Finished my Sprint Triathlon

This weekend I finished my sprint triathlon the Boulder 5430 Sprint Triathlon that I’ve been training for in the last 3 months. The distances were: swim: 1/2 mile, bike: 18 miles, run: 3.1miles

Fuel: I use a combination of protein bars, clifbar gels (specifically Mocha w/ caffeine because I can’t stand the fruit flavors), the Powerbar jelly/gummy things, and gatorade.

The Swim: I was so nervous going into the swim. The transition closed 45 minutes before my wave started, and my BGs had be fluctuating all morning pre and post warm up. I had all the normal pre-swim jitters that newbies get, combined with the added stress of fears of going hypo out in the middle of the reservoir. Prior to leaving transition I was 100mg/dl, and had ate approximately 45grams of carbs w/ no insulin bolus. I knew it should be enough to raise my BGs in to a good buffer zone, but I left my meter in the transition area and had no way of really knowing. Next time I’m going to bring a back up meter to the start area, test just before and stash it. The swim itself sucked. I could not get my rhythm down, and the buoys seemed soooo far away! I had trained and trained, and knew I was capable, but couldn’t shake the fears that I wasn’t going to make it. I had to spend a lot of time on my back, and I stopped to hold onto the kayaks for a rest. However, I didn’t have to be pulled from the water and made in 22 minutes. My BG was 118 when I got out of the water. I took one mocha gel before leaving T1.

The Bike: The bike portion was amazing. It was rolling hills and super fast course. The last 8 miles were views of the Boulder Flatirons, which are absolutely amazing. I took 1 more gel during the ride and drank 30g of carbs in my gatorade. I also drank about 12 oz of water during the ride.

Back in transition my BGs were 140mg/dl. I had been checking the dexcom periodically during the bike portion and it was always so far behind the meter that it was useless. My energy balance and requirements were fluctuating so rapidly it couldn’t keep up. So I left it at transition for the run portion.

The Run: The run was a slog. I am not a runner, but I kept up my slow pace and pushed through it. It was an out and back and once again on the way back into the transition area and finish I got gorgeous views of the Flatirons. I drank about 4 oz of gatorade from the aid station, so who knows how much carbs, and around 2 miles I ate another mocha gel. When I finished I was at 115 mg/dl.

Overall I finished 90/98 in my age group, which means there’s room for improvement! :slight_smile: Really I’m just happy to have finished, and to have a better understanding of my BG management during competition. I don’t think I’m ready to move up to Olympic distance yet, but I definitely want to do more triathlons this summer.

Congratulations MeaganJ!

Wow, Megan I am completely in awe. Its amazing what you had to do to keep your BS in a good range, all the while trying to make the race your focus. Too bad the Dex couldn’t help out more, its lag is sure something you have to keep in mind. Now that my son is on summer break, his activity, whether messing around with friends or our intense workout routine we find that as long as the Dex is showing any desending trend between 120 and 90 ITS TIME TO CHECK. You have lots of information to go on, to do excel even more the next race. Congrats, I’m sure a lot of TuDers (including myself, because the scenery sounds lovely too) would have loved to have been there to root you on!

Way to go Meagan! Have you looked up the local Triabetes Club? I’m hanging out with some of them in San Diego this week at Insulindependence University. (


Oh! And the race report was a good read, too!

What an accomplishment! Sometimes getting through a spin class proves impossible when my sugars are off. (after months of not doing it, it’s probably worse.) This inspires me. Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

Great report Megan! I love reading about others’ competing in triathlons and having such a good time while doing it! That is fantastic. Your BGs were rockin too! Way to show diabetes who’s boss :slight_smile: Looking forward to reading more about your adventures this summer!

Thanks everyone!

@Bradford: I was hoping for some advice. I’ve been having a lot of trouble in open water. I start panicking about going hypo out in the middle of the reservoir. In the pool I know I can just put my feet down and walk out, so I don’t even think twice about it. What do you do to ensure you’re safe out there, and how do you mentally deal with the stress? Thanks!

@Emily: I love the Dex on my longer rides (2+ hrs). I settle into a more even and predictable burn. I’m sure it’ll perform better for the longer distance tri’s. For the sprints the muscle groups being used and the energy requirements change so rapidly, the meter gave me a better insight into my nutritional requirements.

I like to think of my dexcom as being a 10 minute delayed broadcast of the Tour de France, and my meter as an instantaneous snap shot of the race at this moment. With the dexcom you can get a good idea of who is in the lead, and the pace they’re setting, but in a rapid descent or hard climb, someone new may have taken the lead. That’s where the meter is superior.

@Terry: I’m a member of Triabetes, but haven’t figured out how to actually get involved.

@Regina: exercise and BG management is a chore! But it’s worth it! My insulin requirements dropped by 30% in the last 4 months since I started my training. And from reading your posts, you’re on a pump, which makes BG control infinitely easier for exercise than MDI due to the flexibility in basal rates.

That’s awesome congratulations Triathlete! welcome to the addiction :wink:

Megan where do you practice your swimming? Open water or in the pool? If you’re in the pool, you obviously have the luxury of leaving a meter and food close by, should you start feeling low, etc. I would try to use this availability to your advantage. Test often during these swims! Especially test often if/when you’re pushing at “race pace” (if that differs from your endurance swims). This will give you invaluable data about what race morning will be like. Then it really doesn’t matter where you’re swimming (in a pool that’s 4 feet deep, or in a lake that’s 25 feet deep). Once you know your starting number going into the water, you will know how much glucose you need based on how much you think you’re going to drop,etc. (also I agree that you should carry an extra meter so that you can test in the minutes leading up to your swim…testing a few times about 15 min apart will give you an indication of where you’re at, as well as if you’re trending (and if so, up or down)).
Once you can mentally get over that speed bump (that open water is really not much different than in the pool, esp. w/ regard to your glucose) then your nerves will hopefully settle. When I first started doing open water tris I would put an extra gel pack in my swim cap. If I ever felt like I needed it, I had glucose there in the middle of the water w/ me (I never used it…but it was a good security blanket, so to speak). Also once I was more comfortable w/ my glucose (and understanding how much it might drop, or not drop depending on if I had glucose on board going into the water), I could start focusing more on racing against the other athletes rather than just racing against my diabetes, so to speak :slight_smile: I could look for feet to swim behind to help me not do as much work, I could work more on sighting so that I swam straighter and ended up doing less work, etc. All the things I could now think about let me work on getting in and out of the water faster (which also eased my nerves w/ the 'betes side of things, b/c I knew I wasn’t going to be out there forever and didn’t need to fear a BG drop while I was still too far from shore, etc).
I also LOVED your comparison of the dex vs the finger stick w/ the TdF delayed broadcast vs. the live snapshot. Awesome analogy!

It is good to see people getting out and about. I competed in 4 marathons, and several sprint triathlons years ago and really liked the training and excitement. Work on your running, that is where triathlons are won. The swim everyone is around the same time and the bike you can gain but if you can run you can win. It has been 7 years since I have competed and looking forward to doing another marathon this coming winter.