Progress report

Well, just over four weeks to go before the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon. The fact is I have good runs and not-so-good runs, the not-so-goods almost always a resuklt of BG’s not being where I want them. What works one day doesn’t work the next, and that is terribly frustrating. After bad runs, I feel discouraged and wonder why I’m doing this. The worst is not feeling like a runner when I’m not running well. But there are great runs , too, yesterday I went ten miles and felt absolutely terrific, and was high all day, and weekend before last I went 15 miles in the hills (The Bizz is a flat, actually very slightly downhill course, so I’m almost there) The good runs remind me why I AM doing this–lots of reasons, but perhaps the biggest is that I need to feel good about my body, and running sometimes does that. Yes, I have doubts, but I do believe in myself and in my ability to put a good run together that day. But words of encouragement are appreciated. Howard.

You’re going to do great, Howard.
I’m a little concerned about your statement that you’re “almost there” after doing a 15 miler.
If you haven’t done one yet, you should do a 20 miler this weekend.
A 15 mile hill run is a great accomplishment, but your body will serve you better on race day if you can do a good long run soon. You don’t need to do it at any particular pace, and you should pick out a nice, easy route. The point is just to put the miles in.
If you don’t do a 20 miler, you can still finish your marathon. I’m just trying to tell you something that will help you get there better trained and avoid some pain.
Don’t get discouraged. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask them here, or send them to me directly. I’ve run enough marathons to have learned a lot of stuff, some of it the hard way. I’d be happy to share.
Good luck!

Thanks, Jerry. I know 15 miles is not usually enuf for a marathon, but 1. I’m not done yet, planning to do a 3:15 this weekend, and 2. I am training with as few running miles as possible, due to minor joint problems, and a desire to keep running well into old age (I’m 54) I do my long runs in the hills so that I can get some of the bennies of the long runs w/o the long miles. The hills are 6 - 8% and are constant throughout the three hours. My experience has shown a positive link between, say, 1:30 in the hills and 2:15 in the flats, so I am just extending that theory, tho this will be my first marathon using that approach. My body just doesn’t take the pounding like it did 25 years ago. I tend to run long on Friday, take it easy Saturday, then cycle long on Sunday. (Other shorter runs and rides during the week) And, the three hour run I refer to includes riding ten miles each way to get to the trailhead. But I do have a specific question re: BG’s, for you, or perhaps anyone else. I try to start my long runs around 150, and keep it there through constant intake of small amounts of glucose. I feel great running at 150. My question refers to the unpredictability that I, and I think others, sometimes experience. Do you ever use any fast acting insulin at all during a long run, for example, if your BG should go up to 200?? At what level would you try to add insulin? I run w/a background of 16 units Lantus on board, but try to avoid fast acting insulin like the plague when running, even though I have a special 5% solution of Humalog I have brewed up. (No, I don’t wear a pump, and, at least right now, please don’t try to convince me otherwise.) Oh, and I check BG about every 20 minutes when going long. Your interest and help is greatly appreciated, Howard.

I can relate to the old age joint issue. I completed my first 1/2 this summer, but had some serious knee pain just a month before the run. I had to take 2 weeks off and then only managed a reduced training regime for the 2 weeks before the race. But I finished in a semi-respectable time, so it was a great experience.

I’m curious as to your statement “I don’t wear a pump, and, at least right now, please don’t try to convince me otherwise”? I got my pump 19 months ago precisely because of my desire to improve BG control during and after running. Once I started increasing mileage I found it hard to maintain good control without a pump. I also got the CGMS, so I can simply look down at my pump during a run and know my BG level (within about 10 - 15% and with a 15 minute time-lag). After some trial and error, I’m generally able to maintain BG between 70 and 140 during long runs. For my 1/2, I started at 170 (normally I start long runs at around 120 trending up), but was stable around 90 for the last 6 miles. I couldn’t have achieved that without a pump.

I’m only writing this to provide you some food for thought. I know there are many legitimate reasons people don’t have pumps.