Grrrr! Diabetes Sucks, Part II

I’m in a super hyped up emotional state right now, I’m having all these crazy thoughts, mixing with each other, and I figured I should just start writing. I just did the Breckenridge Crest marathon. Or, well, I didn’t quite do it the whole way. I did not finish, I was a DNF. Which leads to some of my feelings. I’m feeling like a failure, I’m feeling like I’m not tough enough, I’m feeling not very proud of myself. Diabetes won today, it got the better of me.

The reason I didn’t finish the race was I let my blood glucose, or blood sugar, get to high. It got really high and I started cramping. I ended up running, or walking, about 8 miles, with really nasty cramping happening. When you’re diabetic, and you let your blood glucose get to high, your muscles are starving for oxygen and calories they need, because they aren’t getting it. The BG, and/or your pH is off, and sugar ends up floating around, just not going where it needs to go, muscles. They’re starving. You start cramping.

I’m sure I butchered the scientific explanation of the hows and whys, but it happens. You cramp. And this is a long, difficult effort.
I was in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time, I trained hard for this race, and I was ready. I was close to the leaders at the 3rd aid station. That’s 13 or 14 miles into the race. I’ve never been close to the leaders in any race. Ever. I could see them. I was running great, and a number of my fit friends commented on that, to me later. “Daniel, what happened, you weren’t even breathing heavy when you passed me, and you were flying.”

So that’s why I’m sad, angry, and frustrated all at the same time. I’m trying to be this great diabetic role model, and I ■■■■■■ it up today.

But there is another side to this story. I’m not letting me stay in that ■■■■■■ up space, cause it isn’t fair to me. The good side to this story is the HUGE lesson I learned today, and the only bad thing that happened, really, is my pride was hurt a little. I’m still in great shape, I still eat healthy and still feel better than I have in years. I just let things get a little uncontrolled, from a BG standpoint, but the bad results were absolutely minimal. I pushed on through some nasty pain, but I knew I was going to be fine. And as soon as I got to the next checkpoint, I stopped. I knew I could get a ride back into town, and I just needed a little insulin.

Now, if I had keep going, and boy did I really want to keep going, but had I, maybe something worse would have happened. I don’t know what, but the point is it didn’t. Cause I knew I was in bad shape and I just stopped where I could get help.

I learned big lessons today. High BG is bad. Low BG is bad. You have to be in control, AT ALL TIMES. Diabetes doesn’t take a day off just cause you’re exercising. No, we’re stuck with it. And while we might have to do things a little differently, and almost always work harder than the next guy because of it, it doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We can! We can! We can! Did I say that enough?

We can do it. I felt great out there today, and now I’m pissed off and I’m gonna go out there and train harder and come back stronger and smarter because of it.

Diabetic athletes, you can be the best, don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do it because of diabetes. You might not be a great athlete, but it’s not because of the betes. Don’t let that get you down. You CAN do it! And I absolutely believe that with all my heart and soul. If you ever need help figuring it out, don’t hesitate to contact me. I want to help.

Now go do something, eat healthy and start training, cause I’m gonna beat you if you’re not.

Not everything works out right the first time. Don’t feel bummed because of a single episode. Sometimes tenacity will get you there. Your introspection is good and you can learn from failures and generate a success at the next opportunity. All the best.

yeah, thanks Les. I was just super pissed cause everything was going better than I could’ve imagined. Everything I knew about my fitness, was happening, I was firing on all cylinders and it was kind of exciting. But, then things went to crap-ola. Oh well, it was a huge lesson for me to learn, at a great time, as I get back into endurance events/races competitively.
Thanks for commenting.

A few years ago, I saw something similar happen at Mile 20 of the NYC Marathon. The unfortunate runner had to be evacuated to a hospital to get needed insulin (his was back at the finish line, and there was no way he was going to be able to get there unaided).

The moral of that story to me is, if you’re doing an endurance event and you’re on MDI, make sure to carry emergency insulin with you – don’t leave it with someone on the course, or leave it at the start/finish line.

yeah, that was about the biggest thing I learned today, carry insulin. I had my meter with me, but never did I think I would need to actually take insulin. I would/could never be high, no way. But, it happened. I’m fine, just pe’od at myself. Chalk it up to experience.
Thanks TMana,

That’s amazing that you went for the marathon. The very fact that u participated in the marathon make u a role model for me. It is as good as completing. I can’t do anything like that in no time my sugars would hit low and end up with a hypo.

People like you are an inspiration to part time riders like us. I read a fortune cookie this weekend that said. You never know what you can do until you try it. You are that person that tried it, some people dont even get off the couch to even try. I think you will perfect the lows and highs. congrats on making it that far. By the way I did not eat the cookie, just read the fortune

take care and keep spinning

Wil and Chris, Thanks very much, those are awesome kind words. I just do what I do, and exercise and racing were a big part of my life before I became T1 at the age of 31, and so I’ve had to figure a few things out and plan a little more, but I don’t want to let this stupid disease stop me from doing the things I like.
Let me know if you guys need any help/advice on getting out there and having fun on the bike, or whatever it is you do to burn calories.
Thanks again guys.

Daniel, first you went for it woohoo! Second, as a fellow runner I feel your pain actually I felt your pain. I completely understand how you feel. I learned the same lesson you did. Don’t let this one get you down for too long. You are exactly right, WE CAN DO IT and YOU CAN DO IT too!