I am now pretty much recovered from the double Cro Magnon a month on and am enjoying the shorter distances with no pack, just Jack and occasionally Dog. 5, 10 and 15km runs all seem light compared with the volume of training I needed to put in for the Cro challenge. However, with nothing on the horizon, the temptation as ever would be to stay in bed on occasion, and I can imagine the schedule slipping inexorably towards oblivion, with my weight and health going the other way.
There have been a plethora of headlines recently about Type 2 diabetes and the population reaching crisis levels in the West. Type 2 is a lifestyle condition - it builds up over a period of up to 6 years with the body becoming immune to it's own insulin. Type 2 is diagnosed in a similar way to Type 1 with thirst, weight loss and so on, but can often be accompanied by lots of other issues to do with circulation because of the slow pace of diagnosis. Type 2 is almost always preceded by a condition called Pre Diabetes - where the body starts to become immune to its insulin, but the levels of sugar in the blood are not quite at serious levels. Pre Diabetes can often be turned around before the onset of Diabetes proper - normally through weight loss and exercise. #2's BGL monitor is often used to check one or other of the family when they are overly thirsty or have an infection that is taking a little longer than normal to clear up - call it paranoia if you like. In the last 3 months several of my readings have been off the chart in complete contrast to the first quarter of the year - not just a 6 or 7, we are talking 11 and 12's! Given my penchant for exercise I was slightly shocked at these unexpected results and therefore took myself off to the Quack who sent me for a blood test to see my HBA1C. I got the results today and I am 5.5, which to me seems a little high although definitely not in the Type 2 camp and not quite at Pre Diabetes levels, although some people seem to think that is diagnosed at 5.7. My cholesterol is also marginally higher than the guidelines - good to know at this point rather than later on - although not at defcon 1 levels despite my penchant for sausages and burgers on the BBQ.
Interestingly - exercise is prescribed for both pre diabetes and high cholesterol. All that means, I guess, is that I need to continue to exercise (and probably cut out some sausages) and in order to motivate myself to get out of bed and train, I need to find some more challenges. Funnily enough, I have a few things in mind. This autumn looks pretty packed with the Marathon du Medoc in September, Spartan Race in October, NYC Marathon, Nice to Cannes Marathon, and the No Finish Line in November. I am looking around for things to do next year but I am already pencilling in the Cro Magnon (of course) in June and the TdS in August/September. I would also love to tick off some more continents in my quest to cover an ultra on every one. However, this is an itch that won't be scratched unless I give it a go - the Arch to Arc - essentially a triathlon, but an extreme one with a run from Marble Arch to Dover (87 miles/139.2km), a swim across the Channel to Calais in France (22.5 miles/36km - in a straight line) and then a bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe (181 miles/290km). All this has to be completed within 7 days, no matter if the swim and/or bike is delayed due to bad weather, which is a real risk.
IF - and it is a big IF, I attempted this event, I would be pushing myself to my limits, perhaps even beyond. But then, how do we know what they are unless we reach them?