So, I ran a half marathon on Saturday.
I know, I know. I didn’t really tell anyone about it. I had a couple false starts this summer with other half marathons and I got a little gun-shy talking about it. I didn’t even really talk about it on my other blog. But I did it! Want to hear how it went? Good, because I’m telling you anyway!
Friday evening a couple of my local D-friends and their respective husbands came over for dinner. Even though it was right before a race I felt comfortable because they are both healthy eaters so I knew I wouldn’t have an issue. Well, turns out I did! Not with high blood sugars, but with lows. I crashed pretty bad after dinner (I think I overestimated the carbs) and ended up having to drink and eat more than I expected.
At about 4 am I woke up to a blood sugar of 187 mg/dl on the Dexcom, and took a baby correction. No, I didn’t test. Yes, I know better. I’m sorry…
I woke up at 7:00 am with a blood sugar of 90 mg/dl. Not terrible. But context is king in diabetes and I was not so happy with that number at that time. I had a gluten-free piece of toast (more on that another day) with some chocolate peanut butter and coffee then we were out the door!
When we arrived at the start, I took a quick test. I was only going to carry my Dexcom with me, and Erik was going to meet me at the halfway point for a quick test to see how on track the Dexcom was. At that point, I was 89 mg/dl. Ugh. So I gulped one of two juice boxes I had (the other would be staying with Erik if I needed it at the halfway point) and prayed that would be enough. I was carrying five HoneyStinger gels which have 25g each. I only planned on using 3, maybe 4, so I anticipated it being enough but I was starting to get nervous!
I felt really good for the first couple of miles, but at mile 2.5, I heard a familiar buzzing sound. It was my pod. My pod had failed. As predicted.
You see, as much as I love the Omnipod (and I really, really do like it a lot), it has this really unfortunate tendency to fail on my runs. It doesn’t happen all the time and it doesn’t happen with any particular mileage or any particular pod placement. But if it’s going to fail, it will be while I’m running. I had actually prefilled a pod earlier that morning in anticipation of this but, as luck would have it, that doesn’t work.
Pods apparently start a timer when you put insulin in it, and by the time my pod failed, the backup pod had already timed out. The PDM couldn’t recognize it as being a new pod. I quickly called Erik and told him he need to go home, get a new pod and bottle of insulin, and meet me at the halfway spot, which was 4 miles away.
Just a little while later, the Dexcom started buzzing that I was below 75 mg/dl. Ugh. I was at Mile 3, and had planned to fuel at Mile 4 so it wasn’t too far off from my plan. I took a little extra walking break but continued my run / walk pace because I felt just fine. In fact, I’ve noticed that the lower my blood sugar is, the better I run, so long as I don’t actually have hypoglycemia symptoms.
After mile 6, the Dexcom alarms again that I’m 58 mg/dl. I’m not sure I believe it but I take another HoneyStinger just in case. I wasn’t far from where I was planning on fueling again anyway. Erik calls me just before I reach our meeting place, and he’s actually behind me, so he sprints to catch up! We pull over and I do a pod change and BG check. I’m actually 108 mg/dl, and I’m glad I checked. Dexcom can be such a little liar sometimes.
I take off again and manage to keep a pretty good pace for the next few miles. The Dexcom doesn’t alarm at all the rest of the race, but I take a HoneyStinger at Mile 10, and a little bit of Powerade at mile 12.
I finish the half marathon with a time of 3:05:34 and a BG of 187 mg/dl.
The first half of the race projected me at a sub-3 hour, and I know that stopping for a pod change really slowed me down. I’m pretty pissed about it, because I don’t know what to do to stop it from happening. I’ve been on the pod for over a year, and did tons of runs without any issue until it started this past August. Part of me wonders if there’s something funky with the last shipment of pods. There just isn’t any rhyme or reason to it. I wish I’d known not to prefill a pod, because it was such a waste of time. If I’d had a pod and bottle, I could have easily changed my pod while at least walking.
I’m also pissed off at Dexcom. It told me I was 106 mg/dl at the finish, a whole 80 points off from what I was. It just isn’t reliable when I exercise. I never wear it while running or working out anymore. I find it totally useless. I don’t know why I thought I could get away with only testing once.
I definitely should have brought strips and a poker with me. My FlipBelt that I was wearing could have easily held everything I needed: a PDM (which I was already carrying), test strips, poker, pod and insulin. None of those things even weigh that much, so it’s not like that would be a big issue. I could have done what I needed to do during the walk breaks I was already taking. Sigh. Lessons learned, right?
Of course, I’m happy to just have finished. I keep telling myself that the time doesn’t really matter, at least not for the first one. No matter what, I set a personal record because I’d never done a half marathon before. Overall, it was a pretty good first race.
Yep. First race. Not last race. There will definitely be more.