The Sunday just gone was Round 5 of the WAMBA XCO state series and for the first time in 5 rounds, not only did my blood sugar sit pretty throughout but I also finally think my riding confidence has built to a great level – hitting those rocky gardens with power and success.
But alas with 2 more rounds left in the season, round 5 would be my final race of the season.
This weekend we headed out to Turner Hill mountain bike trails at Dwellingup in the great South West and to be honest in the days leading up to it there was a little bit of worry building up – having never ridden this track as well as Richard giving me the news that it was full of rocks (not my best skill).
Saturday saw me head out on a 31km ride along the Yaberoo Budjara Heritage Trail for a ‘easy’ squirt, whats this go to do with race day you ask?? Well there was a positive and not so positive outcome from going on this squirt the day before race day when technically I should be tapering (tapering – the art of slowing the f&*k down leading up to a race) and saving energy.
Tapering allows your muscles to retain glycogen which is the fuel we need for our muscles to work efficiently under extreme conditions, much like racing a mountain bike at 110% for 80 minutes! – So you can probably tell what the not so positive side to me riding Saturday was that fire trail hill, it was 400 meters at a 14% gradient with no clean lines a crap load of boggy sand and pea gravel which usually I would probably be able to hammer up, this time though it was a world of hurt and with no more gears to go down to on the bike it was nearly a walking situation but I managed to climb it every time.
The positive part of that Saturday ride was that I slept like a boss that night, I don’t even remember waking up once, when I did wake my blood sugar was sitting pretty at 4.1 mmol – yeah boi!
Those who have ever had crap sleep (pretty much everyone) will know the difference sleep makes to a successful day, when your racing though it makes a big difference to how quickly you can recover after those nasty all out effort climbs and in a way it more than likely helped me keep my blood sugars under control as well as poor sleeping patterns play absolute havoc on control.
Having completed a recy lap with Lucas for his under 13’s race as well as a lap of my circuit I was actually pretty positive and was looking forward to racing the circuit, even with those nasty rocks and hills.
I must let on that part of the Diabetes strategy was using my artificial pancreas (OpenAPS), this time setting a temporary target of 5.5 mmol for the morning up until the projected race time completion, as usual there was a bit of spiking due to pre race nerves however I entrusted in APS to get me where I needed to be.
Food – always an important part of the Diabetes management strategy… having recently gone dairy free (yet another restriction) due to stomach issues I tried a new low carb Swedish bun recipe which was dairy free, I packed one with bacon, egg and spinach for breakie to give me a bit of a protein boost along with my coconut oil and cacao butter bullet proof coffee.
Now hopefully the message has come through by now that I run a low carb fat fueled way of eating and you may wonder about this next part, however I must admit that racing with this type of intensity at a high heart rate takes you out of the optimal fat burning zone and into glucose burning so its only practical that there is a source of ‘glucose’ needed in the system to function.
5 minutes before the race I now tuck into a Nice & Natural cranberry and raspberry protein nut bar (not affiliated) which has 7.2g of carbs, during my water bottle has an electrolyte mix which has about 1.2g of carbs which is consumed over the whole race.
So the hills were hard, the rocks were rocky, the windy forest tracks were epic and the down hill was intensely fun, even managed a quick squirt at the end towards the finish line which unfortunately ended abruptly for a fellow competitor attempting to pass me at the finish, as he came up the right our handlebars and possible elbows locked right in some boggy pea gravel resulting in involuntary steering ultimately pointing the other guy into the finish flag and hitting the deck but that’s all part of racing.
7th position. 19.6 km. 1 hr 19 min. 431 meters of climbing. Blood sugar 4.0 mmol
Now with only 9 weeks and 4 days (eek) until the Munda-betes epic adventure, the real training needs to begin…
In August 2018 I will be mountain biking with my mate Richard along the Munda Biddi trail from end to end in 10 days!
This trail is 1071km long and will be a huge challenge to ride but this challenge is not for ‘fun’, we are doing it to raise $15,000 for the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre – please help us on our mission, donate and share our story.
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