Tag Archives: running with low BG

Running roller coaster

For those of you keeping tabs, and thank you so much for doing so, the results of the run vs. sloth week are as follows:

Run: 4
Sloth: 0

While I know I am the only one who can truly get me out the door running, it helped HUGE knowing that I’d hear from a few of you if I didn’t. This week could easily have been a one or none kind of running week. There were excuses aplenty to be had: It’s New Year’s. It’s cold. I have no one to run with. I’m tired. It’s raining monsoons. But, your words of encouragement; your words of prodding; and for some of you, your commitment to get out there running with me, either alongside or from afar, meant a world of difference. Seriously, thank you.

Four runs (clockwise): I have to pee!; splish splash; death by hills; SNOW... sort of.

Four runs (clockwise): I have to pee!; splish splash; death by hills; SNOW… sort of.

Four in the pocket for the week is a fantastic way to end my three-week school holiday. Today is the first day of Semester 2!

• 8:50 a.m. BG before: 11.7
• Temp. basal: (I can’t remember if I did -30% or -50%)
• Carbs: none (mistake)
 • Workout: 85 minutes: 10′ easy; 75′ alternating 10′ at half marathon
pace, 5′ at 30 seconds slower

• Time: 1:19:01
• Distance: 12.26 km
• Average pace: 6:00 min/km
• Average cadence: 87 spm
• BG: @30′: 4.2; @60′: 2.9 – FRICK!!!
• Fuel: I ended with 3 shot blocks and 2 400mL homemade sports

• 10:45 a.m. BG after: 5.7

This run was a roller coaster of highs and lows, and not only with my blood sugars. But hey, let’s start there.

I have no idea why my blood sugars were 11.7 at the start of the run. At breakfast, three hours earlier, they were 7.2; if they had been consistent with the past couple weeks, they should have been down to at least 6.0 or less by the start of the run. Dear Diabetes was most definitely having her way.

When this happened a few weeks ago, I didn’t take any fuel prior to the run for fear of the blood sugars rising to a sickening state, and I also didn’t cut down my continuous insulin. By 30 minutes into that run, my blood sugars had dropped to 4.8. I still had the same fears for this run, so I skipped the pre-run half banana, but this time I cut down my basal to I think 50 per cent, but possibly 30. Regardless, it wasn’t enough. At 30 minutes in, they had again bottomed out. With the run three weeks ago, I turned off my insulin at this point which resulted in post-run highs that lasted for hours after, which I didn’t want to experience again. So this time, I cut it down to 60 per cent (thinking that I had only cut it by 30 per cent earlier), which was so totally not enough.

Despite sipping on my homemade sports drink and noshing on a shot block, by 60 minutes in, my blood sugars were dangerously low. At that point, I stopped running, guzzled the remainder of my sports drink and stuffed 2 more shot blocks into my mouth. Thankfully, though, 5 minutes was all it took for my BG to rise and me to be back running again.

Unfortunately the Ziplock bag did not keep the strips dry when testing... all ruined.

Unfortunately the zip-lock bag did not keep the strips dry when testing… all ruined 😦

Stupid blood sugars. Before that, I was having a decent run. It was monsooning like hell. The trails were covered end-to-end in puddles. (There’s no dodging puddles on the West Coast!). And if you stopped you were met with bitter cold. Still, for the most part, I was keeping my pace in line for where it needed to be, and wasn’t feeling exhausted on the faster portions of the run. And even after the blood sugar drama, I was still able to kick the last five minutes or so in the teeth with a super speedy finish.

Not impressed with Dear Diabetes messing with a decent run.

Not impressed with Dear Diabetes messing with a decent run.

Stupid blood sugars.

Chasing lows not miles

You know that old adage, If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? That’s exactly what my last long run emulated.

I had plans to run the Seawall; it was the perfect distance. From Waterfront Station to Granville Island is 19 km start to finish. I woke up first thing, dressed in my short shorts and tank top, grabbed my fuel belt and hopped on the Skytrain.

The weather was perfect in New West. It was grey, not too cold, not too warm. But in Vancouver, it was a completely different book. It was black clouds, biblical rains, gusting winds, and cold, man, it was blow-you-over cold. I stood in the shelter of the Convention Centre, waiting, hoping, praying for the rains to subside.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

10 minutes; 20 minutes; 30; 40. What the? It was not stopping.

Normally, rain isn’t a huge issue for me , I mean, it’s a challenge getting out into it, but once you’re out there, it’s usually pretty decent and oftentimes quite fun – IF you’re dressed for it. Recall: short shorts, tank top. I did NOT want to be slogging through puddles for 19 km, shivering, miserable.

At 60 minutes, I cut my losses, grabbed a hot tea and boarded the train for home. Miserable.

The whole ride, I could see glimmers of blue sky trying to peak out from the grey towards New West, towards Richmond, even in Burnaby. But I didn’t want to run in those locales, I didn’t want to battle traffic, exhaust fumes, lights and other nuisances, I just wanted the beauty of Vancouver’s waterfront.

When I got home, it was crystal blue sky – both in New West, and, if the webcams were accurate, Vancouver too! No black sky, no rain, not even a droplet of evidence of the earlier storm – it was full sun, blue sky.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Most people probably would have continued to cut their losses, slogged through a run in an area they hadn’t intended running, or forgone the run entirely, but not me, nope. I wolfed down a PB and banana sandwich, kissed my Rings goodbye and hopped back on that skytrain 🙂

Look at that sun!

Look at that sun!

And look at the smile; so proud I had stuck it out!

And look at the smile; so proud I had stuck it out!

I’d love to say it was a wonderful run, that it was worth the effort of three Skytrain trips, but annoyingly, that was not the case. I had two huge impediments bringing me down.

First, I was completely overdressed. Despite the webcam showing blue sky, I hadn’t forgotten that cold breeze of the hour earlier, and thought surely it couldn’t have warmed up that significantly. I was wrong. Dressed in two running shirts and knickers, I was completely overheating. I ended up taking off one shirt and tying it around my fuel belt. Still, my legs were on fire the entire distance.

The shirt didn't stay on long... and, seriously, negotiating the removal of a shirt with fuel belt and insulin pump and other wirings, not the easiest task!

The shirt didn’t stay on long… and, seriously, negotiating the removal of a shirt with fuel belt and insulin pump and other wirings, not the easiest task!

Unlike the shirt, the pants could not be removed unless I switched my route to Wreck Beach instead.

Unlike the shirt, the pants could not be removed, unless, of course, I switched my route to Wreck Beach!

Secondly, my blood sugars. Like most long runs lately, I was chasing lows the entire time. Eating every 20 minutes trying to prevent bottoming out rather than elevating my energy scores, which, in the end, had me heavy footed, turtle-paced, lethargic. I know it was diabetes getting in my way, but there was still that inner demon berating, hating, judging me.

Stop. Before you consider chastising me for those thoughts, think about it, think about something you truly enjoy doing, maybe it’s running, and think about how you would feel if you consistently failed in your efforts, or consistently had something holding you back from being at your best. Think about it. How would you feel? I know I don’t do this for a living, but I do do it for gratification and endorphins. If I’m not getting either, what’s the point?

1:30 p.m. BG before: 6.3
Temp. basal: -50 per cent
Carbs: 2 dried apricots
Distance: 19.17 km
Average pace: 5:54 min/km
Time: 1:53:13
Fuel: @20 minutes, BG 5.7: 3 shot blocks
          @40 minutes, BG 4.3: 3 shot blocks, 2 dried apricots
(At this point, I turned basal insulin off, which I never do.)
          @60 minutes, BG 4.2: 2 shot blocks, 4 dried apricots
          @80 minutes, BG 4.6:
(I didn’t eat anything, starting to feel ill, saw they were coming up, took chances)
3:30 p.m. BG after: 5.7

Little Ring taking me through a much-needed post-run stretch.

Little Ring taking me through a much-needed post-run stretch.