The Alley Loop is a ski race that winds through the alleys and streets of Crested Butte, CO (8800ft) and then heads out of town for a while. Depending upon how long of a race you do depends on how many and which laps you do. I signed up for the 41K (26 mi) three lap race. The race started at 10:00 and a balmy 3-4 F. It may have been 10F at the end of the race. The snow was a bit soft as it had snowed that night and the previous days. I knew the 42K was going to be painful on the last lap as I hadn't done a lot of long skis yet this year.
Skate skiing is like ice skating except you use poles and go up hill. It will raise my heart to high levels and keeps it there. It is one of the hardest work outs I have done. Anyway the first two laps went pretty smoothly. The last lap began to hurt however. My arms and butt muscles began to get very stiff. I did however make a point of drinking as much as possible as in previous races I had gotten nauseous from dehydration. The hills became suddenly very hard and I began to have visions of sneaking onto the 21K lap for a shortcut. I got passed by a few people but ended up not passing out....
I ended up making it in in 2:53 and 34th out of 64. If I had done the 21K I could have easily placed in the top 10 out of 37 as I was ahead of a friend that was doing the 21k and got 10th. I was pretty beat but had a good time AND the girl in the bunny suit finished behind me this year!
How did the diabetes affect the race. Well not really at all I would say. I ate a Gu every lap or just under. My sugar was about 130 20 min before the race so I ate some food to bring it up a bit. When I finished I tested it it was 140 after eating a gu on the last lap. You may ask, didn't you check your sugar during the race? This would've been difficult with the cold temperatures and to get my glove off I would have had to take off my ski pole straps. Not really worth it for just 3 hours.
Go to http://www.cbnordic.org/ for more on the race and pictures. These two pictures are from a few years ago when it was sunny out.