Monday, April 28, 2008

Race Report: Bassman Olympic; Cold Water, Loose Seat & Sand!

I am now officially a Triathlete! Those words feel incredible to write and I'm more excited than ever to chase down this dream of becoming an Ironman. For month I have felt the wear of training as I grinded out 11 hour training weeks with no days of rest; but finally I was able to test myself and compete - it felt incredible.

Pre Race:

My Dad had picked a somewhat less than desirable hotel with some questionable stains on the wall, itchy sheets and a sticky rug outside of Atlantic City for the night before the race. Although the ghettoness of the hotel was well worth it so my # 1 fan could see the race:

Life as a diabetic triathlete involves lots of preparing for nutrition; the night before the race the bathroom looked like a chemistry lab!
Pre race - 2 scoops cytomax, 1 scoop Met Endurance; 1/2 Clif Bar
Pre swim - 2 scoops EFS, 1 Scoop Carbo Pro, 1 Scoop Met Endurance
Bike Bottles (2) - 2 scoops EFS, 2 Sccops Carbo Pro Run - 2 scoops EFS, 2 Scoops Carbo Pro (comes out to less than that in 2 fuel belt bottles)

Post Race - 2 scoops Endurox

Nutrition for the entire race was spot on! I woke up with a blood sugar of 193, took .3 units of insulin, then turned my pump down to 30% for the duration of the race, pre swim my blood sugar was an awesome 214, post swim I was a little high at 290, I took .5 units of insulin and came off the bike at 167 (nailed that); I finished the race with a bs of 149 - couldn't have asked for my nutrition to be have been more dialed in!

Nutrition grade: A+


Terri (the Terrier Teammate whom I drove to the race) and I got to the race site a bit later than ideal but we were able to park in the main parking lot and had plenty of time to get into our wet suits, set up our transition areas and listen to the pre-race instructions. I can honestly say there have been few times in my life that I have been as nervous as I was the morning of the race. I could barely speak and was choking back vomit the entire time before I entered the water. During college football I'd normally throw up 3 or 4 times before a game and a few times during it (yeah I was kind of a nasty o-lineman) but knew because of nutrition I had to hold everything down.

The swim was perhaps the most terrifying experience of my life; I had heard from people who are far better swimmers than me that your first open water swim is like nothing you have ever done before. From my training times I should have been able to complete the 1/2 mile swim in less than 15 minutes. However, I didn't realize how hard it is to breath in 58 degree water or how much I'd freak out due to not being able to see in the water. I must have looked like a dying seal as I did a hybrid doggy paddle/ freestyle for 21 minutes until I exited the water (I'm the second guy):

Swim Grade: C, I preserved when I thought I was going to drown but my time was awful!


I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to leave that freezing cold water, I have alot of work to do for open water swimming, my coach has suggested I start training with my eyes closed to get used to the murky water. So it was with great excitement and determination that I left the transition area, I knew I had a ton of places to make up:

I felt phenomenal for the first 15 miles of the bike. My average speed was somewhere between 22 and 24 mph as I picked off racers one by one. Around mile 16 things took a serious turn for the worse; I started having back spasms which led to my hamstring cramping up and my right hip getting locked. I screamed out an F Bomb as my power started to leave my legs; of course 20 seconds later a super cute triathlete raced by me. I pushed through the last 10 miles of the bike in some serious pain and finished with an average mph of 19.5. When I cleaned my transition area after the race I pushed my bike by the saddle and came to find my seat had come completely loose during the bike! This equipment SNAFU really screwed my bike leg but as Coach Eggers told me "in typical Ed fashion you refused to let that stop you."

Bike Grade: B+, fought through the pain and came away with a pretty good split, would have been an A- if I didn't run into the back/ hamstring issue.


With a slight limp and a screaming back I headed out for the 4.1 (way longer than that in actuality) run course and hoped to hold on for a solid finish.

The race plan was to settle in over the first mile at about an 8 minute pace, then up my speed by 30 seconds for each mile and close at a 6 minute pace. Unfortunately I couldn't come close to those performance goals and went out for the first mile at an 8:40 pace, upped it to 8 minutes over mile 2, and closed with a 7:45 to 8 minute pace. One really weird thing about the race course was a 1/4 to 1/2 mile stretch in sandy woods - given that the bike to run transition on pavement is hard enough, the soft sand could only be compared to kryptonite for Superman - my legs were being sapped of all their energy on the soft stuff.

Run Grade: B, didn't achieve the speeds that I wanted but I also held my position off the bike and my fitness felt fantastic.


Overall, this was a phenomenal experience, I finished right in the middle of the pack with a time of 2:32; I'm somewhat disappointed in my time but the transition went well and I know exactly what I need to work on heading into the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman in about a month and 1/2. Having this triathlon under my belt this early in the season gives me the confidence that my nutrition, training and mental preparation are all headed in the right direction. I also learned that in this sports some things are simply out of your control, whether that be a loose bike seat, a sandy transition area or freezing cold water. You simply need to persevere and push through the bumps that triathlon presents, hold on and will yourself to the finish. There were several times during yesterdays race where that small doubt inside my mind asked "is this worth it," but an even louder voice boomed back "F, yeah this is worth it, keep working Liebo." As I headed out for the bike I heard my Mom yell, "Ring The Bolus!" I doubt she saw my smile but at that moment I knew that my work was paying off.

As I walked back to the transition area to collect my things I proudly thought to myself - we have alot of work to do before Placid but we're getting there:

Overall Race Grade: B-

Friday, April 25, 2008

And It Begins.....

On Sunday I will compete in my first triathlon of the season. The Bassman triathlon is an Olympic distance event at Bass River State Park in New Jersey. For a 1/2 mile swim, 28 mile bike and 4.2 mile run my training, endurance, nutrition and blood sugar management will all be put to the test. I have been awaiting April 27th like a little kid awaits Christmas. Competition drives me, beyond my desire to inspire others is a slight lack of confidence in everything that I do. The fear of failure, the fear of not living up to expectations has always pushed me to work harder, work longer, work better. This desire to prove myself on every level is what pushes me to accomplish more, it is what drives me towards success. Sunday will answer all those questions of doubt. Sunday is the first step in my goal to crossing the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid; Sunday is the measuring stick that will let me begin to prove to myself that I am still the athlete I was prior to my diagnosis; Sunday is my first true test.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Search For A Perfect Shoe

I'm the type of person who will research until they are blue in the face before they buy something. My manical desire to find the product that best fits me has created some arguments in relationships in the past and well has driven me close to insanity. While this method works great for finding the perfect TV, car or other normal consumer good it does not work for running shoes. Reading reviews of running shoes is like reading a parents review of 5th grade play. The details will be there but in the end the reviewer won't tell you what is really good or really bad about the shoe, the only way to know what works best is to try them.

Since I was bitten by the triathlon bug I have tried no less than 4 pairs of sneakers. I've fallen victim to technology, I've believed in the latest fad and betrayed better judgement by listening to some salesman in a running store; below are the shoes I tried and the stories behind them:


My first attempt at finding a shoe that worked with my body mechanics was the Brooks Glycerin. A Manhattan sneaker store determined that I was a mild pronator with a medium arch and had me give the Glycerin a go on their treadmill. This shoe was really comfortable and kept my knees and back feeling fresh but the honeymoon was short lived. About three weeks into wearing these sneakers my big toe on my left foot swelled up and would wake me up at night as it throbbed. Turned out that since Brooks promotes more of a mid-foot than a forefoot strike the sneakers had a tendency to put too much pressure on my big toe causing the joint to become inflamed.

End Result: Sold on slowtwtich for $50


Newton Running has produced the most controversial running shoes in the past few decades. The sneakers are unlike anything I had ever run in. To promote forefoot running the shoes utilize "lugs" underneath the balls of your feet making the heel higher than the toe area. This is supposed to mimic barefoot or natural running. I found the Newtons to be incredible. Without question they were the fastest shoes I have tried and my easy pace was an 8 minute 30 second mile, with tempo runs breaking the 7 minute mark. However, the shoes had a fatal flaw for me. A big reason why I was unable to run in the Shamrock Marathon was becasue of the Newtons. For each run I did over an hour I'd start to get cramps in my calves, after 10 miles these cramps would become dehabilitating and at one point I fell down in Central Park to crawl over to a bench. Originally I had believed that this was due to nutrition and hydration until I realized that the Newtons were forcing my ankle to flex too much during my stride, never allowing my calf to relax (the muscle was contracted the entire time). Since ditching the Newton my calf cramps have gone away.

End Result: Pain > Results, sitting in the bottom of my closet


A new Road Runner Sports opened up in Paramus, NJ recently. The opening was pretty well aligned with my ephinay about the Newtons so I hopped in my car, headed across the GW and met with them for a shoe fitting. Road Runner Sports has all sorts of fancy gadgets to figure out arch type, stride type and all that - they even have you run barefoot on a treadmill to see your natural running style. Similar to Jack Rabbit the RRS guys recommended a slight stability shoe but one with some beef for longer training runs. The Hurricane 10s have been great, I feel like I can run forever in the shoes and have no calf, knee or back pain. The shoe is a bit heavy for a race shoe but for training they are tremendous. My long distance mile splits at an easy pace are around 8 minutes 40 seconds and in tempo runs I can easily hold a 7 and 1/2 minute pace - a bit slower than the Newtons but without the pain I can run longer and more often.

End Result: Great training shoe but I wouldn't wear it for racing


I may be jumping the gun on declaring my run for this shoe but my god is it AWESOME. Last night I did my first long training brick of the season and these shoes felt simply incredible. The outer mesh provides just enough stability to keep your foot from sliding around but is so light that the shoe feels like a feather. The sole is firm and very responsive. These shoes are fast - very fast. Coach Eggers had me run 25 minutes at an easy pace last night then I was to "lay it down" for the last 5 minutes. For the first 25 minutes of the run I maintained an 8:30 pace and in the last 5 minutes I upped the speed to a 6:30 pace, no calf problems, no knee issues - I think I've found my racer. Plus who can argue with the orange color - they simply have to be fast, right?

End Result: This seasons racer and thus far my favorite shoe

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two New Members of The Ring 'The Bolus Team

I'm continually amazed by how tight knit and supportive the triathlon community is. Each person I meet who is involved in endurance sports has been more supportive of my goals than the last. Two individuals who are proving unbelievably helpful in my Ironman goals are Brian Shea of Personal Best Nutrition and Cliff Scherb of TriStar Athletes.

Brian Shea is the president and founder of Personal Best Nutrition, a supplement retail store and coaching program. Each product that Brian sells he has personally tested and tailors his product recommendations to the need of the athlete. I had e-mailed Brian a few weeks ago after reading one of his posts on Slowtwitch and was amazed with the level of detail he responded to me with. Brian took the time to understand my needs as a diabetic and triathlete and has taken an active role in my blood sugar management. I've never experienced this level of customer service from any other retailer and have been shocked by how much Brian wants to see me succeed.

At a recent seminar Brian discussed the merits of following carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks with pure water to improve absorption. Rather than speak in highly technical terms he broke the seminar down into easily understandable pieces. A college professor once told me, any teacher can give students a test they will fail and think they are the smartest person in the room; it's the teacher who can get students to understand the material and come out with better knowledge that truly does their job. Brian without question is one of the best teacher of nutritional information I have ever met. His Ironman Cocktail has reduced my exercise induced lows by over 30% over the past several weeks. Since working with Brian I have had three consecutive 11 hour training weeks. While my fitness base and diabetic management knowledge is greatly improved I attribute alot of my recent workout success to the nutirtional information Brian has provided.

The knowledge that Brian can share is somewhat more tailored for the endurance sport community but the life that Cliff Scherb has led will be a great inspiration and of great benefit to each person touched by Type 1 that reads my blog. Cliff was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 9 years old. In college he walked onto the Wake Forrest basketball team and then shifted his attention to weight lifting. Eventually Clif got bit by the endurance sport bug and hasn't looked back. He began his Manhattan life as a pharmaceutical rep but quickly traded in his tie for an aero helmet and started TriStar Athlete a triathlon and endurance sport coaching company.

Cliff is one of the top Type 1 triathletes in the world. Last year he posted the fastest non-Kona qualifying time at Ironman Florida finishing the 140.6 mile race in 9 hours and 7 minutes. He knows better than almost anyone how environmental factors can affect blood sugars and struggled with this during his only trip to the World Championship in Hawaii. Cliff continues to chase the Kona dream while raising money for diabetic research through the Janus Charity Challenge and it will be an honor to share the starting line with him at Ironman USA in Lake Placid.

With Coach Eggers approval (I disclose everyone who I'm working with to Coach to make sure they fit in with our overall training philosophy and so she doesn't think I'm cheating on her!) I'll be working with Cliff over the coming weeks on my biking technique and diabetic management. Like Brian he is unbelievably sincere and really wants to see people who are focused on achieving their goals, reach them. I had a great 2 and 1/2 hour conversation with Cliff during our first meeting and can't wait to hammer away with him on the bike.

The Ring The Bolus Team continues to grow, with this support group and unreal advice my confidence for success at IMLP grows each day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dating & Diabetes

Just as I've had to learn how to eat and workout again; dating as a diabetic has brought about a host of new challenges to what is already a difficult process. Prior to my diagnosis of diabetes I didn't have to worry about going low on a date, keeping a clif bar in my pocket if I was going to a wine bar or explaining to a girl why I had to order an appetizer even though I clearly said we'll go out for drinks late night (after eating on our own). If normal insecurities aren't enough to make dating tough, diabetes just adds more fuel to the sweat factory.

Over the past several months diabetes has both helped and hurt my dating chances. When I was first single again I went on a date to a wine bar and went low without realizing it. After saying goodnight I tested and was at 56; a second date never came of that one (didn't reveal myself as a diabetic) so god only knows how I acted as I started to enter into the land of the shakes. Yet on another occasion the diabetes card worked well as it turned out the girl had interned at the JDRF while in college. I revealed myself as a type 1 as I ordered some food at 10:30 pm after a couple rounds of beer.

In some ways training for the Ironman has made it easier to explain diabetes to people I first meet. Undoubtedly the question of "why the hell are you going to do something for 140.6 miles" will come up when I tell someone of my IMLP goal and that provides a great segway into my type 1 diagnosis. It's alot better than saying, hey if I happen to pass out can you take this needle, shove it into my body and hope I wake up. However, since most people don't know the symptoms of a low can be quite awkward.

Given all that, this past Sunday I had my worst public low, and was petrified of what that would do for future dates with a girl I recently met. On a second date I went to Bowlmor lanes, a fun but really over priced ($100 for 5 games!) bowling alley in Manhattan. I had ridden my bike for 3 hours earlier that day and my nutrition was a bit off (only had a muffin for lunch) so I was kind of worried I might go low. While real bowling is WAY harder than Wii bowling I was still doing pretty well, then all of a sudden the ball felt like it was 1,000 pounds and I threw 3 consecutive gutter balls. Figured I better test, and I was scared to death to see 42 on my meter!

I should have realized way before the gutter balls that I was headed low, as after I tested I noticed that I was sweating like a pig. I told my date that I needed to chill for a minute and apologized. She was super cool about it and only asked that "I please not pass out because that would kind of freak me out." After the waitress asked us if it was really hot in the alley (I guess a pretty in shape guy sweating like Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter from bowling is somewhat odd) I ordered some soft pretzels and an orange juice. My blood sugar climbed back up, my sweat glands finally relaxed and then I was able to enjoy the rest of my date. As if the pressures of dating weren't bad enough!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Race Report: Bear Mountain 10k: Mud, Rocks & Blood Sugar

Bear Mountain hosted the first stage of the North Face Endurance Challenge on Saturday April 12th. Rather then test my luck or prove my insanity to the world I opted for the mild (or so I thought) 10k, versus the 1/2 marathon or ultra distances (50k and 50 miler) that took place. Since the race was close to my parents house this also marked the first time they would see me compete in an endurance sport. Most of their lives have been spent chasing after my sporting events; although my college was over 5 hours away from their house and we played some away games over 10 hours away from the house they amazingly never missed a game.

Friday night I drove home from the city and prepared my pre-race meal of ground buffalo, whole wheat protein enriched penne pasta and a ton of water for my parents and younger sister - a great test run for IMLP! That evening I went to bed with a great blood sugar and fell into a deep slumber until the pouring rain woke me at 5am - perfect for a trail run I thought. At about 7:45 am I had a pistachio muffin and a large glass of coffee as I filled my fuel belt bottles with the Ironman Cocktail. At 8:10 am we left Mahopac and headed to Bear Mountain. I think I gave both my Mom and Dad migraines by blaring Wolfmother on the ride over!

Pre-race my blood sugar was a fantastic 214, for the first time in the past 4 or 5 events I wasn't nervous of a low heading into a race!!!! However, this enthusiasm was short lived. At the start of the race something simply felt "off", before we even reached the start of the trail I started to almost hyperventilate; I was able to control my breathing but as we started the monstrous climb my muscles felt insanely fatigued. Just outside of the group of lead runners I pulled over to the side of the rocky trail and tested - 395, not good, not good at all - for the first time since my diagnosis I had to bolus during a run; this also meant I couldn't take in any nutrition for a while.

The 1,000 foot 2 mile climb was freaking insane, add to that the high blood sugars and it was a rough rough day, my second test of the day at about mile mark 2.5 my blood sugar had come down to 248, so I gave myself another small bolus and continued on. After finally reaching the aid station I gulped down 2 glasses of water and headed out on the second leg of the course. Shortly after that I felt my body return to somewhat normal but the fatigue had really set in. I finished somewhere in the front of the middle pack at just over an hour and 20 minutes; although I wasn't thrilled with my effort, I couldn't have asked for better experience. Each new race is going to bring a different obstacle and while the blood sugar kicked my butt I was able to deal with it and fight through to the finish.

This race also gave me a whole new appreciate for xterra runners and ultra marathoners. The trail was BY FAR the hardest run I had ever done; rocky, hilly and wet. We ran through streams, plodded through mud and sweated up a storm. Areas of the course were so technical that all you could do was walk and pray that you didn't fall down on the jagged rocks. Without question a totally new experience and while I'm not sure that trail running is for me, it was alot of fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sports Nutrition Meets Diabetic Thought

I was reading through some of the triathlon websites I visit and came across a great article on Essentially the article discusses the evolution of sports nutrition over the years and how much glucose the body needs for a given activity level. Some of the stuff in the article is pretty technical but alot of the general principles can be used for treating lows or really just going about each day of a Type 1 life.

One passage in particular really struck my interest however:

"For instance, could protein make carbohydrates drive into their metabolic garages even faster? The answer was yes, says Portman, who has since gone on to carve out a growing niche of sports-nutrition research and commerce dedicated to the question. "They realized that protein strongly stimulates insulin release." Insulin speeds muscle cells' absorption of blood glucose by as much as 50 percent, so when you're burning stored carbohydrates at a break-neck pace, speeding up the entry of blood glucose is vital. Insulin also moves amino acids into muscle, blunts the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and stimulates blood flow to the muscle."

We have been taught by our CDEs to turn our pumps down and reduce the level of insulin in our bodies prior to exercise. For people who no longer produce any insulin they need to maintain some basal rate during exercise; however for someone like me who is still "honey mooning" my body produces insulin from time to time. Since I use sports nutrition products that incorporate protein and carbohydrates I wonder if alot of my exercise induced lows are due to insulin stimulation. Further if by turning my pump down too much am I limiting the absorption of blood sugar into my muscles and forcing it to stay in my stomach? This is a mystery that will require further research.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


For months I have been terrified of a morning workout. I was fearful that I wouldn't be able to get all my nutrition in before a ride or run without waking up at 4 in the morning! So this morning I decided no matter what I was getting on my bike and I was going to hammer for an hour.

The previous night I set up an alternate basal pattern that changed my rate at 5am from .35 units per hour to .1 units per hour. At 6am after 7 hours of sleep I woke well rested to my alarm and a blood sugar of 121 (off to a good start). I filled my water bottle with 2 scoops of cytomax then gulped it down. I chased the orangey mix with 1/2 a clif bar; by 6:20 am my blood sugar was 185 so I knew a great workout was well within reach.

At 6:25 am I began my ride with my legs burning, my eyes dreary and my mind racing. Coach called for a 15 minute warm up, then 3 sets of zone 3/ zone 2 intervals at a 10 min/ 5 min split followed by a 10 minute zone 2 cool down. (FYI Coach you listed this as a 75 minute ride but it only added up to 70 minutes). After the warm up my legs felt strong, my eyes opened wider, I sipped on my Ironman cocktail and began to hammer away. My heart rate spiked, as I entered zone 3 with "Right Now" by Van Hallen blaring on my Ipod I smiled - for the first time since I started chasing this crazy dream the fear of morning work outs washed away. The seeds of doubt left my mind and in their place confidence grew, confidence that all these hours of work and gallons of sweat are beginning to pay off and for one morning I had control over the fears that remain due to diabetic uncertainty. At the end of my ride, drenched in sweat I wore the biggest smile my tired muscles could hold.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What Is Ring The Bolus

After nearly a year of blogging, I realized I never explained what "Ring The Bolus" means or how those words came to be. I'm sure many of you have figured out that for me those words mean rising to the challenge of diabetes and giving my all to any obstacle I face but why I chose "Ring The Bolus," as my rallying cry is a different story.

My senior year in college I was playing for my third offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 3 years. As one of the shortest lineman (5'8") in college football each new Coach meant a new person I had to prove my ability to - A 5'8 offensive lineman sticks out a bit compared to dudes who are 6'3 and 6'4. Coach Walsh had recruited me when I was in high school while he was a GA at Kings but was not too pleased when a shorter than expected player walked into the guidance office. Our historical bad foot made my holding onto my starting position that much tougher.

As the weeks progressed Coach Walsh realized that my love of the game, willingness to sacrifice my body for the team and most importantly understanding and knowledge of the plays was a true asset. We became very close with a mutual admiration developing throughout the season. Walsh's rallying call to the offensive line before each game was "Ring The Bell." Like a fighter ready to go in for 12 rounds of battle he expected us to will ourselves to victory once we stepped across the white lines onto the field.

When I received my diagnosis of diabetes I knew I'd be on the Type 1 field of play for the rest of my life and that it was time to "Ring The Bell," or to fight this disease. To make it a bit more diabetes related I called it "Ring The Bolus." At the risk of sounding cliche when I heard the bell ring for my first workout on April 3rd I knew I'd be going the full 15 rounds (like the great fights of old) against this disease.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

365 Days

365 days ago after a weekend where I spent 6 hours in the Emergency Room the doctor uttered the words that changed my life. "The tests indicate what we had originally believed, you have Type 1 diabetes." I had no idea what a profound impact that diagnosis would have on my life and could not have possibly predicted the amazing support network I would develop.

366 days ago I didn't know what a finger prick was.
366 days ago I didn't have to count the carbs in a slice of pizza.
366 days ago I thought legs that felt like rubber simply meant I was tired.
366 days ago I didn't have to constantly have orange juice in my refrigerator.
366 days ago I was terrified of what was becoming of my body.
366 days ago I didn't know what it meant to be a Type 1 diabetic.

April 2nd, 2007 was the longest day of my life. The previous Friday I went to my general practitioner to find out why I had lost 10 lbs. the prior week, why I was waking up every hour to drink a ton of water yet remained thirsty, why I had become so pale and why even after 14 hours of sleep I was so fatigued. Of course, as my luck would dictate the doctor's office could not find their glucometer so they could only do a urine analysis showing I had a heck of alot of sugar in my system. The next morning I took the train home and my Dad (a type 2) tested me with his glucometer - my fasting blood sugar was over 360 so my doctor's office recommended I go to the emergency room.

At Mt. Kisco hospital I received my first shot of lantus, received 2 syringes filled with the stuff for the next 2 days and set up an appointment with a local endocrinologist. April 2nd I was handed prescription after prescription: novolog pens, lantus, a freestyle meter, syringes, more prescriptions than I had ever seen in my life. Previously the only interaction I really had with doctors was for sports injuries - this was to be a whole new world.

That evening I sat in my apartment feeling alone, and scared. My former best friend, now ex-girlfriend didn't come down to my apartment as she had promised - adding to the isolation I felt from the world. As I sat on my couch with the TV on I wondered what was to become of my life. I wondered if I would ever be able to enjoy foods again and I wondered how the heck I was going to do the things I still enjoyed.

I probably stayed up all night researching diabetes. I came across athlete after athlete who had the disease, and started to understand what counting carbs was all about. On April 3rd I packed my gym bag, had some egg whites in the morning and went to work. For 35 minutes that day while I lifted I realized that diabetes wouldn't prevent me from living my life - I completed my first goal, I DIDN'T PASS OUT :).

April 4th is still the only day I remember diabetes truly affecting my mental state. My ex still had not come to visit me making me think that my disease was driving someone away whom I really loved. I hadn't told many of my friends about my diagnosis yet - I'm one of those keep things close to the vest type of people. At work I was using an alternate testing site (my forearms) because I wasn't ready for the world to know I had diabetes. At 10:30 pm I gave my shot of lantus and felt the burn I grew to know so well for the first time, then looked down at my arms and saw track marks. Tears flooded my eyes, I collapsed on my bed, alone and scared and called the only person in the world who could have helped me at that moment - my Mom.

I cried for at least an hour with my Mom on the phone; snots flying out of my nose, barely able to utter a word. My Mom listened to me sob and gave me the tough love that has allowed me to become the man that I am. She of course was supportive but reminded me how strong I am, how this didn't change who I was, how diabetes couldn't affect my soul, couldn't affect my heart. At the moment I stopped crying I knew I had to fight this disease, to challenge it, to say f*ck you diabetes - you will not beat me; it was then that my idea of Ring the Bolus was born.

I've chronicled my trials and tribulations of most of the past 365 days on this blog. I haven't gotten into a ton of personal stuff because I want to be an inspiration to others, there are many ways to live your life with diabetes, I simply choose to control it in the only way I know how. When confronted by a problem I grab it by the throat and look to dominate it, I don't wait to see what happens, I control my fate.

My heartfelt thanks to all for listening over the past year and for all the support you have offered me. 365 days ago I could not have fathomed the amazing people I would meet because of this disease. Each reader of this blog in some way has touched me and helped me through the most trying period of my life - thank you all.

Goals for the next 365 days:

1 - Finish Ironman Lake Placid 16 and 1/2 months after my initial diagnosis
2 - Get my A1c under 6 from a 6.4
3 - Continue to fight this disease in the only way I know how - Ring the Bolus!
4 - Rock at Darden
5 - Continue to blog about it
6 - Be proud of the Man In the Glass