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Big Cluster

Kris Freeman

Tue, Dec  2, 2008 - By Zach Caldwell

Our delay in Rovaniemi was nice while it lasted, but it meant a late night - arriving at the hotel in Helsinki at about 1:30AM. Grover had an early flight and was out the door before 5:30 (though I have only the vaguest recollection of him leaving the room). The rest of us were scheduled to catch a 7:00 AM shuttle for flights at 8:45 (me, toward home) and 8:55 (the rest of the crew, headed toward Davos). At breakfast Kris told me that his sugar had gone low again on the airplane ride to Helsinki - down to about 50. He took some sugar and turned down the dose some more. He slept on 0.3 units/hour and sugar went down overnight again. His insulin sensitivity increased a huge amount over the course of the day yesterday, such that his basal dose is now about 40% of what it was the night before the race. This adjustment isn’t unexpected - travel tends to reduce sensitivity, and he has been expecting it to improve. But the rate of change was incredibly high, and the fact that it fell on a race day (when the dosing strategy is one of a ramping-up of basal insulin prior to a large increase in the dose right before the race) obscured the rate of change. Kris should be fine now.

If there was any chance of running low blood sugar this morning that was obliterated when we got to the airport and the crew realized that their flight was at 7:55, not 8:55. Adrenaline causes Kris’s body to release sugar into the blood (as it does to everybody, presumably). I left them hurrying through check-in at about 7:20 to go check into my own flight. Hopefully they made it.

Hard travel and short sleep is far from ideal on a race trip. Blood sugar difficulty on top of that is super stressful. Kris is planning to run for an hour when they arrive in Davos this afternoon. From there he’ll travel to La Cluzas on Thursday for a mass-start 30K skate race on Saturday. Expectation is for Kris to be able to ski comfortably in the pack. We’d like to see him work toward the top-ten during the last ten K. I don’t expect that he’ll have the gears to contest a sprint, and we’ll all be satisfied this week with a very strong 29K. For now, all eyes are on Davos for the next chance at a great performance. Given the challenges of the last 24 hours that’s the most reasonable expectation.

Reprinted with permission from the Kris Freeman website at Copyright © Zach Caldwell and Kris Freeman

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