The other day when I logged into facebook I was greeted by this photo from 2008:
That was me before the Mooseman Half Iron, my first, up in New Hampshire. At the time I was like a sponge absorbing everything I could about blood sugar management during exercise. That race taught me so many things about nutrition. I remember coming out of the water with a blood sugar too low (I thought) to go out and bike. I remember my front derailleur breaking yet again on my bike during the first lap of the course and my seat post constantly slipping down. I remember the most painful cramps I had ever experienced during the run. But I also remember completing my first half ironman and thinking how awesome that was to cross the finish line.
This morning I went out for my pre-work run. A quick 4 miles at 7am; back then the idea of a quick 4 miles was not even a glimer in my eye. This morning I left the apartment with a blood sugar of 152, back then I would not have dreamed of starting a run with a blood sugar below 200. This morning I ran with no nutrition, back then I ran with a convenience store in my fuel belt. This morning after I finished my run I had a gulp of water and some eggs, back then I would have monitored my blood sugar every 15 minutes with a coke in one hand, a gel in the other and a cornucopia of carbohydrates in front of me "just in case." It's pretty obvious things have changed.
But like I said in my post back to basics, the big picture has become alot easier to manage and I have alot more confidence that I'm not going to spontaneously drop to a blood sugar of 25 or spike to a blood sugar of 500 during exercise. That confidence does not have me ignoring blood sugar management however, I simply need to test a little bit less and have a much greater base of experience to know how my body will respond to exercise. For example this morning my legs felt like lead when I started my run, in 2008 I would have tested every other stride wondering why I felt so tired. Today I knew it was because I was up a bit late last night watching the Stanley Cup and did a hard core leg workout yesterday at the gym. With each passing experience my knowledge base has grown allowing me to push a bit harder in workouts and know when my body really needs a break. Yes things have changed and seeing that picture made me realize how far my collective experience has come.