Yesterday marked the completion of my first week of training and conditioning for Rainier, and although it was a great start, there is much progress to be made.
I have been training at Earth Treks Climbing to work my upper body and core (check out my action shot!), and I've also incorporated more weight into my backpacking routine.
On Day 1, I started at 17 lbs. for 30 minutes, and that felt great. So I increased my weight to 45 lbs., and trained for an hour at 15 grade on the treadmill. While challenging, it was certainly do-able. I felt great about this arrangement, but I've come to realize that I need to work in smaller increments, as I hurt my left knee slightly. After a couple of days with a knee brace, I feel fine, but I've learned my lesson about overdoing it.
I learned the same lesson over again with climbing, as I'm trying to fit as much rock climbing into a 15-day period as is humanly possible. After buying a package deal with unlimited climbing for 15 days, I've climbed over ten intermediate routes, become belay-certified, and thoroughly exhausted my upper body. I'm not strong at all, but I have a wide vocabulary of movements for a beginner. I credit that to a history of dancing, as improvisation skills have contributed to my inventive climbing technique. In a week, however, I will be taking a class on movements, so I expect to benefit greatly from that. Hopefully, I will have a very solid foundation as a climber by the end of my 15-day stint. I intend to continue rock climbing throughout my 5-month training schedule, as rock climbing skills will be enormously helpful in mountaineering.
To ascend to the top of a rock wall is an extraordinary feeling of achievement, especially when the ascent was hard-fought. Hanging four stories up, with a single rope for support, can be nerve-wracking! An incredible amount of blind trust is required in the moment when it is time to be lowered, as your hands have to leave the supportive wall and hold on to the taut rope. Looking down four stories is frightening, but knowing that they were four stories that you strove to climb is extraordinary.
On the other hand, literally, I took a huge chunk out of a finger and I'm developing serious climber's callouses, which is good. Hurts, though!
Throughout this week, I've been eyeing my blood sugar even more closely than usual. My blood sugar has been interesting, to say the least. From nighttime highs that keep me up to nighttime lows that wake me up, I have been struggling to maintain a shred of normalcy. It seems that with increased activity, my blood sugar stays closer to or on target, and my insulin sensitivity increases. However, with increased physical activity comes increased caloric requirements, and satisfying those is an experiment yet to be resolved. If I eat a larger meal than usual, I will take insulin according to my longtime insulin-to-carb ratio* and expect it to be covered, no problema. However, my ratio seems to change on the heels of strenuous activity, but I'm not totally sure how much of a change occurs. If I give myself a couple more units than is necessary, I might experience a low! If I give myself the normal amount, I might experience a high. Sometimes it feels as if I am simply flying by the seat of my pants.
I am investigating my insurance coverage for continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS), to provide me with more peace of mind while being so active, but I imagine that it will be a couple of weeks before I have a clear idea of how my insulin delivery and blood sugar monitoring will change. I can only hope that it will, and for the better. Currently, I am checking out the Minimed Paradigm system and the Dexcom Seven System which are both pretty attractive-looking getups. (The DexCom 7 System and Minimed Paradigm are featured in the pic).
To be honest, my dream rig is the Animas 2020 and the Dex 7 System. Admittedly, this is Will Cross's setup, but you can see the practicality here, too, right? "Cross" your fingers for me:)
Lastly, I made the first payment for my expedition today. My nonrefundable deposit was delivered, and I have reached a new level of commitment to my program. My project to summit Mt Rainier, raise money for diabetes research, and send a clear message to diabetics that you can conquer your own mountains, has quickly become my main focus every waking moment.
I hope you continue to read and I look forward to your reader emails.
Until Week 2, happy blood sugars!