So it’s been about two months now (time is flying by!) but back in January, I flew to California to celebrate my 30th birthday by running a half marathon. I had made it a goal of mine to be in the best shape of my life by my 30th birthday and I thought running a half marathon would be the perfect way to celebrate. I discovered that Insulindependence, an organization who’s mission is “to unite, expand, and support the active diabetes community,” was an official charity of a half marathon out in California (Carlsbad). I helped start up the Virginia chapter of Insulindependence and through it I’ve met some great people. So, I was excited to do the event with them, which included a dinner the night before the race. However, my experience doing this Insulindependence event was not as positive as I was hoping for, but I’m glad I went out there and did the half marathon.
I ran the Richmond half marathon back in November and trained hard for that race so I was hoping I had some momentum going into the January race. When I initially signed up for the Carlsbad race, I was hoping to beat my Richmond time, but then reality set in. Because of the holidays (traveling at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s), I didn’t run nearly as much as I was planning. Training for the Richmond half, I would run four times a week, three shorter runs and one long run. Training for the Carlsbad race, I was lucky to get in three runs a week and my long runs weren’t nearly long enough. Then the week before the race, I ended up getting really sick with a bad cold. Despite the obstacles, I was still optimistic I would do well at the race.
We headed out to California the Friday before the Sunday race. Our flight was at 5AM so we were up at 3AM (East Coast time, so midnight West Coast). We had family and friends meeting us out in California to celebrate my birthday that we met in San Diego on Friday. We ended up hanging out until about 11PM West Coast time, or about 23 straight hours. Then on Saturday, we went to the San Diego zoo and walked for about 5+ hours. Between the lack of sleep and the high mileage on my feet the days before the race, my body wasn’t too happy. Combined with the bad cold the week before and the limited running I was able to complete, the Carlsbad half marathon did not go as well as I would have hoped.
About 7 miles in, my legs were toast. My legs have never felt that tired before. Of all the practice runs and races I’ve run in the past, including the Richmond half, I had never experienced exhaustion in my legs like I did the day of the Carlsbad race. However, it wasn’t all bad. It was a beautiful day out. We were running along the ocean pretty much 90% of the time. Because we (my husband and I) were both hurting, we decided to just have fun and toke photos along the way and drank a few small cups of beer at random “water stops”. What made it even more fun was that I had my mom and my sister waiting for us at the finish line with balloons and cake to celebrate my 30th. The race might not have gone as well as I would have hoped but the day itself was amazing and I did complete a half marathon on my 30th-goal accomplished :).
How did my diabetes do during the race? Well, not so hot. Usually when I would run a long distance, my blood sugar ALWAYS drops and usually by the first three miles. On race day, however, my blood sugar did the unexpected and went up. Here’s what my blood sugars look like race day and my thoughts in ( ):
6:15AM—124 (Woke up and was happy with that number, ate breakfast, bolused for half the carbs like I usually do for long runs)
7:50AM—151 (starting the race, didn’t eat anything like I normally do since I was slightly higher than I wanted to be)
8:40AM—226 (freaking out! why did I increase so much!? I gave myself a small bolus to correct because I don’t like to run that high)
9:00AM—186 (Phew, I’m coming down but did I really need the correction!?)
9:30AM—135 (Ah, this is more like it..happy for now)
10:00AM—100 (Perfect! Well if I still didn’t have more running to do, I ate one pack of fruit snacks ~19 carbs)
10:45AM—92 (Race is over!!)
So despite my high blood sugars in the beginning, my blood sugars did calm down and ended up reacting the way I thought they would. Also during the race, the top to my lancer (to prick my finger) got lost in my running bag (carrying my test kit and snacks) and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to test my blood sugar. Luckily, I was able to find it at the bottom of my bag. However, there were a good couple of minutes where I was completely freaked out about how I would test without my lancer.
I finished up the race at 2:42:20 (which included some stops where I didn’t pause my watch). This was a 12’23” pace which is way worse than I had been doing during practice (I was around 11″ pace during runs). But I accomplished a half marathon on my birthday and I had fun.