Way off in the distance…

…I see a long bike ride, and a triathlon. Please bear with me as I spill out some thoughts today.

I made the commitment again this year to ride in the American Diabetes Association’s Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure on May 17th.


Last year’s event was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to this year’s edition. This is not the closest Tour de Cure for me, but this ride has a few things that work well for an old guy like myself. Mostly, timing and location.

Mid-May should be late enough in the year that any chance of super-cold weather would be minimal. Then all we have to do is cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t rain. Also, the location is flat, on Maryland’s eastern shore (east of the Chesapeake Bay), mostly on roads that are lightly traveled. Last year, the ride was well staffed with volunteers and there was plenty of moral support from other riders and residents along the route.

If you’re in this region, or if you’d like to travel for a fun ride benefitting a good cause, I want to encourage you to consider the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure.

Now, about that triathlon…

I have a triathlon in mind, a repeat of the first one I completed three years ago. Registration isn’t open for this event yet, so I don’t want to mention it here except to say that it usually happens on Father’s Day in June. It’s a sprint triathlon, which means the distances are much shorter than those ironman events you hear about. In this case, it involves a 400 meter swim, followed by a 15 mile bike, then a 5K run. If I’m lucky and I train hard, I think I can still complete this in under two hours.

The triathlon is the real tough goal for me. I’m having trouble just mentally preparing for it right now. Even though the distances aren’t that lengthy, and I know I can do it, I also know that I can only do it if I train hard, for months, before the actual event. And I have to stay healthy. Over the next five months, many things could happen to sidetrack me. I had planned to do this one last year but had to withdraw because I encountered a series of illnesses over November, December, January, February, and March. They weren’t serious illnesses, but they sidetracked me enough that I couldn’t get my training ramped up to where I felt I could finish, or finish well. After that 100 mile bike ride back in June 2012, I’m very sensitive and a little scared about pushing myself.

But… I just need to put that in the memory banks and move on. I need to admit my fear, but push past it. My goal, I’m stating publicly here, is to complete that triathlon, perform well for a 50-something year old, or: Come as close as I possibly can to meeting this goal. Which would still be a big deal, even if it would leave me disappointed. The main thing I need to remember is one of the main tenets of living with diabetes:

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.

So thanks for sticking with me here on this. Sometimes I just have to sit down and get all this off of my chest. As the training progresses, I’ll try to talk more about how exercise and my diabetes play with each other. Now that that’s out of the way… where did I leave that swimsuit?

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  • scully  On January 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

    You will be great no matter what you do. The commitment to the event alone is prob the hardest part. So many endurance sports are more mental than anything. trust in yourself more than your training. I cant wait to read about it all


  • Kelley  On January 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I’m thinking about doing the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure as well!

    You can definitely do the triathlon! If you already have the bike training down from the Tour de Cure, the rest is not too far behind. I only trained for my triathlon for about a month, although it was an exhausting month. I didn’t have any biking background before and very little swimming. If you are already preparing for the Tour de Cure you are half way there, I think at least. If it’s not until June you have plenty of time to get some runs in. The swimming was my hardest part, but even if you go slow, it won’t drastically impact your time since it’s such a small part of the race.

    Good luck with the training!


    • StephenS  On January 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Kelley, the CB Tour de Cure was really nice last year. Low key, but nice. And the route of the metric century (the one I ride) and the 100 miler included a ferry ride that was a unique, fun thing to be a part of. If you decide to do it, my advice is to book your hotel early. Weddings in the area sell out the rooms pretty early in the year.


  • Jeff  On January 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    May is a long way away. You can totally do it!


  • BBird  On January 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I am in awe of anyone who can even entertain the notion of completing a triathlon, so I am planning on being completely wowed by you in the not-too-distant future.


  • t1dActiveLiving  On January 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I’m so glad to find other diabetics online who have a passion for fitness like me. I did my first two triathlons doing the try-a-tri distance (just a taste) and have realized a lot about the sport. I’m hoping to take “fear of open water swim” classes as I never spent much time in a lake and the difference scared me that’s for sure. Look forward to hearing all about your training. All the best 😀


    • StephenS  On January 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks. I’m so encouraged reading your words. Thanks a ton.


  • Karen  On January 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I have been overheard calling people who do triathlons “crazy” – but I mean that with all of the love in my heart. I can’t ever imagine doing something like that. But you know what? I can easily imagine you doing it – and I know you will! You are inspiring.


    • StephenS  On January 16, 2014 at 6:48 am

      Thanks! Sometimes I think I’m going to have to will myself to the finish line.


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