A beautiful day to run: Call to arms (and legs) for type 2s

Pre-run BG: Forgot!
Post-run BG: 128

Distance: 5 miles
AVG PACE: 9:09

It was a sunny afternoon in the mid-20s, an excellent time to run outside in Madison. I love running in cool weather. A good portion of the time here, especially when the temps are below freezing, you have to contend with sidewalk conditions. Today it would have been dangerous to run after 4pm as the snow melt on the sidewalks has started to refreeze. Its hard to see when you are moving quickly and light conditions are variable.

Took an easy 5 today. I’m kind of in a holding pattern, as I start to train for my first marathon next week. I started running about a year ago and ran in several 5Ks, 10Ks, and a half-marathon in 2009. I did fairly well and have really enjoyed running. I was diagnosed as a type 2 five years ago. Initially they thought I was a 1.5 as I was not obese and had ketoacidosis (initial A1C at 11%). Anti-body test indicated type 2 though.

I have been an on again off again cyclist but it wasn’t until I started running that I considered myself an athlete. I mostly made fun of runners as a cyclist. But I’ve witnessed what running and exercise can do for me: cutting my medications in half, lowering A1c to near normal, fasting BGs usually normal, getting off of anti-depressants, and remaining sober for nearly two years.

I’ve been researching exercise and diabetes recently, and I have to say, there is not a whole lot of information out there for exercise or athletes (though I have found very good sources and will share those with those interested in future blogs). The exercise and athlete information for diabetics that does exist typically comes in two forms: 1) intro to exercise for obese type 2 diabetics or 2) athlete information for type 1 diabetics. At first a was chagrined with this division, but I understood it. 80% of type 2s are obese. Most type 1s are diagnosed during childhood when exercise and athletic competition are still prevelent. Type in “athlete” and “type 2” in the tudiabetes search engine and you will come up empty handed. Go to www.diabetestraining.com and when you click on “type 2” you get directed to fitness camps, not multi-sport athlete camps. Go to the American Diabetes Association website and they tell you about stretching and walking.

I am here to shoot a warning shot across the bow of the diabetes exercise and athletic community. There are LOTS of active type 2s out there, and there are even more adult type 2s who would be and want to be active if they had a little more help and direction. If you won’t help them I will.

In the type 2 forum there is a discussion on wether or not type 2s suffer discrimination. As a non-obese type 2, I have never encountered that. But I will tell you that type 2s suffer from a suttle discrimination, a “tyranny of low expectations” if you will because virtually no one is talking about type 2 athletes and what it takes to become one if you have an interest. I do not care if you are not overweight, 30 lbs, 50 lbs, 100 lbs, or more overweight, you can become an athlete. My definition of athlete is pretty inclusive: anyone who exercises regularly. You can compete if you want. You don’t have to. I know people who work out more and never compete (in anything) than those who do compete in different athletic events.

Speaking of subtle discrimination, take the preeminent book in the field of diabetes athletics: Sheri Colberg’s Diabetic Athletes Handbook. A treasure trove of information. Very well written. A must read for any diabetic involved in exercise and sports. She covers info for both type 1 and type 2 athletes. But look at the “athlete profiles” in each chapter. Guess what? They are all about type 1 athletes. Even when she does look at the routines of type 2 athletes, guess what she calls them? type 2 “exercisers”! By her own definition, anyone who exercises regularly is an athlete. An example? Look at page 162. She discusses Thomas Gallagher of Madison, a type 2 diabetic – who has competed in at least 18 American Berkibieners (51 k cross country ski races) and cycles 10,000 miles a year. And yet she calls him an “avid type 2 excerciser”. ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS!

Look, I know it is more difficult for type 1s to manage their disease. I know its even more difficult for children. And frankly there are more groups out there to help type 1s who want to do these things: insulindependence.org, JDRF, etc. But there are millions of type 2s out there who can, and want to be active, and use that activity to help self manage their disease. And they can do it if someone justs addresses it. So we are going to start a type 2 athlete group on tudiabetes and go from there.



Does your meter keep stored records of your blood glucose readings? I often refer back to that when I forget things…

I meant I forgot to take it. I was so excited to finally go outside for a run, I didn’t remember until about five minutes into the run! Woops.

nice run 9 min miles in january - Excellent. I’m a type 2 runner triathlete and ina similar boat. I was thrilled it warmed up here on the east coast a bit so I can run again at lunch. i even got to ride last week!

FWIW check triabetes website they are linking up w/ glucomotion (a diabetic running community)

Joe thanks for the comment. I’m aware of triabetes and glucomotive.org. Glucomotive is a little more inclusive, and I particularly like their mission statements. However, again, most of their activities are geared toward type1s. I just think we need to do a better job of recruiting type2s into athletic endeavors and excercise in general.

Good pace :slight_smile: I’m glad we had nice weather recently too for a long run outside! Thanks for bringing up the point about lack of info on Type 2 diabetes and competitive training/events (i.e. for athleticism not exercise), especially since there’s not a lot of info in general about diabetes and serious excercise/training. In addtion to low expections, I wonder if people just assume that there aren’t many factors that would complicate exercise (esp. if they’re not taking insulin), so there’s no real need to discuss the topic…but then some type 2’s do…I think diet for both types is rarely discussed (esp. w/ the impact of low carb on endurance sports…)

also check these guys and gals: