In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my eye issues. I said I’ll explain later.
It’s been over 2 years since I got diagnosed with type II diabetes. At the time when I found out, I was biking / running 3-4 times a week.
I went through a diabetes eye test a bit later and there were no issues at all. 18 months later, I had a severe *stye attack*, I had to go to an ophthalmologist. She decided it is a good time to do another diabetes eye test and …. wait for it….
I have diabetic retinopathy! Yay!
The only thing worse is if I have to stop running because of this.
Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. ~National Eye Institute
I am going through laser coagulation treatment now. Hopefully that will contain the leaks and stabilize it. If not, I am moving to Oregon, you know!
What happened in Iceland is slowly sinking In and I am beginning to believe it actually happened! I wrote up about the race based on what I remember. I regret not taking more, strategic pictures.
Day 1 – Monday August 29, 2016
Bright and shiny outside, totally freaking out inside! Completed the day which included a humongous hill but mostly OK terrain. Lake, lots of volcanic ash and lava. My pack was too heavy, over 32 lbs and my left shoulder took the brunt of it. Get patched by the med team in the evening. The same camp as last night, by Askja the volcano.
My home for 6 days…
Miles and miles of lava rock terrain. Was it a mistake, or did they mean it be the course! There were some beautiful mountains along the way. The highlight of the day being seeing Herðubreið, the “queen” of Icelandic mountains. A lil bit of rain towards the end of the day didn’t hurt much. But it was cold.
Glad I am not going up THAT mountain!
The sky is kissing the mountain
Hypothermia. DNF. 35 degree, rain all day, 2 glacier river crossings (about 50ft wide each, about knee deep water). That was the day. The camp was at the most expensive camp site in the world, inside a broken volcano! Saw some Northern lights. The whiskey flask I was carrying with me with some 15 yr old Glenfiddich made my tent mates happy!
Sunny and beautiful day. Severe shin issues as a result of walking through some super unfriendly terrains, limped my way to the camp for about 15 miles off the total of 30 miles. Walking on volcanic ash is like walking on a beach! There was this beautiful waterfall (it is the most powerful one in the northern hemisphere) with a rainbow framing it where I spent some time just admiring it. Saw more, brighter, bigger Northern Lights!
How do I even….
Ugh… another mf ing hill…
Roll down this one?
So happy that the worst is over!
The most powerful waterfall in northern hemisphere
My shoes are under there somewhere
Can I live here?
Does this ever end
Toughest terrain, the first (almost)12 miles were through Heathland vegetation. My already injured left leg was completely mad at em for doign this! At the first checkpoint, I decided enough is enough, time to stop for the day. Not an easy decision but I had to. The truck drove me straight to the natural hot bath thigies, right next to the camp! Dipping in that spring was one of the best experience ever! After that, where I was sitting, the wind kept bringing steam out of the springs.
Yay hot springs!
Awesome doctors, Jenny and Helen!
This makes it totally worth it
Steam, brought to you by breeze
Ugh… another mf ing hill…
Can I live here?
The race director would not allow me to race today, citing my injury. So I went on a limping run / walk for 10+ miles on my own, without the pack, just a bottle of water and a bag of roasted chick peas (I regretted not taking my phone with me when I walked past “boiling mud” pits!). It was fun, why couldn’t I do that the whole time! 🙂
Beautiful morning sky
About to go an a 10 mile limping trip
Early morning hot springs
Coming up, more Iceland shit, with pictures. Stay tuned…..
I got diagnosed with diabetes a few years back. At the time I was running / biking 3-4 times a week!
I have some super enthused coworkers (Thenna D, Komal P) who want to start racing (running). One of them have the same situation as me, not losing weight or his gut in spite of running, like, A LOT. Then one of them found this article.
What the crap?
[Since you didn’t read the article, here is the skinny. It says, when you are at an aerobic workout for an extended period of time, cortisol stays active in your system, fucking up your insulin functions causing your blood sugar to shoot up and eventually making you diabetic. Oh, and your gut growth goes on overdrive.]
Yes, this is also a thing. Upon further research by yours lovingly and my RNP Amy S (who has dedicated her life to keep me as a diabetic endurance athlete) and my awesome dietitian Cat T (who (unwarily)happily accepted the mountainous challenge of working with a vegan, diabetic, endurance athlete), it was established, I have that crappy body type where regardless of what I do, I will remain fat, FOREVER. Some of my wise coworkers immediately dropped all plans to run.
Umm… But I ….
“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” –The Buddha
I started some HIIT (big up George C, my kickass trainer), speed training etc, to supplement my slow, long distance grinding. Let’s see how it pans out!
I think I can do this. Not going to care whether I am losing weight or my fatness has changed.
I need to do this.
Why do I need to do this?
I have not always been vegan. In my “pregan” days, I have run 3 marathons and a couple of duathalons and a few long distance bike races and one RAGBRAI and countless other races. I was part of an elite group of athletes. We did awesome shit together. All of us, except me, were BIG meat eaters, some even paleo. When I became fully plant based, there were skeptics. I was warned by some well wishers how I will drop my performance and even become a non-athlete.
Oh, the horror.
And then there is always the lack of … ugh… protein.
Vegan. I had to do it. If I never race again, that’s ok. But animals rights is first in my life. I took more than a year off from “athleting”, also due to a diagnosis as being diabetic (lovely, thanks mom for this gift that keeps on giving).
Diabetic athlete – an endurance athlete that is – does not exist. More on that story later.