Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's An Adventure

 Long distance running while dealing with Type 2 Diabetes is an adventure.

All long distance runners face some similar training issues.  We all have injuries.  We all deal with the weather.  But diabetic runners have special problems.

When I started to up my mileage in preparation for the Las Cruces Half Marathon, I immediately started have hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes.  So I had to stop every mile that I ran and check my blood sugar on the side of the road until I got a handle on the problem.  I now know that I can go two miles before my blood sugar drops.  Good news and bad news.  That means that I no longer have to check my blood sugar every mile.  But it also means that I have to pop a glucose tablet every two miles. Which means I have to carry glucose tablets with me when I run.

Also, since I do have to eat a glucose tablet every two miles, I spent yesterday  driving The Las Cruces Half Marathon course to memorize the two mile spots on the 13.1 course.  I have to know when to pump up my blood sugar to avoid a hypoglycemic episode on the side of the road.  My goal is to finish the race on my feet, not in the back of an ambulance.

Come race day, I will have to time the ingestion of a slow release glucose bar to be exactly one hour before the start of the race.  That will give the carbs in the bar time to hit my blood stream.  Also, on race day I will carry glucose tablets, glucose monitor, testing strips, and lancet along with me on my run.  But I have a fantastic husband, Danny Dearest, who purchased these shorts for me for my birthday.
See all those pockets on the rear end of the shorts?  Those will carry all my supplies.  I'll look a little like a pack horse running down the road.

Sometimes when I think of other runners who just lace up their shoes and go running, I get a little jealous.  Their running is effortless.  Mine takes planning and effort. But there are a couple of  benefits that make it all worthwhile. One is that  running keeps my blood glucose levels low.  Which is important for all kinds of reasons.  It helps avoid all those nasty complications from diabetes that we all know about.  And it helps extend my life expectancy.

Which leads to the most benefit of running.  These two.

I have every intention of cradling their babies (my great-grandbabies) in my arms.  And if it means I have to run in rain, snow, or through hell itself, I will.

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