Diabetes Blog Week – Ride On

It is Diabetes Blog Week.  Karen at Bitter Sweet Diabetes wrote (in 2012?), “If you don’t have a blog but have thought about starting one, now is the perfect time”, so I did (which was my first post).  For more information on Diabetes Blog Week please check this out. And thanks Karen for putting this all together.

Here’s today’s topic:

In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could?  Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)

There are a few positive aspects of my life with diabetes… friends I’ve made and the incredible people I’ve met because of T1D would be at the top of the list, but currently, right this very second, I can only answer this by sharing a little more of my on-going JDRF Ride cycling progress.

I can cross “NEVER EVER wearing and entire outfit made of Spandex while walking through, and waiting in Penn Station” off my list of things I would never ever do.  Yep, nailed that one.

I have also learned you need a Bike Permit to take a bike on the Long Island Rail Road (life is full of surprises).  The permit is $5 and doesn’t expire.  It looks like a train ticket.  I’m sure I’ll never lose that one.  Yep.  Lost.

Long Island is shockingly hilly.  An early morning in those hills is far chillier than one would expect.  Getting lost is not the fun adventure you would like to believe it will be.

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Beautiful home, streets lined with potholes, and Oyster Bay way down and in the background.

70% basal rate reduction worked pretty well but I should have started it a bit earlier. I had a GU because the Dexcom arrow was starting to drop, I stayed steady the rest of the ride.  Woot.

A week later, I learned the following: trying to cross the street during the 5 Boro NYC Ride (when you are NOT in the ride but ARE on your bike) is damn near impossible.

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Next, I learned that repeatedly bouncing off the railing of the “OMG-why-the-heck-is-this-SO-narrow” ramp up to the George Washington Bridge is similar to being a ball in a pinball machine.  It is quickly becoming my signature move.  Watch out people.  No really, watch-out.

Are you ready for the big part??… I rode 60 miles in one ride!!  Holy smokes!  The hills were challenging, I went through a LOT of water, and my bgs ran a smidge high until about the 30 mile mark, but I rode 60 MILES.  Nyack, New York is so beautiful.  Just amazing.  If someone told me that someday I would ride a bike from the lower half of Manhattan, up and over the George Washington Bridge, up through New Jersey, back over the New York state line, under the Tapanzee Bridge and up to Nyack, New York, I would have laughed so hard I would have peed my pants.  I might be the slowest and the sweatiest, but I did it.  I still need to improve my pacing (it is currently not so hot) and keep increasing my endurance (also still weak).  And in even stranger news, I happened to have a meeting right over the Tapanzee Bridge 4 days later and pointed out where I had been on my ride.  They asked where I started.  When I answered with, “My apartment”, no one could believe it (I include myself in “no one”).  It was SO far away!!!

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And here’s the deal.  I have thought about doing a JDRF Ride in the past.  After almost 2 years of the back and forth of getting into one of the Artificial Pancreas clinical trials, I publicly stated (at a conference) that I would do the Ride if I got into the trial.  I received the email that I was officially a candidate while still at the conference.  I was/am a chatterbox. I told everyone about being on the candidate list.  There was no way I was getting out of this Ride!

So here I am 2 and a half months from a 100 mile ride in Vermont (OMG x1000).  I think of the many T1D athletes who I admire.  My childhood hero, NHL great Bobby Clarke, Olympic swimmer Gary Hall, Jr, and professional snowboarder Sean Busby.  I admire them in a way I simply couldn’t imagine before now (and believe me, I already admired them tremendously).  I never thought someone with T1D couldn’t do a ridiculous amount of cycling, BUT I certainly didn’t think that I would ever be inspired enough to try (you read the part about all the Spandex right?).  And now, I am inspired… and I continue to try.

Tried to stop Fred Flinstone style but with my elbow instead of feet.

Tried to stop Fred Flinstone style but with my elbow instead of feet.

15 thoughts on “Diabetes Blog Week – Ride On

  1. Way to go on all of those accomplishments, not to mention that 60-mile ride that just makes my mouth drop. And good luck getting ready for the 100-miler coming up in VT! Thanks for sharing all of this, and don’t worry: I’d most likely lose the permit too. 🙂

  2. That’s really inspiring, 100 miles! You’ll do great! I love cycling, the most I’ve done in one ride was 35 miles though, maybe one day I’ll work up to a JDRF ride too. Keep up the great work 🙂

  3. You are amazing and I’ve been following your training with the stuff you share on FB and loving it. And I’m loving getting to read more about it her. <3

  4. You’ve come a long way, baby! Your cycling exploits are fabulous and you look quite good in spandex. I’m so glad that I got to do the JDRF walk with you last year before you switched to cycling. I’ll be virtually cheering you on in Vermont:-)

  5. And now we get to admire you, for your cycling and your advocacy, and so much more (not that we didn’t admire you already, of course). Keep the photos and the riding stories coming… I love it!

  6. Holy moley! 60 MILES? You’re amazing! This is my first time visiting your blog and I love your writing style! The pictures make it extra great. I can’t wait to read about your JDRF ride. You are going to do so great. Cheers to you!

  7. OHHHHEEEEEEMMMMMMGGGGEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Are you even kidding me right now?????? 100 miles is, like, A REALLY FREAKING LONG WAY!!!! You go girl!!!! So proud of you 🙂

  8. Alecia, I have never seen you take on a challenge without tackling it a dozen times stronger, harder, and more seriously than most people would take it. So while this is ridiculously impressive, it is quite simply who you are. Which is amazing.

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  10. Alecia, I’m well aware that I’m commenting on an old post… but hey, nothing like a random comment drive-by to add a little variety to your day, right?

    I am so super excited for you! Accomplishing my 100-mile ride will forever be one of the things I’m most proud of, and I can’t wait to celebrate YOUR 100-mile ride.

    The training and hard work you’re doing now is as much mental as it is physical. When you get tired out there you can lean into your training mentally and know that you’ve worked hard to prepare, and that will give you the boost you need to keep those legs pumping.

    You’re one of the most incredible people I know (even though we’ve not met (YET!)). Go get ’em!

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