Carb Counts

This past Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to a going away party for my friend Emily. We were headed off to a cabin for the night. It was described as a “cabin cabin” not a “house cabin”, out-house and all. Packing list to include sleeping bag, pillow, warm clothes, shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, snacks and drinks.

I was in charge of hashbrowns for breakfast, so I had to run to the store to grab those. I decided to pick up some snacks while I was there. You’d never know I try to eat healthy and am diabetic by looking at this pile of treats.

Sugar? There's no sugar here...
Sugar? There’s no sugar here…

Now, this wasn’t nearly as amusing to me until I went to the Liquor Store for something to drink. I decided that I would like to have cider for the night, as I drank my fill of mixed drinks the weekend before. I’ve liked the slightly less sweet ciders for a while, and keep looking for more. Besides the fact that with my CGM now, I can see how everything affects my blood sugar. 12g of carbs/12oz cider is a pretty nice even out amount for me. No insulin needed for the drink (probably shouldn’t have forgotten about the insulin for the peeps though). For those of you who don’t drink cider, or don’t care about carbs, most ciders on the market now have 26-29g carb/12oz. That also ups the calorie count, which I wouldn’t care about if it was needed. So I spent at least 20 minutes at the Liquor Store reading labels on the cider bottles. People probably thought I was crazy. I ended up with a couple different new kinds to try.

Party Fridge

I took a shot of the fridge when we started the night off. It was pretty darn empty when we left, and I was very happy I suggested that we bring something to cook for breakfast. Not much better than eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. It was a blast of a night with fun had by all. Minnesota to Vermont is a pretty big move and was well worth celebrating.

House of Hearts and Maroon 5

Wow. What a whirl wind weekend. (And what a lot of w-words in a short span)

This past weekend was the Duluth Curling Club’s yearly House of Hearts Tournament. It is a fundraiser for St. Luke’s Foundation, formatted as a celebrity bonspiel (a curling tournament is called a bonspiel — damn scot’s). This means that everyone signs up, raises money, and then gets to curl with “famous” curlers. I say “famous” because no curler is really that famous, definitely not down here in the U.S. Some of the top fundraisers get to pick who they want to play with, everyone else is randomly assigned. I’m not sure how that assignment happens – the skips picked cards when we walked in.

Like I said, this is a fundraiser event. However, it’s really a GIANT party. And one of the best ones. We spend the weekend curling a bit, drinking a lot, and getting to know all sorts of new people, while also raising money through some interesting methods. Lots of money was raised with raffles and various other types of ticket sales. We auctioned off the chance to shave someone’s beard as another. So, it spanned all options. I was pretty floored to find out that the event raised $27,000 when all I felt like I did was celebrate. There will be no pictures posted from this adventure, for good reasons.

Sunday was spent in recovery. I should have planned that for Monday as well, but alas, I had to work.

And then I had to go to training. What was I thinking. But I had to wedge that in quickly because I had tickets to see MAROON 5! I saw them last year, or was it two years ago, and they were great. Decided it was worth going again, and I wasn’t wrong. Katie and I went and it was a great show. I’m not sure how they fit so many songs into such a short time, everyone of which is a hit. Maroon 5 is one of my favorite artists to listen to when I’m running because they have so many upbeat tunes.

Sadly, no running for me today, as these past couple days I’ve been dropping low what feels like all the time. Evening runs are already the hardest for me in terms of blood sugar drops, so I decided after spending a couple hours today hanging between 60-80 (not super low, but I ate a ton to stay there) that I didn’t want to be low any more. A nice carb filled dinner (can you say pasta) and I’m happy to say low is not something that is happening tonight. I need a full nights sleep!


On an unrelated note, I was so excited to see Stephen’s blog post about my Champs with Diabetes Medal. I was thrilled when I saw the whole medal concept when I first started cruising around diabetes blogs. It’s such a genius idea! I have promised a picture with my medal, which I did get in the mail last week. I’ll get that picture this week. The end of last was just a little busy. I’ll post a picture up here when I get it taken.

 

Roller Coaster!

Baby Rollercoaster
Baby Rollercoaster

It certainly was nice to see this shortly after breakfast this morning (that second little hill in there). I definitely guessed wrong about the insulin:food:exercise ratio last night and it showed. I was of course hungry after training, and ate a part healthy post work out snack, and a part treat. It probably didn’t help that I ended up low during training. I thought I got the insulin right to cover all of the carbs, so I set a temp basal as I went to sleep. WRONG. My pump woke me up because I was above target (yes, I have my high limit set quite high right now). Ah well, life will go on.

And on it went. I apparently decided that I didn’t really need to change my infusion set this morning, nor did I need to bring extra insulin with me to work (I don’t usually carry any, work is close). So I ran out of insulin near the end of the day. Did you know that there’s probably 20 units left after your pump says empty? At least that’s true for mine. I should probably stop relying on that so much though. Running it all the way dry is definitely not a good idea.

I hope everyone had a good Saint Patrick’s day. I’m not one to hugely celebrate (I save that for other things, like this weekend at the Duluth House of Hearts curling fundraiser, more on that later). My boyfriend and I decided that a Costco trip on St. Patty’s day is a good choice. We’re hoping that everyone else is out celebrating and the place will be empty. Who doesn’t love a good Costco date night?? Even the Bachelor went on one this season. If only I could find those blow up balls and some kids to push us around.

The hardest step

This was definitely a perfect description today. I got home from work, knowing that a run was on my calendar. I had zero desire to do it. However, knowing myself, I changed out of my work clothes and straight into running clothes. Then I sat down. Oops. 35 minutes later, I finally made it out the door.

I decided I would run to the gym and swipe in (the whole, if you get 12 gym visits you get $20 back is a pretty good motivator). The gym is 1.4 miles from my house. So of course by the time I was back close to home, I was in enough of a groove to decide I should really knock out a 5k (3.1 miles). I was pleasantly surprised that I killed it in 31 minutes! That includes the time I had to stop for traffic and for my swipe at the gym! I had originally had a goal of under 30 minutes for my 5k on April 18th, but I think I can do better than that. We shall see what I think as it gets closer.

I’m not sure what everyone else eats for carbs before exercise, but I’d love to hear it. My current favorite is the Starburst Fave Red Jelly Beans. So good. So many carbs that hit me quickly. 180 before my run, 15g of jelly beans and off I went. Felt great, it wasn’t a long enough run for me to worry about seriously dropping while I was out. Came home, checked the CGM before hopping in the shower and I see 123 with double down arrows. I seriously didn’t think I worked that hard! After the shower 91 with one down arrow. And I wasn’t hungry. Good thing those jelly beans are tasty because my meter says 77. I used to try to determine if my runs were calorie neutral, but that can be such a bummer when they aren’t, so I stopped.

More runs to come!

Paint Nite and a New Pump

I want to give a quick thanks to everyone that stopped by on #dblogcheck day! Perhaps some of you saw that on Monday night I was going to a Paint Nite event… this is the outcome from that!

It was a blast. I am actually super surprised at how much I like my painting! As you can tell from the pictures, they aren’t lying about painting in a bar. There’s a small glimpse of my drink right next to the canvas. (I got to try a cider I hadn’t had before… Hoppin Mad Apple by Angry Orchard. Quite a nice change from most of their cloyingly sweet ciders.) The downside of the painting in a bar thing, is that the lighting was atrocious — hence the also atrocious pictures. It did make for a more interesting painting being slightly unsure of what it would look like in real light.

Paint Nite

It was interesting to see that everyone’s painting turned out slightly differently. But the most surprising was when everyone was frustrated with how bad they thought their trees looked. Someone decided to go grab a glance at the instructors painting a bit closer up, and noted that her’s looked just like ours! It was just that from a distance you couldn’t tell. Shortly after that, everyone is painting, then backing up ten feet to look at it. Very much a good way to go about it.

On unrelated news, I got a new pump today! I’ve been getting a “MOTOR ERROR” quite frequently lately and was sick of it, so I called. Turns out if you try to look at your CGM data while a bolus is in progress, it freaks out. They decided to send me a new pump anyways. Good thing because my most recent pump has once again gotten cracks at the corner of the screen (this is time, 3 I believe). This is a fine thing in the winter when there’s less than zero humidity, but come the Minnesota summer, my screen starts to fog up when I go outside.

I’ve been using my sensor like crazy lately (can we say love?), so I set that up right away on my new pump. To return my old pump, I just had to set the basal to zero, so it was still up and running. I let both of them get the sensor data for a while. It was interesting to see. They would both have the same arrows (one up or one down, they would agree), but the numbers were off! This sensor is about 5 days old, and has been quite well tuned after day one.

I had heard that the Medtronic CGM uses multiple calibration data points to determine blood sugar, but I’d never seen how that could affect the data before. This definitely explains why the sensors get better with age. To a point.

#dblogcheck

I’m not sure how I am just now starting to discover the wonderful world of the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), but I seem to have found it at a pretty good time.

I made a new years resolution to improve my A1C this year, and decided a blog might help me out (please don’t ask how my brain functions). In the process though, I decided to google “diabetes blog” and see what everyone else was writing about. I already knew curling and my love for traveling (and pending trip in the early phases of planning) would make it into this, but wasn’t sure what I should or shouldn’t include about diabetes. I’ve never been particularly shy about sharing the fact that I’ve got diabetes (heck, I’ve got it tattoo’d on my wrist!), but for some reason wasn’t sure anyone else would care.

I’ve decided to participate in the #dblogcheck, even though I feel like I’m really unsure what I’m doing with this blog and exactly how it functions. I will probably add my URL out there for people to find me now, and see what everyone thinks (not that it matters, I’ll be trying to keep this up anyways). But if anyone has suggestions, improvements, etc. let me know!

You can follow me on social media, but I’m not sure if you’ll actually find anything there for a bit. One thing at a time; blog first, social media second.

Is it spring?

Today may be the start to spring here in Minnesota. Take a look at these upcoming temperatures.

Weather 08Mar15

 

I’m not sure what the temperature actually made it to, but it was warm enough to go for a run in leggings and a long sleeve! I saw some other people who were a tad braver than I, running in shorts. I was finally able to get my tush off my sofa for a run around mid day. It’s been since, let me think, November? since I have been for a run outside. I wanted to make sure I took it easy on myself, so I enjoyed a slow 3 miles.

I’ve got to get back into better running shape, as I signed up for a 5k on April 18th. I also convinced one of my besties, Katie, to give this 5k a try. It happens to be the Hot Chocolate 5k. That’s a pretty enticing prize pack. This will be my first 5k since July of last summer, but this will be Katie’s first 5k! I’m very proud of her for agreeing to run it. It’s been awesome to hear her progress through a couch to 5k program. It definitely reminds me that I can’t be slacking on my training runs either.

Luckily today my blood sugar decided to respond as expected. Usually a run this short, starting with a in range blood sugar, I just need a 15 grams of carbs before I head out. Then I’ll eat a bit more after I shower when I get back to stop from dropping afterwards. Today, my run ended at Caribou Coffee. My theory is that if chocolate milk is a good post workout drink, then a mocha is pretty much the same thing right? However it is a nice source of carbs and protein. Besides being extremely tasty.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with my trainer. I’m heading there right after work so that I can make it to a Paint Nite after! I’ve been seeing pictures all over from these events and they always looked fun. I’ll let you all see my “masterpiece” later this week. It will be a great demonstration of my lack of artistic talent.

Back to being Sore

I might be crazy, but I actually seem to enjoy being sore after a work out.When I’m sore, to me, it means I worked hard enough the day before.

I took the week leading up to Nationals, the week of Nationals, and the week after, as “rest” weeks. I say “rest” because I don’t think playing 11 curling games in 7 days really counts as rest. But it was very different from what I usually do at the gym, therefore, it falls under rest.

That means that this past Monday was my first day back in the gym. Of course, Mondays are the day I work out with my trainer, so you know it wasn’t going to be easy. We I did many upper body exercises that night. Alex (my trainer) knows that I’m not a fan of triceps work outs, which means I don’t do much of it on my own, so he makes sure I do plenty of those. It’s thanks to this that I made it through those 11 games without being sore. However, I never enjoy it at the time. That combined with other shoulder and chest exercises and man was I tired at the end.

Come Tuesday night, it was back to curling. Luckily my league team has always been pretty flexible in terms of our line up, because sweeping was absolutely out of the question. My 6 feet of sweeping from the t-line back was more like light encouragement (coupled with a grimace).

However, I must be a glutton for punishment, as today I was right back at it. I was unsure about how it would go with the slight cold I caught (damn co-workers), but it actually seems to have helped! At least this is my opinion tonight; tomorrow as I’m waddling around sore I might feel differently.

Something new to me tonight was that of the 5 other people hanging out around using the weights was that 3 of them were also female! I’m not sure what it is about weights, but they seem to scare many, many females. It inspires me to work harder when I see what someone else is able to do, even more so when it’s not some big muscley dude.

Apostle Island Ice Caves

The news of the Apostle Island Lake Shore Ice Caves being accessible this weekend was very exciting! I was bummed last winter when I was much too busy with curling and life to make the 4 hour drive up to the shore. When I found out that my bestie Katie wanted to go hike out to see the caves, I was pumped.

We decided to go with the up early to leave option, meeting at 630AM! These trips are never without coffee for me and I’m happy to say, the sun is finally up at 630 in the morning.

We weren’t sure what we were getting into when we got to the entrance and saw cars parked for maybe a mile before and after the parking lot entrance. Luckily, we were prepared for hiking (it’s a mile from the beach entrance to the caves).

The ice was ever so slightly terrifying to walk over. You could see the bottom! There were lots of cool ice structures to see, some from cracks in the ice, some from what must have been a different sheet of ice the broke up into pieces and then froze again. Take a look at a couple pictures I snagged.

Some shots of the ice on Lake Superior

They weren’t joking when they said you would want some type of ice grips on your shoes or hiking poles. We went with the poles, and plenty of layers to make sure we stayed warm. As you would expect from a diabetic, my back pack was full of everything: water, snacks of all varieties, meter, extra hat and mittens.

We found a cute little cave, and I decided I should try to see if I could fit. It was tough to climb up the ice, but I made it! Of course, the only way down was to use the ice like a slide. I think the people around may have thought I was crazy.

Just some pictures of me enjoying the hike!
Just some pictures of me enjoying the hike!

We spent 4 hours hiking around, which was totally worth it to see the sites. I was impressed by all the different types of ice sculptures the lake made. It didn’t seem like we walked that far, but my fitbit told me that I took 19,000 steps! And we sure were glad that we got there early. Cars were parked a mile father away when we were leaving. I’ll leave you with a couple pictures from hiking around.

Ice Caves - Caves

A quick stop at Grandma’s in Duluth for some (much needed) food, and back home we went. The 8 hours in the car were worth the 4 hours of hiking. Not sure when I’ll get to see something like this again.