During September I have completed two sprint triathlons managing to keep my blood sugars in range and under control which has resulted in far better times than last year even though I know I’m not as fit ( I shaved 20 minutes off the same course this year!). I am 100% putting this down to my improved blood sugar control and knowledge of how / when to fuel along with using CGM. Instead of being one of the blind mice in terms of diabetes management, I now feel I am in control as the farmer’s wife. However for every success there is still another struggle with the sugar demons: introducing night time mountain bikes.
I am now able to reduce my basal and drizzle in carbohydrates accurately for a road bike ride to stay in range most of the time. Recently, I completed a 55 mile bike ride without packing rice puddings, bananas and other snacks like I did the previous year. However this week when mountain biking everything I tried seemed to have the opposite action!
Some how from starting the ride in range with a temporary basal reduction as usual for biking I managed to reach the point of “HIGH” on my blood glucose machine. I had taken action at 14mmol, 16mmol and 21mmol. Turning home was not an option as I didn’t have a clue where I was and needed the guidance of the group…
My dexcom helpfully used ??? to express the disappointing high blood sugar. Therefore with no trend arrows I increased my basal again and bolused again: no change. Usually exercise results in insulin having a “WD40” like quality and working super effectively. This time it did not. More unfortunately I had only taken drinks with glucose mixed in which physically I needed for mountain biking, yet my diabetes didn’t need.
Why the high? I am beginning to realise that mountain biking causes adrenalin spikes which mean I need less carbohydrate on a ride. This week it was night ride – riding across the moors / woods / fields in pitch black and pouring rain with no phone signal and through bogs (yes I did look super stylish with a headtorch on). I am putting down my ultimate high to cycling in the dark with added adrenalin as after 20 miles and insulin on board I should not have been “HIGH”.
Was it the end of the world? Of course not, I had an awesome ride. Returned home soaked, fearing that my phone may never work again and covered in mud albeit still “HIGH”. Yes I felt rubbish and went straight to bed, but I knew my blood sugar would come down and had a bowl of cereal post ride to help prevent cramps. I’ve realised that exercise with a higher blood sugar causes cramps in the night for me. However ensuring my muscles have fuel post exercise, especially when experiencing higher blood sugars, is working well for me. I bolused for the cereal and stayed hydrated. Sometimes it really is just one of “those” days. I can’t win all the time, but neither will I let things stop me from having fun…!