Monthly Archives: April 2014

Waiting out the low

Last Friday, I hated Dear Diabetes, like really, really hated it. If I could, I most certainly would have kicked it in the teeth. Most certainly.

It all started minutes before I was to go on my long run. I always test my blood sugars before a run with the rule of thumb that any reading below 7.5 gets a dose of carbs, anything above I wait until my first walk break. But Friday morning, when my BG read 5.7, I did not feed it with carbs – all because I trusted BLOODY technology over my own knowledge of my own body.

I recently got myself a Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitoring system, which, for those of you not in the diabetes know, essentially shows the trend patterns of your blood sugars. And so, just before my run, after testing, I looked at the CGM and it showed a slanted upwards green arrow meaning my blood sugars were on the rise, and given that I’d already ate a couple figs an hour earlier, without insulin, I put my trust in CGM. I down dialed my basal rate 50 per cent and was on my way.

About 25 minutes in though I started to feel heavy, drowsy, unfocused, a sign that maybe my blood sugars were descending fast. But because I had done 1 km speed intervals the morning prior, I just cracked it up to tired legs. At 30 minutes, I checked my CGM: 4.0. I pulled out a couple figs, but before I could even finish the first bite, my insulin pump started incessantly vibrating and beeping the tone of death (the same you hear on Grey’s Anatomy when the patient’s heart stops) alerting me of my low. I pulled out my metre: 2.6. Oh freaking hell!!!

Two figs were not going to cure this. Into my mouth went a handful of sharkies and a chocolate bliss ball on top of those figs. And down onto the cemented curb of the Seawall went my butt. There was no way I could keep running at that point. I had to wait the low out.

140418run2
I even had to turn my basal off, which I’ve NEVER done prior on a run!

It took about 20 to 25 miserable minutes for my blood sugars to get back into a good zone. And by that time, thanks to the surge of sugar in me, I was now feeling nauseated as hell. I still had 1.5 hours to go. Frick.

Every walk break, and then some, I was testing my blood sugars making the breaks way longer than one minute and waning my motivation to continue. There were several times throughout the run where I contemplated bailing out, calling Big Ring asking him to meet me at a new locale, but I didn’t. I don’t know what kept me going, I felt like I was running slow as hell, every time I looked down at my Garmin, I cursed the numbers staring back up at me, my ankles were tightening up, I was stopping prematurely, sometimes doubled over with pukiness, but I did keep going.

140418seawall2
Common sights on the run: blood and figs.

And when I finally reached the meet-up point where Big Ring and Little Ring were waiting, I had two options: I could have been the glass empty or the glass full girl, and if I’d chosen empty, no one could have blamed me, I hated diabetes with everything in me, and yet, in spite of it, in spite of all those nasty obstacles it presented me, I finished that run. It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful route. I didn’t get lost. And I had two of the bestest smiling faces waiting for me at the end… how could I not be smiling in return 😀

140418finish
It was most definitely a glass full finish.

But Dear Diabetes, you do that to me again, and oh man, you won’t know what hit you. Revenge goes both ways JERK FACE!

FRIDAY’S LONG RUN:

  • 9:50 a.m. BG before: 5.7
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (30 minutes) -100 per cent (1.5 hours)
  • Time: 1:53:26
  • Distance: 19.16 km
  • Average pace: 5:55 min/km
  • Average cadence: 88 spm
  • 1 p.m. BG after: 10.7
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

Bananas and blood gushers

THIS: Ah bananas, they’re like the runners’ go-to fruit. So many benefits: instant energy boost, spiked full of natural electrolytes, and easy to digest… maybe a little TOO easy.

For me, bananas have never really been a first choice. I’m quite picky on the type of banana I eat. It cannot have any indication of brown spots forming, but it also can’t be too green. Really, it’s a small window for bananas and me. And following a hard-run race, I can’t even look at a banana, not even at a fully skinned banana; they induce an instant urge to hurl.

But on Sunday, just before heading out for a quick-paced tempo run, I noticed my BG plummeting. I needed something quick, and I needed something easy on the belly. The only thing that came to mind was banana. Half of it in my mouth and out the door I went.

I kid you not, not even five minutes later and my belly was pissed off grumbling, not quite writhing, but enough for me to know an angry war was building within. It didn’t bother me too much on the run as I was pretty focused on trying to keep up my pace. But man, the second I stopped, BAM! it attacked. I could NOT get to a washroom fast enough.

Now, you might ask me what else I ate prior to going out, maybe there was another culprit, but no, there was nothing, other than banana, out of the ordinary… and this isn’t the first time. In the last month, I’ve had a couple bananas and they’ve attacked every time. Coincidence? Nah.

No more bananas for me!

no-bananas-fishing

THAT: I didn’t realize I could bleed so much.

The other night, while watching the first episode of Game of Thrones, I was lying on the couch when I felt an uncomfortable sensation in my arm, right at the area of my infusion. I didn’t think much of it, just shifted my body so as not to continue irritating it. A few hours later, I glanced down at said arm, and HOLY FREAKING BLOODY HELL! My infusion site was on the verge of exploding!!!

When I removed it the bloody volcano erupted – blood gushing, shooting straight up into the air, splattering all over my bathroom counter, sink, floor, even my pants and slippers, and streaming down my arm. I practically went through an entire roll of toilet paper trying to sop up and cauterize the bloody mess gushing out.

Guess that’s what I can expect if I ever get stabbed in an artery 😉

140408bruise
The bruised remnants of a gusher.

THE OTHER: I went for a hard interval run after work today, the same day as doing a hard noon-hour yoga session. I’m not sure it was the wisest decision, but I chose to do it because yesterday was mucky wet and today was sunshiny beautiful. And you know what, despite my legs feeling like jelly right now, I actually really enjoyed it… that is, once I was done 🙂

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 5:30 p.m. BG before: 7.7
  • Temp. basal -30 per cent
  • Carbs: 1/2 Larabar
  • Distance: 5.82 km
  • Time: 34 minutes
  • Sets: 5′ warmup, 3×3′ hard, 1′ easy, 2×5′ hard, 1 easy, 5′ cool down
  • Average interval pace: 3′: 4:43 min/km 5′: 5:01 min/km
  • 6:15 p.m. BG after: 8.2
  • Temp. basal +30 per cent

Hope you’re having a super fantastic day!

Tales of a lonely runner

It’s been more than two years since I last had a running partner; it’s been a hard two years. Er, wait, let me rephrase that, it’s been a hard year. (One of the aforementioned years, I was preggers and a new mom, and wasn’t running much.)

When Big Ring and I decided to make our family three, I knew there would be changes. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy for me to drive 45 minutes to run with my favourites, if even possible at all anymore. And I knew it would be difficult, but I thought eventually I’d find a new group of running gals to keep me company, keep my long runs not feeling so long, keep me motivated, competitive, excited to run.

But, to date, there has been no one.

140405solorunner
These are the woes of a lonely runner…

And it’s not for lack of trying – this sign went up both in my building and at the market down the quay, both of which I know has a large running community. And the one in my building had all but two of the contact strips removed. Did I get a call?  an email? No.

140405sign
A friend suggested maybe the resident pot smokers were using the papers for rollies 😉

Now. Let me tell you. Running by yourself isn’t a bad thing, in fact, I think sometimes it’s a great thing. But having a running partner, or a group of partners, is so beneficial… if you’re not feeling a run, but you’ve got someone waiting, you’re not gonna bail; if you’re running a tempo pace, and your partner is kicking ass, hell yeah, you’re gonna kick some ass too, even if only to save face; and if you’re running for hours through miserable rain, or hallucinogenic heat, a good partner can make those hours feel as though they are but mere minutes.

And, if you had a run like I did on Friday, well, a running partner is crucial.

Remember last week when I said I was directionally challenged? Yeah, more like directionally disabled. I headed up to UBC with a route that would take me about 90 minutes to complete. The area is a fairly familiar running ground for me, but the routes planned are ever changing, which is one of the things I love about running out there (and the fact that Big Ring and I can do tag team meetups with Little Ring). Just as I was about to leave, Big Ring reminded me – twice! – that I’d be turning on East Mall not Westbrook Mall. Okay. Okay.

I turned onto Crown. I turned onto 16th. I crossed over at the roundabout. I turned onto Thunderbird. I had my eyes peeled for Westbrook Mall, but instead came to a fork in the road. Oh frig.

Lost. 

140405route
I really should glue directions to my eyes!

Seems Big Ring’s reminder didn’t register. Oops. Luckily, I was able to figure out the mix-up fairly easily and get back on my way. But, if I’d had a running partner, I likely wouldn’t have got lost… in fact, when I was running with my favourites, I don’t think we ever got lost. Sigh.

But wait, that’s not all. I also neglected to charge Garmin. At 30 minutes into the run, I got my first ‘low battery’ alert. Two more subsequent alerts sounded before it finally crapped out at 70 minutes in. Now, if I’d had a running partner, I would have had accurate details of the run, and wouldn’t have had to pull out the iPhone (again) and get my Run Keeper app up and going for the final leg. Sigh.

140405lowbattery
Where’s a charge when you need one?

Enough with the sighing! Let’s get me a running partner(s) already. If you know of anyone who might match or even semi match my pace in the New Westminster area, please send them my way!

FRIDAY’S RUN:

  • 11:30 a.m. BG before: 10.2
  • Temp. basal – 50 per cent (3 hours)
  • Carbs: none
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Average pace: 5:48 min/km
  • Average cadence: 87 spm
  • Fuel: @60 minutes BG: 6.9 1 fig newton
  • 1:30 p.m. BG after: 7.4
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1 hour)