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.

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