Brian Phelps

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Tiffany Heindel

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

TMP in Florida for iDU

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

The 2010-2011 Triabuddies travel to Panama City Beach to compete in the Florida Kids Triathlon with Insulindependence.

I spent 11 days in Florida coving the first Insulindependence University (iDU). Each athlete that the Triabetes Media Project visited this summer attended the week-long program. It was so neat to have everyone is one place. iDU is a leadership development program for Insulindependence volunteers. Participants benefit from general education workshops and experiential practicum sessions. More from the event on soon.

Alex Osias was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes eight weeks before she was scheduled to race in the 2010 Ironman World Championships. Calculating carbohydrates and injecting insulin to cover meals and snacks while adjusting to accommodate exercise, stress, illness and adrenaline was now daily routine and incorporated into her training regimen.

Osias had to learn a lot very quickly.

From an Internet search, Osias found the world’s largest triathlon club for people with diabetes, and their team that trains for these multisport events. Insulindependence arranged for one of their Triabetes team captains and me to be in Kona to support Osias.

Osias wasn’t the only Type 1 starting in the water at sunrise in Kailua Bay. Veteran Ironman Cliff Scherb, races all over the world and currently holds the second fastest Ironman time ever performed by a diabetic.

This film gives you a taste of their race weekend in Kona.

Stay tuned for the upcoming article in the Ethos Magazine winter print edition for more images and details I can’t  post here until the issue is released!

Ironman Eve

Posted: October 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

“To the left of the pier is a starting gate to end all starting gates. Every year in October an athletic event occurs on the Big Island that draws national attention. The Ironman Triathlon is a profound testimony to the power to challenge, to the ability to reach down to the very core of our spirit and summon the impossible. Three events, any one of which would seem insurmountable to us mere mortals, are stitched together in a triathlon that seems almost ludicrous. Swim 2.4 miles in the open ocean, then get out and ride a bike 112 miles on a hot road cut through a lava field. Finally dismount and run a 26.2 mile marathon. All this is done consecutively under the tropical sun. This is the best opportunity you’ll have to look into the faces of mass excellence…” – Andrew Doughty, Harriet Friedman, Hawaii The Big Island Revealed; the ultimate guidebook, 3rd Edition, on the bookshelf of my host housing here on the island.

Sorry this post is delayed. Unlike me, Hawaii doesn’t believe wireless internet is a universal human right. Triabetes athlete, Alex Osias is working hard out there on the course right now. I’ll bring you more coverage and description very soon.

Triabetes Captain Andrea Huston chats with Type 1 Ironman Cliff Scherb

Here is a sample from today’s photoshoot with Andrea‘s Triabuddy, ten-year-old Zoe Curtis : student, surfer, skater, song writer, piano and ukulele player. Type 1 – 6 years.

Zoe uses injections. Andrea was rockin’ her Omnipod in the water.

The large Hawaiian man, sitting two seats over from me on the plane, sang and played his ukulele Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – style at 34,000 feet. The set list was complete with ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ Priceless.

I arrived in Honolulu mid-afternoon today. The rain on the runway in Salt Lake City made arriving to 85 and sunny that much sweeter.  Triabetes Captain Andrea Huston picked me up at the airport in her Honda Element – which I think I’m naming the official car of Insulindependence – and placed a lei around my neck. We walked around Waikiki, I bought wax for the surfboard I get to take out tomorrow while she is at work, we watched the sunset and listened to live music on the patio of a fancy shoreline hotel and then we had breakfast for dinner on the deck of a cute Eggs N’ Things restaurant.

Welcome to Hawaii.

I don’t think Sarah Hankel knows how to sit still, do nothing or even relax. She says she is Type A, a personality characterized by ambition, high energy and competitiveness. For example, I slept a total of 16 hours over the four nights I was in the Twin Cities with Hankel. We got up in the dark every day. Her job as a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness had her transfer gyms to create programs and train clients. But Sarah created a triathlon training program at the original location and didn’t want to give up the swim workout she coaches. So, she does both. Her days start at 5:30 and end around 7, sometimes later. She also sells running shoes.

When Hankel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes five years ago, she was told to take a semester off of college, stay home with her family and reflect on what happened. After a life-long competitive swimming career, she was also told she could not compete in athletic events again.

She has completed 30 races, 20 of them triathlons, since that advice and the denial and anger than came with it.

Hankel admits that her Type A personality doesn’t always translate to her diabetes management.

“The constant challenge for me personally is keeping my diabetes under control in a very busy, active lifestyle,” Hankel said.

Our first day together I got to watch her bike-leg of a relay the St. Paul Triathlon. Triabetes Captain Daniel Vincent, Insulindependence founder Peter Nerothin and I hung out on the course on an absolutely beautiful day in Minnesota.

Afterwards Vincent and I joined the relay team for brunch with a big group, all participants of that triathlon training program Hankel established.

Hankel sites the Triabetes team as the best support she’s had during the past five years. “It means the world to be part of a group that can say, ‘yeah, I get it,’” she said.

I met others who site Hankel as their best resource. Through her job as a fitness instructor, Hankel is a resource for many people with diabetes in her community. She is very enthusiastic and incredibly good at filling that role.

“It is crucial to share your experiences,” says Hankel. “You can only read so much research, but when the application is present, it is the wealth of knowledge that helps us grow as a community.”

I was lucky enough to suffer through part of one of Hankel’s workouts with Emma Page who has been Type 1 for 23 years. She meets with Hankel for a workout once a week and says Hankel helps her with blood sugar management during these sessions of various types of exercise.

“Just having the moral support too. Knowing that some days are harder than others and that other days it isn’t a problem at all,” Page said. “It has been really great to have someone with diabetes as my trainer.”

“Meeting Sarah and through her meeting Paul the nutritionist that I’ve been working with, the two of them have I guess changed my life, in a really really good way.”

Page’s family has been involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the Twin Cities and Emma has helped at many of their fundraisers.

“But with Sarah and Paul it is the here and the now,” she says in comparison to JDRF’s work which she says is more researched focused. “It’s the day-to-day, what can you do to make yourself feel better?”

I’ll let Sarah tell you more in the film clip below.

Click on image to open video in new window.

Stay tuned for more about her daily routine juggling jobs and more about her philosophy about life with Type 1.

Tiffany Heindel has photos of her infant self in a pool and she ran her first mile, with her dad, when she was six years old. Her evolution into athletics may not be a rare one for an Ironman athlete, but her evolution into diabetes was different than her teammates’. She had gestational diabetes first. In 2003 she was diagnosed with Type 2. Just this spring she was encouraged by Triabetes teammates to look more closely into that diagnosis. Sure enough, her C-peptide result placed her with the rest of them.

She has been diagnosed Type 1 for just five months, yet Heindel already feels diabetes is a part of her identity.

“When I am introduced to new people, I feel like there are some key things they should know about me: I’m a veterinarian, I’m a triathlete and I have diabetes.”

In that conversation she lists Veterinarian first in her list of descriptors, however, when she was interviewing for a position in the clinic where she is now, the interviewer told Heindel that they were open on Sunday. Heindel said she could not work that day of the week.

“Are you very religious?” asked the owner of the clinic.

“Yes,” Heindel said, “I belong to the church of the Triathlon.” Apparently they were understanding. You can watch Tiffany at work and practicing her religion in the film clip below.

While I was visiting the Heindel’s in Mentor on the Lake, Ohio, Tiffany’s DEXCOM Continuous Glucose Monitor arrived. She used it for the first time when we rode into Cleveland, stopping to test bloodsugar and eat in front of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. My visit wouldn’t have been complete if we didn’t pass that city’s M L King Jr. Drive. Check!

Tiffany feels that diabetes affects her life most when hypoglycemia influences her attitude. Prior to her diagnosis she would become irritable, even taking it out on family members, without an explanation. Her diagnosis gave a physiological reason for her behavior and has made her feel in control of preventing lows when previously she didn’t.

When Tiffany isn’t taking care of pet’s and enacting the Quiet Game in the car, she is competing in or signing up for a race. In September of 2009 she registered for her first Ironman, which she successfully completed just a couple weeks ago. You can read details from the race on Tiffany’s blog as well as photos of a prize-winningly-colorful hotel comforter.

She will be racing three Ironman distance races in just 8 months. The second and third are Ironman Florida in November, when the Triabetes team is in Panama City with their Triabuddies, and St. George in May.

While I was in Ohio, Tiffany, her daughters Samantha and Jaime and I did a trail race. The girls did a 5k and Tiffany and I ran a 10k. Well, Tiffany raced, I completed it. There is very little footage of Tiffany racing that evening…I was running with the camcorder and decided to stop on a flat section to get a shot with less movement. The shot of Tiffany running from behind, in her full Triabetes cycling kit and orange bandana, is 12 seconds long. I started running again, but never caught her.

Tiffany says she is very excited to have nine other people in the same position she is on race day in St. George.

“I feel that no matter what, I cannot fail. I will have the support there.”

Here is a fun short sneak preview clip, it isn’t smooth and there are glitches, but I’ll never get this up if I wait for it to load again…best when viewed from the YouTube site click on YouTube logo to open in new window. Stay tuned for more about Tiffany’s diabetes management strategy for racing Ironman with Type 1 diabetes.

I’m HOME, but it is not over yet!

Tiffany Heindel, Sarah Hankel and Daniel Vincent, the three athletes (and incredible individuals) of the final section of the trip are not properly represented on this page yet.

I haven’t even watched every clip, there are just so many, so bear with me as I work through the digital ‘mountain’ of gigabytes. I will have photos up soon, however the still camera took a back seat to video when I had to choose.  There are fewer images than I’d hoped to have. I promise the video footage is plentiful and beautiful.

Thank you everyone at Insulindependence and Triabetes for a once in a lifetime experience.

Thank you for your friendship, participation and support of this project.


I am stoked about the upcoming trip to Hawaii to visit the tenth Captain, Andrea Houston. After surfing with her Triabuddy on the North Shore, she and I will be traveling to Kona together to support Alex Osias as she races the IM world championship on Oct 9th just seven weeks after her Type 1 diagnosis (For Phrendo users, you can find, friend and welcome Alex there!)

It’s crunch time for media production. While the coffee pot is drained quickly and often, the hard drives and sketchbooks are filling. Please check back for updates.



Denver with Dawkins

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

In journalism school they tell us to use direct quotes sparingly and to paraphrase anything that we can say better than our subject did. While transcribing Jason’s interview I found myself typing full quote after full quote. I sat down with him for the first time just hours after we were introduced and it is possibly the most valuable on-camera interview of this project.

The claps of thunder are sharp, but don’t prevent Jason from conveying his philosophy and the goals of the Triabetes team members.

Despite their very different backgrounds, Jason said the captains all have the same interest in proving not only to themselves but also to anybody that’s willing to watch or listen, that people with Type 1 can do extraordinary things.

The $0.60 Apex Trail toll applies only to wagons and vehicles drawn by one or more pair of horses, mules or cattle so our post-lunch run on the single-track trail was free. The dirt was a welcome break from the Denver area streets and Jason’s two Weimaraner dogs were good company – affording us multiple stops at creek crossings for them to drink. Thank you Blue.

Jason says his diagnosis with diabetes was a shock, but he adjusted quickly.

“Within a day or two it was pretty clear it was going to just become a part of my day instead of a bigger, scarier issue that everyone else thought it would be. Within a month or two it became just pretty normal.”

Jason considers diabetes as much a part of his identity as he identifies with being bald.

“I wake up in the morning and do the best that I can to live a normal life.”

Jason has played lacrosse, football and baseball. He swims and mountain bikes. He says exercise not only allows him to stay in shape, it keeps his blood glucose levels in better control.

“Even if it’s just an hour or two, it’s an hour or two that I don’t have to worry about it.”

Jason has known his Triabuddy since she was born and calls this daughter of a friend a rock star. Jason says she has proven that she can do anything she puts her mind to while dealing with type 1 diabetes and other health challenges. He expects he will learn more from her than she will from him this year.

After previewing the Ironman race course – ranked second toughest in the world – Jason says he will be taking St. George one step at a time. He is very optimistic when he pictures race day…he says on the starting line he’ll be thinking about all the gigantic hills…

“It seems almost insurmountable given what I saw a few months ago at St. George.”

He says he will finish even if it means his body is dragged across the finish line. He’s hoping he doesn’t have to crawl.

“You know, you do your best and hopefully it rubs off on a few people.”

Like the wagoners on the trail, Ironman is the toll he’s willing to pay for the opportunity to teach.

“If you take care of yourself and you are active and you understand the disease you’ll be alright, you’ll be better than alright. Some of the strongest people I know are Type 1.”

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

This comes up often…

Back in the game!

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Triabetes Media Project will continue tomorrow in the Great Lakes Region. I’ll be driving from my grandfather’s house in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada to the home of Triabetes’ Tiffany Heindel in Mentor on the Lake, Ohio.

I am honored to be the Heidel’s first house guest EVER – not because their house is particularily new, leaving them little history to host in their current place, no, Tiffany says their house is small, they want to move, but the economy sucks and they are “trapped like rats…or clowns in a car…” Tiffany advised that I prepare myself for life with her pets and kids. She should know I don’t have an indoor voice and get along best with people 3-to-10 years old.

My training for the past 14 days has consisted of 2.5 hours in the saddle, 35 minutes running and a few dozen minutes on top of water behind a boat. I’ll have to be creative to keep up with Tiffany this week.

Despite the lack of exercise I’ve had to lower my basal rate twice. I was not following the GPS directions through downtown Manhattan, in fact I relinquished the drivers seat for a full week and I was resposible for relatively few decisons while with my family in Canada – proof that stress levels wreak havoc on our bodies.

At 51 days – never three in a row in the same place – I’m stoked to be moving forward. Bring on the clowns and chinchillas! (I should fit right in, eh?)

If Vic had it his way he would live in a place where he never had to wear long pants or a tie. When not at work he sports Coolmax t-shirts from races he’s completed and running shoes.

However, his job as a consultant for the government of the United States – of which he cannot discuss the details – places him in Washington D.C. four days a week. It freezes in the winter and is so muggy in the summer that all six of my camera lenses fogged up due to the change in humidity between the hotel lobby and the front steps at 5:00am Thursday morning when we started a 14 mile run. The hotel receptionists are used to being questioned by investigators regarding Vic’s background and place of residence. He travels with a briefcase between Alexandria and downtown D.C. where he works three blocks from the White House.

Vic has had Type 1 diabetes longer than any of his teammates. Thirty-four years ago he used a syringe to inject red dye into an orange and learned what it would be like to give himself a shot every day.

After meeting Vic I’m not surprised that he played rugby for his university and assume he was a formidable opponent on the field.

For most of his life Vic didn’t discuss his diabetes. Many people close to him didn’t know he was living with it. Neither did his employer.

Two years ago, his daughter, now ten years old, was showing signs of a diabetes diagnosis. Vic took her to a conference on diabetes  to expose her to others living with the disease.

“It turns out that she is not, but that made me much more aware of opportunities within the diabetic community in terms of exercise and sports and the fact that there were other people out there doing the things that I enjoy doing: running, riding bikes and now participating in triathlon.”

He’s been more open about his diabetes since.

“That’s become easier in more recent years as I have started to participate in groups that are comprised of diabetics. Where it is natural for everybody to have their glucometers out and test strips out and pumps going off. When I am with that kind of crowd it is much easier.”

He has taken on the roll of Triabetes Captain. Which includes organizing events, mentoring a young person with diabetes and training for and racing the Ironman in May.

He says he is doing the Ironman distance because it is what the Triabetes team does…

“And it is the natural progression of fun things to do,” he added.

When a friend asked him the difference between an Ironman and a marathon, Vic said, “In an Ironman, the marathon is the icing on the cake, because you ride your bike 112 miles and swim 2.4 first.”

Triabetes’ coach Andrew Minck works closely with Vic on his training plan. Minck says Vic follows it religiously and gives him detailed feedback on each workout. Most of his running workouts are done in D.C. and he rides and swims when he is home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He races sprint triathlons almost every weekend as part of his prep for Ironman and for practice cutting down his time in transition by getting faster with his race-day diabetes management. The Georgian sun has caused temperature errors of the glucose meter, forcing Vic to slow down, carry his meter and at times race without knowing his bloodsugar.

He feels his situation is unique because he was diagnosed so long ago at age thirteen. He hopes to share his philosophy with his future Triabuddy who will be roughly the same age.

“That you can do pretty much whatever you want to do as a diabetic. Being a diabetic doesn’t have to be a limiter in terms of what you want to do with your life, that exercise is an important part of being a diabetic and controlling things and if you have a goal, go for it.”

Please check back for updates about Vic on the Southeast page soon!

Read more about Vic by Vic HERE.

Teaching from the bike

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Triabetes Media Project had the opportunity to stay in Brooklyn with Triabetes’ Jen Davino – 2009 Triabetes Member of the Year. She took me on a fantastic ride with her local bike shop. In the words of Bill Carlson, it really is the best way to see a city. Alessandro Matteucci, the USA Cycling coach leading the ride was very interested in learning more about the physiology of training with Type 1 and asked that I write an article for his blog. Stay tuned for that. Here is some diabetes banter from the morning. (Footage taken on my Motorola Droid…Please stay tuned for the HD footage from the last 6 weeks!)

Route update

Posted: July 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Triabetes Media Project will now follow the route shown above. Triabetes captain Vic Kinnunen will be at work in Washington DC when we can meet up with him, so we are no longer stopping in Georgia.

We left Denver this morning, where we ran with and  interviewed Triabetes captain Jason Dawkins (more media up from that soon!) and spent a little time with the people from Insulindependence who are leaving from Denver today to start their Colorado 14ers Expedition. We are in Boulder for the day and leave tomorrow morning for day 1 of our trip to DC. Thanks for checking in!

Brian left the house at 6:15 AM and headed out to the Cherry Creek Reservoir. He timed himself for an open-water mile before heading home for a work conference call.

Triabetes captain Brian Phelps of Centennial, Colorado inserts his Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor in the morning before heading out for an afternoon run with his coach, Andrew Minck.

Jenny’s sons Cooper, 12, and Carter, 10, had the same answer when I asked them: What is the hardest thing about living with a Type 1 diabetic?

Neither had heard the other’s interview.

“The food,” said Cooper.

“You mean she cooks bad food?” I asked.

“Well, I just don’t like all those steamed vegetables,” he said. “But also, I hate the smell of her insulin.”

“The smell of her insulin,” Carter said without hesitation.

Now, I’ve only smelled insulin when I’ve primed the tubing and some drops spurt out on my fingers, the counter or my bed sheets. It smells a little like paint, maybe melted plastic – synthetic.

In my interview with Annie Bacon’s husband, Juan González, he mentioned that he is aware when there is a diabetic in the room because he can smell their insulin.

Once, my brother came into my room after I’d changed my infusion site and filled a reservoir.

“Whoa, it smells funny in here,” he said.

“You can smell that?” I’d asked when we figured out it was insulin he’d noticed.

My sister Alison says she was unaware that insulin has a smell. We’re in pretty close quarters right now in the good ol’ Toyota Matrix…my roommates have never said anything.

Is the ability to smell insulin stronger in males? Also, if you live with a Type 1, is being subjected to the smell of insulin the hardest thing?

Alison and I were greeted at the door of Crandell household by 10-year-old Carter and 4-year-old Brooklynn and were quickly busied watching Brooklynn dance to a children’s remix of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got a Feeling,” wearing her Cinderella dress and later an angel costume. We immediately felt at home. (Especially Alison, who came home from kindergarden everyday, put on her tattered angel costume and played alone in the backyard – Oh the places they’ll go!)

Jenny’s husband Troy was up at 4:00am for a group ride, back and at work by the time my alarm went off. Jenny and the kids were up and moving early too. Brooklynn was impatiently waiting for our alarm to go off, and was likely tired of being asked to stay quiet for us. She was a good sport.

The CROSSFIT FOREVERSTRONG gym was our first stop today. Owner Jason Speck has helped Jenny throughout the year and is writing most of her Ironman workout plan. He said that most of the time during endurance races it isn’t the cardiovascular system that fails athletes at the end: it is muscles. He’s working with Jenny to build her overall strength through various timed (vomit inducing) circuit routines.

We drove through the beautiful Arizona desert and were treated to a lightening storm on the way to pick up her son Cooper who had been away at camp for the week. I also learned that he is showing signs (random high bloodsugar results) of the onset of Type 1 – not something I would wish upon anyone. He’s lucky to have a mum who is a perfect example that it doesn’t have to stop him from doing anything. Jenny’s attitude towards the disease seems to be: it sucks to deal with, but it isn’t the end of any part of her world.

Today I felt like I was following a comedy troop. I swear Jenny and her kids could cure depression.

I’m told we’re leaving the house at 5:00 am tomorrow to ride. Up at 4:30. It will already be 90 degrees then and 115 when we get off…

Project Launch

Posted: July 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

Annie Bacon - Triabetes Captain - NorCal Region

Day 18:

We’re finally live! Tomorrow I start the middle section of my 7,835 mile road-trip documentary project for the non-profit organization Insulindependence.

Triabetes is a triathlon club for people with diabetes. Since 2007, Triabetes club members have trained together and competed in hundreds of triathlon events in the United States and Canada.

This year they have a team of ten individuals with Type 1 diabetes (all insulin dependent) training for Ironman St. George in Utah in May 2011. I am driving to each of the Triabetes captains’ houses and spending roughly three full days with each.

The goal of each of my visits is to do an anthropological study, through film, photography and writing, of each captain. I will document their involvement within the Triabetes program and daily routine as he or she trains for the Ironman race. I’d like to capture some of the science and logistics behind training for endurance sports with Type 1. Some were not previously athletes. Some have considered themselves athletes their whole life. Some were told upon diagnosis that they would have to give up activities they’d previously done. I will collect the perspectives of their friends, family, co-workers, physicians and training partners involved with the daily process of diabetes management while preparing for the 140 mile race.

Christian Chiappe - Triabetes Captain - SoCal Region

At each location I will be conducting and filming formal interviews and capturing video of the athletes in their home, work and training environments. I plan to film from the car and my bike as athletes ride in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts of Arizona, injecting insulin on the go. I’ll be there when they swim in the ocean and great lakes.

The captains will be mentoring a young person with Type 1 diabetes over the next ten months. Some will not have been assigned these “Triabuddies” by the time I visit them, but I will incorporate as many of these children as possible. For an introduction to the Triabetes and Triabuddies program, please take a few minutes to scan the HISTORY page and read  THIS article on the team in 2008.

I encourage you to use this site to follow my trip and to get to know the athletes. Each was designated a Captain for a region in the menu at the top of this page. I plan to post Captain-specific updates on the region pages, and trip updates here on the Home page.

After traveling alone to this point, I am thrilled to leave Ventura, California tomorrow with my sister Alison as co-pilot.

With my new phone, which is far smarter than I am, we will be posting updates on Twitter. Please add us to your Twitter feed! If you don’t have an account yet, joining is simple!

Bear with me as I compile material to share from the past 18 days.

Thank you for visiting the Triabetes Media Project!

-Blair Ryan

I am in Hawthorne CA right now, with an athlete named Christian. He’s wearing me out! I did a masters swim workout tonight and it was hard and I’m going to be sore…he swims, rides and runs almost every day. Yesterday, I interviewed his coach, Steve Hyde, who was the most eloquent person. He had some great analogies. He compared Roger Banister running the first sub-4 minute mile to groups or individuals who are the first to do something and then start a chain of people exceeding their accomplishments.

Hyde made me believe in this project – whatever it turns out to be.

Christian’s family is Chilean and so wonderful. They have lived in the US for over 30 years, but they have many of the customs my host family in Chile did: their accent, the way they make salad (just tomatoes and onion with oil and vinegar) the way they heat water for coffee, how they bbq, how politically and socially aware and involved they are, and how they talk about Argentinians…Chileans have the best dinner table conversations of anyone I’ve met. Seriously, the best discussion, debate, and laughter you’ll find. Just like my host family in Chile did, they tease and joke good naturally, and make fun of themselves like no one else. We did more interview stuff in Spanish today too. They’ve reminded me of many memories, things I learned and things I know that I’d forgotten.

I am incredibly tired because even Chileans eat late and our wonderful dinner table conversations have lasted hours. I’ve also been staying up to watch the Tour de France while downloading photos, video and audio to my computer. We’ve been up early to get to Christian’s workouts.

Wednesday night we watched a documentary on the Badwater Ultramarathon with the running club Christian trains with, the Coyotes. Two of the Coyotes are racing Badwater next week!

My non-athlete friend Tania joined us at the showing and her Tweet following it says it all:

Today, I recruited Tania, who lives in Torrance, only a few miles away, to help with some filming. She drove a SUV while I filmed Christian riding. Tomorrow, after an ocean swim, I am heading to my family’s house in Ventura for three days before Alison and I head to Arizona on the 14th for the next stop. It will be great to have her with me.

Day 2: 61.12 bike miles

Posted: June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

I feel like I have been saying, “this is the most beautiful ride I have ever done” often over the last few months. Today was the latest. Annie and I left the house after breakfast, coffee (I’m thrilled this house is a fan of the substance) and applying sunblock. We stopped at a mexican restaurant in the cute little town called Occidental and corrected Annie’s low bloodsugar with some horchata. Note to self: change favorite low bloodsugar snack on We did a total of 2694 ft of climbing today and every foot was worth it. The decent to the coast was incredible. Check the NorCal page for video footage soon!

We stopped at bakery near mile 40 and replenished with sticky buns, apple juice and coffee.

Annie’s account of an incident a mile from the house: “I had a low about 2 blocks from home, and couldn’t make it without stopping and eating a bunch of dried fruit very quickly. Then, I ran a yellow/red light and wasn’t thinking too well, but luckily made it, but learned that I really need to slow down at yellow/red lights.”


We spent a lot of time this evening talking about Triabetes. Annie and Juan have been incredibly helpful, getting me to consider so many angles of this organization.

Nine hours behind the wheel today was definitely a record. I’ve driven from Vancouver, Canada (with some added mileage from close to the border back to my cousin Carly’s to get passports that I stashed in a safe place when we arrived…sorry Daniel) to Eugene, but that was just 7.25 hours. My plan was to have everything packed and ready by thursday night…right. The adorable new HD Canon Vixia arrived on Thursday. Which meant I had to attempt to learn it before arriving here at Annie’s. Although Blake and I made an attempt, we were only partially successful. Mostly I was advised, ‘probably look this up.’ The list of things to do, preparing to leave for 9 weeks, only lengthened. I’ve never packed for life in a car.

The drive went fine. When I couldn’t find any station covering the American World Cup game against Ghana, Mr. Petty, Mr. Adams and Dashboard Confessional kept me company while I relied on Tweets from Lance Armstrong for game results.

Thanks to my new phone that is far smarter than I am, I knew my arrival time to the minute. I passed the sign for the Old Faithful geyser and didn’t believe it was the same one that I’d learned about in Mrs. Spirito’s fourth grade geography class. I thought it was in Yellowstone, but convinced myself I must have the names confused. I turned around to check it out. A tall solid fence conveniently blocks any viewing opportunities for those who don’t pay the fee to see. Calistoga is tricky though, because it isn’t the Old Faithful that I learned about in fourth grade. It is California’s Old Faithful. Not cute. Old Faithful, is in fact in Yellowstone. In Wyoming.

I arrived at Annie and Juan’s to a home cooked, very much appreciated and enjoyed dinner. We ended the evening watching New Moon, the second film in the Twilight series, and it was very obvious there couldn’t be better first stop for the Triabetes Media Project.