Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cyclocross Race in Gloucester, MA

This past weekend I was talked into doing a cyclocross race. It really wasn't that hard to talk me into it, but I did at one point a few months ago say that there was no way I would do a cross race! Mainly I didn't want to do a race because my cross bike is my commuter bike and it is a single speed. Taking a single speed cross bike to a race is kinda like taking a tooth pick to a gun fight! Alas, I was up for the challenge.

So, I have come to terms that for the most part I am the 'middle of the pack sport guy' right now, and that is ok. My fitness will improve. My goals are all focused around managing my
diabetes on the bike. A ride or race that I have to stop early is due to low blood sugar is worse than a DNF or DFL (this is of coarse a personal opinion). That being said, cross racing was going to introduce a whole new set of challenges for me. Ideally during a cross race you would prefer to not carry a H2O bottle of Endurox, cliff bars, GU or anything else in-case of low blood sugar, like I normally would! Instead, I had to 'spike' my blood sugar the proper amount just before the race so that when I finished it would be in the recovery range (90-120 & dropping) so I could take on a post ride recovery drink and a bit (1-3u) of insulin to make up for the temp basal post ride spike. These things are all different than any of the mountain bike races I have done this year. 
Take race length and heart rate for example. My heart rate (HR) was up for the entire dross race compared to a MTB race, but those typically last a minimum of 2 hours. This race was 40 minutes and this chart was my HR. I was PEGGED!

I hoped that I had my insulin pump set properly (basal rate 45%)to get me through the race. I had a GU at 10 minutes before start with a sugar of 200. I was hoping for a blood sugar of 165 at 10 pre race so I could down a GU (which has a bit of a delayed response to blood sugar), but it was a bit high and I downed the GU anyway. I finished the race with sugar about 212, but dropping FAST! 20 minutes later I was at 90 with a cliff mini and a chance of an Oatmeal Stout in the near future.  I need a few more cross races to get some good data, and learn a system for cross races. My body, and diabetes, reacts to differently to MTB vs. cyclocross races, and I just need more experience to learn what I need for cross races.... Good thing I am now hooked! Here are some pics!

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