Becoming a runner…and a diabetic runner

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When can you call yourself a runner?

  • When you are running? (Done)
  • When you put your shoes on, go outside and run? (Done)
  • When you buy your first pair of running shoes solely for running? (Done)
  • When you run your first mile? (Done)
  • When you run regularly (Done)
  • When you sign up for your first race? (Done)
  • When you complete your first race? (Done)
  • When you complete your first 5k, 8k, 10k? (Done, done, done)
  • When you complete your first 6 miles? 7 miles? 8 miles? (Done, done, done)
  • When you run 4 times per week? (Done)
  • When you wake up at 5:30AM on the weekend to run? (Done)
  • When you run more than X amount of miles per week, per month? (Done)
  • When you get your first blister? First time chafing  (Done and done-not fun!)
  • When your laundry is filled with more running clothes than regular clothes? (Done)
  • When you enjoy running (I actually do enjoy it now!)
  • When you miss running on days off (I am starting to really miss running on rest days)

For me, I think I became a runner this weekend.  After running over 50 miles (FIFTY!) in September, I ran 8.3 miles yesterday!! (it was only supposed to be 8 but we got lost on the course)  The mileage isn’t why I call myself a runner.  I think of myself as a runner now because I’m not focused on trying to run the full amount.  I know I can run whatever length I set my mind too (I think running is at least 80% mental).  I think of myself as a runner now because I can run whatever length and now I’m more focused on what pace I can achieve.  I’m a slow runner so anytime I see improvements in my speed, I get really happy.  I used to just be happy if I could run the entire time, now I want to improve my speed.

As a diabetic, I consider myself a diabetic runner because for the first time ever, I figured out how to handle my blood sugars during yesterday’s run.  I normally struggle with my diabetes during long runs.  Last week, I dropped pretty low when I still had two miles left and it was pretty scary.  Yesterday, however, was much better. I woke up at 5:45AM and my blood sugar was 139.  I ate 25 carbs of grapes and two hard boiled eggs.  I bolused for my food but not for my high and I reduced my food bolus by 0.8 units (It wanted me to use 3.5 but I put in 2.7). An hour later at 6:45AM, I tested and my blood sugar was 191.  This was definitely the highest I wanted my blood sugar to be before a run but it is also where I was last Sunday for my 7 mile run when I dropped drastically during the run. I used a one hour temp basal of 50% and three miles into the run, my blood sugar was 129.  I had already dropped a lot but I think it was mainly due to my breakfast bolus.  I ate a few gummy bears (probably around 8-don’t know how many carbs because I never eat them-they were at the water stop), didn’t bolus and kept running.  I stopped at mile 6 and tested an my blood sugar was 101.  I considered that pretty perfect but I still had two more miles to run so I ate half a pack of fruit snacks (9 carbs) and kept running.  When I finished the race, my blood sugar was 119!  I’ll take that as a win!  I didn’t get too low and I wasn’t high during the run. Definitely a diabetes success.  Hopefully what I learned from yesterday’s run will work when I run the Army Ten Miler in three weekends.

Running still isn’t easy.  I run at least 3 miles on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and three miles hasn’t gotten any easier.  But I know I can do any mile I put my mind too and I know now that I can handle my diabetes ok during runs.  I never thought of myself as a runner.  My entire life I’ve always been a couch potato.  Back in February I did a post on my Couch 2 5k adventure and I said “I can’t believe how far I came from not being able to run for one minute to running 2 miles straight”.  Now I run more than 2 miles, four days a week!  I don’t know when others consider themselves a runner.  I never considered myself one but I think I’ve slowly proven to myself that I am a runner and it feels good!

Two inspiring quotes:

“I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.”
-Bart Yasso

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
–John Bingham

Love Pitch Perfect

7 thoughts on “Becoming a runner…and a diabetic runner

  1. One word: Wow!

    Sometimes in the afternoon, I run from my office to the train station across the street. By the time I’m there, I’m out of breath, huffing and puffing, and my chest hurts. I am not a runner.

  2. Awesome! Good for you. I’m trying to figure out biking and how to keep myself from dropping too much too fast. Did only 6 miles the other day with a 50% basal rate, started out at 148 and and had to eat about 10 glucose tabs by the time I finished and even with those I still ended at at 75.

    • Thanks 🙂 Yeah I found biking lowered my blood sugar a LOT. I wouldn’t have expected it since it’s “lower impact” but it does drop me fast. I never figured out bike riding but I would use a 50% temp basal as well. Good luck experimenting and figuring it out! It helps to buy a small basket/box holder thingy (technical words) to hold your test kit and small snack, that’s what I did and I would stop throughout and check.

  3. I know you’ll do that ten miler with no problem. You’re doing great! One thing to remember: Of course, hydrating is important. And the more you hydrate, the lower your BGs will be at the end. If you’re higher than you think you’d be at the end of a run, it might be because you’re a little dehydrated. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t really explain it. But it’s a thing.

    • Ah, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that but that might explain why on my weekday runs (shorter runs) I go higher while my longer weekend runs (where I really make sure to drink a lot of water beforehand) I go low. Thanks for the tip!

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