Day 22: Racers in the Storm – Hartsville to Faregrove

Across the lake a storm flashes. Staying under the pavilion is not an option. Annalisa bolts before anyone else is ready. After everything settles, we meet Jon Lester who is in second place for the TransAm race.

Jon Lester is a Trans America racer currently in 2nd place

Jon Lester is a Trans America racer currently in 2nd place

Today’s post is going to be a timeline of the continuous glucose graph. This is to help match blood sugar trends with the events that are happening at that time.

Note: BG = Blood Glucose aka blood sugar level. Normal is 100 (no line), low is below 80 (red line), high is above 180 (yellow line)

5:33 am (BG 170)

Panic sets in under the pavilion of the Hartsville city park. Lightning bolts flash in the night sky while winds beat against the tent. Annalisa immediately ditches us and heads for the gas station across the bridge, about three blocks away.

I am always disheveled in the morning and consider taking shelter in the prison-style bathroom. There is no sink but four cement walls. No, I cannot be stuck here alone for an hour.

Taking shelter under an open bay car wash to wait out a thunderstorm. (my glasses*)

Taking shelter under an open bay car wash to wait out a thunderstorm. (my glasses*)

I cross the bridge wearing Crocs pushing hard against the wind. Arriving at the gas station, I notice my sleeping bag and sneakers were not securely attached to the bungie cord. Another trip has to be made.

The shelter for the storm is an open air car wash with a roof over our head and two walls. T, Mark, and Annalisa have coffee and breakfast sandwiches.

6:21 am – meet Jon Lester

The storm blows over and Annalisa points out Jon Lester rushing out from the gas station.

He is in second place for the Trans America race and about half a day’s ride behind Evan, who we saw yesterday.

What does a professional racer eat on a self-supported race?

Jon is stuffing donuts in his mouth, washing them down with chocolate milk, ate a breakfast sandwich while checking out, and is carrying another sandwich in his hand. Aka he is just like us.

Good luck Jon!

7:05 am – pancakes at the diner

Between the break in the clouds we shift from the car wash to the diner around the corner. Mark orders a short stack of pancakes and empties a quarter of the syrup bottle on top. Not joking.

I order two eggs and one pancake.

Everyone leaves the diner and I tell them I’ll catch up after some writing…

12:18 PM – Apple for Stability (BG: trending down)

Eat an apple to stabilize the blood sugar. This is followed by handfuls of GORP because the low makes me hungry.

2:17 PM – Marshfield construction

Marshfield looks like a big town on the map. The stores in town are either a law firm or vintage clothing.

“Where can I get a cup of coffee?” I ask as a curious cyclist.

“There is not really a place in town to get that,” a vintage clothing store owner replies.

HOW in a town with at least twenty stores does no one sell coffee? Useless town. Besides the library…

2:19 PM – Marshfield lunch slop

Trail lunch is not always glorious. Great white norther beans, a packet of tuna, tomatoes, and some crushed up corn tortillas. Mix of protein and carbs.

5:22 PM - Two Pod Malfunctions

The issue with the Omnipod system is there are many ways to cause it to malfunction. There are so many small mistakes or a little step gone wrong that renders the pod system useless.

Two pods, each lasting three days, would be enough supplies for about a week.

  • The first pod malfunctions because the PDM (control device) dies while I am changing the pump. It fails to reconnect to the primed pod after putting new batteries back in.
  • The second pod fails because I hit the “next” button one too many times. The needle attempted to insert and hit the back of the plastic cover, rendering it useless. This is a user error. However, my blood sugar is already sky high and a kid chatting to me are some good distractions.

This means I am now back to multiple daily injections each day. I am also considering switching back to Medtronic because these issues are much less likely to occur.

6:52 PM – Say goodbye to librarian (no pump on)

Marshfield has a beautiful library and wonderful staff

Marshfield has a beautiful library and wonderful staff

With no pump on, I say goodbye to the insanely kind librarian. She offered to put Annalisa and I up for the night but her house is too far off route.

8:30 PM – get lost but meet this grandmother (missed the turn towards Faregrove)

Directions for the afternoon seem relatively simple; stay on highway 34 until reaching Faregrove. The problem is that there is a turn off at some point.

A greenhouse catches my eye and I pull Dark Roast over to get a tour and maybe purchase some produce.

A lovely grandmother greets me and shows off her garden beds and greenhouses radiating pride at each turn. She lists the name of each flower or plant and talks about how her granddaughter lends a hand.

This gardener thanks God for her calling and believes that she should have followed her true passion earlier in life.

9ish PM

The sun has already set behind the horizon and it begins to get difficult to find the town park we are staying in for the night. A stranger points me in the right direction from her porch.

Annalisa convinces the groundkeeper to let us sleep in the enclosed kitchen area because of a looming storm.

That huge spike is from a subway sandwich and cookies. Try to walk it off...

That huge spike is from a subway sandwich and cookies. Try to walk it off...

For dinner I order a vege-lovers sandwich from Subway with two cookies. Being low and ordering is a dangerous combination.

I eat one of the cookies and the blood sugar rocket immediately takes off. After finishing the sandwich, I pace around the parking lot while on the phone to try and bring down my blood sugar.

We fall asleep, planning to wake up at 4 am, to catch up to Taylor who took off to reach Pittsburg for an extra rest day