Leeds Beckett University Sports Weekend. Managing food and insulin for activity.

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Spread the word please as much as you can!
It’s priced just to cover their costs and they want to try and help as many people as possible.The first time there has been an event like this in the North.

mHealth Grand Tour 2015

So I’m off at again. I’m riding the mHealth Grand tour from Brussels to Geneva. We set off tomorrow

It’s not ideal preparation for Ironman Mallorca in the 26th but let’s see what happens.

So we have lots of fancy new technology awaiting us from Orange, Dexecom and others. There are two studies by French universities to see how exercise affects our diabetes control. So hopefully good data will come from our efforts.

Follow my progress on here and the website GSMA mHealth Grand Tour and mHealth Grand tour. I’m riding with the Orange team.

1500km 22000 metres of climbing.

The Ups and downs of the journey!

Well I’m back on again!

I went to a meeting at Animas last week. They make the insulin pump that I love, my Animas Vibe. Sounds like an advert, but I do love it! I have just come back from swim training while working in Edinburgh and I had my pump on throughout. That alone makes it worth loving. Anyway, I’m going off the point. The point is that the other people that I was talking to made some very worthwhile comments. They too have done some amazing events despite their diabetes and they mentionned that the real life story of what also went wrong is worth telling. We are all part of the Animas Hero programme. We are trying to demonstrate that diabetes should not be a barrier to anything. But also to highlight that we are normal people. Not professionals, not elite athletes. Normal people with diabetes who don’t let this stop them and get on with living life.

So, what else happened on the ride with a load of type one diabetics. Things that demonstrate that we are normal. Well one person had a fairly significant hypo. Needed to go to hospital. However, they were riding very quickly afterwards. They learnt from it. Put it down to experience and carried on being one of the strongest people on the tour. I fact one of the strongest people physically and mentally that I know.

I had my incident that I mentionned before. I messed up giving a correction dose that was not actually needed and had to take on more carbs than my stomach liked to stop me going hypo. My stomach swelled with air to look like I was pregnant! I had eaten a lot to get to this point and then ridden many more miles. I felt sick for a while and suffered terribly with the squits to put it nicely and yet I rode all day and the following day.

We had crashes, bumps, cuts, bruises, pulled muscles, general fatigue. Everything that you could imagine on an event like this. We also had a fabulous experience. The best ever. We did it inspite of our diabetes. You can live a pretty normal life if you put your mind to it. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go on this ride if I hadn’t had diabetes. But from that point on, we just got on with it. We didn’t have perfect blood sugars. The Continous Glucose Monitoring that we were using gives a graph of your blood sugars over an hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours. Just like the picture on one of my previous posts. Some days we had graphs that looked like the ride profile. Maybe even more peaks and troughs. Some days we did well. My doctor at the hospital once mentionned about starting again the next day if you have a bad day today and that sums it up for me. We are not perfect. None of us. But everybody on Team Blood Glucose trys again the next day, learns a little and moves on.

I hope my wafffling makes the point for somebody. We are normal people who did this ride. You can achieve anything if you try. We have so many more things planned. For starters next year I am signed up to Ironman Zurich along with some amazing friends. Every disaster that you have, the bad hypos, the frustration at being too high…..we have been there too and still do all the time. But hey never mind. Move on and try again. Look at what we did. There is a link to a video on my next post. I think it sums up what we did. I hope somebody reading this attempts something they fancy doing. There is lots of help out there if you need it. There are lots of type 1s doing incredible things. You can be one of them!!!

mHealth Grand Tour Completed!

Wow! What an adventure. I can honestly say that the tour was the hardest challenge that I have ever completed, but was also the most amazing adventure of my life!

We rode through five different countries, saw many cultures, tried different foods and wines. I chatted with people from all over the world and from different companies and organisations involved with diabetes. I have made some fabulous friends and learnt so much about exercise and diabetes managment tips. It really was so incredible that it is difficult to put into words.

The mHealth Tour begins

The mHealth Tour begins

When we left Brussels, to be set off from such a beautiful place by the legend that is Eddie Mercx should have been an indication of how good things were going to be.

Team BG ready to start!

Team BG ready to start!

Can you believe it - Eddie Mercx

Can you believe it – Eddie Mercx

As we rode into Luxembourg the houses changed and became so much more colourful. As Katie from Belgium explained this was her training area and she told me about the two countries and how they were different.

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We rode together for the whole adventure and I couldn't have done it without her - thanks Veronica!

We rode together for the whole adventure and this one was a long 205km day!

More cool scenery

More cool scenery

As we crossed over into Germany, firstly Saarbrucken and then Baden Baden, we saw some amazing countryside. The incredible views and forests of the Black Forest area. I even tried some German beer – non alcoholic of course. German beers are now a firm favourite.

Just left another great lunch stop en route to Mulhouse

Just left another great lunch stop en route to Mulhouse

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Into France we had fantastic croissants, cheeses and local red wines. I personally think both the croissants and red wine from Florac were the best that I have ever had.

On my birthday I had a fantastic day with my great friends and throughout with the support from the GSMA guys, physio team ande the diabetes nurse – Sugar Bitch!!

My birthday was amazing, but so was everyday with this gang!

My birthday was amazing, but so was everyday with this gang!

The messages were great!

The messages were great!

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Throughout the tour, we had feed stops in the mornings and afternoons provided by the mHealth Staff. Always friendly, some new items of food to give some variety and some entertaining banter. Then at lunch time we had Claud. This was a little french truck that produced fabulous coffees, along with the best food ever, every lunchtime. I had local cheeses, meets, relishes…..the list goes on. Some fantastic deserts and wow the chocolate. If you ever need motivation to get to a lunch stop, then you need a Claud. Thanks guys – you were an education for me!

Claud

Claud

The Brothers

The Brothers

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There were of course some incredible climbs – Semnoz, Col de granier and more and more…

I didn't need an emergency gel Mr Froome!

I didn’t need an emergency gel Mr Froome!

It's a nice climb out of Chamberry

It’s a nice climb out of Chamberry

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Followed by the decents, 25km long….30km long…

Scary!!!

Scary!!!

caption id=”attachment_351″ align=”alignnone” width=”300″]Birthday decent Birthday decent[/caption]

Woohoo down from the pyranees!

Woohoo down from the pyranees!

We had some crashes… this one at the back of the group I was leading at the time!

Before the crash...

Before the crash…

And after the crash....Dong made a great recovery

And after the crash….Dong made a great recovery

There were animals. I saw a snake, nearly got wiped out by a crazy falling deer, along with these guys

The goats

The goats

Lots of lizards

Lots of lizards

So what about the diabetes? Well the study from Newcastle University collected lots of data to analyse. We all came to the conclusion that CGM – continuous glucose monitoring is invaluable when doing something like this. All those on the study were carrying the Dexecom G4 sensor and receiver. Those of us with Animas Vibe pumps could also pick up the CGM on our pumps. When you are riding or doing any form of exercise of such an intensive nature, imagine how good it is to be able to see what your blood glucose level is, whether it is going up, down or steady and then be able to decide how to adapt your insulin or food intake to suit. Hopefully further studies will show the difference between those with CGM and those without and how this can affect control. If we can make CGM more widespread, then maybe it will become available on the NHS. It is such a great tool, but yet only available to those of us who have decided to self fund. This tool could help reduce complications with benefits to blood glucose control, never mind assist in the way it did here.

What's the BS doing now?

What’s the BS doing now?

But the main thing for diabetes was us. Team Blood Glucose, a team of amateur cyclists, all with Type 1 diabetes, cycled 2100km, 22,000 metres of climbing from Brussels to Barcelona!!!! AMAZING!!! We have proved what we wanted to. We have achieved our aim. Diabetes does not stop you doing anything. If we can do this, you do whatever it is that you want to. Diabetes gave us the opportunity to do this and Team BG will be out there again in more events. I want to do them all. But you can live everyday how you want to. You can lead a normal life. Anything is possible.

So to finish. It’s got to be the friendships and people on the tour. I LOVED it. Every minute of it and the people i met were amazing. I can’t show you all, but thank you all from the bottom of my heart for a truly amazing journey. I miss you all and can’t wait to ride with you again.

My great snoring room mate Chris, good luck on Kilimanjaro

My great snoring room mate Chris, good luck on Kilimanjaro

A great guy Midge. He knows about helicopters

A great guy Midge. He knows about helicopters

Reliable Eric

Reliable Eric

Frans the knowledgeable Dutchman taught us so much

Frans the knowledgeable Dutchman taught us so much

Some of the team, including the Woolfies and the Etisalat boys

Some of the team, including the Woolfies and the Etisalat boys

Another great day

Another great day

The incredibly fast Novonordisk team, with two from BG Simon and Pierre.

The incredibly fast Novonordisk team, with two from BG Simon and Pierre.

Some of the fantastic support team

Some of the fantastic support team

Paul Buchannan - Founder of Team BG. It could never have happened without you

Paul Buchannan – Founder of Team BG. It could never have happened without you

The whole tour group. Very very well done!!

The whole tour group. Very very well done!!

A special mention has to go to my good friend Veronica Nevrell. We committed to riding the whole tour together and we did just that.

Fantastic support

Fantastic support

Always happy!

Always happy!

Incredibly determined

Incredibly determined

Your drive and resolve got me through some difficult days. Your fast legs pushed me harder than I thought I could. Thank you so very much.

We even got applause from another tour!! We had so much fun

We even got applause from another tour!! We had so much fun

And of course, I must finish with a mention to my family. I have put in hours of training. Been away for two weeks. Missed Daisy’s first day at school. Away on my birthday and Hebe missed her Dad as I missed the Picking family of four! So to Heather, Hebe and Daisy, a massive thank you. Love to you all guys. Maybe you can come along next time……

My super family!!! I couldn't have done it without your support!!!

My super family!!! I couldn’t have done it without your support!!!

Seven days done and going well. Yesterday we climbed Semnoz and Col de Granier

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downhill

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Well my legs are holding up!

 

 

 

Yesterday saw the climb of Semnoz. The Col that many people say was the place that Chris Froome won this years tour!

1000m of ascent over 17km. Followed by the Col de Plainpalais and then the Col de Granier a Category 1. A big day of climbing but it went well. The diabetes is doing ok. We all seem to have quite a few ups and downs, but then this is an extreme challenge. I have had some hypos in the technical sense ie less than 4 blood sugar, but no serious issues. I didn’t wash my hands one day at a lunch stop and thought that I was 19.5 but it was the after effect of eating gels. So a correction bolus brought me down to Three just at the start of a climb, but it was brought under control after a discussion with my team mates.

So the next stage starts tommorow and the climbs keep coming more and more now. 2332 metres tommorow and 180km. I have posted some Pictures to show how incredible the area is and the adventure. We are still helping each other with the strategy for controlling blood sugars with all sorts of different types of experience to bring into the mix, from experts, amateurs and people from Europé, America, Africa, the Middle East… It’s a real cultural experience. I have had some fabulous meals across Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France so far!!