Today we are bringing back an inspiring story from last year. Type one diabetic, Kate Bone took on the 100km at Emerson's Whaka100 in 2019. This is the story of her diagnosis and preparation, plus an added post event update.
My type one diagnosis was a total bolt of lightening in an otherwise normal sky. Suddenly my world was full of testing, needles, insulin and a whole host of other things I never had to pay attention to before. Through the tough stuff I was adamant that diabetes wouldn’t stop me from doing anything that I wanted to do. And to prove that, mostly to myself, I needed a challenge. I ruminated on what this could be for sometime, tossing the idea of whaka100 around in my head. I spent a lot of time wondering what the heck I was thinking before finally hitting the submit button on my entry some 5 months ago.
So the entering it seems was the easy part! Who would have thought? Now, with diabetes, it wasn’t just as simple as jumping on my bike and heading out into the forest. Pretty early on I realised I was going to need some help. I enlisted Aaron Perry, local rider, fellow type one and all round good human. Under his direction we have mostly managed to navigate endurance training with diabetes. It’s been a steep learning curve with a few holy moly moments but finally I can feel the momentum.
The training has been constant and sometimes relentless. Aaron often says I should feel like a piece of burnt toast after particular sessions. And yes, I can report that feeling like burnt toast isn’t pleasant, albeit necessary. As with any training that spans a period of time there has been sickness, meltdowns, weather and actual life to work around. We worked on a Tuesday – Sunday program that has entailed all sorts of stuff with a strong emphasis on hills! I raced in as many events as I could to simulate and learn how diabetes might react on race day.
There will be many variables on the day that will affect my blood sugars that I can’t control. However, the main one I can control is my nutrition! I worked closely with a nutritionist to formulate a plan that would work on race day. It’s been a lot of trial and error but boils down to good old peanut butter sandwiches, kumara, apple and tailwind! And maybe flat coke if I get really desperate!
I have been very privileged to have tremendous support from all manner of people and local businesses. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for the hours, the support and the love. The journey wouldn’t have been possible without you.
So on the day, in those dark moments, one of which I’m sure will be going up pondy elevator, I will be riding for the 25,000 type one diabetics in New Zealand. Just to show that having a lifelong illness isn’t a determinant of achieving goals, no matter what size they are.
Update from Kate:
I did it! Crossing the finish line was a humbling and emotional moment after a day of obstacles and two hours longer on the bike than I anticipated. All the hours of training I had put it got me over that line, and I never would have made it had I not been a stickler to the plan!
It’s hard to break such an effort into a few sentences so here it is broken down in 25km chunks. 1st 25km – on pace, everything was going to plan. 2nd 25km – diabetes induced vomit, kicked my ass. 3rd 25km – reeling post vomit, dehydrated, the worst cramp I have ever had. 4th 25km - second wind, back in the game, finish line!
I was lucky to have a massive team of people cheering me on and if it wasn’t for them popping up in the most unexpected paces I’d still be out there! Just keep pedaling!