Vinnie Santana Biography
Claim to Fame: Triathlete
Diabetes Type: 1
Vinnie established himself as a top Ironman athlete at the age of 22. He used The Method, ironguide’s training program and principles to achieve his personal best Ironman time of 8 hours and 50 minutes.
In March 2000, while training, Vinnie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after a blood test that revealed his blood sugar to be 226 mg/dl (12.55 mmol/l). He hardly skipped a beat and began adjusting his diet and training to accommodate his diabetes without letting it hold him back. He began taking insulin shots as well.
Currently Vinnie manages his diabetes using Insulin Flexible Therapy. This means he takes 50% of the total insulin intake in the morning using slow acting insulin, then uses shots of Ultra Fast Insulin before meals. He frequently tests blood glucose before, during, and after training to make sure his body is functioning at its optimal level.
Vinnie has proved that a positive attitude can give you the mental strength for racing and training that is crucial for success. Vinnie has taken what might seem like a burden and used it to his advantage. Diabetes requires him to listen to his body. In order to manage his glucose levels, he has to pay careful attention to each meal he eats and activity he engages in. For athletes, it is crucial to understand what your body is telling you. For Vinnie, his diabetes has given him great practice at listening to what his body is trying to say. This mind-body connection allows him to treat his body well so that he can perform at the highest level possible.
This sub-nine hour Ironman is also a top Age Group coach for triathletes in South America, North America, and Asia. He has a blog that gives inspiration to athletes and tri-athletes training with diabetes.
Not only is he a great role model for persevering in the face of this disease, he is also an inspirational leader who shares knowledge and spreads awareness about diabetes.
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This past weekend was my STAR TREK group's anniversary picnic. Our hostess was one of our chapter's newer members, though she's definitely a second-generation member (perhaps since birth!) of the larger organization. She's also dealing with a couple of agressive, quality-of-life-limiting autoimmune conditions, at least one of which has been somewhat mitigated by the effect of bariatric surgery. In the relaxed atmosphere of a group picnic, she was able to explain a bit more about...