Sunday, I ran my longest race ever, the Army Ten Miler in Washington, DC. I actually think I temporarily took over someone else’s body because my blood sugars did AMAZING the entire run. Yes, you heard that correctly-for TEN miles my blood sugars did AMAZING. I am still in shock.
While 10 miles would be the furthest I have ever run, I was more nervous about my blood sugars. Nervous because previous long runs had resulted in low blood sugars. A few weeks ago when I ran 7 miles, my blood sugar dropped from 191 to 70 and mentally I was quite scared at 70 and still having a mile to go. I’ve been working hard to figure out some formula to get my blood sugars right for running and just when I think I have the answer, things get crazy again. I thought I had the formula figured out for shorter runs (3 miles) because I would run three miles every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I could predict what my blood sugars would do, increase about 50 points unless I did a little bolus or basal tweaking. But then we increased to 4 miles on the Wednesday runs. For some reason, adding that extra mile resulted in my blood sugar dropping lower on the shorter runs-diabetes never makes sense does it? I’ve been experimenting when to eat fruit snacks, when to do a temp basal, how much of a temp basal and all that fun stuff.
Despite all my experimenting, the day before the race threw me a curveball. We went up to D.C. on Saturday (the day before the race) to pick up our race bibs and packets and checked into our hotel. My husband and I decided to go to Legal Seafoods for an early dinner and I was trying hard to bolus perfectly so I wouldn’t mess up my evening and as a result, my sleep before the race. Before dinner, my blood sugar was 105. I ate one tiny dinner roll, a Caesar salad with no dressing, an 8oz steak and mashed potatoes. It didn’t seem like too carby a meal so I bolused for 30 carbs as a guess. Fast-forward 2 hours (7:45PM, I told you we ate an early dinner) and my blood sugar was 248! Not at all where I wanted to be. I bolused for the high and by 9PM, I was still 241! Grrrr. Finally, I went to sleep at 10PM and my blood sugar had come down to 200. Still higher than I wanted but since I was worried about waking up too low, I didn’t take any action plus I still had some insulin on board.
Luckily when I woke up at 6AM, I had come down from my post-dinner high with a blood sugar of 117. I ate grapes (and hard boiled eggs), about 25 carbs, and my bolus wizard wanted me to put in 3.5 units of insulin, but instead I only put in 2.6 units. We walked about 1 mile from our hotel to the Pentagon, where the race started. When we got there at 6:45AM, I remembered to do a temp basal of 50% for 1 hour. Right before the race started at 8:05AM, my blood sugar was 103. Pretty darn perfect! However, despite not bolusing the full amount for breakfast, I was way lower than I wanted to start for a 10 mile run. Thank goodness I didn’t bolus the full amount for breakfast. I guess walking the mile lowered it more than I was expecting.
So I right before I began the race, I was a perfect 103. Like I said, that was lower than I wanted to start so I ate a pack of fruit snacks, around 17 carbs and began the race. The first water stop was around mile 2.5 and I tested. My blood sugar was 129. Perfect I thought, so I kept running. The next stop was around mile 4.5 and I tested and I was 115. Since I was starting to drop a little lower, I ate half a pack of fruit snacks, around 8 or 9 carbs. The next stop around mile 6, I was 112. I figured I still had my fruit snacks from earlier trying to work so I didn’t eat anything. Around mile 7, I was talking to my husband and I guess I started to sound low to him, or just exhausted, and he suggested I eat some more fruit snacks, so I finished off the rest of the pack from earlier, again around 8 or 9 carbs. Feeling pretty good about my blood sugars so far and the fact I had recently eaten some more fruit snacks, we skipped the last water stop around mile 8 and went on to the finish. When we finished, I tested and I was 99!
I ate 2 packs of fruit snacks, used a temp basal of 50% for one hour about an hour before the race and my blood sugars were 103, 129, 115, 112, and 99. I couldn’t ask for better numbers during any run, let alone a 10-mile run!
The race itself went well. I finished in less than 2 hours, which was my goal but I was at a slower pace than I was hoping. The official Army Ten Miler results show I came in at 1:59:53. My GPS said I crossed the 10-mile mark at 1:56 but I started my watch a little too soon so when I actually crossed the finish line I was at 1:57:27 for 10.15 miles. I think the main difference between the official race results and my GPS watch was the fact that I paused my watch at the water stops and I took longer than I was planning at each stop to test my blood sugar, eat fruit snacks and drink the water. The ATM results included my time at the water stops.
According to my GPS watch, my average pace was 11’36”/mile. I’ve been running faster recently so I was hoping for around 11’15”/mile but I also haven’t run 10 miles before. This was a good practice race and motivation builder for the two half marathons I have signed up for in November and January. Now I have a new goal for those races which is to get under an 11’30″/mile pace and finish under 2.5 hours.
Overall, the race was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful sunny day, but very chilly first thing in the morning. Running along the water and the national monuments was amazing. I was pretty sore after the race but I’m starting to feel better and ready to run my next 3 miles. I’m still in shock at how great my blood sugars did.