Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It Would Have Been Enough...

Prior to my cardiac catherization, stent placement, and discovery of wildly out of control blood sugar, I had signed up for yet another yearly Ride to Montauk for June 1, 2013. While lying in a hospital bed at St. Francis Hospital, I always had faith that I would pull through in the short term. A large part of my life has been participation in some sort of strenuous physical activity. I wondered if I would be fit enough to do this 110 mile ride with 2,500 of my closest friends. Normally, such a ride would be routine, as I had accomplished century rides 51 times before, and five of them on my fixed gear bike ( one gear ).

Being on multiple medications including insulin, this ride posed a new and difficult challenge. My training and fitness was up to par, but the fear of chest pain and difficult glycemic control was scary to say the least. A low glycemic index energy bar at about every 20 miles has seemed to work for me. I packed a turkey wrap and a pickle in my Carradice saddlebag, and took my blood sugar testing kit and insulin pen. Helen insisted that I not do this ride on a fixed gear, and that I take my geared bike instead. I agreed and made the change at the last minute.
All in all, my planning worked very well. My blood sugars remained in the 90s range at the 50, 76, and 92 mile rest stops. I snacked on the cherries and strawberries provided at the rest stops by the organizers. Fortunately, both of these fruits have a low glycemic index and function well for the long distance rider.
The weather was sunny and cooperated all day. By the time we got out to Montauk Point, the temperature was about 70 degrees with a delightful SSW tailwind. Total mileage was 110.5. My physical recovery is now complete. It would have been enough just to ride any Century with my fellow riders. This Century was an important step for me, and marks my return to my previous level of activity. Perhaps my low glycemic index healthy diet and better awareness of my own medical status will enable new and bigger accomplishments in the future.

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