I started running almost a year ago and over the weekend I ran my very first 10K. It was very exciting as I had been training for it for the past few months. I have had mixed results over the time with my diabetes and running, some days are good and some days are bad. For the most part, this 10K went well, but it did have some very literal ups and downs.
Even though I was only going six miles, my husband decided to “carboload” with some gluten-free pasta (I’m not gluten-free, but we eat it sometimes), but I also indulged in tortilla chips since I came home from work with a low blood sugar. And we had dessert. I bolused normally, but of course, totally underbolused so “normal” was not really that good.
Around 1 a.m. I woke up and test my blood sugar and was flying at 426 mg/dl. Yikes! I quickly corrected and went back to sleep, hoping I’d be fine in the morning. When 5 a.m. rolled around, I was still up at 284 mg/dl and was not really that happy. I knew so close to the race I did not want to take a ton of insulin, so I corrected with only 50% of what my pump said to take.
I have not had much luck running with IOB, so I wanted to eat as light of a breakfast as I could. I had a lemon Larabar and a glass of water with Nuun, which has lots of electrolytes, but no carbs. Again, I only took half the dose. I also turned down my basal 30%.
When we got to NYC, I tested my car as Erik looked for parking. I was 302 mg/dl. Eeesh. My pump said to take 5 units, but I knew that would be too much. However, I also know that if I’m too high, I won’t perform well and I can even soar higher. So I took 2.5 units. When it came time to head to the start, I tested once more and was 264 mg/dl. Okay. Now I was feeling better.
As soon as the horn blared and we were off, I noticed that my shin started hurting. Not really diabetes related, but it was definitely a pain in the ass. As I hit Mile 3, I took out my Triberry Gu (my favorite) to get some fuel in me. After about .2 miles of walking, I started running again, but after awhile I knew that my blood sugar was going low. Now, when I’m low and exercising, my symptoms become almost non-existent. Yes. Hypoglycemia unawareness while exercising. Perfect timing, no? My only indication that something is wrong is that I suddenly start going very slowly. It basically feels like I’m trying to run through mud.
Another water station was located between Mile 3 and Mile 4, so I go out my second GU (Chocolate Outrage) and had some water with it and decided to walk a bit. I had just ingested 50 grams of carbs, so I knew it was just a matter of time before my blood sugar started to pop back up. It didn’t take much time before I felt ready to run again and ran pretty much the whole way to the finish line, stopping only once to get more water.
My finishing time was 1:24:14, which is nothing too impressive but I’m still happy with it.
Once I found a place to put my stuff down and stretch, I tested my blood sugar and I rang in at 149 mg/dl. Definitely went low, but recovered nicely. The rest of the day was still a bit bumpy. It took awhile before I actually got any breakfast, so I went low, and then I went low again after lunch. Sigh. I think it had something to do with the fact that I turned my basal rate back to 100% right when I was done with the 10K. I probably should have left it alone. But eventually I came back up and went to bed totally normal.
My main takeaways from this is that I definitely need to take even less insulin if I’m high. Running basically equals insulin on speed, and it just makes things really difficult to manage. What would be ideal is waking up normal and having a GU or some other fuel to just boost my blood sugar without having to take any insulin. I also need to practice morning runs more often. I typically run at night and that’s just a whole different ball game!
And now… on to a half marathon!