Running 12 miles with diabetes

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I have been doing the half marathon training team since August and I was beginning to feel pretty confident about running and my diabetes.  In September, I ran 63 miles and I increased my speed over previous months.  For the Army 10 Miler, my blood sugars behaved beautifully.  Then I received my disappointing A1C results and I took a week off from running.  That week off coupled with the easy taper week the week before left me feeling worried about the approaching 12 mile run.

I started the week last week fresh after my “running vacation”.  I went back to the training schedule on Tuesday and ran 3 miles.  It was a tough 3 miles after having a week+ off but I did it.  Then on Wednesday, I did 6 miles and on Thursday I got back out there and did 3 more miles.  So when Saturday rolled around, I was hoping that my training for the week had got me back into a good spot after losing some momentum.  But I was still nervous since 12 miles is a LONG distance.  The longest I had done prior to Saturday’s run was 10 miles for the Army Ten Miler.

For the Army Ten Miler, I was more nervous about how my blood sugars would do for the entire run than I was for actually running the whole distance.  This Saturday’s run, though, I was more nervous for the actual mileage than for my blood sugars.

Well, Saturday’s run went better than I could have expected! It was a confidence booster as I go into my taper weeks leading up to the half marathon.  However, the run did start off bad as I had tummy issues.  There wasn’t a bathroom until mile 5 and to avoid an embarrassing accident, I found myself walking about 1/2 of a mile.  As a result, my pace wasn’t my fastest but once I made it to the bathroom, the 7 miles after that went much better. In fact, miles 6-10 felt great!  I was enjoying the run, the scenery, the morning.  I felt about 20 pounds lighter after the bathroom break and my legs were feeling great.  Then I made it to mile 10 and my legs started to feel about 1,000 pounds.  I didn’t give up though and while it wasn’t easy, I made it to the end.

My blood sugars did great again!  I started the run at 124 mg/dl and throughout the 12 miles, my blood sugars were 84, 98, 97 and finished at 120.  I did pretty much the same thing I did for the ATM and it seems like that formula works well for me on longer runs.  I ate three packs of fruit snacks throughout the run, did a temp basal of 50% for one hour and around mile 7 I suspended my pump until mile 10.

Saturday, the run and my blood sugars did great.  However, over the last week, I’ve been seeing a lot of low blood sugars.  I’ve been trying to lower my A1C and having lower blood sugars is the way to get there (captain obvious here), but having low blood sugars multiple times a day is not good.  This past week I ran 24 miles in 5 days and I think the increased mileage (especially after having a week off) is the cause of my lows.  Luckily, I’ve done a good job of not over-correcting (mainly because I’m getting so sick of eating sugar to correct the low) so I haven’t had many highs to go with the lows.  My 7 day average last night was actually 107!  I think as I continue to run and run longer distances, I really need to be adjusting my rates more.  I haven’t adjusted my basal rates nor my I:C ratio since I’ve increased my mileage so I think as this continues on (especially since I have another half marathon coming up in January) I need to be making adjustments more often.  Just when I think I have mastered my blood sugars during a long run, diabetes likes to throw a curveball my way with low blood sugars throughout the day to say, nope you always need to be thinking about me.

7 thoughts on “Running 12 miles with diabetes

  1. Great Job! I am so impressed 😉 I really want to start adding more cardio to my regular routine of daily hiking but I must admit that I’m nervous about preparing for and adjusting for BG crashes (I have run before and know I am capable) but it’s been loooong time. Nice job -it;s nice to see you managed it so well

    • Thanks 🙂

      Start small and you will be surprised how you can build up and “predict” how your blood sugars will do. Of course, every workout tends to be different but when diabetes isn’t being a pain I can usually predict how I will respond and act accordingly.

  2. I can’t tell you how much I love reading about your training – it’s so inspiring to me. I really slacked on my running and have taking quite a few weeks off but reading your blog makes me want to get back to it. Thank you!

    • Thanks Karen :). I’ve never run before in my life until a year ago…seriously if I can do it, I’m pretty sure anyone can. My half marathon training team talks about mantras a lot and I think sometimes without even knowing mine has been “left foot, right foot” and you will be surprised what you can accomplish by thinking that haha.

  3. Amazing! You are doing so awesome, and are so inspiring. If I can ever get my feet to stop hurting, I will have to consult you on how to run/jog 5k’s and not crash (since the last few I even just walked and still have blood sugar crashes.)

    • Yeah, I hope your feet pain does ease soon! I think I commented on your blog post, but my Ugg boots really did help because I had feet pain for a while as well. I know it sounds silly but I think those are magic shoes :-P. And yes, if you do start running, I would love to answer any questions you have! I have definitely learned a lot about running this past year.

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