I realized why.  I was blissfully unaware of the tail wind that quickly turned into a head wind.  The ride back was a slow go into the wind and rain.  I did, again, enjoy the bike portion of the race, but I was certainly looking forward to the run for a change.  Total bike time – 1:02:55.

Transition 2
In T2 I had to again deal with the wet conditions.  It surprisingly only took me one try to test and I turned out to be a little high at 235.  I decided to take 1.5 units of insulin to compensate since it was a short run.  Put on my (amazingly) dry socks and shoes and off I went.  T2 Time – 2:14.

The Run
I had saved myself for the run as I did NOT want to walk again.  I had made that promise to myself and I kept it.  I started out pretty slow, but turned it up at the 1.5 mile turn around.  The 65 degree temp and rain felt GREAT compared to the heat and humidity that I had been dealing with.  Sub-8 minute miles are much easier at that temp.  I finished the run in 24:31.  Pretty good 5K time, but considering my watch had it at 2.89 miles, I’m not going to get too excited about it.

Post Race BG – 102.  Nice!

My target for the race was 1:45 and I came in at 1:45:48.  Not bad.  The transitions killed me, but besides that I did just what I set out to do.  I had a good time and can’t wait to do it again!

One funny little story to add.dennys grand slam I did this race with my friend and neighbor Dustan.  On the way home we stopped and had breakfast at Denny’s.  We waited forever for our food to come and when it finally did the one waitress commented to the other- “I have #27 here.  Wait.  Are there only 2 people?”  Dustan and I are a combined 12.5 feet tall and weight around 400 lbs.  I had a Grand Slam AND an order of biscuits and gravy and Dustan had a breakfast sandwich, also with biscuits and gravy.  We laughed and gave the waitress some trouble.  We earned this meal darnit!!

One thing to note for future events like this, is how I had to battle lows the remainder of the day.  It really was a battle.  I had turned down my basal, took it easy with boluses, but nothing I did kept me above 100.  Odd considering that I didn’t push very hard or at least it didn’t feel like I did.  Oh well, just one of many lessons learned for the day!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2009 11:57 am

    Congrat’s!! Great write-up. The rain always makes things interesting… Don’t worry about your transition times too much for your first race. But I’m not one who should talk… I never can get out of there quickly it seems. I figure taking 30 sec to dial in the diabetes is worth it until I’m duking it out for a podium spot (and even then…)

    What did you do with your basal during the race?

  2. July 6, 2009 12:17 pm

    Thanks Anne!

    I turned down my basal to 50% about 1 and 1/2 hours before the start and left it there for a while. It probably went back to 100% right around the end of the bike.

  3. July 6, 2009 2:59 pm

    Congratulations on your successful race, Gary!
    I use basal “patterns” instead of “temporary” basal rates for training and racing because they don’t require you to enter a duration for the temp basal and they don’t automatically switch back to the regular basal rate. I switch to the pattern I want and leave it there until I want to go back to my normal rate.
    Great job on the whole race, Gary. The transition problem couldn’t be helped, and you know you can do better in the next one.

  4. July 6, 2009 6:26 pm

    Thanks Jerry! It was fun. I’m totally hooked!

    I’ll switch back and forth between temp basals and patterns just depending on the day. I like to use patterns for early morning runs, so if I’m running at 6, I’ll set my basal to go lower than normal at 4, so I’m ready to go at 6. I also like for my basal to go back to normal about a half hour before the end of whatever activity I’m doing to prevent going high right after. It’s always something. 😉

  5. Christopher Braun permalink
    July 7, 2009 10:18 am

    Great job at the Tri! Keep up the good work!

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