Tag Archives: Scotiabank half marathon

The Road to Redemption

Another half marathon has come and gone; my feet and leg muscles no longer ache with every movement I make and my insides are once again hydrated… well, as hydrated as can be in this crazy assed heat. As is always the case for me post race, I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about the journey to redemption: the triumphs, the challenges, the lessons, the moments, the people.

The last 15 weeks was spent again with a select group of women, between the ages of 18 and 60, volunteering their legs for the UBC run study, which is investigating running injuries in women. The road to redemption was not only my journey but theirs also. Like the previous study, most of these women had never run a half before, many were novice, they were excited, they were nervous, some came to the first session with knocking knees. To see them grow, to see how far they had come with their running, to see them push their bodies week after week, to see them not quit, to see them with the biggest smiles on their faces post race – that was pretty freaking amazing. Seriously, my heart is still bursting.

This was our journey – most definitely emancipated from mental slavery 🙂

Scotiabank: 36 hours later

It’s been more than a day since I called it quits on my first ever DNF half marathon. I am pleased to report my mood is no longer down in the dumps. I’ve had time to think, and reflect, and sleep … and to really, truly understand just how amazing my support group is.


A small grouping of my supporters.

From family, to close friends, to running friends, to social media acquaintances, and the blogging community, I have felt so incredibly loved over the last day and a half with phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages and emails. From my big, big brother getting me into a fit of giggles moments after the tears started  with his chastising comment about how he finished his marathon the night before – 26.2 beers! – to a friend offering to punch my pancreas in the face (as long as it wouldn’t hurt me), to others telling me their stories of not finishing races, to the simple xoxo’s, to the many of you virtually kicking me in the butt for my comments of feeling ashamed.

And that’s where I am now.

Let me be clear. I do not fancy myself an elite athlete, I am far from being anything close to that, but I do have goals. Yes, I run because I enjoy it, and yes, I run because it keeps me and my diabetes healthy as can be, but I also run because I have competitive juices flowing through me that want to succeed, want to be better than the last run, want to finish upright and smiling. And whether I run for fun or anything more, quitting has never been an option.


I know. I know. Dear Diabetes got in the way. Dear Diabetes fugged my race up. There is nothing, in that moment, I could have done about the evils of Dear Diabetes. But don’t you see, when I set out on a run, I don’t view Dear Diabetes as a crutch, I don’t consider myself special, different, exceptional because of Dear Diabetes. When I’m lined up in that starting corral, yes, I am testing my blood sugars, yes, I am constantly adjusting and readjusting my insulin pump on my waistband or fuel belt, yes, I am doing the carb/depleted energy math in my head, but for me, that’s always been the normal. And until yesterday, it had never stopped me before.

Dear Diabetes does not define me.

So, while I 5,000 times agree that there are more important things in life than finishing a race, for me, in that moment, and for hours after, my heart broke because I felt I had succumbed to a diabetes weakness I never ever felt I had. And honestly, regardless of what any of you say, I did quit, yes, I quit for the right reasons, but I quit nonetheless. Tell me how many of you enjoy quitting … anything. (Well, unless it’s smoking!)

I waited at the beach yesterday for more than an hour for my Rings to pick me up. In that time, even with the tears, I was already thinking ahead to my next races, and plotting my racing, diabetes and finishing strategies. Quitting is not an option.

Thank you to every single one of you. Your kindness meant the world to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Scotiabank sorrows

When I first started writing this post, I was sitting on a curb with the morning beauty of Jericho Beach before me and the determination of thousands of runners behind me. My face awash with tears, I was embarrassed, ashamed, effing pissed off. I never thought I’d see this day, I never thought I’d quit a race, especially a race I was on par to kick some serious ass at, and yet, there I sat, a quitter.

This morning I woke up and ate breakfast at 4 a.m., three and a half hours prior to the start of the Scotiabank half marathon, with the hope of having all the breakfast insulin out of my system before crossing the start line so as to avoid any unnecessary lows on the race. Over the last few days, my blood sugars had been going consistently low two to three hours after breakfast, which I did not want, so I gave a slight reduction of the insulin dose this morning. Seems that reduction combined with my nerves resulted in a blood sugar revolt. One hour post breakfast, they were 9.2. Two hours post breakfast, they were 12.0. Three hours post breakfast, they were 12.8. And they did not show any signs whatsover of dropping.

Eff me, are you freaking kidding me? My stomach was full on in a fit of worry.


I gave myself a conservative insulin correction dose, enough to hopefully prevent them from continuing to climb, but not so much they’d bottom out by 3 km. I also gave myself a 50 per cent less temporary basal rate, which in hindsight, I should have probably omitted, but given how quick my blood sugars have been dropping on runs lately, I didn’t want the possibility of a low.

Don’t worry, I didn’t have that.

The first 5 km of the run I tried to hold back my pace, about 10-15 seconds slower than race pace. Typically I go out way too fast, and by typically, I mean all the time, and half the time, by the end, even if I’m having a great race, I am so incredibly depleted, it’s all I can do to waddle across the finish, let alone sprint. At the suggestion of my massage therapist, I tried to give this technique a whirl.

Those first 5k flew by.

But the seam started to fray at my first walk break 30 minutes in. That’s when I first checked my Continuous Glucose Monitor to see where my blood sugars were at. The screen read 11.8. I had no idea if that 11.8 would continue to rise, or if it would slow down. I only had 1 minute to get myself organized. I knew I needed some form of energy, there was no way I could go without (I’ve done that previously and it sucked hard!) so I popped a couple shot blocks and hoped, hoped, hoped my BG would cooperate.

Cue the mental battle.

As soon as I started back running I started thinking. I started thinking about my rising blood sugars. I started thinking about the amount of sugar in the shot blocks. I started thinking I should have cancelled the temporary basal. The smart thing to do at that point would have been to stop and do just that, but the competitive demon on my shoulder told me no, I had to keep going, if I wanted a good time, I could not stop for anything other than my scheduled walk breaks every 30 minutes. I’d already slowed my pace, this was when I needed to kick it up.

By 7 km, feelings of nausea started to creep in. I had major dry mouth that no amount of water would appease. I was sweating and panting like a dog under the heat of the sun. And my legs felt as though they had chains wrapped around them.

I kept going. I let the downhill do the work. When my watch clicked over 10 km, and I saw 54:11, the fastest 10 km I have ever run, I was shocked, honestly, completely shocked.

And then I fell apart.

I was nearing my second walk break, my pace had slowed to a turtle’s crawl. When I looked at my CGM, the screen glared a 12.8 back at me. EFF YOU Diabetes! Knowing that my blood sugars were continuing to rise and not knowing when, if they would stop, combined with the pukiness that had taken over, my brain shut down, my mental fortitude shut down, I shut down.

And so, there I sat, shivering in my sweat, cursing my diabetes, admonishing my weaknesses. The runners long gone. My tears not.


Ashamed. Disappointed. Sad. Effing mad.