Moosilauke Time Trial
This summer I have spent a lot of time and effort dialing in the right insulin dose for 30k and 50k events with good success. I also revamped my strategy for 15k length races but have not had the opportunity to test it much. It was necessary to change this strategy because my glucose levels were dropping perilously low directly following my races. These low blood sugar episodes annihilated my immune system last season.
Briefly, the new strategy is to frontload my insulin dose before the race instead of during it. I take a 30 minute extended bolus 30 minutes prior to the start of the competition. An “extended bolus” means that the dose of insulin my pump gives me is spread out over a half hour instead of given all at once. In the past I would give myself this dose directly before the start of the race.
The strategy was changed because the synthetic insulin I use does not reach its full effectiveness or “peak” until 45 minutes after injection.
This is a simple timing change but still requires testing and trial and error to do properly. The first time I employed the new method was at New Zealand Nationals in a 15k classic with the Canadian National Team. I took three units 40 minutes prior to the start of the race. I finished with a blood sugar of 240. (Normal blood-sugar range is 70-120, high blood sugar increases lactate production)
I made a note that my sugar was high with this dose and that I should increase it to four units for my next max effort. I also decided to move the dose timing up by 5 minutes.
My next race effort in the 15k range. was the Whiteface Hill climb roller-ski race. I took 4 units 35 minutes prior to the start. I had a good race but my blood sugar control was terrible and very disconcerting. I was at 350 and had a lactate of 12 to go along with it. Clearly I had way under-dosed again.
Whiteface was supposed to be my last 15k max effort before going to Finland but I decided I needed to test the new dosing strategy one more time. Mt Moosilaukee is only 25 minutes from my house and Ruff Patterson was nice enough to add me to the start list when his team did their annual timetrial on Sunday. This time I upped the dose to 6 units and took it 30 minutes prior to start.
It was cold out and misting. The rocks on the bottom half of the course were slick. About half way up I hit the snowline and the footing actually improved. The trail was a nice firm snowy bootpack. My heartrate was bouncing between 175 and my max 181 the entire way. I finished up in the clouds to find that I had run a new course record 35:16. The previous record was 35:23 set in 1998 by Marc Gilbertson. That wasn’t the best news of the day though. My bloodsugar was 105 at the top. I have found the sweetspot so to say and just in time.