Type 2 Triathlete

I became interested in triathlon about 6 years ago. I dipped my toes in about 5 years ago and around 3 years ago I started wanting to see what I could do if I actually trained instead of just doing a small local race with whatever I had in me on that day. Then in May of 2016, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

I have heard people say things like “I have <insert disease>. I am not <insert disease>. My disease does not define me.” And I understand the spirit behind that attitude. I applaud the spirit behind that attitude. But the fact is, I am diabetic. And diabetes DOES define me. Not completely, no. And it does not have to LIMIT me. But it is one of my many defining characteristics.¬† I am also a Jesus follower. And a wife. And a mom. I am clumsy. I laugh a lot. I am loud and love to dance (badly). And many of those other defining characteristics impact the triathlete part of my life because they’re all a part of me and my life. But honestly, none of them confound me quite like the diabetic component.

When I started looking for other Type 2 triathletes, I found very few. I found quite a lot pages and blogs and stories from Type 1s. And those stories are inspiring but how they manage things is completely different than me. I can’t even imagine that level of monitoring.

I’m sure the Type 2s are out there. Maybe they’re in forums and discussion boards. I don’t tend to keep up well with those though. So I decided to start creating the kind of content I was looking for. Training stories and blood sugar tracking. Nutrition experiments and results. A lot of what you would read for a “normal” triathlete but with transparency on my fourth discipline. I swim/bike/run AND actively manage blood sugar. Two and half years and I still don’t have it completely under control. My last A1C test results were not good although my daily averages since have been. (I was also unable to walk or train during most of the last testing period due to injury).

So I don’t know exactly what this will look like. If any of you other Type 2 Triathletes out there find me, let me know what you want to see. Let’s talk about how you manage. My goal for 2019 is to complete a 70.3 in September…without a trip to the med tent. I know it’s doable. One training session at a time.

Ground Zero

I’ve debated writing about this. On one hand, it’s not a big deal. On the other hand, it kinda is.

Earlier this year I felt fantastic. I was playing softball and training for a triathlon. Weight was finally dropping, I was getting faster, my energy levels were great.

Then I had blood work done to check my chronically low Vitamin D levels and was diagnosed as severely diabetic.

This year. It’s been a journey of meds and lifestyle changes. Of feeling terrible to feeling normal to feeling terrible again. Of finding out I could “do everything right” and my body still would not respond.

For the record – it is really difficult to stick with the whole strict lifestyle when you feel worse AND your body doesn’t respond.

My mental/emotional journey has not been linear. I have been mad. I checked all the right boxes and my body betrayed me anyway. I have been ashamed. Obviously I *DIDN’T* take care of myself and made myself sick. I have been discouraged and sad. What I do doesn’t matter; all my goals are out of reach and my life is now defined by this. I have been hyper focused and determined. I can eat perfect and work out harder than before; I can reverse this. It changes from week to week – sometimes from day to day. And I’ve found that how I feel physically greatly impacts my mental state. Since I have spent the past couple of months dealing with fatigue and nausea (yay supplemental meds), the mental battle has been the main one I’ve fought. Discouragement stalks me on a regular basis. I’m not ready to succumb completely.

I spend a lot of time on the couch right now (see above: fatigue). I have been forced to slow down (stop) and re-evaluate. I’m finally accepting that the goals, plans and priorities¬†I had for this year, and the foreseeable future, are irrelevant. That leaves a void. I don’t know that I’ve ever stared in the future with absolutely NO idea of how I was going to proceed, with a complete absence of an objective.

Right now the only thing I am ready to commit to is getting my brain back in this whole fighting for my health thing. I haven’t given up. Not completely. But I haven’t been as focused and strict as I could be. Maybe I’ll up my reading and writing game again too. We’ll see.