Tag Archives: diabetes and exercise

Note to Self: Try New Things

We moved recently and bought a small house on a small triangular shaped property with dozens of trees on it.  Most of the trees are pines and other evergreens, which are my favorite.  The unique shape of the property captivated us and we’ve been dreaming up cool garden ideas.  Even before we moved we saw a lot of work in the yard.  There are several different types of vines growing wild, choking off trees, and beginning to threaten others.  While envisioning the future, I imagined myself making Alex a sandwich while he worked hard to clear the vines and clean up the yard. 

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That’s part of the back yard, a wild and wonderful mess.

Once we moved in I realized that Alex was at work from sun-up to sun-down and the clearing of the property needed to be done and waiting until warm weather would mean watching out for snakes and dealing with pests (and I’m not confident in my ability to do either).  I thought to myself, “I’m going to absolutely hate this, I’m not the gardening type”.  But I went out there and starting pulling up vines, some half an inch thick, others thin and twirled around tree limbs and branches.  They have formed a massive thicket and run up and down many of our trees.  I used to think this look was desperately charming but I started to look up the vines to identify them.  One in particular is a terrible invasive type which takes down trees (oh no, the house!) and covers up plants (how rude!).  It grows really fast and we just so happen to have it all over the property.  I worked for 4 hours one day only to clear about a puny three ft radius of land.  Then I went inside, washed my dirt covered hands and that’s when it hit me.  This was the most fun I’d had in a really long time.  I felt so healthy!  My allergies weren’t acting up because it was late fall.  I felt peaceful and energetic.  All from pulling up vines, uncovering trees and plants, and finding artifacts left behind in the ground such as Twizzler wrappers and lots of old socks (I have questions for the man that used to live here). 

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Doesn’t look like much, but these mounds are massive in person and reflect only a tiny amount of cleared land.

Since then I’ve spent several more afternoons doing the same, enjoying myself so much I only stop when it’s too dark to see and my kids remind me it’s time to do my motherly job and feed them (think of all I’ll be able to accomplish when they can feed themselves!)  Each time I feel a sense of euphoria.  I did recently pull or rip a pelvic floor muscle doing this which makes sense considering I jumped into a new physical activity without any caution and without working myself up to the task.  But, I’m healing and learning not to over strain.  And I’m still loving it.  And I’ve become a nerd to my husband who just shakes his head back and forth as I call myself the “tree whisperer”.  I struggle a lot of with anxiety and depression, something I’ve blogged much about, and this activity is like strong medication for me.  I don’t quite know what it is.  Maybe it’s being out in this time of year with the smell of pine,  the crisp fresh air, birds, squirrels, and deer all around, and no pollen to make me sneeze.  All I know is I’m just going to keep it up.  It’s built in exercise, too so my blood sugars love it.

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See how much there is?  I can’t even find my husband when he’s out there.

I was so sure I would hate doing something I turned out to totally love doing!  So, this is a serious note to self: try new things!  Who knows where it will lead.  And if you have any tips for dealing with invasive vines, I’m all ears.

March and April 2013 Resolutions

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For January and February my goal was small because this is the hardest time of the year for me.  Winter wears me out and the lack of warm sunny days challenges my healthy lifestyle habits.  There’s something about the cold and how it makes me want to cuddle up on the couch with some tea and enjoy my biggest not-so-guilty pleasure, White Collar with Alex.

My goal was just to practice giving my presentations about diabetes in Spanish.  And so I did.  My problem has been more about a lack of fluidity between tricky words and sentences versus not knowing what to say or how to say it.  It’s worked for me at jobs in the past but when giving a presentation it seems important that a message come across smoothly.  With each presentation I’m doing better and the fear of speaking Spanish is behind me, um, mostly.

Now onward to March and April, or just err…April.  Spring is here and while allergies cause me a lot of serious fatigue (seriously, the body just. shuts. down.) I am still eager to enjoy warmer weather and longer days.  Of course, as I type this at 6:46pm on a Sunday in Spring I’ll admit it has been snowing all day.  Go figure.

My goal is to jump back into exercise.  Not that I ever stopped but I since Winter is a hard time for me-a time of surviving versus thriving if you will, I did just enough to get by.  I feel the need to sweat more.  I need to get toxins out.  This is a perfect time because Spring naturally brings greens and berries with it which help detox the body.

I realize this post is super late but I have been working on my goal all month.  Every other day my workout is a tad more intense and that’s enough to make a big difference in my body and energy levels.  So far so good!

*A few days later*

I’m now on day three of a juice fast.  I’m juicing mostly vegetables and only consuming that and water.  It’s been really awesome thus far.  A post on the entire experience to come.  I gotta see how long I can go first SmileDuring this time it’s just been yoga, which I’m surprised I can even do while on a juice fast in the first place.  Who knew?

What are you working on?

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Housework

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I buy a quart of juice each week and the kids get a few drops of it in their cup of water so that it’s flavored.  We went to a local university to enjoy the nice fall weather recently and when I realized that I forgot to buy glucose tablets, I just packed that unopened quart of juice in the car for any emergencies.

Earlier that same day, my parents let me know they were stopping by.  I took a look around me and knew  I’d have to speed clean in order to make the house presentable.  So I whipped the kitchen, living room, and guest bathroom into shape in 30 minutes.  This is something that would have normally taken me 2 hours.

I was sweating after it all and almost out of breathe (not sure what that says about me).

And a little after that is when we went out to walk.  And that’s when I was thankful for that entire quart of juice I packed in the car.  I needed every last drop totaling 96 grams of carbs.  Two hours later I was 83 and in desperate need to pee.

I think this was a great reminder for me.  When I ponder choosing between a workout and cleaning the house, why not combine the two?  One and the same if you move quickly and deliberately.

What about you?  Do you get lows during or after housework?

Summertime River Adventures

Ana and I (Sysy) have been without power since the mad derecho storm surprised us Friday evening.  Don’t worry, our other sister Sara is keeping us and our insulin at her home.  Anyway, Ana and I are at the library trying to stay cool and…letting the show continue.  Here is a blog Ana wrote from her river adventure last week.  (She was unaware the real summertime adventure was yet to come!) *****

 

"You can't tell but my blood sugar is high"

I know a lot of outdoorsy people, and I can’t say I’m one of them. I mean, I like being outside, but if you asked me to go camping I would be (extremely) reluctant. I don’t blame my diabetes for that—at least not entirely. I try to not let it be reason for not doing something that I actually want to do (like tubing down a river!), which is why I just try to figure out what I need to do and bring with me on outdoor adventures so that I’m prepared for low or high blood sugar levels. And yeah, it’s a little inconvenient to have to carry extra things and worry about the temperature, but it’s way better than the alternative (the alternative being either doing something less exciting or ending up in a hospital…).

So yes, as you can see, I went tubing down a river for the first time this summer! I went with my boyfriend and several friends to the New River Junction in Blacksburg, VA. There were 13 of us total—11 on tubes and 2 in open kayaks. My boyfriend was in one of the kayaks and he had a cooler with my insulin, meter, drinks, and snacks tied to the back of it. I wore water shoes to protect my feet since the whole bottom of the river was just rocks.

Only one person carried their phone with them, so I frequently asked what time it was. We skipped lunch and got in the water at around 1pm, so I told my boyfriend I had to give my Lantus injection in 3 hours. We spent about 2 hours tied together in our tubes just floating down the river—occasionally hitting our rear ends on rocks, but other than that it was pretty peaceful We also went down a small section of rapids, which was probably my favorite part (and I was almost too scared to do it!).

They had buses that would drive you back up to where you get in, so we got on the bus while the 2 kayakers paddled back to meet us. When we got back to the other end, I asked what time it was—it was 3:40. Then I looked for my boyfriend who had my insulin and I could hardly see him because he was so far away. I panicked a little and told the others that I needed my insulin so we got back in the water and they yelled a few times, “Ramonnn!! Ana needs her insulinnn!!” Fortunately he heard so he paddled over to us pretty quickly. Still on my float, I gave my injection, checked my blood sugar, and gave an injection of Novolog because I was really high. I had hardly eaten all day, so I’m guessing the high blood sugar level was a result of the heat, my stress, and also the lack of insulin earlier (I gave less in case I had to swim). Once we got out of the river again, I drank lots of water. It took a while for my blood sugar to come down, so I didn’t eat much for dinner.

In the end, I realized I could have been a bit more prepared, but I didn’t know what to expect so it was hard to plan. Next time I’ll check more frequently and maybe invest in a waterproof watch? I’ll also keep a bottle of water with me (my float has cupholders!). Anyway, from a not-so-outdoorsy person to you, don’t let diabetes keep you from doing what you want! Just do your best in preparing for any adventure you may have (not just outdoors) by anticipating possible situations. Have a wonderful adventure-filled summer!

 

Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Their Impact on Diabetes Management

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From watching message boards and facebook, I’ve come to understand that more people than I imagined don’t believe that healthy lifestyle habits can improve their diabetes management or are an essential part of their management.  They believe that adhering to the strict rules of carb counting and insulin dosing is all they need to do.  And when their diabetes management isn’t where they’d like, they blame diabetes.  And yeah, yeah diabetes is ultimately the cause of all our blood sugar woes.  But focusing on that is NOT going to ever help.

So I’d like to offer some opinions on lifestyle habits and how they impact diabetes management.

First, I’ll say that my diabetes management was extremely challenged while I ate a typical American diet.  I have never had an issue with carb counting or portion sizing.  My challenge was facing the ups and downs that broke the rules about insulin and carbs.  When I changed my diet to omit most processed foods, most of the time, I realized my blood sugars didn’t swing up and down nearly as much.

Same happened when I began to exercise daily.  Easier diabetes management.  Insulin is much more powerful when we exercise regularly.  When I don’t, I cannot maintain tight control.

These discoveries were so huge for me that I can’t imagine someone not knowing the potential of healthy lifestyle habits on their diabetes.

No matter who you are, the positive impact you stand to gain from changing things about how you eat and move during the day is huge!  I can eat carefully and exercise daily and use 12 units of my long acting insulin a day.  If I eat like I see most people eating and if I don’t exercise regularly, I literally need 25-30 units of my long acting a day.  That’s a HUGE difference.  That difference impacts weight gain, hormone balances in the body, moods, metabolism, thyroid function, cholesterol, and more.  That’s why I take it seriously.

Now, I didn’t make these changes overnight and don’t expect others to either.  But it helped me to be slowly convinced that trying to make small, gradual changes over time were totally worthwhile.  And that’s what I’m trying to do in this post for anyone who isn’t convinced.  I benefited from reading stuff like this long ago and I hope somehow this helps someone else.

I write it over and over again because I believe it through personal experience.  And yes, we all have unique experiences but I’m not saying eat what I eat or exercise how I exercise.  Those details are up to you.  However, if what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else.  And just because it worked for you once doesn’t mean it works for you.  Something has to work consistently in order to “work”.

If you love and respect yourself, and I hope you do, you owe it to yourself to adopt the habits that will nourish your body and mind for the long term, rather than going for instant gratification.

Reminder to Self

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From my head AND my feet.

I recently had a two week stint of…oh I don’t know, diabetes burnout or just feeling “blah” and unmotivated.  I didn’t exercise much for two weeks and I had some processed food and began to need about 25 units of my long acting basal insulin a day.  I’m back on my exercise routine and regular eating pattern and I just wanted to share that I’m down to 15 units of my long acting.  That’s a huge change isn’t it?

I don’t know which I love more: healthy food or exercise.  I feel like I can’t manage my diabetes unless I use the powers of both.

Sometimes I’m jealous of our ancestors.  Exercise was a built in way of life (no cars, no TV, no internet, no food unless you work for it).  Healthy eating was a lot easier (no processed or gmo foods, no two week old produce shipped from another continent.)  See?  They almost had it easier.

How can we make the most of what we have?  How do we exercise smart choices over temptation?

I don’t know about you but what helps me is to meditate and work on being aware of what I want for myself.  This keeps me focused (most of the time) on what needs to be done to get me where I want to go.

I’ll try to remind myself of all this next time I go into a “I don’t feel like it” phase.

Classification of Carbs

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I really believe carb counting alone is insufficient when it comes to my diabetes management.  At least the simple way it’s taught.  It’s just my opinion and I’ll explain why:

I’ve found that for ME, there are adjustments I make for different types of carbs.  These are adjustments beyond just subtracting grams of fiber.  A carb is not a carb.  They vary spectacularly and learning their differences helps me keep my blood sugars in range and helps me decide which carbs to avoid.

I classify my carbs:

-Refined grains

-Sugar/sucrose/plain fructose (no fiber)

-HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)

-Chocolate, ice cream, and other high fat desserts

-Poultry/Meat/Seafood

-Fruits and vegetables

Refined Grains

When I eat anything with processed grains like white rice sushi or pizza or cookies, cake, or crackers, I have to watch out for a post meal blood sugar skyrocket.  It doesn’t happen right away which is why it’s often confusing to dose for these kinds of foods.  For example, last time you had pizza you were high afterwards so this time around you give more insulin, only to get low in the middle-towards the end of your meal.

I find that about 30 minutes after eating anything with refined or processed grains, I have to give another dose of insulin.  An insulin pump option on a dual or square wave bolus works well for a lot of people, but from what I gather, people with and without pumps have a hard time keeping blood sugars in range with processed grains.

Sugar

Eating something like candy made from glucose or sugar or drinking plain 100% juice or sugar sweetened beverage is a bit different.  I find that if I’m going to consume this within a reasonably fast amount time (as opposed to snacking over a period of 30 minutes) then I count carbs and using my 1:15 scale, I give just that amount of insulin.  Then I wait 15 minutes for the insulin to start working (more if I’m not in range).  I find that the insulin cancels out the sugar carbs pretty well and there is no shocking aftermath.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

This one is interesting.  At least for me (remember, this is just what happens in MY body).  I find that candy or beverages made with HFCS works like when I eat refined grains.  But that makes sense to me when I think about corn being a grain!  It’s easy to forget because people serve it to kids and say “eat your veggies”.

High fat desserts

This gets it’s own category because of the large amount of fat (and because they’re my favorite!)  I try to stick with dark chocolate for a low dose of sugar.  I also make sure to buy desserts that do not have HFCS in it as a sweetener.  I try to get the gourmet kind with minimal ingredients and then I count carbs and give insulin in the middle of eating since the fat content really slows down the absorption of most of these foods.  If there is a lot of sugar I give insulin prior to eating as usual.  I’m referring to a dessert like high fat truffles, mostly.

Poultry/Meat/Seafood

I count carbs and then add a tiny extra amount of insulin to my carb count depending on how much I eat.  I don’t have to do this unless I’m really filling up on this protein source.  I love how these foods fill me up and do very little to my blood sugars.

Vegetables and Fruits

I’m a fan of these, especially in terms of carbs.  As you are well aware, the high antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, fiber, and water content of these foods makes them wonderful for our health.  I definitely don’t need as much insulin for these foods.  I count the carbs and then omit for fiber content.  Fruit is something I stick to consuming in it’s natural state and in small quantities.  The sugar in fruit is fructose and too much overloads the liver, causing fatty liver problems.  Oh and it definitely affects blood sugars.  My favorite are cherries, they are very low glycemic.  Have you tried them for a low?  It takes so many!

I know I didn’t talk about legumes or nuts.  I don’t eat legumes anymore.  I think I ate too many as a kid.  I treat legumes like vegetables and I treat nuts like meat.

With any food:  If I eat a lot, I need to give a little extra insulin for the full stomach effect that Dr. Bernstein has talked about in his books.

I adjust for a few other things.  I’ve mentioned them before but here we go again:

BM status.  Eww, I know.  But being backed up might make a person anticipate a need for more insulin.  The opposite of that issue= less insulin.  So watch out for major lows if you get food poisoning!

Stress.  If I’m stressed, I have to give a little bit extra insulin to combat the stress hormones and their affects on my blood sugars.

Exercise.  Different types of exercise require different diabetes management approaches.  Read Ginger Vieira’s book for that info and so much more-even worksheets for getting all these changes right!

PMS.  Days before I start, I need to up my basal insulin.

Sleep.  If I stay up late (past midnight), I have to give some extra insulin (unless I’m active).

Sedentary.  If I’m being sedentary more than two days in a row due to sickness or diabetes burnout or whatever, I definitely have to up my basal insulin substantially (by 30-40%).

Too much artificial sweeteners.  Certain artificial sweeteners in high doses do contain carbs (it’s a small amount per serving so they’re legally allowed to round down to 0) so if you’re binging on diet coke, check your blood sugar and stay alert to a sneaky increase.

That’s all I can think of.  It’s just an example of how you want to be aware of how your body reacts to different types of food and activity.  You can see why I stick with meat/poultry/seafood, vegetables, and fruits.  Much better blood sugar stability and less variability for me.  But when I do splurge, at least being aware of how those foods act differently help me manage them for those occasions.

I write all this out because you can have tighter blood sugar management.  It helps to learn yourself and the foods you’re eating.  Again, get Ginger’s book or ebook and discover how to improve your blood sugars.  I highly recommend it.

Do The Big Blue Test 2011!

An initiative started by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in 2009, the Big Blue Test is an awareness campaign that also gives back and clearly emphasizes the importance of exercise in managing blood sugars.

To participate is super easy: sometime between today and the 14th of November, test, do some activity, test again, and note your results online.  To do that last step, go here, and click on the “Do the Big Blue Test” button.

Each test is a life saving donation of life saving supplies to someone who desperately needs it.  Next time you’re taking a walk, doing a workout, out dancing, or even chasing your kid across the playground, test before and after and note your results online.

Let’s let everyone know that people with diabetes do give back, we do take care of ourselves, and we are powerful in number.   And most of all, let’s get some life saving supplies to those less fortunate than us.

Oh and watch this powerful video and spread the word!  Have a great Tuesday Smile

100 Year Old Marathon Runner Renews My Perspective

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I just read about Fauja Singh, 100 years old, who just completed a full marathon.  By the time I lifted my jaw off the floor I had read all I could on the man.  He’s a vegetarian, eats a low fat diet, won’t consume rice or caffeine, and runs 10 miles a day in training.  He strives to be positive, doesn’t get offended or angry, focuses on charity work, and advises that to be happy and live long we must do what we love, give back, live stress free, and eat to live, rather than live to eat.

It occurred to me this man is an example of someone who eats what fuels him properly and doesn’t eat what doesn’t fuel him properly.  I think we all need a different diet and discovering what that diet consists of is no easy feat but it sounds like he’s done it.  It’s clear he also knows how to live a stress free life, something I have always seen as impossible.  Yet, here is someone who has endured stress.  He lost his wife a long time ago.  His son died prematurely.  He used running as a way to get busy and focus on something, as a way to cope.  He doesn’t have much education, was a farmer in India before he came to live in England, but he seems to know all the secrets to happiness and health and actually practices them.

For some reason his story provides me with a lightening bolt of a paradigm shift.  I feel renewed energy to eat only when I’m hungry, not paying attention to people who say one should eat often in order to avoid feeling hungry and then binging.  Hunger doesn’t make me want to binge, it makes my food taste better.  I’ve heard people say that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to the Kenyans who run amazing races or people who stay active into their 90’s like this man.  Yet, why not?  We’re human just like them and what these people do with their bodies is inspiring.  I know that I am at my current level of fitness in part because I grew up thinking that a mile was a long distance on foot.  Whereas people who grow up walking several miles to and from work or school each day don’t see a mile as a long way at all.  Their knowledge of a mile is so different and as a result, what they see as possible is very different from what I see as possible.

This man’s story provides me with a renewed perspective in how I think about our bodies and what is possible.  Surely I can run more if a 100 year old man can complete a full marathon.  Perception is key.  If I believe a 10 mile run is doable, does that make it more doable?  I once thought that keeping my blood sugar below 250 most of the time was impossible.  Then I looked at it different.  I believed keeping it around 100 was doable.  It’s not easy, and like running each day, it takes discipline and preparation, but I did it.  When I stopped the discipline surrounding what I ate and when I did or didn’t do something, that level of glucose management fell away.  However, I know it’s within my reach again.  All I have to do is firmly know it’s possible and act on that belief, ignoring all others.

An Intro to Running with Diabetes

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This is a guest post from my dear friend and adventure seeker, Chris Scully who blogs at CanadianD-Gal.  I read an old post of hers recently where I realized that she didn’t always run half and full marathons and it hit me that everyone has to start somewhere.  Many of her posts detail her diabetes management prior, during, and post run (or bike) and she is a world of knowledge when it comes to handling intense and long duration exercise and diabetes.  For all of you wondering if you too, could become a runner, check this out for some seriously valuable advice.  Take it away Scully!

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I am not a professional.  Not even close.  I have learned everything through experience and trial and error.  Please consult your physician/CDE/Endo on how to start running while managing diabetes.

30 seconds into it and I feel like I’m going to cough up a lung.  I’ve never breathed so hard in my life.  I feel dizzy and nauseated.  I have no idea how some people do it for 26.2 miles at a time.

I’ve taken my first steps into running.

I think it happens to everybody who decides to pick up running.  That is the best thing one can try to remember.  Pretty much EVERYBODY goes through that.  The trick is not letting that feeling make you want to throw out your running shoes.  The trick is getting PAST that feeling.  It’s going to hurt no matter what you do.  The other trick is learning to harness that discomfort and find a way to level it out.

The best piece of advice I can give from someone who tried many times to become a runner is “SLOW DOWN”.  I think most of the time new runners bound out the door sprinting rather than running.  It’s hard to tell that you’re probably going too fast when you’ve never run before.  Take it slow and steady.  Walking does not make you a failed runner.  Some people learn very well with the walk/run approach.  At the beginning, walk more than you run while eventually increasing the run time and decreasing the walk time.  Slow down and ease into it.  It’s going to hurt at first and it’s going to hurt a lot.  Let your body recover between runs.  With time and patience the pain will subside.

Learning to run takes a long time.  Especially if you have very little athletic foundation to begin with.

One of the things that helped me more than anything else is an article I read on breathing while running.  This was over 10 years ago so I can’t quote it and have no clue where I read it but it goes like this:  2:3 ratio.  2 in, 3 out.  Breathing, it’s that simple.  2 steps of inhaling, 3 steps of exhaling.  The day I put that to practice is the day I learned to love running.  I remember reading that your exhale should be longer because you want to really empty your lungs. Focus on long deep breaths from the belly, not the diaphragm because then you end up shallow breathing.

To this day I let my breath guide my body and it has become second nature that I am always counting the breaths in my head.

Running with breath allows control I find.  There’s two ways to look at it, let the body guide the breathing or the breathing guide the body.  If you force one, the other will follow.  This breathing technique is similar to the “conversation” marker.  Can you feel like you can carry on a conversation with a running partner? If the answer is no, then you’re running too fast.

That’s how I learned to run.  That’s what worked for me.  Paying close attention to my breath made it so it stopped feeling like my lungs were going to explode out of my chest.  It taught me a comfortable pace that I could eventually maintain for longer periods of time.

As for the diabetes aspect? I haven’t always had an insulin pump and I wasn’t always the most responsible diabetic.

When I began running (post diagnosis) I didn’t have an insulin pump.  I was on shots of Novorapid and Lantus.  The timing of the runs were what was most important.  I was an evening runner so hopefully there wouldn’t be any weirdness from leftover insulin and food by the time I got home from work.  I probably took a bad approach to it because I wouldn’t leave the house if my BG was under 10.0mmol/l (180mg/dl).  I would normally eat a granola bar or something that my stomach wouldn’t try and regurgitate half-way into the run.  There was a lot of waiting.  I would still carry my glucose meter and some sort of fast acting sugar just in case and would really only use it if I was low.

I don’t remember very much from the running and pre-pumping days.

Blood sugar management while running really depends on a lot of factors.  Doesn’t it always though? But seriously, I’m going to stick strictly to running for now.    The key to my success (when I have it) is the temp basal option on my pump.

What effects the BG while running?

-Types of runs, ie: Speed work, LSD (long slow distance), Hill repeats, short runs, etc… etc… etc.
-Time of day
-personal insulin requirements
-duration, intensity

LSD runs are usually anything over an hour.  They are meant to be run at a slower than usual pace and therefore won’t rid me of glucose as fast. However, because they are long (for me 2 or 3+hours) eventually I will run out of stores.  When preparing for my LSD runs I find it optimal to manage my blood sugars so that taking in a gel or the equivalent of 25-30g carbs per hour won’t ruin my BGs.  If I set my temp too low, I might have to take insulin with my gels.  I need the fuel during the long runs just like a non PWD and having to take any amount of insulin is sketchy.  I try not to have any IOB since I find even just a little bit of insulin can have a huge effect.  Though if I do need some insulin just to take the edge off or if I’m high when I really need a gel, I will take a bit.  maybe just a unit.

Early mornings for me are different.  I usually run about an hour but I am super insulin resistant at that time and don’t need to do anything for my BG.  I don’t need a temp basal even though at that time my basal rate is at the highest for the whole day.  I run on an empty stomach and my blood sugar still rises by the end of the run.  Unless I am low before the run, I don’t need any carbs.

My evenings are when my basal rates are the lowest and subsequently when I am the most insulin sensitive.  I need a very low temp basal and usually still need to eat something before I run.

I find when I run under 1/2hour it’s easier to do nothing than to suffer the consequences of post run high BGs.  It’s too short to effect my BGs.

Post run is touch and go.  I often need to set a high temp basal before the exercise finishes.  That would be to counter the effects of the extra glycogen that is released from the liver and is now running rampant through my body when I stop.  I will set a +50% temp basal about 20 minutes before I’m done running and leave it on for 2-3 hours depending on the time of day and how it relates to my insulin sensitivity factor.

About 4 hours after the run is when my BGs will start to go down and I might set a -15% basal.  More often than not this is when I’m ready to eat and I will just make adjustments with my bolus.

So the main factors to remember are:

-Your personal insulin sensitivity at that time of the day
-The intensity of the run – high intensity often means higher glycogen being released (depending on the duration of course)
-The duration of the run – the longer the run, the more glucose stores you use up

ON THE RUN!

I carry at LEAST 1 gel at all times.  The longer runs I will have 2 on my person as well as the bananas and dates that I stash ahead of time with water.  I never run without my glucose meter.  EVER.  I used to carry it in my hand the entire time.  That was before I discovered Tallygear.  I used to test nearly every 15 minutes for learning purposes.  Now I test about once an hour unless I feel weird.  I always carry my phone on longer runs in case of emergencies, diabetes related or otherwise.  I don’t have a medical ID because I rely on my medic alert tattoo but that’s important too.

TIPS FOR STRIPS!

They don’t work in the cold or when they are wet.  My meter acts up at about 5C (41F).  The strips will sustain a bit colder but not the meter.  I put hand warmers in my meter case all winter long.  If they are wet, they won’t work.  Even just a little bit of sweat.  Mini Zip lock bags work but I find they still get wet inside after awhile.  I have been using the strip container but the rattling of the strips drives me bonkers.

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The best thing I can say is, start slow and always carry a glucose meter and sugar no matter what.

If there is something about running and diabetes that I might have some experience on, feel free to contact me.  I’m always willing to share, even the embarrassing problems.   I know what I know because I put myself through the “learn through experience” program.  Available everywhere.

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Thank you, Chris!  I am so eager to put this advice to work and I’m sure many others have appreciated an insider scoop.  I urge everyone to check out this post on Chris’ blog where she talks about her love of running and how far she has come (and potentially, where you and I could one day be because frankly I’m still in the huff and puff stages).  Just knowing it takes time and practice and knowing what to look out for blood sugar wise makes me very hopeful.

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