Starting a running plan

I used to be a runner. In high school and college I ran track and cross country. Until a few years ago I ran with my dog. Then I developed back problems and had to stop, so I took to biking to and from work, which was eight miles each way.

For the last year and a half I have been a psychiatry resident with a two hour each way commute to work. I work about 60 hours a week. I gave up the biking at about the same time as I started on insulin--and I gained 25 lbs.

This year it is my new year resolution to get control of my health before it kills me. I let my husband know how horrible my control has been so he could start nagging, and am trying to cooperate fully--taking my endocrinologist's advice to get a pump, getting all appropriate testing done, carefully counting every carb that goes in my mouth, etc.

I am going for EMGs on April 17th to rule out other causes, since my position sense and balance are evidently worse than my endo would expect,

So far in the last month I have lost about 5 of the pounds, and my control is way better. I have high hopes that my next A1C (May 4) will be good. I also want to start running again, so I spent the last month walking a half hour twice a day with the goal to start running April 1st.

I think I am ready, grom a cardiovascular standpoint, but there are some issues. I have pretty nasty neuropathy with bad position sense, so I am afraid I'll fall. I do think that runninng will help with blood flow to my feet, so if I can stay upright it has to be a good thing.

I also need to figure out how it is going to affect my glucose. I think at the beginning probably not much, because I will be running a little and walking a lot, but any advice is appreciated. Good wishes also appreciated. Or you can say I'm stupid to try this--but I am tired of not being able to do the things I want because of this disease and I want to try.

You are not stupid at all, I think you are to be applauded!

Here are a few things that work for me.....

Shoes are soooo important. I would recommend you look into some very good stability shoes. That should help with the positioning.

Also, I think you will be surprised at the effect running (and/or walking) has on your glucose. I gather you aren't on a pump yet, if you go on one you will find it a godsend as far as lows and running, since you can dial down your basal rates. I would recommend having a snack before you head out (carbs and protein) and carry an energy gel with you. Also I never go on a long run with a number less than 100. I have a GU (energy gel) every 30-40 minutes, and that works for me. Every person is a little different, but to be safe I would rather run a little high than a little low on days I am running.

I am sure you will get some great advice here, this site is a great place for info and insights.

Good luck, and you can do it!!

I started on a Ping pump two weeks ago. Still adjusting, but starting to feel pretty excited about being more in control again. I hate not being in control of things. Thanks for the support.

I always ran in the Nike Pegasus series- which is not fantastically stable, more of a cushion shoe. My daughter just bought me a pair as a present- what do you think? Stable enough?

It might be useful to go to a running store and spend 45+ minutes exploring different shoes? I am not sure about the stability problem issue although I’ve fallen 4x (1 rolled ankle, 2 ice and one freaky weed at a weird angle I stepped on w/ one foot that made the other foot get caught on it for a face plant…). There’s a lot of different shoes out there and, even in the same “flavor” (stability vs neutral vs ‘barefoot’?), I’ll find big differences in the “flow” of different shoes. The better stores will spend time fitting you and let you run on a treadmill and I usually do “brackets” to find the best shoe. I have really enjoyed the Brooks Pure Cadence shoes, the beefiest/ most cushioned of the Pure line. The footbed reminds me a lot of Birkenstocks but the heel is not hugely built up and I feel really engaged w/ the ground in them. I am running in Carlsbad, CA this week so I’ve switched to a heavier Saucony Triumphs shoe for more cushion going down the big hills but I got them w/ brackets too. I’d try a bunch of different shoes and different brands and, if the Pegasus wins, then go w/ that but the time I’ve invested in buying shoes has been useful. And its sort of fun!

Yes, I strongly recommend going to a running store also. They work with you to find out which shoe will work best for you.

Thanks for the support and advice. It's good to hear some positive voices. My endo thinks I'm crazy because of my neuropathy, but I can't know how it's going to go until I try. I am getting pretty excited about the idea of running again- even a little and slowly, with a lot of walking to start.

There's a good running shoe store right in my town-I will go pay them a visit over the weekend.

My aunt got me Jeff Galloway’s running book when I had signed up for my first half marathon and I found his approach useful as he advocates being pretty conscious about your gait and feeling how you are doing. He also advocates run-walking as a way to help stay injury-free as you work to increase your distances. I also liked his approach to “fuelling” as he suggests lighter, healthy eating but suggests “avoid the pasta feed”. I read a few running books and tried out some of the suggestions and I’d say it helped me feel more engaged with “being” a runner at age 42, not aiming to “win” except the personal “winning” by being out on the trail? You have a running background so maybe you’ve already got that but I liked reading about it too?

One thing about running stores on the weekend is that they will be busy! Don’t get intimidated or hurry the choice! If there’s a line for the treadmills, I’ve waited in it!