Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Great Day To Be Diabetic

It's always great to finish a race.

America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon 08/17/2008

Great time to be had by all anniversary couples. This weekend is our annversary, Suzanne and I, 19 years, and we have found that running races and triathlons are magic for us.
I have been readying for the Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon which is in two weeks so I had to take it easy in this event not to push too hard. I ran 1:32, 16 in age group, 119 overall amongst the men. Suzanne ran just over 2 hours in regular form. She does so much around the house and with the kids. I am around much of the time but she really gets after many of the needs of the children.
Athletic events when you do them with your spouse are a great tool to clear the air of things that may be festering. Racing really works for us, a great get away from the little ones.
Try it, you'll like it. Just Do It!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Can you understand why there are so many people who love living in SoCal? It's the weather. What a beautiful day, warm water in Lake San Dimas at Bonelli Park, and no wind at all. Swim is just under a mile, 24 mile bike on a challenging, hilly and technical course, and the run is hilly with asphalt and trails for 6 miles.
This is where I started racing and have done so many events over the years. Mr. Bill Fulton the race owner has done a fabulous job keeping this race series alive for 25 years. His son Chip will more than likely take it over and hopefully grow this event in surrounding areas. Now, it's just great to be back in the tri scene racing on the CANNONDALE SIX-13 Slice, a terrific time trialer perfectly fit by the guys at INCYCLE Bikes in San Dimas. Thank you guys for a terrific set up for Tri Racing, 2008.
My swim was average, just top 1/3 in my wave. Training for the swim is difficult in the Desert. Very few training pools where I live. Once on the bike I could really rock. That screaming downhill next to the 57 freeway is incredible. WOW, does that bike fly with the ZIPP 404 wheels.
Off the bike and started the run with low bloodsugar. I could feel it, kind of bonked. Mr. Dan Empfield was running next to me and gapped me while I was trying to correct the blood sugar problem. 10 yards, then 50 yards, then 200 yards, he got away. As I seemed to stumble along devouring Vitalyte and Crank gel, I finally started coming around regaining composure.
Running through the jungle and then back out to the asphalt Dan saw me coming. There was another guy infront of us with my age group number on his calf. Dan gave me the word, "Go get that guy"! A little encouragement from a friend goes a long way. I ran that guy down and kept pushing to get another one. 2nd place in 21 athletes in my age group, 16th overall. Seems like the old days again. Love that racing stuff.

Ontario Mid-Season Criterium, May 18th, 2008

Beautiful Weather with just a touch of wind and good/normal blood sugar met me at the starting coral in Ontario, CA. While driving out to the race I did take 6 units of Novolin to get the insulin working. The drive out was an hour and I started eating 1/2 hour before I arrived. With an hour of insulin activity and bloodsugar on the way up I had a good opportunity to charge fast in the race without a bloodsugar mishap.
First race was 45 minutes after I arrived. Warmed up on the turbo trainer gentley for 20 minutes. It's so funny how some of the guys are almost killing themselves in warm-up on the trainers. Some will ride more than a 1/2 hour to warm-up. I suspect they are a little tired at the start but to each his own.
In the category 4/5 race, most of the racers are out their for themselves and have little faith. When there is a break in the peloton or someone jumps out there in front and tries to take off, there isn't a group of 5 or more who want to work together to follow and escape the main group. SO FUNNY. I would jump on with one or two people but nobody else. You usually need more guys to make a strong escape from the main group. Until I move up in category to the 3's, I think it will be mostly up to me and a good sprint at the end to win 4/5's to place in the standings.
Placed 12th out of 50 guys in this first race. In perfect position just off the outside riding in 6th with a terrific drive/sprint line the sprint was on and then the middle guys started to slow on the front. Just then the door closed with the sides enclosing on me like a giant envelope of sprinters. This isn't the first time this has happened.

The second race of the day with 30+ age group category 4/5. This race is a little faster with younger dudes of 30+ who are propbably more dedicated to training. At least it felt that way. The corners are fast and fun. The new CANNONDALE SYSTEM SIX bike is a riot to ride. I can go through the corners with every ounce of speed I can put in and just glide past 5 or 6 guys because the front end is so steady and predictable. Riding this bike so fast is like I was in video game at an arcade. And the sprints, I can't tell if the frame flexes or not. Stable and very fast. WOW, what an advantage I seem to have with this ride. Thank you Bill Riedel of CANNONDALE.
I won one of the premiums on a sprint challenge, the crowd caught us back, and with 4 laps to go it was difficult to catch my wind for the final sprint. Finished only, but winning a premium was fun none the less. Thank you One Touch by Lifescan, for the opportunity to represent you in SoCal racing, Insulindependence and, SPIBelt, Vitalyte, Polar Hear Rate Monitors, Joker Media, Andiamo Productions, PURE Fit Bars, and the others who have helped make this season a success for me. God Bless you all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

YouTube - Bill Carlson, World's First Diabetic Ironman

YouTube - Bill Carlson, World's First Diabetic Ironman
ABC Wide World of Sports telecast 1983 Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon
with Terry Blair and Al Michaels, 8 minutes

YouTube - Triabetes Promo 2

YouTube - Triabetes Promo 2
Three minute trailer overview of the Triabetes Documentray Project,
Andiamo Productions, Spring, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wildflower Triathlon, May 3, 2008

Stage Place was Lake San Antonio outside of Paso Robles in Central California. I have raced this event many times and one year came in 5th overall, back in the old days. This year would definitely be different due to unanticipated fatique from the prvious weekend at the La Jolla 1/2 Marathon.

Stayed with Anne Findley and her Tri-friends from San Francisco and Peter Nerothin from the Insulindependence Headquarters. The camping was cool with thousands of very fit campers, great food all over the place, and good sleep brought on with my new Thermorest pad in the tent.

Woke the morninng of the race with good blood sugar value 100. Race start wasn't until 8:00am so I had to time the food intake and insulin correctly. I have it worked out that I eat 50 minutes before the event and take 4 units of regular in a none weight bearing muscle structure like the abdomen.

Swim was all over the place with my direction going L and R, back and forth. I just could not get on the right set of toes to pull me straight through the swim course. 30 min swim. Once finally in I had a fast transition and left the transition area with none other than an old buddy of mine Dean Harper who I raced with in the early and mid 1980's. Now that his his kids have grown up abit and the law practice is going well he is back at the Tri-scene again for the last 8 years. Dean is still an awesome athlete as he was in the 1980's.

Once on the bike for 10 miles, I could feel last weekend's effort in my legs; fatique--yuck! Those legs were stale and the mojo was no-mo. 56 mile ride went pretty slow, 2:52. The wind was not too bad. The air was quite dry like where I live and the replacement water at aid stations on the course was sparse. Dehydration was the theme for the day.

The run 13.1 mile was 1:57, quite slow considering I had just had a training 1/2 marathon of 1:36 the weekend before. Total 5:24, 18th /300 age groupers, and I was way back from the leaders in my group. Shucks, 22 years ago at this race I performed an hour faster on the same course.

There is an art to training hard and resting correctly before one of these big races. I just feel this fire inside me that says just go fast, on the steeps, and long. It is hard to relearn those basic principles of resting well before a big effort. Hopefully I will be able to control myself a little better for other big efforts I make later this year. Training races are different, just train/race right through them.

Once finished the blood was low, 69 mg/dl, and I really didn't realize it. The heat on the run surely played a few tricks on my senses. I should take a meter with me on those long runs even though I feel like I have a handle on the sense of LBS.

It's fun to be in great shape again. Cheers, BC

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just a Training Run in La Jolla? April 27, 2008

Yes and here we go again for another beautiful run in paradise. Living in the North County San Diego area for 4 years in the 1980's and early 1990's was at that point in my life one of the best decisions I had ever made. But I live in the desert now, 2 hours from La Jolla, California.

Suzanne and I came down early in the afternoon before the race to check in for Sunday's La Jolla 1/2 Marathon starting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and finishing in La Jolla. This is really a big event brining in nearly 5,000 athletes but the organization is really grass roots without too much stuff going on at the expo the day before. Seeing old friends, eating some great food, watching the blood sugar the day before the race, and trying not to get too excited were the tasks at hand during the check in.

Peter and Nate from joined us for some good pasta and drink during the expo dinner. And while we were sitting there having a few good laughs, Suzanne had to point out a most beautiful FJ Cruiser Toyota, one I had not seen before. Little did I know she had determined I was going to be an owner of one of these Trail Teams special edition FJ's in the next couple of weeks. Wow was I stoked about getting one of those bad boys. I haven't had it in the air yet but running the FJ in the dunes where we live in the desert is sure a great time.

Back to the race: I started out with a 120 blood sugar in the morning. Bought a grand slam breakfast at Denny's and started eating it 50 minutes befoe the race. Joined with a 4 unit regular shot and starting the race with a 185 blood sugar was right on the mark.

I ran this race as a training run because the next weekend was Wildflower 1/2 Ironman Triathlon so I had to make this just a paced out tempo run. During the week I kept the hard efforts under control because of the race the previous weekend. This was really a smart move but for me this is usually hard to do. I love to put in hard efforts but on tired legs the efforts don't amount to too much gain. Where's the line on gains and efforts put in to make gains is my forever asked question. How hard, how frequently, how much? What a toil this is in getting faster.

I ran the 13.1 mile race in 1:36 finishing 12th in age group which had 300 runners, 79th overall, 1:31 won the age group, and I was just cruising without too hard of an effort. If I had really pushed it I would have won the age group putting in 30 to 40 seconds per mile faster time. It's fun to be in great shape and not have that diabetes bite you in the legs during hard pacing.

Finishing this hilly course and feeling well was awesome fun. But, later the next weekend there would be some fatique in the legs I had not counted on at Wildflower. Oh well! Life must go on.

Cheers, Mr. Bill

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Winning again after all those years!

What an awesome feeling to get a win in my home town's triathlon. Yyowzzzaaa! The Toyota Desert Triathlon at Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta, California is where the race was held this morning.

When we woke up this morning the wind was howling out here in the desert by the Bermuda Dunes airport where we live. The thought of sleeping in and forgettng about doing the race crossed my mind and I just rolled over and waited for the clock radio to try me again. Sure, the guilt set in after the second alarm so I lunged out of bed and hopped right to it.

Breakfast made and brought in togo boxes. I loaded up the bikes and kids into Suzanne's van and we were off to the races. I picked up my Mom to bring her to the races. She was plenty fired up to go and cheer us on after so many other races where she had missed out. It's great to have your parents at your races.

When Mom and I arrived at the lake the water was primo! If we had the water ski boat I would be barefooting it for sure. And the wind didn't come up at all during the 3/4 mile swim. The bike was a different story.

Made a quick transition, no tea party at this race in the transition area. The bike was perfectly adjusted finally, bars in an ideal position for my back. The back didn't get tired at all and no pain, finally. On the down wind stretches with wind at my back I must have been rocking it 30 mph or better. I could hunker down on that bike and spin that 53x14 gear so smoothly like a hot knife going thru butter and no ache in the legs at all. Only one guy passed me after dueling with him for 8 miles and he was all over that bike; not smooth or efficient, I knew I would see him later on the run so have fun dude and win the bike course.

When the run starts for me I get really fired up. Let the horses run, get on the hunt and get'um back (those guys that put forth too much on the bike with those tired legs.) I must have run down 4 guys in my age group. When going into the last 1/2 mile of the run I looked back and couldn't see anyone who looked like they were interested in taking away what I was just about ready to achieve.

All the training, riding in the night after work, going to the pool at 5:00am, and working some good runs in the middle of my work days was all worth it. When you climb up on top of that first place stage beside the second and third place finishers all that discomfort goes away. Hard work, you bet. Adrenalin burn during the race, a real high when all is right.

Next weekend is the LaJolla 1/2 Marathon and the following weekend is the Wildflower 1/2 Ironman, an old favorite of mine. Can't wait for another dose of good diabetes management and good pacing. Let the horses run!

Mr. Bill

Friday, April 4, 2008

Triathlon #1 for 2008, Oceanside Ironman 70.3

Shucks. It feels just like yesterday when I was training and racing full time being back in the triathlon scene. This event is absolutely first class in every way. All aid stations, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers, perfectly marked course that was well policed, fabulous event.

My goal was to run my own race with as few errors as possible. With everything working as planned I should have finished top ten but it came out as 20th place out of 154 in my age group, 5:12, with tenth place 9 minute up. The winner came in 20 minutes in front of me. Probably not his first triathlon race in 17 years, huh?

Blood sugar was 110 when I got up in the morning so I knew things had to be going my way. Suzanne and the children and their two cousins were at the race for the start in that cold 54 degree water in Oceanside Harbor. Folks thought I was a little different eating my Dennies Grand Slam breakfast 50 minutes before the race but I needed to do this to get the bloodsugar rise and timing correct.

When the gun went off for my age group I sprinted out with the lead guys so that I would not get swum over and that seems to work well. 31 minutes was a slow swim time but considering the badly bruised/fractured L rib #5, I felt okay with the performance.

I had a good run up to the transition spot but then came error #1; no triathlon type of cycling shoes. I stopped to get the socks on to protect the feet and struggled to get the jersey on; 4:00 transition--tooooo slow.

The bike course was awesome! A big section of the course I had ridden hundreds of times when I lived in North County San Diego so I knew it well. The back was feeling well for the first 10 miles, riding a consistant, relaxed, relatively fast pace. Only a few crazies went by on the bike but that was fine, I would probably see them later on the run.

Error #2; The bars are still too low and the spine started talking to me. I had to sit up numerous times to stretch out that sore back and this cost me some time. More work to do to get the Cannondale Slice set up correctly. Incycle in San Dimas has been a terrific shop to do business with and they will assist in getting the bike set up.

Error #3; Gatorade given to me on the course sure tasted great but the concentration clogged the gut and I could not pass the juice for at least 50 minutes. Dehydration on the way, oooppsie. I had a plan and broke the plan when I reached out for the Gatorade. My fault.

The back hills in Camp Pendleton were steeper than I had thought and could have used a 27 to spin the hills versus using the 23. I keep thinking I am 28 years old versus the elderly gent I have become. New cog set to be used on these hilly courses in coming races. With the back and food problem I was probably down 12 minutes.

Once I got back on the water and foods I had planned for the race I started feeling better although I knew I was behind schedule on the hydration. Run next.

Transition was fast, under 2 minutes, and the outfit worked great. Incycle sponsored me with cycling shorts and jersey that felt just fine to run in although this race was the first time I had run in that garb. Don't do this for the first time like I did. I just got lucky and it all worked.

My SPI belt was handily left on my dresser at home, bummer! I had to do some funky things with those jersey numbers so they would not get torn but it worked. Running at 6:40 pace for the first mile was probably a little much but the legs felt great. Transition practice is the right thing to do. I passed 6 or 7 guys in my age group during the run, a plan well worked. But in the last 2 miles I started dragging, a few stars and tunneling is no fun but still running what I felt was a good pace. The it happened. Another 45-49 age grouper came by me. I nearly fell over, HA! Where did that guy come from?

I passed one more dude in the last mile and finished strong. I love racing these triathlons!

To do's.
1. Slip ties for the running shoe laces.
2. Fix the bike position
3. Check the bike course profile, get a 12-27 cog set if needed for the hills.
4. Triathlon bike shoes that are seemless on the inside- no socks inside.
5. Aero helmet?
6. Bring the SPI belt for the number attachment

Love that racing and the blood sugar at the end of the race was 94 mg/dl, Bulls-Eye. I took 4 units of regular Novolin, diabetes was not a factor in this event.

Cheers to Anne Findley of the Team Triabetes for her successful finish. And those kids with Suzanne, I could not have been blessed more. I love those guys.

The next entry will be about my 120 mile training ride I did today. Ever hear about dirt naps?

A enduring life. Ain't it great?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Diabetes Training Camp

This last week of the March 16th through March 22 was the Diabetes Training Camp produced by Dr. Matt Corcoran, held on the beautiful campus of UC Santa Barbara. This camp of world class coaches, cutting edge diabetes information, athletic performance evalutions, and terrific food could only be summed up as a big WOW!!

The planning of all the events was superb and timely. Swim workouts utilizing technique coaching by Josh Gold and Celeste (?). I will swim better once new techniques are grooved into place. The advise I received from Rick Crawford, cycling coach and x-professional triathlete, was a bulls eye for me to hear at this early point of my racing season.

I did perform in the exercise physiology laboratory testing out with a 71 ml O2/Kg/min and I was 5 pounds heavier than I was back in 1988 when I tested last. Then I tested out with a 72 ml/Kg/min. If I had been 5 pounds lighter I would have hit the same level of fitness and that is uncanny. Folks usually lose 3ml per decade after the ripe age of 3o years old so I should have tested out at 66 ml. My ECG during the test did not indicate any PVC's or abnormal heart measures so the heart and lung function is A-okay. All that training over the years has kept my physiology intact. Yahoo!

During the camp we had some training days together with the other members of Team Triabetes. While climbing the Old San Marcos Pass Road, a steep up for about 4 miles, I had a chance to let out a little pace infront of our Triabetes production team Andiamo Productions. The hill was long and a good way to measure fitness. My legs did load up a little. I should have had a 25 or 27 cog to spin the hill but the 23 did fine once I got into the groove.

Ray and Nella and their daughter Elisa from Andiamo were fantastic. Glad that Nella's back is better after I had given her a little advise (hard not to be a PT when I am a PT). Happy Birthday to Ray on Saturday, March 22.

My week at training camp was a little tough due to a bad rib bruise/fracture suffered during a fundraising event for the City of Hope just a week earlier. I have been taping, taking ibuprofen, and keeping the heavy breathing down; no hard workouts. This is probably a blessing for me not to purge off too much energy for this next weekend's race in Oceanside; 70.3 Ironman and a qualifier for Hawaii. Hopefully the rib will heal up soon enough so that my race won't be an embarassment. But hey, that's the way it goes in the life of living on the edge.

Cannondale offered a pro deal on two bikes a few weeks ago so the bike issue is now solved. The System Six road racer is a fast sprinter, light, and with the Fullcrum wheels this bike jams. I needed a taller steering tube so another fork needed to be ordered. The Slice Time Trial road bike needing fitting, taller front end to save my back, and the wheels; ZIPP 404's are fabulous. The new aerodynamic bikes are awesome to ride. I can really feel the difference between the raod bike I usually ride and the time trial bike from Cannondale. Can't wait until Truth Day, rib injury allowing.

Diabetes is going well using some of the advise received from Dr. Corcoran. The HbA1C should look pretty good on the next test which I will take in 6 weeks.

Here are the big events for 2008 as they stand right now.
1. Attempt to qualify for Ironman Hawaii, 2008
2. Race Ironman Wisconsin, 2008
3. Produce documentary with Triabetes
4. Possible opportunity with Team Type 1 for RAAM, 2008 on the farm team?
5. Lottery for Ironman April 16, results on

Looking forward to Polar Heart Rate Monitor sponsored training tools, Specialized accessories for the bike, racing the Cannondale Bikes until the road starts to melt off my back wheel, PureFit Energy Bars, SPIBelt to carry my stuff, and all the help received from Incycle San Dimas-Mark you are awesome. Thanks a ton guys and I'll do well as a result of your assist.

Time to snooze and get fit. Cheers, BC

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Criterium#1 Feb 24, 2008

It's okay going to the bike races even if they are under water. Today was the first criterium in a 5 race series offered by the Pacific Sunset Velo club. The weather was cold and wet but the race was still going on even in the rain condition. I was able to enter my first criterium event of the day but the second race I had to wait until 15 minutes before the start because it had already sold out on line a few days before the race.

I started the first race with blood sugar 200. Race was 40 minutes in length at average of 26 mph with surges, 3 premiums, and alot of water all over the road. I was careful going through the corners not to slip and cause any crashes. My strategy was to remain in the top 15 during the race, forget the premiums because the training has not been strong enough to recover---coming off an illness for three weeks.

Blood sugar stayed well without any drop in energy, legs seemed fine. Then on the bell lap, final lap, there were two corners to go. I rolled up behind one of the other racers who had won one of the earlier premiums so I knew he would be a great lead out for me in the final sprint. We was behind a big dude, a big wind screen type of rider who would have been fabulous to lead us both out in the sprint. I was all the way over on the right with no room for anyone to block me from the outside and then suddenly this big dude just sat up as if he did not want to go for the sprint. The previous premium winner and I had to slow up as well because the big dude in front of us took us both out of the vortex of the group winding up for the sprint. 5 or 6 guys past us and by the time we got around the big slowing guy we both were slowed for the final sprint. I finished 10th out of 49 others in the race, just behind the previous premium winner. Sitting sprint is important for these conditions because it would have been a near death event to stand up and hard sprint on those wet streets, maybe losing the front wheel by slipping out.

Blood sugar after the race was 210 so all in all things worked pretty well.

The second race, 40 minutes, 70 guys racing, was in dry conditions. A very fast start and it seemed that many of the guys were out for more than just a win--- out for blood. The legs had not recovered from the first race and I knew this was probably going to happen because training had been off for the last few weeks--- illness. There were 5 crashes with guys not paying attention, bodies hitting the asphalt and carbon fiber and wheels flying everywhere. I lucked out and didn't get tangled up in any of those crashes.

With a good head wind along a couple of stretches during the race many of the front dudes would start to get the pace rolling fast and then they would slow because they would get tired in the wind and then the other riders would slow and bunch up like a clogged funnel. There was also this super strong legged guy out there who would not hold his line and he caused one of the crashes so I needed to get him behind me permanently. And just as soon as I made that decision and got around him, the very next corner he caused one of the crashes. Bike racing is exciting; you better be ready to jump or get jumped.

I took a premium sprint against a guy on the third lap to go in the race because I knew nobody else would probably want to sprint being that the final sprint was less than three laps away. I lost the sprint by a 1/2 bike length, oh well, tired legs. Then I just hung on for the rest of the race and did not challenge for the final sprint. 45th out of 55 finshers in this race, 15 DNF's due to 5 crashes--unbelievable.

Blood sugar was great in this one too. Start at 190 and finished with 185 mg/dl.

Following the races I ran a 7.5 mile transition brick run and felt all right but again legs a little tired due to illness.

I found the rule to be in these criterium bike events that if you don't have the guts to hold onto at least 4th place leading into the sprint you probably don't have a shot at the win due to other riders who most frequently can foul you up.

Family party in Newport Beach this weekend. Katie and Gil families meeting together before the summer wedding and this will be a great time. I will ride a good 80 from San Dimas on Saturday to get down to Newport Beach by way of the Santa Ana River Bike Trail.

Endurance athletics and diabetes; a great way to fly!

Cheers, train on, hang tough.
Bill Carlson

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Recovering from an illness/ worried about lost fitness

What a beautiful day out here in the Coachella Valley. Today the temp was balmy 72 degrees, light winds out on Dillon Road, that hilly chip seal bumpy road all the competitive riders out here learn to devour. Either you devour it or it eats you. I guess it really depends on the day and your training.

The Palm Springs 1/2 marathon was this morning 02-17-08, and I decided not to race because I hadn't put any running miles on the legs during the week due to illness. My wife Suzanne did the run, finishing 2:33 and I watched a busy corner and directed traffic for my race director friend Greg Klein.

First place finish was 1:10 and geez did he look smooth. A local Mexican fellow who had tons of friends out there cheering him on. He was not contested--closest to him was a good three minutes back.

My age group 45-49 was won by a 1:27 finishing time. When I am in good form I should be coming in around 1:25.

I have been trying to gain back my good form but since this new season and all the illnesses, I haven't had things together yet. Considering the timing and how I am feeling now, I should hit some good form by the end of March and that's a good thing. The Oceanside 1/2 Ironman, an Ironman Hawaii qualifier race, is on Sunday the 30th of March.

Now, just keep it together and build things up Mr. Bill. Triathlete training schedule now without any problems during the week looks like 21 hours a week. 12,000 yards swimming @ 4x/wk, 200 mi bike @ 7 rides/wk including commutes, and approximately 50 miles run/wk @ 6x/wk.

Workouts will include intervals, tempos, hill work on the bike, and Sunday runs eventhough they will be endurance runs in nature there will be some fast downhill running on this run because of where I do this run.

Can't wait for the first triathlon. It's been a long time since I have got the running shoes on and done my dirty work on the triathlon field in the run. My most favorite time during these races is chasing the guys in front and they always come back to me.

Cheers and let's get it on!
Mr. Bill Pioneer