Diabetics who run Marathons!


Diabetics who run Marathons!

Diabetics who run Marathons!

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Comment by Stephen Meo on January 30, 2012 at 11:43am

Great conversation going on here!

Personally, I wanted my BGL around 160-180 on MDI when starting a long run or race, but on the pump, as Jerry mentioned, I seem to have better numbers when I start a little lower and reduce my basal ahead of time. That having been said, I don't get concerned if I see a number ~200 when racing as I'm confident it'll level out.
Regarding competitive exercise - I think most runners I know that race at all are at the least competitive with their own historical times. I've been in a few local races where I'm racing head to head for a podium spot, and I don't think I am running any harder than when I'm just going for time.

Comment by acidrock23 on January 29, 2012 at 3:25pm

The martial arts school I trained at was not competitive. We read several interesting books, "No Contest" by Alfie Kohn and "Rambo and the Dalai Llama" that discussed the notion in more detail. I've tried it playing tennis but don't play that much but it changes the game in an interesting way. I'm always racing myself with my Garmin but don't really worry about other people, except maybe at the end of the race.

Part of the reason I like to shoot for flatter BG through a race is that I love to eat at the end of it!

Comment by Jerry Nairn on January 29, 2012 at 1:51pm

I think there is a whole range of competitiveness possible, it's not something you either are or are not. I agree that we are all individuals, and even as individuals, each of us could handle our diabetes challenges in more than one way. I don't think anyone chooses to compete with super high blood sugars because they have to. I think they've found something that works, to some degree, and they are reluctant to change.
Of course, I've decided to try to keep my blood sugars closer to normal, but at the start of any race there might be some reason my blood sugar was over 300. I would be figuring out what to do about it, but it happens.
I don't want to give anyone the impression that I have my own body figured out, let alone anyone else's.
Which gets back to that side-stitch thing. It was an idea that is sometimes the solution. Sometimes running with something in your stomach can bring those on, but it's not the only thing.
Good luck!

Comment by Justina on January 29, 2012 at 1:36pm
Don't you think there's a huge difference between diabetes and exercise and diabetes and COMPETITIVE exercise?
I'm a yoga instructor and the first thing I teach everyone is that we're all individuals and you never compair yourself to anybody else. What is so cool is that we're all clearly individuals...our diabetes is different. I'm a 32 year old 100 lb chick..I can't follow the same insulin/carb/exercise routine, but I can't modify what I need to to make it work for me. I'm not competive with anyone but myself. It's great to hear what works for everyone, and learn from what doesn't work out so hot.
Jerry- I've had no changes in my diet or fluid intake, they usually start oh maybe four or five miles in. The only thing I can think that's different is my CGM. I wear my monitor on the right side.
Comment by acidrock23 on January 29, 2012 at 12:24pm

I ran into 2 people at Chicago, my aunt's friend, T1 who's done bunches of marathons, Ironman event, etc. and he was like "how's your sugar" when I was testing and I was like "I little high, 180" as I was bouncing off the walls w/ adrenaline, etc. and he said "oh, I'm like 300 or so" as he ate a banana! I think he bolused, fell over 4x (he has eye issues too, and the course still has potholes, manhole covers, etc. to trip over... but still, of course, kicked my ass at the race. I suggested he check the group out and had a bit of a chat with him but he sort of does his thing. I saw an Insulindependence guy who also asked me where my BG was in the paddock and I was right around 130 or so and his was also 300. I'm sure he blew me off the road too but I have to wonder about getting into a pattern of gonzo training to do distance running seriously while cranking your BG up all the time? MAybe it's no big deal an dI should chill out about it and I'd be able to run better but a few of the runs where sites pulled out and stuff I felt like crap as my BG ran up.

Comment by Jerry Nairn on January 29, 2012 at 12:08pm

These are some very interesting discussions going on. I can see a progression going on in exercise and diabetes management.
Years ago I was one of those runners who wanted to have a pre-race blood sugar check of 180-220, or I would worry about going low. I was on long-acting insulin at the time.
Of course, even before that, I would just eat or drink something, not knowing where my blood sugar was, because I had no way to test it, but I digress.
After getting a pump, I had more control of insulin-on-board, and I could confidently start a run with my blood sugar close to normal.
And that was my advice to others, to try to get and stay close to normal blood sugar during a run.
There were, and probably still are, people out there doing things like disconnecting their pumps, making sure their blood sugar was over 200, etc., out of fear of going low. I thought I, at least had gotten past that.
Now in this discussion, I see a couple of you talking about the "spike" after eating a gel. I've been eating gels for years, and never worried about it. Before I had a CGM, I had no way to even know that was happening. Now that I do have a CGM, I see it, but I also see the blood sugar dropping back into range.
I suppose it's time for me to move on. I need a new model of how it should work. I need to try to keep from going through ups and downs, try to smooth it out.
Concerning side-aches, one of the most frequent causes is extra weight tugging on the diaphragm. Have you eaten more or are you drinking more fluids lately? Do you notice the aches starting after you drink?

Comment by acidrock23 on January 29, 2012 at 10:29am

Mine were like muscle cramps in my calves. I think for the rib "stitch" cramps, if you breathe in and push your abdomen out and in when you exhale it can help that? That tidbit is rattling around my head from grade school?

I totally disagree with not bolusing before a race, I agree that you don't want the IOB going on but I think that eating beforehand is important, not a ton, and having good BG can help too. I think it's a lot harder to run when my BG is high. I know a lot of people routinely do it but I don't think you have to? I try to have what Jay Cutler had mentioned, like 120-160 as where I try to be. It's about balance? Part of being safe is being able to run strongly and perceive how you are feeling physically and I think that running up really high makes me feel like garbage so I try to avoid it.

Comment by Justina on January 29, 2012 at 9:51am
So I read acid rock you had cramps....lately I've been getting cramps on my right side under my ribs, so I'm having to run with my thumb jammed in my side. What up wit dat?! Can it be from highs? And Mike my Dr. Suggested I not bolus before the marathon, obviously I'll have to practice this....but he thinks I'll run high for a bit,then drop down. He's worried about lows for me, I'm hypo unaware and have dropped down into the 30s with no clue. That's why I have a CGM. I'm not super stoked about running with a ton of stuff on me, but that's the way it goes I guess.
Comment by acidrock23 on January 28, 2012 at 6:06am

The Chicago Marathon had *tons* of Gatorade too, plus I had other provisions. One of the times I had a "pull out" of my infusion set I had really severe cramps and, since I was already having cramps, I figured I didn't want to run high and risk double cramps or cramps squared? I bolused in a half marathon once too, I'd tested "right before I left" and it was lower than I thought it would be so I slugged down some OJ and rode up, again 1/3 of the rx'ed bolus amount and the gatorade prevented crashing. I figure if I'm going to eat, a whiff of insulin will facilitate the energy being processed more efficiently?

Comment by Mike on January 27, 2012 at 11:38pm

I never bolus while running. I time my gels so I won't need too. The few times I have bolused before a run I ended up very low a few miles down the road.


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