This one almost ate my camera.

Ultramarathon “taper” – and the unforgettable goats

The last "run" five days before the ultra

The last “run” five days before the ultra

A lot of preparation has gone into getting myself ready for the CCC tomorrow. The CCC is the little sister of the ultra-tour du mont-blanc (UTMB) – a mere 101km and 6100m of climbing. (The 6100 of downhill will be the difficult bit of course.) This is more than enough for me. I feel fit, strong and have no idea how fast I will go. I hope I’ll finish it of course.

They say that success in running ultras can be boiled down to winning the “ultra-eating” competition. One can expect to burn about 700 calories an hour. The body can absorb up to 300 calories an hour if one eats as much carbohydrate as possible. Competitors frequently suffer from nausea or vomiting, and this can lead to exhaustion if they cannot hold food down. 
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My advice to a newly diagnosed type 1 – a year into my pancreatically challenged life

Diabetes hasn't stopped me from running or enjoying beautiful scenery!

Diabetes hasn’t stopped me from running or enjoying beautiful scenery!

Last week was my one-year anniversary of my diagnosis. People refer to it as the “diaversary” but I really don’t like the word!

I can remember all too well the shock of my diagnosis. I could not concentrate on anything else for the two or three weeks following, and I had huge uncertainty about whether I would be able to continue to do the things I loved doing. I was lucky to have fantastic support from my wife, family, friends and medical team. What words of advice would I give someone else who is newly diagnosed? I’ve been thinking about it since my anniversary and here is what I came up with. Bare in mind that I’ve had the condition for a mere twelve months. There are probably loads of wiser diabetics who have better advice than me!
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The Diabetic Snail who ran back-to-back marathons in the Alps

(In the Spring, I was a diabetic tiger. In the Summer I was a diabetic snail – running slow and steady with my house on my back)

I had everything I needed for four nights in the mountains. The diabetic snail was ready to go running!

I had everything I needed for four nights in the mountains. The diabetic snail was ready to go running!

With the cliffs above me blocking the way higher, I eyed up the only way onwards: a waist high stream a few metres across. The water was flowing fast before tumbling down a series of waterfalls dropping into the village I’d left half an hour before. Having scrambled up three hundred metres of imposingly steep grass and rocks I could verify that contrary to what my map told me, there was definitely no path and definitely no bridge. There was also no-way I could risk crossing the torrent without the possibility of plunging to a premature death far below. I cursed at yet another misadventure and turned round to retrace my steps. I slipped, and desperately hung on to my walking poles, digging them into the ground with my life flashing before my eyes. I averted my slide and broke one of my poles in the process. Walking up the 1700m to the next col had just got even harder. Continue reading

Trail running with diabetes

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I’m training for a 100km ultra marathon around mont blanc. I’m learning a lot about running, training, physiology and diabetes. Today though was all about the joy of running and being in the mountains.

It started with a four mile run in London at 5am. I hadn’t factored in just how heavy my bag was, and I had to really push it to make my train. The doors closed as I arrived on there platform, so I panicked, waving to the driver hoping that I wasn’t going to miss my second plane in a week! Luckily he let me on. Continue reading

Can diabetes make you happy?

Which line to ski? We ended up doing one of the smaller ones! (Red Arrow)

Which line to ski? We ended up doing one of the smaller ones! (Red Arrow)

When I was diagnosed in august last year my first concern was could I go skiing again?! After exercising daily, testing my blood obsessively and plenty of trial (and some error) I’m pleased to report that diabetes has had very little impact on my ski season. The weather and snow conditions have made it frustrating at times but I’ve still managed to have some awesome experiences.

My final ski of the season was the Gigord couloir in chamonix, last week. Skiing this kind of thing is a great transferable skill for managing diabetes. I need to carry the right kit (just like a diabetic), manage risk (just like balancing the risks of low blood sugar with the long run costs of high blood sugar), and solve problems with a clear head. Continue reading

Double Guinness Record for Collins Brothers!!

Before the start. My, my brother (the monk) and a bride we met on the way from the station.

Before the start. My, my brother (the monk) and a bride (Camilla Kerr – another totally inspirational person) we met on the way from the station.

We did it!

I really didn’t know if I could beat 2:51 this morning. I thought chances are I would be too hot and too blind (I can’t see out of the costume very well). I was more confident that my brother Tom would beat the monk record of 3:45, but then we saw a really fit looking monk at the start so not only did he have the record to beat but he had to beat the other monk too! Continue reading

How does a diabetic tiger train for a marathon world record?

Frosties is a third sugar and drinking orange juice is like drinking coca cola. Not suitable for diabetic tigers!

Frosties is a third sugar and drinking orange juice is like drinking coca cola. Not suitable for diabetic tigers!

Not all tigers were created equal. Some are diabetic. Some don’t like lazing around and like running long distances instead. So how does this tiger train for the breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest ever marathon in an animal costume? Continue reading