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Running season is starting back up and I am seriously thinking of running the Chicago Marathon this year. I completed many different races last year 5k, 10k, 15k, and a half marathon. I know I can do this but am still worried about running with my diabetes. Any words of advice?
It sounds like you have enough experience, now all you have to do is kill yourself training all summer! There are all sorts of ways to go but for me, the easiest way to do marathon is with a group. Our local running store (http://www.runningcompany.com/) has a great program I trained with in 2011 and 12 and had pretty enjoyable experiences. And some miserable experiences. If you have a pump, it might test your infusion sets more so get some tape to hold stuff together. I like Opsite Flexifix. Jerry Nairn suggested Race Ready shorts and, while I only have one pair, they are the best shorts I've seen with *SEVEN* pockets, including two velcro ones that can hold a key, ipod, etc. securely for 26.2 miles and large mesh pocket that will hold a OneTouch UltraMini the same distance. I ran a couple of halves and my daughter was like "why don't you just run a full?" so I did. It is VERY challenging but also very satisfying.
One caveat about Chicago is that they are going to a lottery system to get in. I have no idea how that works but that's the race I've run and I think it's the best way to see the city. I'd also say it's a great idea to hang out here. If you scroll back to 2011 and 12 and 13, there's people who end up with a journal of their training, my bg did this so I did that sort of commentaries that you may find informative. Did you have any hassles with your BG running last year?
Hey. Good luck with this. I ran my first marathon 2 years ago and then ran Chicago last year. I loved it. One of the best days of my life. Sounds like you've got the training down for the most part.
In my first marathon, I tested my blood sugar once along the way and had cut my insulin way back beforehand. That didn't seem to work great for me. When I ran Chicago, I used a CGM and kept an eye on it and worked through a high and some dropping levels throughout but was able to maintain by using the same things I used during my training (sport beans, gatorade, water).
Don't have too high an expectation for the first one. Just go out and give it your best. You'll do great!
I am running my 3rd full this year I think in Minneapolis. Looking forward to it.
I agree with Acid Rock about the training groups. A good one can make all the difference. You should definitely get on a training plan that gradually gets you up to distances around 20 miles, even if you don't get into a group. See Hal Higdon's site for free plans if you need one.
In addition to the conditioning, as you already know, we diabetics need these long runs to work out what works for us before the race.
Lots of stuff has already been written here, so looking back through the discussion on the home page of this group, which was also suggested by Acid Rock, is a good idea, too.
Many people will say you shouldn't have a time goal for your first one. I tend to disagree. You need a goal not to push yourself, but to keep yourself from going too fast early on.
If you've gone through a marathon training plan, you will be in good shape at the start of your race, maybe the best shape of your life. It will feel too easy at the start. Without a set goal, it is very tempting, especially if you're competitive, to go too fast.
Having a set goal which you can achieve can help you keep yourself running slower than it feels like you should in the first half, so you can feel strong in the last quarter of the race.
Congrats on you races, it looks like you are on the right path already to tackle the Full. I have done few so far and have at least one more for this fall. I only encounter minor problems during one of the races but managed to handle it.
Running in groups or at least with someone is a great way to go. For few reasons, makes time pass by fast (Especially when doing 18 milers or more) also just in case something happens (regardless of the medical condition) there will be someone there that can help.
For me the key is really figuring out the fueling for the long race. To me there were two main components that I work on. 1) Type of fuel: I tried different gels, cannot stand the jelly beans. I tried several brands and flavors. something that will sit well in your stomach and that will provide you with the necessary fuel to complete the distance.
2) Second aspect for me was to figure out when to take fuel. Time vs. Distance. At first I tried to match it to distance every 4 miles, 3.5, 4.5. That works for some people, it did not work for me. I switch to time started with every 40min, 41, 42, 39 until I find something that works for me.
Keep in mind that you might feel (body wise) that you do not need the fuel and you are not really ready to fuel but you might have to not because of how you feel now, but how you are going to feel later. I learned that the hard way in a race, I delayed the fuel because I was feeling great, later my performance suffered.
There other things I learned along the way but honing fueling was what made the most improvements toward my goals. BTW, I am a slow and happy runner. I wish you good luck with your race and the challenge.