My exercise challenge - T1 - New to running - need input..!

So today I ran a 5k race… it snuck up on me… long story.

But, I was determined to do it and made a commitment that if at any time I felt I was pushing it too hard, I’d back off and walk. And I did.

My biggest fear is everything I’ve read about exercise and T1. I didn’t want to drop too low, so I took juice along in my fanny pack.

Woke up and started the day @ 7:30a with a high reading of 217 (also trying to adjust my Lantus) so I decided to leave it that way and not cover with short term for fear of inducing a low with insulin on top of running.

Didn’t want to eat either, so had a coffee with some fake sugar (which I swear raises my blood sugar a bit)

Race started @ 9:15am. Glucose level 241

Race ended @ 10:00am. Glucose level 441!

Back to car (where I kept my glass vial of short acting Novolog) took a reading… HIGH

Took 7 units based on my ratio + 1 extra just in case

11:00 @ 513
11:15 I did eat, but 2 scrambled eggs and sausage, not wanting to add carbs to my high
11:30 @ 450
and so on until
3:00 pm I finally reached 143

My level shot up high fast, dropped low fast, then as the hours went on it continued to lower but at an increasingly diminishing rate (I was testing every 15 min)

I really enjoyed the run, it was super refreshing! But while I thought I should guard against inducing a low, I should have actually taken a shot to prepare against a high. So my questions, based on everyone else’s running experience…

  1. How should I track this and prepare for it?
  2. Are there certain foods I can eat before a run that will help manage the glucose levels?
  3. My insulin/exercise obviously peaks and then reduces… seemingly at a greater rate after running than the peak and reduction I experience being sedentary… does adjusting just come with experience and tracking?
  4. When I simply walk (not jog/run) for long distances it really reduces my need for insulin and induces a big low… why the difference in activity types? It appears all exercise levels are not the same? Obviously my body is making sugar to compensate?
  5. While I’ve read where exercise mitigates the need for insulin, am I misunderstanding or am I maybe experiencing some additional complication which I should also consider?

I’d love to chat with an Endo, but without healthcare, the best advice I’ve been able to receive about my diabetes medically (at all) is with a family practice firm with a “concentration” in diabetes. When I ask them about exercise, they say it’s good for me (I know) but the above questions are over their experience level.

So if you are a runner with T1, any suggestions or experiences you have are greatly appreciated.

Okay, time for my stupid question. Why shouldn’t you exercise when in the 200’s? My doc never told me about this… I work out and run at that level most of the time…

yep that was my endo. I now have a new one, but I haven’t heard about that until now…

Hahaha!!! Lmao!!! You’re too funny!

Sorry to add to the confusion, but this morning I woke up @ 254 and immediately went out for a 6.2 mile (10k) run @ 75% basal rate. When I finished my run, BG was 73. After breakfast I was 141 and I have not gone too high or low all day.

Dave, exercise has always lowered my BG, even when I was in the 200s. Can you tell me why you suggest not exercising at those levels? I hope I’m not doing some kind of harm.

What is it like to run with one? My fanny pack alone holding all my stuff today drove me crazy from all the bouncing around. Maybe a dumb question, but it is the first thing that came to mind.

I’d like to consider trying a pump, but I’ve looked into the pricing and without health care, I’m no where near the financial ballpark to afford it currently. Some day I hope that changes, but I’ve had to switch from the pens (which were great) back to old school vials and needles… not as flexible, but certainly more affordable.

Thanks for the advice not to exercise strenuously in the 200s or higher… like Elizabeth, I was under the impression that insulin brings it down and exercise brings it down… and that IS the case if I go out for a medium or even an aggressive walk.

What’s the difference in the body between walking and running for the same amount of time? I don’t get why one makes my body go low and the other one skyrockets…

I did find one reference on Diabetes Daily (everything else warns about going too low) and it explains that if you start out too high without enough insulin you can go even higher because your body is producing sugar. (Which makes me miss my pens… running with a glass vial is just crazy and potentially a very expense accident waiting to happen if it drops or one takes a spill.

So what is a good way to start training? There have to be some runners out there who are T1?

Okay, I’m googling it right now… Sorry I was making dinner, it’s 6:15 here.

Okay, so I cannot find the answer right this second, but I will. I have to run and do some errands, and then hit the gym… hehehe… but I won’t workout if my blood sugar is over 200. I promise!

My experience that only super super intense exercise will raise my BG rapidly.

Otherwise I crash, BAD. I actually aim to be “about” 200, or headed there when I get out on my bike… for a 20 minute ride (5 miles), that works out about perfectly. If I go longer, I have to take carbs with me. I’d rate most of my bike rides as moderate exercise.

I found it! If you exercise with a BS over 200, it increases your chance of getting ketones! lol! Is that the correct answer ol’ great wise diabetes teacher?!?!?

Here is a brief summary of BGs and exercise taken from here

Lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Your blood sugar may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small carbohydrate-containing snack, such as fruit or crackers, before you begin your workout.

100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L). You’re good to go. For most people, this is a safe pre-exercise blood sugar range.

250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or higher. This is a caution zone. To make sure it’s safe to exercise, test your urine for ketones — substances made when your body breaks down fat for energy. Excess ketones indicate that your body doesn’t have enough insulin to control your blood sugar. If you exercise when you have a high level of ketones, you risk ketoacidosis — a serious complication of diabetes that needs immediate treatment. Instead, wait to exercise until your urine ketones test kit indicates a low level of ketones in your urine.

300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L) or higher. Your blood sugar may be too high to exercise safely, putting you at risk of ketoacidosis. Postpone your workout until your blood sugar drops to a safe pre-exercise range.

Now for the explanation of why exercising with ketones is bad taken from here

It works this way: stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles your body pours glucose into your bloodstream, which cannot get into your muscles when you do not have enough insulin available to “unlock the doors” to your muscles. Your body then cleverly looks to alternative sources for fuel — the free fatty acids — to help fuel your muscles since it cannot get to the glucose. The use of fat for fuel results in a byproduct called ketones. These ketones accumulate in the blood and also spill over into the urine.

I hope this helps to explain the why :slight_smile:

Yay! And I beat the other guy down below with the answer!

I am a bit competitive… just a bit… hehehe