I'm a huge fan of my Medtronic Paradigm 723 insulin pump, I love the CGM and everything that the pump has to offer. When my cellphone, Facebook and Twitter pages all started going nuts because of the new Medtronic insulin pump I couldn't help but be excited. Everyday diabetes technology is changing and with the blink of an eye we are getting closer and closer to the much anticipated "artificial pancreas" To read all that the new 530G insulin pump has to offer please click here.
The new pump is able to temporarily stop insulin delivery once sensor levels fall below a predetermined level. For example, if my low alarm is set for 70 once my CGM reads 70 or below my insulin pump will automatically suspended This is great news for many but I believe this is not the major insulin pump revolution that many imagine.
I suspend my insulin pump at least once a day while I'm at work. I will see or feel that my blood sugar is falling, I also know that I will be active for the next two to three hours. I need to nip that low in the butt, I want to keep working, I don't want to take ten minutes to fix a low blood sugar of 50. If I can suspend sip juice and eat a little while still working I'm happy. Does that mean the new 530G is perfect for me?? No, the new insulin pump suspends once you hit a certain number, lets say I set my alarm for 75. Having it set for 75 means that I'm probably at 60 if I was to test using my glucose meter, the CGM is giving me my blood sugar anywhere from five to ten minutes before. The simple fix is to set my low alarm for 100 which it is currently at, the problem with that and the new pump would be what if I'm sitting watching TV for the day. Can I cancel the suspension? I'm sure that I can with no problems but I have yet to see that information anywhere.
On to my biggest problem with the automatic insulin delivery suspension feature. What about the insuiln that it is already in my body? I have been told that using the suspend feature on my current pump is to only be used if I'm suspending for more than an hour. Fast acting insulin takes anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour and a half to start working. My problem with the new pump is that it does what I was told not to do by many doctors. If my blood sugar is at 80 and falling at 7:15pm after eating dinner and taking a meal time bolus of five units at 5:50pm the suspension of the insulin pump wouldn't touch my meal time bolus. That insulin is already in my body and has already started working, the suspension of the insulin pump would stop my evening basal rate, not the insulin that caused the low.
As alaways I need to state that I'm just expressing my feelings and views. I have done my share of research and have not seen any information that covers what I just wrote about. Diabetes technology is going in the right direction and I'm very excited for the future but I believe that the new Medtronic 530G is not the future, it is current technology with a small new feature. I group this new pump with the new Iphone color, it is the same device with something that does nothing to better how the device performs
This mornings run went absolutely perfect. Starting the day with a blood sugar of 138 I knew things would go smoothly. After my usual breakfast and a short warm up run I was ready to tackle my 20 mile run. Being a pretend athlete I can say that I know when my runs are going to be good or bad. You will often hear pitchers or golfers talk about how they know they will have a good game or round after the first inning or first hole. Something comes over you and you just know that you have it that day, a mile in to my run I got that feeling. I was feeling great and running well, I kept telling myself that it was only a mile in and that I should relax.
As I hit mile five that feeling remained and got even stronger when I saw that my blood sugar was at 102. A tad low but I took action immeditley to try and raise my blood sugar. I pulled a Power Bar from my jersey and ate three quarters of it. The cycling jersey worked out great!!! I had one minor problem, the inside of the zipper cut my chest a little. Other than that it was amazing!! I had no problems running with six GUs, two Power Bars and my glucose machine in the three pockets. An hour being 102 I was at 104 when I tested again, this time I was not worried. I knew that my temp basal of 49% was working and that I would stay around 100 for the remainder of my run.
Meeting Leanne at the 13 mile mark saved the day, I was feeling very thirsty and the Gatorade she provided tasted great!! After a short chat it was back to my normal pace, I felt very strong and continued to enjoy everything about the run. I arrived home just after 11am, I finished strong due to the song that was playing on my ipod (the song is below) when I run I get this odd high and music like this makes me laugh, I know that I'm odd but it works so why change it. After getting some protein in my body I was happy to see my blood sugar at 152. I proceeded to eat my lunch and enjoy the rest of my Saturday!!
Today my run was nothing like the marathon, I feel very strong however and feel that I'm truly ready to run my first marathon. I have the confidence, I just need to stick with my training for the next month and if I do nothing will stop me on November 3rd!!
Tomorrow is my biggest test before the New York City Marathon. No big crowds, no offical time, just twenty miles and trying to manage my diabetes perfectly while running. I believe that I'm more scared of my run tomorrow than the marathon itself. Tomorrow I'm on my own, yes I will have money and all kinds of food incase I get low but that is it. Leanne will be checking in on me around mile ten but again no big crowds.
As I have always said in my narcissistic way, physically I can handle the twenty miles, it is the mental side that I'm worried about. Tomorrow will hurt, I will want to stop but quitting is not an option. I have quit on things to much in my life, in the past five years however I have never quit. Life has had its share of tough times in five years but quitting was never an option. If it was I would have quit on life five years ago when I was close to losing Leanne and everything in my life. Running twenty miles will be easier than coming back from surgery and easier than getting my diabetes under control. This paragraph has me very motivated, I want to run right now!!! I need these thoughts to be present around 10am when I'm at mile 12.
When it comes to my diabetes I have everything planned out perfectly, I just have to execute the plan. I would like to be around 160 at mile 5 just over forty minutes in to my run, at mile ten a blood sugar of 140 at the 1:30 mark, at mile 15 I hope to be around the 140 mark again. When I finally finish I'd like to be around 130 and close to three hours. That is the plan, I doubt things will go as planned but I believe everything will go very smoothly. I have carb loaded all week and had great blood sugars all week. All that left is the run!!!
No one likes to get an oil change, you sit in some weird car dealership and your forced to look at old magazines and listen to bad music. This morning I decided to take my running gear with me to work, I could change before I left work and run while they worked on my car.
The best part of the day was getting to the car dealership and checking in, the gentleman at the desk shot me an odd look to which I replied "Is it ok if I go for a run while you work on my car?" He chuckled a bit and responded "I guess, it should take about 45 minutes." With that I headed out the door and was off for a run. Knowing the area well I decided to do some hill repeats, a nice mile warmup and then it was off to show the hill I'm not scared. This same hill has kicked my butt before, on the bike it has had me gasping for air. With sections at a 9% grade the hill is nothing to mess with. I may not be normal but I find running up hills a little easier than riding a bike up them. I ran the hill four times and as usual I felt stronger the more I did. Returning to the dealership I got some very odd looks, I stunk and was covered in sweat. The best part was that I didn't care what anyone thought, as I walked to the counter a few of the dealers were talking and I overheard "what's up with that guy?" I couldn't help but laugh, I'm addicted to working out and I'd rather workout than sit for an hour.
I got very lucky with my blood sugars while I worked out, I was at 57 before I left work, I had a good sized lunch and only took .7 units to cover it because I knew I was working out. In the picture of my blood sugars you can see that I recovered from the low very quickly, my blood sugar crept up to 180 as I was about to begin my run. As my run went on my blood sugar began to drop and then leveled off. I'm not perfect when it comes to running and my diabetes but I'm happy that I was able to run this afternoon with no problems.
The past four days have been some of the toughest for myself and everyone in my family. A lot of tears have been shed but the family is as strong as ever. To be perfectly honest my diabetes didn't care about what was going on. My blood sugars were on a roller coaster ride, stress is the one thing in our lives that we can't cover with insulin. I took almost 45 units of insulin on Sunday, that is 15 units more than a usual day. Those 15 extra units didn't touch my blood sugars my blood sugar average for Sunday was at 198.
I was very happy that I was able to have my CGM on for this difficult weekend, although it kept telling me I was higher than normal, it was good to see where my blood sugar was at. The last thing I wanted was to excuse myself to go test my blood sugar. The CGM made it possible for me to be as "normal" as I could be.
Leanne and I made sure that I had a bag full of diabetes supplies just incase my blood sugar went to low or high during the weekend. This bag went everywhere we went and I wasn't afraid to have a big bag of food as we went to events where having a bag of food and diabetes supplies is not the norm. It is so amazing what communication can do, as Leanne and I entered the funeral home we were told that bringing food in was not allowed. Rather than yelling Leanne and I calmly explained how I was a Type 1 diabetic and that I needed this bag of supplies just in case. Everyone was very accommodating and I had my own room if I needed to get any of my supplies.
Today it was tough to get back in to the work groove mentally and as a diabetic. That bag of food turned in to a number of Gatorades and a box of fiber one bars but I had all of the supplies I needed in case I was low. It was an up and down day but I can't complain.
As the marathon approaches I get a new worry every single day, these worries range from should I bring two pairs of running shoes to what kind of Gatorade should I drink when I run. Obviously most of my little worries are just that, little and in the grand scheme nothing to worry about at all. One of my major concerns was how would I be able to carry all of my supplies while running the marathon?
My first thought was to have family members every eight miles or so. I could grab a Power Bar and my meter at mile eight and be good to mile twenty. But then how does that person get to the finish to see me, also with so many spectators and increased security I doubt that is possible. I then thought about running with a runners belt. A great idea but as a diabetic I have so much stuff to carry that I doubt it would all fit. When I'm running the marathon I will have my glucose meter, test strips, my pricker, five to ten GUs, my ipod, sportslegs pills, and possibly my cell phone. I highly doubt that the runners belt could hold all of that.
I was told on Saturday at TCOYD Worcester that I should wear one of cycling jerseys under my singlet. I have no problems carrying all of my diabetic essentials with me when I ride my bike for six hours why wouldn't that work while running. The only problem that I foresee is that the objects will bounce around while I run. I can deal with that, I would much rather have all that I need than run and get low and have to dropout of the marathon because of a low blood sugar. I can easily put my running singlet over the jersey, the cycling jersey is breathable so I won't have to worry about it causing my body to over heat. This Saturday I have a twenty mile run planned, the cycling jersey idea will make its debut then. I can't wait and believe that I have solved one major marathon worry.
The Taking Control of your Diabetes event in Worcester yesterday was a huge success. Leanne and I met so many new and wonderful people and learned a lot about what is developing in the diabetes world.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Bill King in the afternoon group session about being a Type 1 Athlete. Bill is an amazing person and a great runner. In our session I believe that we complemented one another very well. I was impressed with the number of people that attended our session and even more impressed with the number of people who stayed after our talk to talk with Bill and I one on one.
Sitting with Bill at lunch I learned a lot about what I will need to do when I run the marathon in November. It is always nice to speak with someone that has already ran the NYC Marathon. A lot of the little things that I was not thinking about Bill brought up and told me the importance of having my meter with me and making sure that I eat every twenty minutes while running. It is weird I always ate on the bike but never thought to eat while running. I'm so happy that I was able to get to know Bill on a personal level I couldn't ask for a better diabetes and running "coach".
While Leanne and I were walking the health fair floor we saw so many people that have helped us in our fight against diabetes and have helped me to get where I am as an athlete. We also learned a lot about the new diabetes technology that will be available as soon as the beginning of next year. I love my medtronic pump but looking at the T:Slim insulin pump and the work that they are doing with dexcom has me very excited!! T:Slim has taken the insulin pump to the next level, I did my best to find a fault with the pump and each time I thought I had I was told by one of the employees that the option was in the pump and shown how to access it. The future is here and I'm excited to hopefully have the new technology on my hip in the months to come.
Tomorrow I will be speaking at the Taking Control of Your Diabetes event in Worcester Massachusetts. I encourage anyone that is in the area to come and check out the event. This will be my second TCOYD event and I can't wait to meet new people and see of the new products available to people living with diabetes.
The conference begins at 9am at the DCU Center in Worcester. The event offers a number of workshops for people living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. You can register for the event when you arrive at the DCU Center. For information please click here.
What: Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference and Health Fair
When: September 21, 2014
Where: DCU Center, Worcester
Session: Diabetes Made Me Stronger: Become a Type 1 Athlete
Time of Session: 2:15-2:45PM
I feel and actually know that athletes living with diabetes are not normal people. I was all set to go for a nice training run and was a bit upset to see that my blood sugar was at 85. I decided that I would fix my low and then go for a run. I often get asked by Leanne "How can you run after eating? Don't you feel bad and get cramps?" Honestly I don't I have no idea why but I can eat and then run with no problems, I don't encourage it however. Today I had a glass of apple juice, a waffle and a banana twenty minute before going on my run. Again I had no problems while running after eating and returned home with a blood sugar of 100, I don't know how I do it but it works so I won't complain.
My "coaches" suggested that I start to do some hill runs before the marathon. For the past few months I have just been going out and running the miles. That will only get me so far, changing up my runs is a must. This afternoon I found out why, I started with a two mile warmup run and then ran up and down a good sized hill five times. The hill is a good friend of mine, I got to know it very well when I was riding my bike like a mad man. The hill is a little different when you run up it, I quickly foundout that I couldn't sprint up the hill. I quickly broke the hill down in to sections, the first section was somewhat steep so I would go at a race pace, the second part is a lower grade so I would be able to catch my breath a bit for the final section. The final section was the sttepest but I wanted to sprint up it and show the hill I was in charge. After the first trip up I was ready to puke, the run quickly turned in to a mental workout. I wanted no part of the hill after my third trip but figured if I gave in that I would have no chance come November 3rd.
It is amazing how much life affects your diabetes. Today I thought work would be a bit of an "escape" from real life troubles. I was unable to shut my brain off while working and my blood sugar was all over the place. I was doing the same jobs but my blood sugars were high most of the day.
The next few days will be a bit crazy but I will continue to update when I get a few moments.
After a day off it was time to get back to work and go for a nice six mile run. I was very excited to get back out and run, it is weird but running and working out has become like a drug. I'm addicted, it is getting worse as I get closer to the marathon which isn't a bad thing.
Today my run started off very well but around mile five I began to feel "low". I decided to have some GU and slow my pace to try and raise my blood sugar. Nothing was working, I finally decided to shut it down and walk the rest of my route. As time passed I started to feel a lot better, my pump said I was at 167 and dropping. When I arrived home I started to feel dizzy again, I tested immediately but was very surprised to see that I was at 88. I decided to have my normal post run snack of chocolate milk and peanut butter toast.
After I started to feel better I started to think of what was causing my dizziness while running. The whole run I was a little gassy (sorry but it happens to all of us, no one is a perfect....) so I may have a little stomach bug going on. This makes the most sense, I still don't feel 100% and a coworker was complaining this past weekend of stomach pains. It could also be dehydration, I always have trouble staying hydrated and after Sundays run I was quite dehydrated. I did my best to try and drink lots of water but it may not have been enough. Finally it could be a true low blood sugar feeling. This goes back to the dehydration part a little as well but when my blood sugars have been around 70 I have felt like I'm at 50. The 88 may have been a flase 88, I was probably lower when I was on my run but by the time I got home the GU kicked in.
I don't know what was up with my dizzy spell while running but I'm anxious to run again to see if it returns or if it was just a freak thing. I love how my diabetes has made me over analyze each bad feeling that I get. The marathon is making that over analyzing even worse, I need to be at 100% for November 3rd. The next 47 days are going to be fun!!
All I was hearing from people after the race was how much pain I was going to be in when I woke up this morning. I hate to disappoint everyone but the pain was not present, sore yes pain no. I feel pain when I train, if I'm not in pain when I'm training then I'm not working hard enough. I want the races to be easier than my workouts.
What I did not prepare myself for was how the race affected my body and my diabetes. I was so concerned with my blood sugars during the race that I forgot to do research about how my blood sugars would be eight, twelve and twenty-four hours after the race. After taking almost eight units of insulin to cover my big lunch and my body coming down from the race high, I took one of the best naps of my life. Having the CGM made this possible, if I did not have the CGM I wouldn't have the confidence to take a nap. My blood sugar stayed right around 150 during the afternoon, but started to go towards the 60s as dinner approached. My usual post race Subway meal was just what I needed to end my day, I took five units and enjoyed the evening. While I was asleep something happened, I was up near 200 all night. A normal night has me around 100.
I'm not a doctor and I don't know what happened to my body during or after running, I also don't know how that affects my blood sugar. All I can do is roll with the punches, I was honestly happy to be around 200 all night. I would rather be 200 than 70 all night. I was not prepared for the day after and that will not happen again, I will be sure to find out from my doctor and my amazing diabetes "team" how my body will react to 26.2 miles of running. (I would love to keep writing but if I sit still for more than 30 minutes my legs feel like they weigh an extra 100 pounds!!!)
After a crazy twenty-four hours I was able to get in to the half marathon, a special thank you goes out to everyone that helped me get a bib number. This morning when I woke up I had this very odd calmness inside of me. My blood sugar was at 68 at 5:45 but I knew that somehow everything that happened today would go smoothly. I quickly found out that I was wrong as my blood sugar climbed up to 260 as I began my warmup. I trusted in the insulin I took and the food that I ate, I was not worried that I was higher than I wanted to be, somehow I knew it would all work out.
As the race began I felt amazing, I had that odd calmness about me but a little bit of nervousness began to creep in. Could I do this? I laughed and said screw it just go out and have fun. That is exactly what I did, I would not look at my pump until the end of my race unless I felt low or dehydrated due to a high blood sugar. When I hit mile 3 my time was at twenty-seven minutes. It was then that I began to really run the race. I felt so amazing that I knew I could pick it up a little bit and still have enough left in the tank to finish strong. At mile six seeing Leanne made me smile and I was on a high for the next four miles. As I hit mile ten I still felt great, my time was at 1:26:58, I was very un happy with that and said to myself I need to go with all I have. I have only a 5k left and I can really push and be close to finishing around 1:45:00.
The next three miles felt great, I started to feel the run when I hit mile 13, nothing crazy but legs started to feel heavy. I was passing people in those three miles and doing so with relative ease, this was the first time ever that I was doing the passing, usually I'm the one that is struggling to finish a race because I started the race to quickly. Crossing the finish and seeing my time of 1:48:12 I was very happy. That happiness went away when I got further down the finishing chute and realized that I should check on my blood sugar, my pump read 221, not bad but I wasn't feeling that high. I was almost brought to tears when I saw that I was 93. I couldn't ask for a better blood sugar, the power of believing in yourself is amazing. I proved that to myself that I know what I'm doing when it comes to my diabetes and my running.
After the race I was so happy to be with Leanne and her mother, I may do all the running but I couldn't do it with out all of the support that so many give me. Being a part of the Westerly Track and Athletic Club has been so great, I love that I have a group of friends that I can talk to about the race, it doesn't matter who had the best time, it's about supporting one another and trying to make sure that everyone in the club improves in each race that they do. One final little tidbit, people may remember when I ran a ten mile race back on July 27th. Today Smile Like You Mean It was playing on my Ipod as I crossed the finish line. No rainbows at the finish but hearing that song at the finish brought me to tears and I was so happy to heart it at that moment.
I' new to this whole running thing and learned a valuable lesson last night. Don't wait until the last minute to signup for a race. This may not come as a surprise to some but a race can sellout!! I was shocked and a tad angry. All of my training mentally and physically is for not, after the initial anger I decided to make my own half marathon. I will have no crowds or any competition but I will be running the 13.1 miles.
This afternoon I went for a nice training run and felt amazing!! This just added to my anger about not being able to run the half marathon on Sunday. I quickly reminded myself that the half marathon is not the final goal, the NYC marathon is. All of my training is right on schedule and I feel great and that is all I can ask for. I have 51 days to get ready and I feel that I will be physically and mentally prepared for the marathon.
My real disappointment about missing the half marathon is the diabetes side of running. I wanted to see how my body reacted to the half marathon atmosphere. How would the adrenaline effect my blood sugar, I can create my own half marathon but I can not recreate the atmosphere. Today on my training run my blood sugar was good, I returned home from the run with a blood sugar of 203 not 297 like my pump read. I'm excited to see how my blood sugars are during my half marathon, that is my main concern and I know that it should not be a major concern. I'm very confident in my running and blood sugar control.
When things go bad sometimes they will go really bad.Yesterday after work I was beginning to prepare for the half marathon this weekend. I wanted to setup a new sensor site so that it would be working perfectly for Sunday morning. Everything started off great, I was 114 just before dinner and the pump was calibrated. Around 7 I noticed that I was getting a little short tempered, I looked at my pump and I was at 173 and climbing, I took a couple units of insulin and thought nothing of it. Nine times out of ten I have nothing to worry about, my blood sugar will climb a little but will be down in about an hour.
I tested just before eight and was at 348!! I felt like crap and decided to take another six units of insulin. Around 9:30 I still felt like garbage, I was very angry and very thirsty, I decided to change insulin pump site. When I took off the old site the tubing was filled with blood, that explains why my blood sugar was so high. I had not been getting any insulin since 6pm. I changed the site but went to the old insulin pen to get the insulin that I needed. I knew that the pen would get the insulin in quickly and hopefully that would make it work quicker.
The real problem was that all of this happened around 10pm. I wanted to sleep, but I just took 15 units of insulin to cover this crazy high blood sugar. I don't encourage anyone to do what I did, what I did was dumb but I believed in my twenty-two years of living with diabetes. I believed in myself and the decison on the amount of insulin I took. I went to sleep and didnt wake up until 5:30am. I awoke with a blood sugar of 88, I'm not proud of that however. I don't want to say I was lazy but I should have set an alarm for 2am and tested to make sure everything was ok. The sensor was right on with my blood sugar all night but again that is no excuse for what I did.
The moral of this blog is to never think you have total control of your diabetes. I got lucky, I'm not proud of it but what happened has scared me to the point of being a model diabetic. No matter how long you have had diabetes you can never forget the basics.
Today I was by myself and as always I was doing a lot of thinking. An angry low ( 66 blood sugar but every little noise was making me angry) got me to thinking about what would you say to someone that was just diagnosed with diabetes. When I put the question up on Facebook I thought I would get a couple of responses, what I got was more than I imagined. Below are just a few of the responses.
Take care of your diabetes from an early age because by the time you hit 40 without proper health intervention and a proper lifestyle the damage is already done.
Don't spend all your time worrying about the carbs, eat what you want, and take enough insulin to burn it up. Please don't take too much and go low. Lows are not good or any fun. Lose weight, you'll feel better. Be happy!
Be patient and kind with yourself. It's no small task doing the job of a pancreas.
These are all amazing answers and cover all that diabetes has to offer. Now that I have had some down time I can answer this question after thinking about it most of the day. My answer may seem like a generic answer but it's the truth.
Diabetes is what you make it, if you look at all of the negative you will hate your diabetes and could lose your battle. If you use diabetes to challenge yourself and accept the good and the bad you will love the disease. Take what you love about your life and incorporate diabetes in to what you love. If you love to read, read inspirational diabetes stories and how others live a successful life with the disease. If you like math, diabetes is made for you. Everything about diabetes is numbers and equations. No matter what you love in your life, you can bring diabetes in to what you love. As I always say diabetes is one heck of a disease and I'm glad I have it!!!
Friday before leaving work for the weekend I was asked by a coworker what I had planned for the weekend. I responded "I plan on being up around 7, running by 8 , then having dinner around 6 and going out with friends around 8 that evening." I was then asked "Do you schedule when you go to the bathroom?"
Everyone had a good laugh but that comment stuck with me most of the weekend. I often joke that I'm OCD, probably not the best thing to joke about but I have definite OCD tendencies. How and when did I become such a scheduled person? I honestly believe it happened when I got control of my diabetes. If you ask Leanne what I'm doing at 5:45 every morning the answer is simple, I'm flipping between Quick Pitch on MLB network or watching the local news while eating eggs or a bowl of cereal. If you ask the guys at work what I'm doing at 11:30 everyday again the answer is simple. I'm testing my blood sugar and have an apple, almonds, a sandwich and a fiber one bar next to me.
Honestly it bothers me a little bit that my life is so regimented but I wouldn't change it. My life is so scheduled because I look at my life and body like a machine, you change your oil every three thousand miles so why should I push my body to extremes. I know that if I don't eat dinner around 6pm that it messes up my blood sugar and how I feel physically and mentally.
Being so regimented has helped me tremendously as a diabetic, a coach, at my job and as a person. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my day planned out, if you want a good laugh steal my alarm clock and laugh like crazy when I go nuts if I wake up late. I can laugh as I type that but I'm honestly scared of how I would be.
With a Saturday off from work sleeping in sounded like a good idea but running sounded even better. I did get the best of both worlds however, sleeping in until 7 was very nice. The toughest part of my morning would be having a small breakfast and not allowing my blood sugar to spike due to the .9 units I used to cover a bowl of cereal. On a normal morning I will cover a bowl of cereal with two units of insulin.
As I began to stretch around 7:45 I could feel that my blood sugar was creeping higher. Having a dry mouth before and during a run is not something that I wanted to deal with. As I continued to stretch I debated giving myself more insulin, I was happy that I talked myself out of it and trusted that my run would lower my blood sugar. As I began my run I could tell that I started way to fast, I quickly slowed down knowing that I had a medium distance run in my mind. Once I got in to my running zone I felt amazing. I was also in my diabetes zone, with both of my major concerns covered my mind began to wonder. I was running roads that in the past caused a lot of problems, now I was going up these hills with little trouble. It is amazing how great you feel once you see how much all the hard work is paying off.
As I finished up I started to feel a little low, I felt very strong the whole run but at the end I began to lose interest, this never happens. At the end of the run I had a blood sugar of 81, not bad but I'd really like to stay above 100 on any run that I go on. I feel good about the half marathon next Sunday. I know that everything won't go as smoothly as today but I feel that I know how to handle everything before the race.
Seven and a half years after my T1 diagnosis, I am finally enjoying a CGM! It has been almost two weeks since I received my Dexcom Platinum G4 in the mail, and what a two weeks it has been. My diabetes journey has been full of ups and downs, as is common with most T1’ers. Since moving from Rhode Island to Manhattan almost four years ago, my diabetes management took a strain. Living in a new city with new surroundings, including a new preschool teaching position, I developed anxiety over the fear of lows. Although I am lucky enough to have never experienced extreme hypoglycemic symptoms, the fear of experiencing that on a crowded subway, a wonderfully chaotic classroom, or a busy NYC street was enough to scare me into keeping my blood sugars higher than recommended. Obviously, this fear took a toll on my A1C. I was consistently living with an A1C of 8.5%, not horrible but not where I wanted it to be.
Fast forward three years, and here I am with an A1C of 6.9%, achieved with my pump and glucometer, improved understanding of my diabetes related anxiety, and hard work. When my doctor suggested a CGM, I was thrilled. After reading Ryan’s blog and seeing how important his CGM was to his daily living and exercise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. As a runner myself, I was excited to start mentally enjoying my runs instead of playing the guessing game: how is my blood sugar trending? Am I going to get low? Can I make it ten more minutes before testing again or will my impatience get the best of me?
As with any technology, the cliché is true: the machine is only as smart as its user. I was warned by my doctor to not constantly look at my CGM, or to stop testing my blood sugar all together. Knowing how to use my CGM is a huge part to making this a successful tool. The first few days, I did exactly the opposite of what my doctor suggested: I was looking at the receiver every five minutes and testing it against my glucometer readings; I was calibrating most of these readings, further throwing off the CGM technology; I was waiting for the CGM to mess up and have to live with the scary consequences of a low blood sugar. As the days when on I began to look at the trend arrows, just as much as the blood sugar readings, and to only calibrate twice a day. The most important lesson I have learned so far, however, was to trust my own body and sense of blood sugar, just as I have been doing for the past seven and a half years.
I cannot wait to see how using the CGM will impact my A1C, my overall mental health, and my exercising. Tomorrow I will run my first race with my CGM in Central Park. It will take a lot of emotional strength, but I have decided to leave my “diabetes running kit” behind and just bring my CGM and “smarties” for the race. I am going to allow the CGM to do its job and in return promise to be supportive, trusting, and confident in my new buddy.
With the New York City Marathon only fifty-nine days away I'm starting to get nervous. When i first planned to run a marathon I thought it would be the Boston Marathon in the spring of 2014. I had setup a decent schedule that involved a half marathon in September. If the half marathon didn't go well I figured I'd have all fall and winter to work on running better and building more muscle.
I will be running the Surftown Half Marathon on September 15th in Westerly. (I feel like I'm holding a press conference, I will answer questions at the end of this blog post!! I'm a mess!!) The amount of pressure that I'm putting on myself to perform well is ridiculous. Why all the pressure? In my mind if I can't run a sub two hour half marathon with decent blood sugars I have no business running one of the worlds most prestigious marathons.
Right now I don't feel as if I will run to well next Sunday. I have not run since Tuesday because of work, my blood sugars have also been a bit wacky but again I blame this on work. Saturday will be a big test run, I will be going for an eight to ten mile run around 8am. I'm more worried about my blood sugar than the run itself, I have been going on training runs in the afternoon and have no idea how a morning run will treat me. I'm looking forward to getting in to my running groove and enjoying the crisp morning air. This may sound odd but I feel that once I get in to my groove that I can run with anyone. I know that this is not the case but if it helps me run I will do my best to believe that I'm the best.
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