That Time I Ran A Half Marathon

B0z0cM_IgAAaVbBSo, 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.


Getting a Handle On Food, Fitness & Type 2 Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association is famous for the Tour de Cure bike series, and now they have launched a new series just for women! The first ride is this Saturday, September 13 in Southern California, and the next one will be on Sunday, October 26 in Northern California. Their goal is to get more women on bikes while also supporting the ADA’s movement to Stop Diabetes. 

Sharon Steele is the Chair of the 2014 Northern California event. Her mother and several members of her mother’s family have type 2 diabetes, and with her increased risk, Sharon set out to reduce her weight and achieve an active lifestyle in hopes of preventing type 2 diabetes. Sharon has already lost 93 lbs and is just 20 pounds shy of her goal weight. Wow! 


A Guest Post by Sharon Steele  

Sharon Womens Series 2013My mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the mid-90s. Both of her parents had type 2 along with several of her siblings. I have watched her struggle with complications of the disease, including hypertension, neuropathy and vision loss.

I realized that being obese increased my own risk for developing type 2, so I set out to reduce my weight and achieve an active lifestyle. I know I am not necessarily doomed to develop diabetes simply because it is prevalent in my family.

I am now 93 pounds lighter and within 20 pounds of my goal. How did I get there? It’s been a long, up-and-down road for me—almost 20 years.

It started with a food addiction

Like many people, I struggle with an addiction to sugary foods. I often joke that it’s my “drug of choice,” usually in the form of cookies. During stressful times, I would secretly binge on cookies, donuts, pies and so on.

My first major weight gain was when I was pregnant with my daughter in 1994, at age 26. This was the first time my weight surpassed the 200-pound mark. I went from 160 to 210 pounds, despite my vegan lifestyle. Though I lost a good amount of the weight after her birth, a stressful period in 1997 sent me on a lemon meringue pie binge. All-natural pies from Whole Foods still pack on the pounds! I could eat an entire 9-inch pie in one sitting! In no time I was back in the 200+ pound club.

Tired of carrying the extra weight, in 1999 I began taking cardio-kickboxing classes. Within six months I dropped below my pre-pregnancy weight, into the mid-150s. I maintained this weight through healthy eating and an active lifestyle for a couple of years.

I got married in 2001 and soon became pregnant with my son. I gained a whopping 60 pounds during that pregnancy due to an insatiable craving for steak. (Yes, I went from being vegan with my first pregnancy to a ravenous carnivore in my second.) I otherwise ate healthfully, but steak has a lot of calories and fat. My son was a big baby –10 lb. 3 oz.–so I instantly dropped from 220 to 185 when he was born. However, I gained 20 pounds back while I was nursing him. I learned firsthand about the often-overlooked calories in juices and other sugary beverages. I was drinking juice like water, racking up calories AND pounds.

I managed to get things under control and was working my weight back down—but then 2003 happened, bringing two life-changing events. First, I lost my job as an independent contract technology trainer and consultant, and I was ineligible for unemployment. A few months later, my husband told me he no longer wanted to be married. BOOM! Two days later, I learned I was pregnant; however, that ended in miscarriage in the ninth week. BOOM again!

After the miscarriage, I worked feverishly to lose the excess weight. I was at the gym at 5:30 a.m. five days a week, hoping to regain my husband’s attention. Within just a few months I was back to the mid-150s. However, despite all my efforts to save my marriage, I finally realized divorce was imminent.

My divorce was filed in the summer of 2004, kicking off a binge that sent my weight soaring to heights I had never known. I stopped weighing myself once the scale read 262 pounds. Though I appeared to hold it all together, inside I felt ugly, unlovable and ashamed of what I had allowed my body to become. But God, by His mercy and grace, had a purpose for me.

Embracing my dream of a career in fitness…

But get this: I’m now a fitness instructor! I first taught a fitness class in 1986, when I was 19 years old, but I really did not know what I was doing. I quickly withdrew, figuring I was no good at it.

Fast-forward 20 years. In June 2010 I weighed 195 pounds, having just completed the P90X program. More importantly, that is when I became licensed to teach Zumba® Fitness. My first classes launched the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my local parks and recreation department.

In the months between getting licensed and starting my classes I managed to get back up to 232 pounds (this time, I blamed Starbucks). I wanted to add more classes to my schedule but, as you might imagine, it can be a challenge for an overweight/obese fitness instructor to be taken seriously by club managers. After being turned down a couple times, I got my first break. I did a 30-minute demo and nailed it. The students loved it and I was offered my first club job.

It was a great experience, but eventually I decided to take my classes directly to the community as an independent instructor. That’s just what feels right to me. The growth of my classes and the people I have met over these last two years have been true blessings.

How did I FINALLY get the weight off?

I have learned that physical activity is vitally important to overall health, for weight loss and so much more. I had the exercise piece locked down.

It was more a matter of getting a handle on what (and how much) I was putting in my mouth. What worked for me was completely abstaining from refined sugar and flour and embracing fresh, whole foods, including lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. (Except wheat; I learned I have sensitivity to it and my body responded very positively when I removed it from my diet.)

I won’t pretend that I don’t get sucked into the feasting of the holiday season, like a lot of people. I’ll pick up a few pounds, but I know how to get back on a healthy eating regimen to lose it and maintain a healthy weight going forward.

My message

With my story I hope to encourage others who may have similar struggles. Start where you are. It does not matter what you weigh now; what matters is knowing your goals and taking that first step. Some struggles will always be there; you need to learn to manage and navigate them. I know that I cannot be handed an entire box of cookies and expected to eat only one. Just give me one cookie and hide the box (in another building!).

Why I ride 

 I am passionate about raising awareness about diabetes and its complications. Thanks to the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure®, I have developed a love for cycling. I am even in the process of becoming a certified cycling instructor and cycling coach! Now there’s the Tour de Cure Women’s Series, which gives women a chance to ride in sisterhood to celebrate all those who live with diabetes.

In 2013 I rode the Tour de Cure Napa Valley (50 miles) and the inaugural Tour de Cure Women’s Series in Santa Barbara (67 miles). This year, I am taking on my first full century ride in the Tour de Cure Napa Valley and serving as the volunteer chair for the Tour de Cure Women’s Series in Northern California.

I’m taking the ride of my life! I count every moment, every tear, every struggle and every triumph as a blessing. If you live in California, I hope to see you out there for the Women’s Series!

Running A 10K With Diabetes

16BEST_SPAN-tmagArticleOn Saturday, I ran my first race of the year and in Minnesota. It was my second 10K, having run my first one in New York City last September. I’ve done a lot of running since then, and learned even more about what I need to do to manage my diabetes while running. Of course, just because something works most of the time does not mean it will work every time, so there’s always a bit of crossing the fingers (and toes!) when it comes to diabetes and exercise.

My husband and I had gone out to dinner the night before and that can always set things up for catastrophe, but it had been a long, stressful week so I really needed a little date night. We went to an Asian / Latin fusion restaurant in Minneapolis called Chino Latino, and had quite a bit to eat. Paired with a delicious raspberry margarita, we had two eggrolls and a paella with chorizo, shrimp, calamari, and chicken with Spanish rice. We also decided to splurge on dessert! Yikes… Thinking back, it was probably not my finest decision but it was certainly tasty!

Around six o’clock in the morning, I woke up. I didn’t have to go to the bathroom and I didn’t feel low, but I only wake up when there’s something wrong with my diabetes so I tested and saw that I was 283 mg/dl. Eek. I debated what to do, but finally decided that since I had a good three hours before my run started, it would be okay to give the full correction. I would go ahead with my usual plan of bolusing half for my breakfast to bump my blood sugar, and I figured that the remaining active insulin from the correction wouldn’t be too bad. Turns out, I was right.

When I woke up and tested at 7:30 a.m., I was only down to 235 mg/dl. I didn’t even look to see if I needed more insulin or not, because I knew that any extra insulin this close to the run would basically double in my system and I would crash. So I just rolled with the 235 mg/dl. I had a bagel with a schmear of peanut butter with a cup of coffee, and bolused half the carbs in the bagel. I don’t turn down my basal when exercising, and just rely on my fuel to also help with my blood sugars.

I’m not currently wearing a CGM (looooong story and one for another day), so my last test before the run was at 8:30 a.m. when my husband dropped me off at the race in a park in South Minneapolis. My blood sugar had spiked to 313 mg/dl, but I was okay with that because I had insulin in my system and I didn’t feel sick which means it wouldn’t affect my run.

In my SPIbelt, I carried my phone along with two GUs for low blood sugars, and in my Nathan’s belt, I carried an additional GU that I planned to use as fuel at the halfway mark. It wasn’t necessarily for my blood sugar, although that definitely helps, but also because I know that on a long run, I need to fuel to stay energized.

Everything went according to plan on the run. I alternated between running and walking, which my CDE Jenny Smith told me can help with blood sugar. She explained that when the body stays oxygenated, it more easily can burn fat for fuel. If not, it starts burning glucose faster. Since I didn’t want to tank and go through blood sugar too quickly, I wanted to do interval running. It’s something that I normally do anyway and have always had good results, but it’s nice to hear that there’s a reason!

At the 5K mark, there was a water station, so I grabbed a glass and tore open my GU, although my fingers were so sweaty it was a bit tricky. I felt fine the whole way until the end. Although I didn’t PR, I did well and finished the run with a blood sugar of 151 mg/dl.

When we got home and had lunch about an hour later, my blood sugar had started to rise to 202 mg/dl. I underdosed for lunch, which ended up backfiring and I spiked up to 254 mg/dl. Bummer. Although I don’t usually have lows during or right after exercising, I do have lows about 12-18 hours after exercising. Usually I have a low blood sugar early in the morning if I don’t lower my AM basal rate. My basal rate goes up for the dawn phenomenon, but something about exercise negates the dawn phenomenon, so that’s when I have to turn it down. This time, I went low just before bed, but I think it happened earlier because I exercised earlier in the day rather than my usual late afternoon/evening routine. I’m not much of a morning person!

In other news, I’m also training for my first half marathon! I’ll be running a half marathon here in Minneapolis in July, so I’ll start increasing the length of my runs. I’ve never gone farther than six miles, so it will be interesting to see how my blood sugars react to increasingly longer runs. See also: where to put all the GUs?

Exercise + Diabetes = You’re Kidding Right?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a personal blog post on TBSW, and honestly I wasn’t sure what I should even write about. Things have been more or less pretty stable on the diabetes front. A few highs, a few lows. The usual, and pretty boring. I’m in the process of finding a new endocrinologist here in Minneapolis, but I’m not quite ready to write about that. So I popped over to the results of the poll I did awhile back to see what people were interested in. Out of all the topics, the number 1 result was Fitness & Nutrition. I’ve been dealing with some stalled weight loss, which I’ve written about over on my other blog, With Faith & Grace. I haven’t written that much about it over here, so feel free to catch yourself up on the saga.

That being said, I thought it might be good to share a bit about how I exercise with diabetes because exercise is such a big part of weight loss but it’s also a really big part of overall diabetes management. Even if you’re not actively seeking to lose weight, exercise can be a doozy. More than one PWD I know has said they actively avoid (pun intended, duh) exercising because it can sometimes create more problems than it’s worth. Ever hear of “drinking the gym”? That’s when you consume via a juice box all the calories you just burned because you went low. It’s not fun and it can be really discouraging.

Since I’ve been trying to lose weight for so many years, I’ve had a lot of practice exercising with diabetes. It takes practice to learn what your body does in response to exercise. As I’ve learned through observing myself and others, there is not one set way that your body will respond to exercise. Some people have their BGs go up, some go down. Some go down later, some go down right away. Some need to eat, some need to lower their basal, some need to suspend. It’s all very unique and of course that makes things really aggravating because why can’t there just be one way to do this?

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that my body really despises going without insulin. When I was on the Medtronic pump, I could  never take it off without ending my workout with a sky-high BG, or at least one about an hour after I was done. I grew accustomed to actually bolusing to replace the basal after a workout. My body knows when I’ve deprived it of insulin and it is having none of that. Now that I’m on the Omnipod, I don’t have as much of a problem because the pump doesn’t flop around the way that the tubed pump did.

I’ve also learned that I can’t exercise with my blood sugar to low either. So I need insulin, but not too much. For awhile I was doing my exercise after dinner, because I had the boost of carbohydrates from my meal, which helped my blood sugar stay stable and also gave me some extra energy, and I would bolus half of my usual dose. I rarely eat just so I can exercise, but calories from a meal are calories I’m going to be consuming anyway as part of a healthy diet. I just time things so that they are to my benefit for exercise. Insulin takes time to start working so I won’t tank while I’m exercising. The exercise also helps boost the insulin so that it keeps the BGs from spiking once I’m done.

Of course, this isn’t perfect. I sometimes still go high or low, depending on how my body reacts to the exercise or if my carb counting was off. For the most part, this system works pretty well. Sometimes I will exercise before dinner if I know I won’t have time after, and in those cases, I make sure that I don’t have any active IOB and I will make sure that my blood sugar is in the upper 100s. If I have IOB from a full bolus, I don’t usually exercise because I know that’s too much insulin in my system. I also like to make sure my BG is up high enough, usually upper 100s or lower 200s, because that gives me a cushion for the inevitable drop. But I try not to exercise before a meal because it’s more unpredictable.

I don’t typically eat anything after a workout,  but I will drink a Nuun water to replace electrolytes. It really helps me feel better post-run! Nuun is calorie and carb-free, so it’s a great way to replace some nutrients without spiking my blood sugar. Occasionally I will eat a snack, if I’m hungry, and in those cases I usually bolus normally unless I’m low (always test after exercising!).

Finally, my big post-exercise headache is the morning-after low blood sugar. When I exercise in the evening, I switch over to my Exercise basal profile which lowers my basal in the early morning hours. For some reason, that’s when I go low and changing my basal keeps that from happening. I change it back to my Normal basal setting in the morning, or even the next evening, since the daytime basal rates are the same for both profiles (so I have a big window of opportunity for remembering to switch). Of course, if I exercise two days in a row, then I just keep the basal profile the same.

So that’s how I do it! Or at least, how I try to do it. How do you combine diabetes and exercise?

It’s All About Timing

exerciseI feel like this is the secret to diabetes that no one mentions and no one can really figure out: timing.

How long does insulin take to start working? How long will it take for my food to digest? How long will it take before my physical activity ramps up my sensitivity?

It’s all about taking the various pieces of our diabetes management and laying them out properly so that everything lands at just the right time. I remember my childhood endocrinologist drawing graphs of when NPH and regular peaked and the idea was that we would have everything timed to my meals. Of course, the timing of my meals and the peaks of insulin were never the same, and that’s the point. We rarely live in a space where timing can be exact, and that’s what makes diabetes so incredibly mind-numbingly impossible to understand and manage.

Lessons in timing have been readily apparent in the last couple of weeks as I get a better grip on my exercise regime. For a long time, I only exercised at night, which worked well because I’m not a morning person, except I found that I went low with any on-board insulin from dinner. No matter how little I took, I always seemed to drop halfway through my run. So I switched it to the morning, and now I don’t go low, but sometimes I will go high from the insulin resistance. I also need to eat something before I exercise. I’m not an empty stomach exerciser or I feel very fatigued. I need to have some fuel in my system, and that fuel is usually carbs. But carbs = insulin which = lows. Fun stuff, huh?

I’ve been playing around with various tactics and I think I’ve found a couple that work. It was actually something Gary Scheiner said at the Insulindependence conference that I attended last month. He said that occasionally he will eat dinner and then exercise and then bolus for his meal, because the exercise delays the digestion of a meal because all the blood is being diverted from the stomach to the muscles. I thought for sure I would skyrocket if I tried something like that. But this week I decided I wanted to take a couple evening classes at the gym — a cardio kickboxing class and a Zumba class — and both of them would be after dinner. So I had dinner and then almost immediately after dinner (within half an hour) went to the gym and worked out. I held steady in the 90s the first night, and then the second night I actually went all the way up to 250 before coming back down by the end of the class.

After the first class, I bolused the full amount and the second night I bolused half the amount, but neither one seems to be the sweet spot. The full amount is too much, and half is too little. Three-quarters? That’ll be fun math to do in my head! But I loved that I was able to take a class regardless of the time of day and enjoy it and not go low. I also still had the benefit of taking less insulin, which is a key in losing weight.

In the morning, I typically wake up and have a GU gel. They are 25 grams of carbs and 100 calories, but so far I haven’t been bolusing for it and paying the price later with a high blood sugar. I plan to experiment by taking a partial bolus of the GU after a run, and then in addition take a partial bolus of my actual breakfast. I’ll have to tweak the percentages a bit, because it’s not likely that every day will be exactly the same! But it’s nice to have a base to work from and a strategy that — for now! — seems to be working pretty well.

I know a lot of people struggle with exercise, so I wanted to share in case anyone else thinks this might be useful (although it’s obviously not medical advice!). Do you have any exercise / blood sugar strategies to share?

Running PWD: My First 10K!

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.

photo 1-110K Finisher!

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!