Carlsbad Half Marathon 2011 Race Report

Before I talk about the course and the weather and the experience and the blood sugars, one word - Insulindependence. If you haven’t heard of Insulindependence go to the website and read about the great things this organization is doing to encourage young people with diabetes to get active.

This is a growing and dynamic organization I learned about two years ago when I first ran the Carlsbad Half-Marathon. I was looking for a diabetes related group to support and these were the guys. The mission is strong and the vibe is exciting. Peter Nerothin, the founder, is a prince. A real prince.

My wife and I attended the pre-race Awards dinner on Saturday night met a dozens of active, vibrant, enthusiastic diabetic athletes from 12 to 50 years old. Even though there were over 100 in attendance, it was like coming home.

So, you athletes. You diabetics. You diabetic athletes. Run, bike, swim, click, surf to

Carlsbad is a coastal town in northern San Diego County. The half-marathon starts 90 minutes after the marathon and the course is an out-and-back along the first six and a half miles of the marathon course. Starting at the Westfield Mall it rolls up a gentle hill, through a residential area, up to the border with Oceanside, where we take a u-turn and run through the town of Carlsbad then along the coast highway in sight, sound and smell of the ocean until we turn around and run back the other way. It’s a very level course, as most oceanfront course are (Long Beach and Maui - see prior reports).

I left my wife at the hotel and walked about a mile to the starting line. Well, to my starting wave, which was not Wave 1. Nor Waves 2 through 5. It was Wave 6. Out of 7. I proudly wore my Glucomotive tech shirt (Glucomotive is one of the clubs gathered under the Insulindependence banner) and kept seeing other runners with the same shirt. None of us had met before but we stopped and introduced ourselves or at least gave a wave and smile of acknowledgement. The sense of belonging was overwhelming.

Temperature at start time, about 10 minutes after the official start, was in the high 40s and I was dressed for it. Within five miles though I had stripped off my long sleeves, my gloves and my cap because the sun was out and the temperature quickly reached the mid-60s.

The last time I ran this race I bonked between miles 10 and 11 for a couple of reasons. One was inadequate training. The second was undiagnosed atrial flutter. Neither of those factors hindered me this time, though and I ran strong and steady throughout. You how you sometimes reach a point in an endurance event when you start wondering when it’s going to finally end and you have to push that thought far away? You know that feeling? Didn’t happen this time! Didn’t improve my time a whole lot (2:40ish) but felt good doing it. And there was enough gas left over to walk the mile back to the hotel.

I ran, by the way, in my Vibram KSO’s. I had to, since I’d been training in them. Longest distance I’ve run in them. Not a problem. Lots of comments. Not as many as the actual barefoot guy, but alot.

Blood sugar report.

Woke up at 6:00 a.m. with a BG near 290. Kinda figured with the stress and the big meal before hand. Carbed up at breakfast with a cinnamon roll on top of the bacon and eggs, but didn’t bolus, figuring the running would take me down. Cut my basal to 50%. Or so I thought.

Just before the race I was near 320. Hmmm. Well, no bolus, what do you expect. First blood check after one mile because I had frequently dropped 100 points in the first mile during training. Not in the race, though. 345. Huh? Two miles later, 365. WTF? I loaded up my spibelt with running gels just to avoid the anticipated drop, but I’m going up?

Turn Around Point at the Carlsbad Half-Marathon

Still, I did nothing. The exercise is going to kick in eventually, right? Did a lot of hydrating. At the turn around, six and half miles in, my BG was 425. I have absolutely NO IDEA what the hell is going on, but this is too much. I pull out the pump and dial up 1.2 units. I notice also that I am NOT using a temp basal at all!! I’m still using my normal basal which is making no sense to me at all. Normal insulin deliver, steady aerobic exercise and my BG is rising.

Test again in two miles. 382. Well, its in the right direction. Test at the finish, 284. That’s a relief. Was back in the 120 range two hours afterwards. Weird, huh?

Even weirder is that I didn’t feel any effects from the high. Maybe they were masked by the strain of the run? Don’t know.

Recommendation: Run Carlsbad if you’re a diabetic athlete. Raise money for Insulindependence while you’re at it - they’re an official charity of the event. Go to the Insulindependence pre and post race events and meet other people who are just like you. Mostly, got to have fun.

I’ll second everything you said about Insulindependence. A life changing organization filled with some of the greatest people you will ever meet.

I ran the full and was also at the dinner (didn’t get to met you though!). This was my 3rd event with iD. I’ve done 2 Ragnar relays and now the Carlsbad Marathon. Can’t say enough good things.

Check out Insulindependence and their running club, Glucomotive, and the amazing triathlon club, Triabetes.

That is so ironic. I ran the Carlsbad half this Sunday too and stayed in the high 300’s the whole time! I did not come down until that afternoon. Sorry we didn’t get to meet. And you’re right, Insulindependence is wonderful!

Thanks for the great race report!! Sorry to hear about the BG mess. I try to keep that as smooth as possible but it’s good to hear you were able to have a good race despite it. That’s something that always is in my head beforehand “don’t let the D screw up a good time at the race!!”