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.

The One

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About a month ago I arrived at the gym to swim. And like usual, I pulled off my rings and dropped them in the front pocket of my purse with my lip balm. I’ve done the same thing probably 100 times before. When I got back in my van about an hour later, I found the ring I wear on my right hand but not the one pictured above. I pulled everything out of the (small) pocket and it was not there. I searched the floor thinking maybe I had missed the purse & dropped it onto the floorboard. I used the flashlight on my phone and checked under seats and every nook and cranny…even though the van had not moved. Nothing. When I got home I checked my purse again, thinking maybe there was a hole in the lining or something. I took everything out of every pocket. I found nothing. I checked the van again. Nope. I really liked the ring and I had been wearing it in place of my wedding set since it is too big on me now. So I was really disappointed and frustrated. But ultimately, I paid $30 for it over 12 years ago so I went on with life.

Last week I was on the way to an appointment when a song came on the radio. There was a line that exists in probably half a dozen songs. “You left the 99 for me”. (Or something with that idea) And every other time I have heard that line, I have skipped over it or dismissed it. Of course He leaves the 99 for the 1 but I’m part of the 99. That day I felt myself getting a little irritated though. Because I’m part of the 99 and He keeps leaving me. And I immediately had a thought. “But you’re also the one. Every time you doubt or fear. Every time you try to take back control. Every time you put something before me. Every time I come after you and gently bring you back to Me. Every time you’re the one.”

In Luke 15:8-10 there is the parable of the woman who loses, then finds a precious, irreplaceable coin. There is great celebration when she finds it and Jesus compares it to Him going after “the one”. Now I know these parables are primarily speaking to God pursuing the lost, those who don’t know Him. But that morning it was personally comforting to me.

I left my appointment with this realization still strong in my mind. I opened the door to my van. And my ring was laying in the driver seat. Just laying there. Like it had been set down for me to find. Now I had been in my van EVERY SINGLE DAY for two weeks. It’s not a small ring. It had not been in that seat.

Perhaps it’s a small thing. But it was my “lost coin” returned to me. It felt supernatural; like one more confirmation from God that He would always come for me. And it makes the ring a bit more special.

Year of No Nonsense

It’s been a  hot minute since I’ve splashed words about this space. I had 2018 all planned, scheduled and tied neatly with a bow until life casually spewed gasoline about and flicked a lit match into the middle of it all.

  • I cancelled an early season race in anticipation of returning to the Philippines. And that trip never came together.
  • I volunteered to co-lead the 6th grade girls group in our church’s youth group – something that is so far outside my comfort zone that it’s not even in the same time zone. Not to mention it completely torpedoed my anticipated schedule.
  • I planned on racing in July, August and September. And July 1st I tore a muscle in my hip resulting in crutches for three weeks and physical therapy. Three and a half months later I still feel regular pain/discomfort and cannot run.

Those are the big ones. And yet, it hasn’t been a bad year. It wasn’t what I expected but it has been full of fun, meaningful, happy moments and events.

That being said, as the tail end of 2018 barrels towards us at an unnerving rate, I am also drawn to the idea of a “Year of No Nonsense”. What is that you ask? For me it means a life focused on a few things: being present in the moment, being kind to myself as well as others, being intentional with important relationships, banishing laziness but embracing rest without guilt…and learning the difference.

I’m a planner by nature. Some of my triathlon friends met to discuss our race plans for next year and I showed up with a spreadsheet. But there’s a necessary balance. I’m attempting to enjoy the process and/or journey instead of focusing on what comes next whether that’s one set at at time in the pool or one conversation at a time.

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Privilege

“I want to practice being comfortable with discomfort”.

Do you ever have a clarifying moment? One of those instances when a thought runs through your head and you suddenly realize just how privileged it is.

“I want to practice being comfortable with discomfort.”

I practice that often. I think it drives my husband a bit nutty when he says “You don’t HAVE to put up with/do <fill in the blank>” (or “You know you can just….”) in an attempt to make my life easier or more comfortable and I refuse. I don’t always consciously choose to be uncomfortable or make something more difficult than necessary but sometimes I do and it’s very much in an attempt to build a tolerance to that sensation. I don’t necessarily WANT to be comfortable. Definitely not all the time.

Let’s sit in that for moment though. Do you see the privilege that saturates the above statements? The fact that I get to CHOOSE whether I want to be uncomfortable or not. The fact that 99% of the time, I get to CHOOSE when to step out of the hardship, difficulty, or discomfort. The fact that I may not want to be comfortable in my (comfortable) American life style but I CAN be. The fact that the mere statement is tinged with arrogance and steeped with first world advantage.

All that doesn’t make it any less true. I still don’t want to be entirely comfortable. If God places me in an incredibly uncomfortable, even painful, inescapable season of life, I don’t want to be blindsided. I don’t believe that I’m only called to a life of comfort and luxury (although I am WELL aware that I have the opportunity to live that right now). (Also – I know there’s a whole spiritual side of that where we could discuss reliance on God etc but I’m currently speaking physically and mentally.)

(And if we’re being really honest, the  most privileged, selfish reason for this is because practicing discomfort helps with triathlon/racing).

How many people do I know, either personally or peripherally, that don’t have the choice of comfort. How many living in third world countries? How many living in deplorable conditions here in the U.S?

I don’t have a nice tidy ending here. No plan of or call to action. Nothing. Just one of those moments of recognition.

Menu Planning Monday – 01/08/18

Happy 2018!!! I LOVE new years. I’m always optimistic and excited for the days to come and this year is no different. Our holidays were low key and laid back. Because we have boys with lives of their own now, I scheduled our family Christmas for 8:00am on New Years Day. We didn’t have plans to go out and we don’t usually stay up until midnight so I wasn’t concerned about the time……… And then we got an invite to go to friends’ house. “Okay. No big deal.” I thought “We probably won’t stay the whole time.” Except we DID. So I was not exactly in the Christmas spirit when my alarm went off on New Years Day. But a quick cup of coffee and setting out gifts turned that around right quick.

Anyway. Food. That’s the topic today, right? I did not do a lot of cooking over the holidays and even less planning. What I did cook was uninspired at best and this week hasn’t changed a lot.

Monday: grilled cheese sandwiches and soup (that I have in the freezer from last time we had this)

Tuesday: brupper (breakfast for supper) – I’ll make pancakes and heat up some beef Lil Smokies sausages. Yum. They’re my favorite.

Wednesday: Is youth group/fend for yourself night. I’ll be swimming (triathlon training season is fully upon us) so I’ll need to plan something in advance that’s pre-made or quick*.

Thursday: Life group night!

Friday: I’m hoping to have a girls night but there’s no definite plans so who knows!

But I would love to share with you one of my absolutely favorite recipes. (*This is probably what I’ll eat Wednesday night). My obsession lately has been gyros. I crave them all the time. I LOVE the warm, soft, fluffy pitas but I don’t need to eat them often (or at all). So my compromise is this recipe I found during The Husband and my ill fated Whole30 experiment several years ago. Deconstructed Gyro Salad Don’t be turned off by the Whole30/paleo label. This salad is AHHHMAZING. I have the meat cooking right now and it smells terrific. I don’t use lamb. I had some steaks in the freezer that needed to be used. I’ve also used stew meat. And while the dressing recipe included is to DIE for, you don’t have to go with that, especially if you’re not Whole30/paleo. I bought some tzatziki ranch in the specialty dressing section. It won’t be as good, but it’ll do the trick. You could probably also make the dressing with plain Greek yogurt although I haven’t tried that. If you like gyros but are watching your carbs for some reason, or just want to get more veggies in (who doesn’t?) try this. You’re welcome.

Manic Mon….um…Tuesday?

This past weekend was crazy busy with wonderful events. It started with a work party on Friday night and I was non-stop busy until bedtime Sunday night. I minimized a lot this season…shopping is scaled back, baking was almost non-existent. And yet, somehow, I feel more frazzled than ever before. Small details are starting slip. Maybe because there’s more events? More expectations? More white elephant gift exchanges and causes to be supported and schedules to be worked around? Whatever the reason(s), we’ve made compromises this year. Some of the local friends/family that I would especially like to spoil won’t even be receiving a Christmas card. My plan is to put together something after the New Year for them. And our family Christmas? Well…due to older boys’ work schedules, that is happening New Year’s Day. Instead, LilBit and I are decorating gingerbread houses and drinking hot chocolate on Christmas Eve Day before he leaves for a week.

All that to say, there has been no organized menu planning. Last night I planned spaghetti & meat sauce since I had meat sauce in the freezer already. I pulled it out to throw in the microwave and thought “Huh. That doesn’t SMELL like spaghetti sauce…” I thought briefly it might be chili then realized it was from smothered burritos. So I pulled out tortillas and chips and we had  nachos/tacos. Tonight was slow cooker beef and broccoli. Tomorrow is going to be ham and white bean soup in the Instant Pot. Thursday is a Christmas pot luck and I’m taking sausages & meatballs in the bbq/chili sauce. At some point this weekend, I’ll use the rice left over from tonight to make fried rice & egg rolls. Next week? No idea. We’ll figure it out as we go. I’m at capacity for keeping track of details and planning.

I don’t expect to do another Worship Wednesday until after the New Year either, although tomorrow’s chapel topic at work is Worship in Song so that’s cool.

Amidst the season busyness, I found myself being quite grateful for little things today: a coworker that hums pleasantly throughout the day, a walk with teammates, the realization that my mother raised us to be flexible and relaxed about when we celebrate holidays, fun conversations, laughter, and Christmas cards in the mail to name a few.

I expect this week to start slowing down and I’m looking forward to a quiet, restful holiday.

Menu Planning Monday – 12/11/17

This week is going to be a little busy. It might be the busiest of the holiday season actually – the last half of it anyway. It’s all fun and temporary craziness but I only have two dinners planned for the week. My lunches will consist of salads & leftovers. My favorite salad right now is spinach/kale, tomato, cucumber and Tyson buffalo style chicken strips with ranch. Another favorite is spinach/kale, fruit of some sort (raspberries, mandarin oranges, cherries, strawberries), feta, candied walnuts & a lemon vinaigrette (optional: grilled chicken).

Monday: Chicken alfredo – I’m going to try the Birdseye vegetable pasta for my plate (my family will get normal pasta). Should be…interesting.

Tuesday: Potato vegetable cheesy chowder

Wednesday: leftovers/fend for yourself – I need to swim that night but I also need to bake cookies for later in the week. (sigh) I’ll let you know what wins out.

Thursday: Small group so whatever is served

Friday: Work Christmas party. It’s appetizers and desserts so I’m hoping to talk The Hubby into going out to our favorite place for dinner before the party.

Saturday: In the morning is a cookie exchange at the church (hence why I have to find time to bake…). That evening we’re going to see the new Star Wars movie. At some point I really need to do my holiday baking but we’ll see how that turns out.

Sunday: Probably my baking day so Papa Murphy will probably feed us.

I hope the holiday season is feeding you well!