Sunday, February 18, 2018

Running While Diabetic

I've always loved to run. When I was a little girl, I was quick. Like, faster-than-the-boys quick. As I got older I lost my speed. I dabbled in sprints freshman and sophomore year during track, but it didn't stick. As the years passed I struggled to find a niche in exercise, something that I really loved and could bring myself to do on a regular basis. I was surprised to find myself back to my roots - in running.

When I was a teenager I never thought I could run distance. I didn't feel I had the energy or the stamina. But as I went through college and got more familiar with the treadmill and the track, something shifted. I found I could run small distances if I paced myself. I loved the feeling of settling into just the right pace, where I could breathe somewhat normally and didn't feel like I was going to have a heart attack. It gave me a great feeling of satisfaction afterwards.

Lately I've gotten back into running. My brother and I ran a couple of 5k's, and I found myself falling back in love with the feeling of accomplishment and exhaustion a good run gave. Planned 5k's and runs in particular are exciting for me. When I have that concrete goal ahead of me, I find it easier to get myself motivated.

My main challenge with running is, of course, keeping my blood sugar stable. It's an extra level of sorcery to master in addition to the complexity of just having diabetes. I experience drops during my runs, after my runs, in the middle of the night of my runs, you name it. Then there are the spikes. The adrenaline a good run gives works as a double-edged sword, and can lead to BG spikes during or after runs. I am still in the process of finding a routine that works for me. Typically I take my pump off during the run itself. Gatorade is usually helpful when it's thrown in the mix, whether I drink it during or before or after, or all three.

Lately I've been following along with Type One Run's "Couch to 5k" program on Facebook. Although I've done 5k's before, I wanted to get back in running shape after my last one in November and get going towards preparing for my goal this year - a 10k. The program has step-by-step instructions for every day and can be done without a gym membership, which I love. What I love most, though, is the sense of community and the abundance of resources the group brings. Having a group of type ones easily accessible means being able to ask for advice and share your own helpful tips. So even though I haven't found my perfect routine for a stable BG (and let's be real - probably never will), I have a pool of tips and tricks I can dip into until I find what works best.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Don't Ruin Your Daycation

Overnight Stays & Daycations with T1D

If you've traveled with type 1 before, you know how much pack and prep is involved. Extra supplies, more extra supplies, keeping your medical supplies in your carry-on, and the works. But things are easy to overlook when you're just going for a quick overnight getaway, or taking a daycation to a local spot. Because you're going so close, it can be easy to under-pack and forget the essentials.

This past week I took the train into NYC where I stayed overnight at my brother & sister-in-laws'. While it's relatively close (about an hour by train), I would find myself in a real pickle if my tubing got caught in a subway turnstile and ripped my site out. Getting back home via NJ Transit without planning ahead is a real hassle, and it would cut my trip short, which would bum everyone out. To try to avoid this, whenever I go to places that aren't easy to get home from, I make sure to pack extra everything - even if it's a short trip.

Of course, this means bigger baggage. But this is a necessary evil that I've found to always be a part of the type 1 lifestyle. This week, I stuffed my new canvas tote to the top and tried to keep it safely tucked under my arm during my trek. Something I find helpful is stuffing everything important towards the bottom of the bag, or wrapping them in clothes so they're less likely to fall out. Of course, I keep my meter and some juice easily accessible in my purse. Top priorities are:

Batteries. I always forget about batteries, until I've got 30 minutes left in my pump and have to scramble around wherever I'm at, thieving from remote controls.
Test strips. Sneaky in every way. You watch them accumulate, used, on the floor of  your purse, but then are shocked to find the tube empty.
Chargers. Not just for your phone. If you've got a Contour meter like me, or a T-slim pump, pack that charger. There's outlets everywhere these days.
Extra pump site. I keep these everywhere. One in my car, one in my overnight bag waiting and ready to go, one in my office. You never know when you'll need one.
Extra low supplies. Swedish Fish and Skittles are particularly non-bulky and pack a lot of punch in one bag. I am always learning about new on-the-go low treatments from fellow T1s, so if you've got other ones, please share in the comments!

So whether it's the great unknown or just a city brunch, make sure you're fully packed and prepped for anything!  Don't let T1 spoil your daycation if you can help it.