Saturday, December 22, 2012

New year, new ...?

So obviously, I'm a bad blogger.  Between working full time, being a full time mommy and wife and type 1 diabetic, and running, I've sort of lost the blog.  I've made many attempts at blogging and never really found my voice because I wanted to pigeon-hole myself into categories.

a blog about ME (how novel).
a blog about RUNNING (great but there are so many great ones.  And I'm a mediocre runner).
a blog about DIABETES (see running).
a blog about A RUNNING DIABETIC (fearful of being sued because half the time, I suck at being a diabetic and the other half, I suck at being a runner.  Sometimes, I shockingly suck at both).

So here I am, without a purpose.  Yet, I've noticed there is something missing in my life.  Some outlet of frustration, joy, pain, excitement.  I need to write.  I need to share.  I have this unbelievably strong urge, this pathological need to share my life with the world.  To be the open book and talk about the unspeakable.

So here I go.  My blog will probably be your crazy friend who never knows where she's going or what she's doing.  Because that's me without an outlet.  Once I find my focus, this blog will settle into something more substantial, more ... peaceful.  That's me when I write.  Without writing, I am a mess.

I can tell you this: I will write about my life, about me, about running, and about diabetes and how it affects everything I do.  I hope you stick with me through this because I tell you...I'm a better person when I share my life with others.  I think I have something in me that makes me compulsively need to help other people because I think I compulsively seek others to help me.

Isn't that what life is all about?  Forging co-dependent relationships?  (I am kidding.  Really).  But life IS about sharing and growing and learning, so that's why I am still here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Off (and back on the) Track

I do this, I warn you.  I start things and then get distracted.  I could be walking along with a destination in mind.  I will see a shiny object.  And suddenly, I am diverted from my path for a time.  But I come back.  Usually.

Anyway, I started Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) training 2 weeks ago.  Week one was great - an easy 4 on the treadmill on Monday, a lazy 11 miles on Wedensday, and a nice 5 mile tempo on Saturday.  Week two was not so great; in fact, I had a very bad week.  Oh, mileage-wise, it was fine, but mentally, it was tough.

I have body image problems.  Some (my poor husband) may describe my skewed body perception as severe.  I don't see myself correctly.  Sometimes I see myself as fit, strong and sexy; other times I see myself as doughy, flabby and gross.  As someone who hangs between the border of fit and overweight (according to most BMI charts and doctor's opinions), I feel I almost deserve this image problem.  I'm 5'4.  I have muscle.  I weigh 146 pounds, which is overweight according to most charts.  I am currently 6-7 pounds up from 2011 and about 16 pounds away from where I want to be.  I weigh myself constantly.  I eat mostly healthfully, although I do have a penchant for wine and cheeseburgers. 

I am aware that I have this issue.  I have not sought counseling or treatment as I am stubborn and willful and it usually doesn't interfere with my day-to-day life.  Occasionally, something will happen that will knock me to a dark place and this happened on Thursday, 7/5.

I set out to do a nice, easy 13.  Less than a mile from my house, at the dark hour of 3:45 am, a car slowed and a woman shouted out of the passenger side, "Getting any skinner yet, you fat bitch?"  Shocked, I continued running.  About a quarter mile later, the same car slowed and the driver shouted, "Need a ride, honey?  Want a ride, Hmmmm?" 

I was fully freaking out.  First, by the woman/girl's comment.  I don't know a woman alive who does not have some issue with their appearance, so to shout such hurtful comments at someone who is running at an ungodly hour is unforgivable.  Second, the fact that these drunk/stoned people turned around to follow me.  I was bullied as a child/teenager and there are no limits to what some bullies will do or how far they will go to harm their targets.  My anxiety triggered some adrenaline and I finally had to stop at my dad's house and have him drive me home after only a 9 mile run.

I headed inside to the treadmill for the rest of my week's runs (overdid it.  Did 4 Friday, 6 Saturday, 5 Sunday, and a spin class on Monday).  I rested on Tuesday and then started week 3 today.

This morning, I had to fight myself to get out there again.  I was scheduled to do 15 and wanted to do 13 - the 13 I failed to do last week - but it took me a good half hour to psych myself up to go out there again, in the pitch darkness.  Would they (or someone else) be out there?  What if this car didn't stop following me?  Luckily, I had a great run, although I only made 11 miles instead of 13. 

My sugars have been great!  I started this morning at 216, ate a tablespoon of peanut butter and turned my basal down to .05 units per hour.  By 6 miles, I was at 162.  I ate 3 orange glucose tabs and finished at 178.  I bolused 2.0 units and had a choco-nana smoothie - delicious!  I'm doing Colourful Palate's 30 day smoothie challenge and am loving it. My blood sugars have run much lower during the day instead of having an early high spike and then taking hours to bolus down.  It's been really, really awesome!

I'm sorry this blog is out-of-sorts, all over the place.  I am still a little flabbergasted by my recent encounter with bullying.  I am also all out of sorts in terms of my self-esteem.  Thursday was a haze of me bullying myself.  Friday and Saturday, I did my best to be kind to me but the scale went up another 2 pounds and I had a few bouts of tears.  It's hard.  I will try to write a full blog explaining more about why I feel so negatively about weight and all the ways I got there.  Shockingly, it involves 2 health care "professionals" and a group of drunk frat guys on the beach. 

For now, I'll leave you with two small promises: I'll blog more consistently about marathon training with diabetes and I'll share my body image problems with you.  Lucky you.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Best laid plans

So the old adage goes, if you want to make God laugh, make plans?  Or something.  I'm too lazy to look it up.

I left you after my Body Pump workout.  Blood sugar problems after a clot, yadda yadda.  Thursday, I awaken to legs that didn't belong to me.  Legs that had been obviously beaten with a tree trunk and then runover with a pick-up truck.  Legs that I was going to have to use to run.  I mean, I had made a Facebook running date.  I can't break that, right?

I did my normal routine of eating peanut butter whole wheat toast and coffee with my new fave supplement, GNC Meta-Ignite.  It seems to give me that extra "oompf" just when I need it (ie, about half-way through my workout).  I'm always super pumped at the beginning and end of just about every workout, but that middle is tough for me.  Meta-Ignite really seems to give me an edge, particularly yesterday as I was not excited at all to do any form of physical exercise ESPECIALLY exercise using my poor, abused legs.

I have no clue what I did at pump to warrant this pain.

Anyway, I was at the designated meeting spot 5 minutes early.  5 minutes later, I took off.  SOLO.  (Turned out it was a miscommunication, no big deal.  She thought I meant next Thursday).  I had planned to do 5.  Meta-Ignite planned to do 15.  We compromised and I did 6.2.

I ran the course of my June 9th race - a very hilly course - and beat my former time by 7 minutes.  Did I mention I love Meta-Ignite?

Nevermind the fact that all of yesterday, I cried every time I had to move from sitting to standing and whimpered at every staircase.  I had one of the *BEST* runs I've ever had.

My blood sugar?  Not so much.  I bounced all over the place yesterday.  One of the things I failed to mention is that I love carbohydrates.  I love bread, chocolate, chips, yogurt, fruit.  Mmmm.  But they really shoot my sugars to hell, so I do my best to avoid them and eat boring things like chicken and eggs and salads.  Don't get me wrong, I love all that stuff, too but if you were to place a delightful salad with oodles of carrots, cucumbers, chicken, avocado and all that yumminess in front of me and ask me to choose between a huge salad and a sliver of a brownie?  I'd choose the brownie.  No contest.

Anyway, like I mentioned, I can't eat that stuff.  But I crave it, want it, yearn for it all.the.time.  So yesterday, because I was feeling so sorry for myself and all the pain and tears, I allowed myself to have some Doritos.  And 3 mini-Hershey bars.  And a sandwich.  YES, I ate bread yesterday.  White bread.  The unholiest of the unholy.

And I suffered.  My blood sugars were in the 260s-300s for most of the day yesterday.  I also skipped out on my evening p90x workout.  I think if I had done it, my legs would have fired me and found a nicer runner to work with.  As for the glucose, I finally reined them back in today around noon.  I ate an egg white omelet for breakfast (blood sugars hovered around 150-250 this morning).  A salad with ham for lunch (blood sugars hovered around 150).  And I will be eating a steak and some steamed broccoli for dinner (right now, prior to dinner, I'm hanging at 117).

Today, I slept in.  I have been so exhausted lately that I needed the extra 90 minutes this morning.  I'm hoping to get the p90x yoga in tonight but I've had a really bad day and a glass of wine is screaming my name.  I may yogahhh then wine.  That is what I plan to do, but I hope I don't jinx this one...

BTW, 11 burpees done.  In heels.  At the office (stuck late on a Friday).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Training Plan, Goals and Site Clots.

One of the myriad consequences of diabetes for me is that it's almost impossible to lose weight.  I am very active and eat healthfully most of the time.  Granted, I do like my wine and I really do love cheeseburgers but I normally eat a balanced diet.  I eat heavier on the protein, about 50% of my daily calories, and divide the rest with fat and carbohydrates.  I find that this keeps my blood sugar more stable throughout the day.

But wow, the scale never seems to budge.  It hasn't budged in the past 3 years, after losing most of my second daughter's "baby weight."  I didn't go back to pre-baby weight with her and still cannot get there.  It has become my obsession because one of the easiest ways to get faster as a runner is to weigh less.

While I do not want this blog to focus on my weight obsession (I'd rather focus on my running and diabetes obsessions), it is really tied into both running and diabetes right now.  I want to be lighter and faster and I think it would be beneficial to lose 15-20 pounds as my BMI is hovering around 25.2 right now, which is currently listed as "overweight." 

Which brings me to my current workout schedule.  I started P90x two months ago and fizzled at the end of last month.  I decided to recommit to it because I honestly feel much stronger.  As a matter of fact, I did 2 pull-ups at the park last week. I have not done an unassisted pull up since middle school, damn you Presidential Fitness Test.  My arms are more defined and I just really like the program, although it is exhausting.  I started P90x classic routine yesterday, so I will be working out at home 6 days a week.  I am also following the p90x meal plan as it is easy, I like the recipes and it is basically the same carb-protein-fat ratio that I use. 

On Monday nights, I do Spin or Body Combat and on Wednesday mornings, I do Body Pump at Golds Gym.  My rest day for P90x is Monday.  I also run outside or at the gym on Thursday mornings and try to do at least 2 other runs during the weekend.

So, here we go, Suzanne's BLAST the last 15-20 pound plan:
Mondays   "rest"/Spin or Body Combat pm
Tuesdays p90x am
Wednesdays Body Pump am / p90x pm
Thursdays Run 60 minutes am / p90x pm
Fridays p90x am
Saturdays p90x am / Run pm
Sundays p90x am / Run pm

Intense, right?  So I expect results.  For the next 30 days, I am also doing the 30 day burpee plan.  Yesterday was 8, tonight is 9....except I forgot to do it yesterday.  But I did do 8 on Monday!  Regardless, tonight is 9.

As promised, this blog is about diabetes, running and other forms of exercise.  So this morning, I woke up at 2:00 with a low blood sugar.  I treated it and laid down on the couch to try and fall back to sleep (hubs and #2 were in bed upstairs.  #1 was in her own bed, thankfully).  #2 woke up screaming for me as she is a Mommy's girl so I called her downstairs to snuggle on the couch.  [I get very fitful when my sugars are wonky and didn't want to disturb my poor hubs, who works overnights and only has 2 nights to sleep during the night].  So she promptly fell asleep and I watched 2 hours of Glee and the rest of the DVR'd shows I hadn't yet seen.  My alarm rang at 5:30, so without a lick of sleep, I got up and checked my sugar and went to the gym.

210.  Obviously, I overtreated. I bolused to correct and for my meal and trotted merrily on my way. 

I worked out and it was Great!  I upped my chest and back weights and really felt strong.  And then my pump alarm went off from my CGM.  286, it read.  That can't be right.  I tested.  357.  YIKES.  Clot time.  I put everything away and raced home to change my tubing and settings and give myself a massive bolus.  It took a little over 3 hours, but I'm now at 100.

Diabetes can really ruin a great workout.  Tonight is Plyometrics and 9 Burpees!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

About Me

I'm a runner.  I'm a mom.  I'm a wife, full-time employee, PhD candidate.  And I have Type 1 diabetes.

I noticed there are not a lot of blogs devoted to how to manage type 1 diabetes and vigorous exercise.  Most websites encourage diabetics to exercise, to walk, ride a bike, or perhaps jog for 30 minutes a day.  I am a long-distance runner, I enter races and run distances from 5K's to 26.2 miles.  I am even toying with the idea of ultra-running.

Yet I have struggled.  I couldn't find any advice about how to balance my carb intake, my sugar spikes and my A1Cs with training and pushing my body to it's limits.  So here I am.

My name is Suzanne and I am a Running Diabetic.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1989.  I managed my disease as a pre-teen pretty well.  I ate the right things and I was a competitive springboard diver and gymnast.  And then I rebelled.  Oh, how I rebelled.  From ages 16-26, I smoked cigarettes.  Packs and cartons of cigarettes.  I drank.  I partied. I stopped exercising.  There wasn't just one thing that got me serious about my health and my disease.  There was a cascading effect of a few life events that brought me here.

My first cousin, also a type 1 diabetic, died at age 39.  He forgot to re-plug in his pump after a shower and fell asleep.  He fell into a coma and died - the official cause of death was heart failure.  Soon after that, I got married and oh-so-soon after that, I got pregnant.  I had just quit smoking a month before I got pregnant and immediately stopped drinking.  I even quit caffeine!  While I was pregnant, my brother's friend, also a type 1 diabetic, died of severe hyperglycemia while on a camping/hiking trip with his father.  Like so many of us diabetics know, when your blood sugar gets too high, it can mimic the feeling of a low.  And that's what happened.  He treated himself for a low blood sugar when really it was high.  He was 28 years old.

And that was it.  I got serious.  I couldn't resume smoking or drinking, or at least decrease my alcohol intake.  I had to start exercising.  Luckily, I had started a program at the gym to lose weight before the wedding, so I was relatively fit.  Through a series of "coincidences," I entered my first 5K race in September 2009.

It was awful.  I hated it.  I didn't do well.  So I started running more, and more.  And I raced another 5k, then a 10K, and on October 28, 2010, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon.

I ran it again last year.

And I'm doing it again this year.

My blood sugars and A1Cs spiked.  My appetite shot through the roof and I had no idea how to fuel myself.  I couldn't carbo-load like non-diabetic runners since it so adversely affected my sugar levels.  And so I played around with everything.  I surely don't know it all but I have a better handle on my diabetes and exercise than I did before.  I'd like to use this blog to give all Diabetics (and non-diabetics) some help on their journeys.  Or maybe tell some entertaining fart jokes, who knows.  I'll share recipes, workouts, how I use my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and pump to keep my sugars in check and my energy high.

Happy Trails to you.