So, I’ve started a new exercise routine with a buddy. Cycling at 5:30AM. It’s been fantastic. Road bikes + lights + no traffic on the roads = awesome.
I basically wake up at 4:45AM, dial back my basal insulin rate on my OmniPod 50% for period of one hour. Then, I eat a ThinkThin protein bar and take off. I also drink a drink called Spark while on my ride to keep blood sugar up and steady.
Here’s the nerdy data from our ride…
It’s Time For Winter Riding
I love to ride my road bike. Simply love it. I love cycling for many reasons. Where I live, it’s starting to get cold and the sun is down too early for an evening ride. So, morning rides become a necessary reality. 6AM style. As a Type 1 Diabetic, this is a significant challenge because you have to work that much harder to maintain a healthy exercise routine that you are also passionate about. As you consider modifying your riding to cold mornings, here are some thoughts to help or inform you:
Gear Up, Layer Up
Winter, or cold weather riding, can be very fun and rewarding, if you’re prepared. If not, you’ll think you’ve been spun into some kind of phantom zone with General Zod(Superman reference). Riding in the winter with little sun light is COLD! Layer up! Be sure to have three layers on your torso, a solid winter Bibb that goes down to your ankles, winterized gloves, wool socks, shoe/toe covers and a head cover under your helmet.
Get A Group
If possible, join a group or recruit one. Groups can share the wind and reduce your exposure to the headwind you create for yourself. Riding in a slipstream makes everything better!
Light It Up
Not a cigarette…safety lights. The night before you ride, be sure to check your batteries. Visibility is poor in the mornings and people who are driving that early may not have had their coffee yet. Think for them…
Finally, if you’re a diabetic, it can be tricky to master your blood sugar for an early morning work out. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t manage it perfectly your first few attempts. Remember, patterns and fixed behavior are what allow us to dominate this disease. Patterns are created immediately. Use trial and error with a little discipline and you’ll get it figured out.
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Saturday Afternoon Ride: Hard and Steep
I’ve ridden only once between today and 9 days ago. Life got too “noisy”. Today I took on a new, brief route and I might regret it tomorrow. Steep hill I did not plan for and some nasty chest cold that made breathing tough. My blood sugar held up though….
My buddy Beej and I took a beautiful stroll around Mountain Brook, AL this morning burning a little over 1,000 calories. Blood glucose started out at about 135 after a trusty peanut butter and honey sandwich along with one of my favorite snacks, a Think Thin chocolate fudge bar(200 calories, gluten free). Glucose never rose above 200 and never went below 100. I didn’t bolus until AFTER the ride, and I took 5 units. All in all, I’d say today was one of the few days where I “nailed” it in terms of riding with Type 1 Diabetes.
Saturday morning rides are second only to Sunday morning rides on a road bike. I love waking up, eating a peanut buttter/honey sandwich and hitting the road. I don’t bolus either. No insulin. Especially if I’m about to pound out 20+ miles on the road. I’ll be burning up about 1200 calories anyway, so glucose control is much easier. Start high, end just right. I even sometimes bolus slightly right after a ride because I notice my blood sugar shoots up when it starts catching up on the carb intake I use during the ride(juice and glucose tablets).
My bike and a beautiful day.
My blood sugar during my ride. Then my signal disconnected. Not sure why.
WORD OF THE DAY – FOR NON-DIABETICS – BOLUS
BOLUS – In medicine, a bolus (from Latin bolus, ball) is the administration of a medication, drug or other compound that is given to raise its concentration in blood to an effective level. The administration can be given intravenously, by intramuscular, intrathecal or subcutaneous injection.