Tag Archives: Onterrible

Princess and D-gal: The power of two bloggers

For years I wanted nothing to do with this disease. Nothing. I was comfortable taking a backseat to my diabetes, ignoring it, denying it, full-on rebelling against it. I didn’t care to talk to anyone about it, and I sure as heck didn’t want anybody talking to me about it. And when it came to other diabetics, I wanted nothing to do with them. But my oh my how things do change.

Earlier this week, when still in the Onterrible, I had an opportunity to meet with Scully, fellow blogger, long-distance runner, and type 1 diabetic. I was a little nervous going in. I’ve been reading her blog for a good while now and while I love her online personality, I had no idea what I’d be getting in the flesh. Over the years I’ve met a few diabetics who, truthfully, I couldn’t stand. For me, there’s nothing worse than the “know-it-all” diabetic trying to tell you everything you’re doing wrong. But Scully, she was nothing like that. The second Mario and I sat down with her at the coffee shop, the conversations started rolling and continued for two straight hours.

Comparing pumps: She’s Medtronic. I’m Animas.

We talked about life, about our running, our respective races (She ran the Missassauga Half on Sunday while I ran the Toronto Half), our blogs, and yes our diabetes too. Unlike me, Scully was diagnosed with Type 1 at 22 and gets rightfully disgusted when people still call it “juvenile” diabetes. She had contracted poison ivy and after weeks of itching, was prescribed a high dose of steroids. Within two days, she couldn’t see and her pancreas had shut down. And unlike my diagnosis when I was nine, where I was rushed to the hospital as soon as my moms told the doc my symptoms, she went two months – TWO MONTHS! – with no insulin, no glucose metre, no support, nothing! But the thing is, this chick is a fighter. Not only did she survive, she has seriously thrived, traveling the world, going on backpacking adventures, rock climbing, spin classes, and is now about to embark upon her first full marathon. Wonder. Woman.

Forget medical bracelets, this chick designed her own medical tattoo!

And even though Scully’s only had the disease for eight or nine years, she is so freaking knowledgeable about it. From her, I have discovered the beauty of upping my temporary basal rates post exercise to avoid a BG surge. I’ve learned how to waterproof my so-called waterproof pump – hello Duct tape! And the best tip of all: Giant Rockets! You know those cellophane wrapped halloween candies you’d get as a kid, well, turns out there’s giant ones on the market that act in almost the same way as DEX glucose tablets, (Three Giant Rockets = 9g carbs. Three DEX = 12g carbs) but unlike DEX, Rockets are a whole lot more tasty!

Oh yes I did stock up! Brilliant!

In just two hours, I learned so much more useful information than I have in probably the last five years of specialists appointments … and she was way cooler to talk to too! Why is it that such valuable people have to live so darn far away?

Dear Scully, the West Coast is wa-ay better than the Onterrible. Just saying… 😉

Good Life. Good Time.

Ahh Onterrible, we had such hopes for you, high hopes, you teased us with a sunny forecast, balmy weather even, you told me to leave the sweaters at home, to pack my bags full of spring skirts and no-sleeved shirts, and so I did. And then, practically the second we landed down in your land, you turned on us with a crack of thunder and five full days of rain, and not warm rain, oh no, you were filling our boots full of bitter, cold, nasty, miserable rain. And so, dear Onterrible, you shall continue to be … TERRIBLE!!! (Side note: when we landed in Vancouver yesterday afternoon, the sun was hot and blinding, and the Onterrible layers were fast shedding!)

Mario should NOT still be wearing his wool hat in May!

Despite the rain, there were still some pretty great moments to be had visiting with Mario’s family, and with fellow diabetic, runner and blogger Canadian D-gal (more on that tomorrow) and retail therapy – three dresses, a cardigan, girly girl arm warmers and a red polka dot headband perfect for the Tiffany’s Race in the fall! But this blog post, my friends, is all about the race, the race in which I brought home, count them, not one but TWO personal bests!


  • 7:30 a.m. BG before: 15.8 (Yikes!)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 21.1 km
  • Average pace: 5:37 min/km
  • Chip time: 2:02:20
  • Garmin time: 2:00:24
  • @45 minutes: GU. @90 minutes: GU
  • BG after: 11.1

I had every intention in the world to start out slow, I really, really did. I had planned for at least the first two or three kilometres to run a six minute to a six and a half minute pace, but the second my feet crossed the touch pad and my timing chip was activated I was in full on racing mode. And when I saw my Garmin clocking me at 5:15, 5:00, even a 4:45 at times, I tried to slow myself down, I really did, but my feet were not listening to my head. So, marathon training be damned, I went with it, and for about 95 per cent of the race, I felt awesome.

Along the course, I discovered a few things about myself:

1. I hate the rain. As Mario drove us to Toronto early Sunday morning, I was freaking out. The rain was beating down on the windshield, so hard, and I was having horrid flashbacks of the Portland Marathon where I was soaked inside and out. I kept silently repeating please let it stop, please let it stop. And it did, sort of. It was still cold as hell, the Globe and Mail dude even reported light snow flurries in with the drizzling rain, (of which I don’t recall ever seeing) but the torrential downpour had stopped, it was just a drizzle for the most part, and a drizzle I could handle.

2. I’m competitive as hell. When I couldn’t slow my legs down, and was feeling great at that speed, I decided to go for it. And the second I made that decision, I did not want anyone passing me. If someone tried passing me who I’d already passed, I pushed hard. And every time I came out of a walk break, I pushed even harder to get back to where I was before walking it out. If a walk break came on a downhill sprint, I ran through it and kept on running … that’s what you’re supposed to do on a long, slow, “training” run right 😉

3. Thank God I don’t load up on hydration the morning of the race. Some people may fault me for this, but given that I’ve got a teeny tiny bladder, so small that even the thought of a glass of water or the sight of one rain drop, could have me running to the loo, I’m thinking it’s a good tactic to take, especially after seeing that chick at not even 4 km in, running behind the dumpster, with her shorts already down to her knees before taking cover!

4. I don’t like pace bunnies. They seriously mess with my head. See, I see the one where I think I should be in line with and if she’s faster than me, it pisses me off (see point No. 2 above) and if I’m faster than her, I’m thinking I’m going too fast and am gonna burn out at some point. Where’s a fox when you need one?

5. Energy gels will be the death of me. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened, but at some point my body has decided it does NOT like the gels. It doesn’t like the Gu, it doesn’t like the Hammer, it doesn’t like the eLoad. I took my first gel at 45 minutes in with no adverse affects, but come the second gel, my stomach was revolting. It was churning and curdling, twisting and turning. I still had 3 or 4 km to go and if you’ve ever run with an upset stomach, you know it’s tough as hell. For about 2 km I thought I was dying. But the cheers of the crowds near the finish, and the words of both Mark Cavendish and Eminem telling me to push through the pain, somehow gave me that boost I needed and powered me right to the end.

Like I said, for 95 per cent of this run, I felt awesome. I couldn’t believe I was running this pace and feeling like it was nothing. At 10 km in, my Garmin read 56:01, beating out my previous personal best of 57:47. So when the pukey feeling hit, and I was forced to slow myself down, I was pissed, because before that, I was on par to cross the finish line with a sub 2:00:00 time!!! As it was, my Garmin gave me a 2:00:24 time, which in itself is pretty awesome for me, but alas, the chip time, technically the “official” time, clocked me in at 2:02:20. And as disappointed as I was at first, it was still a personal best, beating out my previous 2:06:00 time by nearly four minutes!!!

Now, how I’ll fair in my second marathon in a little over week’s time (eek!) well, we’ll see…

Compression socks = post-race recovery!

Land of make belief

I’m leaving, on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again … actually yes I do. Tomorrow morning Mario and I will be hopping on a plane to visit my other moms and Mario’s sister and niece and nephew. And while I give Onterrible a hard time, because you know, it is terrible, it’s got two great things going for it right now: 1. Mario’s family who I do so love, and 2. The sun.

Seems ironic doesn’t it that I’m flying out east to catch some sun rays? It’s like we’re living in opposite land. The east is supposed to be cold, that’s where those Canadians who reside in igloos live, really, totally not kidding at all, it’s freezing out there, like freeze your nostrils cold. And the west is supposed to be warm. Sunshine and rainbows. Yes we get rain, but warm rain, not nine months of bitter, snap your fingers off cold, miserable, grey rain. It’s like winter this year is never ending. (A few luke warm days here and there don’t count.) So, I’m packing my skirts and dresses and cardigans, leaving the jacket at home (maybe) and going to bask in Onterrible’s 20+ sunshiny weather! Maybe not so terrible after all…

Yes, I am one of those packers … pack everything to ensure you don’t forget a thing!

While there, I’ll be running the Toronto Half next Sunday. People keep telling me to take it easy on that run given that I’ve got a full marathon just two weeks later and Sunday’s supposed to be a training run. I might listen to them, I really might, but I can’t promise anything. The second I see someone passing me, which would inevitably happen A LOT with my LSD pace, that competitive demon of mine might just dig his sabre teeth right into the backs of my calves forcing me to go a faster pace. I’m not to blame, it’s that sabre-toothed demons fault if I come in at race pace.

And because we are going to the land of make belief (make belief meaning a land with no Internet aside from my iPhone) the blog will be on hiatus until I return next Wednesday with a post race and post Onterrible recap. So dear blog friends, enjoy your week.