Yesterday (12/09/2010) was the OSS River Dart 10km swim event from Totnes to Dittisham. It was a great event and i have blogged about it here.
This was a challenge on a mental and physical level but also presented challenges to me regards my diabetes and how to control it in an event of this nature.
I had checked with the organisers up fron what the nutrition availability would be and was advised that there would be aid stations every 2/2.5km. Not able to really carry anything myself it was important to know that so i could make the necessary plans.
What i had planned was to start with a high blood sugar and then keep it topped up at each feed station. With around 30-40minutes between stations it would be vitally important not to miss one and to make sure i took fuel on board. I had also put a couple of gels and packet of glucose tablets on the support boat so that if things went wrong i could get what i needed quickly. To this end the organisers were well prepared with anyone with medical concerns being given a white hate to enable quick identification by the support crews.
When i got up at 5am my blood sugar was 11.7mmol. I ate breakfast of ready brek in the van on the way and gave myself 3 units of Lantus. I then ate a Trek flapjack about an hour later. When we arrived in Totnes i did a blood test and my blood was around 10mmol with around 1.5hrs to the start.
With about 45mins to the start i ate a couple peices of cake to give me a boost. I then got changed and was ready to go to the start. The last thing i did was another blood test. My blood sugar was 17mmol. Higher than i was expecting or than i really wanted but i figured that the only way it was going was down and that if the worse came to the worse i could sort it out at the end.
At each aid station there was half mars/snickers bars available and powerade. At each of the three stations i ate a peice of chocolate and had a drink. Very aware that in an event such as this symptons of a hypo may be masked i made sure at each aid station to take a few seconds and make sure i felt ok.
At each station i felt fine and was able to push on with confidence. Also the number of support people also gave me confidence that were i to get into difficulty i would be able to get assistance very quickly.
At the end of the event i picked up my kit and did a blood test. The reading was 6.5mmol. Perfect!
I ate some rice and ratatouille not bothering with an injection as previous training and competition experience has shown me that after an event there's no need for insulin as this often leads to a hypo.
All in all the nutrition ended up being perfect although this was a little by luck as i was not expecting to be so high at the start. Propbably a better approach could have been to be lower at the start and to then fuel more during the swim.
It's all experience though and next time i'll be better prepared!