After 3 consecutive 20 hour training weeks it is time to taper for the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman I'm competing in this weekend. For most triathletes the taper brings about restlessness and unease as they transition from workout out 4 to 5 hours a day to at most an hour and 1/2 a day. The extra energy normally contributes to the pre-race jitters and neurosis but at least provides fresh legs on race day. But for a diabetic, the taper week brings about a whole different level of worries. It is essential to match carbohydrate intake to the reduced workload. If I increase the amount of my bolus or basal insulin too much to compensate for the reduced activity load my muscles won't recover to the level they are supposed to. However, if I keep the ratios I have for a 20 hour exercise week I'll most likely run high blood sugars all week which will reduce the effectiveness of the taper.
To make this transition a bit easier, Coach Egg and I have decided to ease into the taper period. For the first 3 days of the week 70% of my week's prescribed exercise will be completed. Coach Egg also gave me a killer weekend to ensure that I got in as much work as possible without totally burning out my legs for Mooseman. Yesterday I had mixed results shortly after lunch my blood sugar was in the high 200s but after dinner my blood sugar plummeted to 42. This week I'm going to try and eat foods that I know the carbohydrate content of so I'll be cooking most of my meals this week. I even plan on being a huge tri-dork and bringing my own food to the pre-race pasta dinner on Saturday night! In this sport you try and limit the unknowns as much as possible and since this is my first real taper week I'll be learning a whole new part of the game.