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Anne Findlay

As an athlete with type 1 diabetes, my blood glucose invariably spikes before a race. I have to raise the insulin rate on my pump to counter the adrenalin response. There is pretty much no way I have found to mentally prevent this from happening for a big event. The body knows! There is a similar, commonly-encountered BG spike after T1 in a triathlon. I think the response can probably be dampened over time, if a race were to become more routine. But I have found this to be something hard to willfully modulate.

The only time this didn't happen was when I was going to a race and wasn't really sure if I was even going to go through with it. I didn't know how to handle a BG of 85 at the start line. (It was a half Ironman tri.)


Hey Joe! Great thoughts! When I was in grad school for sport psychology, our professors frequently talked about "reinterpreting" one's pre-competition anxiety as a sign of readiness, rather as a sense of impending doom.

As a new triathlete back then, I could hardly imagine *simply* reinterpreting such powerful feelings so I set out to do something different... in a subsequent intervention class, I spent much of the semester trying to eliminate the anxiety using various relaxation techniques... and it worked, save for one problem.

I slept well before my first test race. I felt calm that morning. Felt calm at the start. The problem: I was flat the whole race. I couldn't get myself fired up and into the race, and I had neither a good performance nor much fun. Ever since then, I've welcomed my anxiety as a sign of readiness.

Hope to see you at another talk soon!

Joe Mannion
(ps - I wrote more about performance anxiety & tris, public speaking, etc here: http://bit.ly/31eY01)

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