The 2008 Long Beach Half Marathon

I finished the Long Beach Half Marathon in 2:31:22 today, a mere 1:22 off my goal, so I am very pleased. It was also an interesting day for my blood sugars, so I thought I’d tell you how it went.

On background, I’m a 51 year old Type 1, diagnosed in January 2003, on insulin since 2004 and on a MiniMed pump since 2005. I have a Dexcom CGM, but didn’t wear it during the race.

Woke up this morning at 5:30 am with a BG of 315. WTF??? That came out of the blue. I was running a little high before bed, but this is not expected. The only cause I can think of is pre-race stress/nerves. I was a little sleepless and have been kind of anxious with anticipation for the race. I was seriously wondering if I’d be able to run.

I had a bowl of oatmeal anyway, used the Wizard to calculate a correction and carb bolus, then knocked the bolus down two full units to account for the upcoming 13.1 run. Then I cut my basal rate in half, to .20 units/hour for the next 4 hours. This would kick in the regular basal at about 9:30 (half an hour before my planned finish) but not have any real effect until about 11:30, an hour after my planned finish at 10:00.

The race started at 7:30 am, my BG just before the race was 264. Not coming down as fast as I’d like but trending that way. It crossed my mind for a very brief moment that I ought not run, but only for a brief minute. I knew I had on-board insulin, was about to engage in some strenuous activities and it would come down further.

(Aside, I recently saw a new CDE who gave me two pieces of advice that served me well in this race and in the short period before: 1) when correcting, correct so you come down gradually - cutting two units from the morning bolus helped with this, and 2) NEVER turn off your pump because you always need SOME basal insulin. I used to turn it off for long runs and two times ended up with ketoacidosis. No more.)

I planned to test every three miles/30 minutes and, lo and behold, at 3 miles (running strong by the way, but at an easy pace so I wouldn’t flag at the end) my BG was down to 191. Going the right way.

At 6 miles my BG was down to 105. Good, but going down fast. I didn’t want to bonk so I took two glucose tabs and at 9 miles my BG had held quite steady at 108. Since it worked before and I had only four point one miles to go I took two more glucose tabs based on the last results.

I finished in 2:31:22 (did I say that before?) but was unable to test at the finish. The reason was that I was using a new, light-weight belt to carry my testing supplies. Being unfamiliar with it because I had stupidly used new equipment without training with it beforehand, it seems that I had dropped my test strips somewhere along the course. Most likely at mile 9 - ya think? :slight_smile:

Aside No. 2 - Sr. Romualdo Sanchez passed me in the last mile. Romualdo was the winning marathoner with a time of 2:29:59. We were neck and neck for about, oh, .05 seconds. To give you some perspective the only difference between the two of us is that he ran twice as far as I did in the same amount of time, and I ran 13.1 friggin’ miles! Also keep in mind that a large proportion of the marathoners had only just finished the first 11 miles, with 15 and change to go. He was a beautiful thing to behold, so strong and graceful, next to us plodders and pacers. We clapped and cheered him as he passed by.

After stretching and rehydrating I met up with my family. I was not very concerned about not being able to test, although I was curious and cursed my bad luck. I ate an apple on the way home, figuring it couldn’t hurt much since home was only 30 minutes away, and it wasn’t so bad. When I got home I had to recalibrate the friggin’ meter because the new strips had a different number but showed a BG of 158 at 11:30. That’s about 90 minutes after the race ended and after an apple, so not too shabby. Except it was still going up 30 minutes later, to 170. I ate, bolused and corrected and got back on track right away.

Oh, I also did another stupid thing the day before the race. I signed up to train for the 2008 L.A. Marathon. I must be nuts.

If interested, I put some glory photos on my homepage.

Terry

Awesome man, awesome. I think every old guys (like us) running goal should be to cross the 1/2 marathon finish line about the same time as the first place marathon runner. You did a great job of coming down from that nasty morning BG (I’m sure it was stress induced) and running the race.

Congratulations! I would love to chat with you more at some point in the future about blood sugar and pump strategies for long runs and race-day- I think I want to do a half marathon (the longest race I’ve ever done is a 5k).

Also - like you and Ken - I have a similar goal. I am young, but very slow (a proud “fat” runner), so I’d like to finish the half in the time the pro women (not the winners though, you know the 8th or 10th finishers) finish the full marathon, in 2:30-2:45.

Hey Terry, you ran an GREAT race! Thanks for sharing the experience with us. I have had the same problem with too high pre-race blood sugars. Sounds like you dealt with it well. Glad you didn’t lose your ability to test during the race. On the test strip coding issue, I’m not totally convinced that it makes much difference. Have forgotten to change the code, then tested again with the right code and only seen a few points difference.

Read a couple of your posts about running and BG issues. Heres a good book: “Exercise and sport in diabetes / editor, Dinesh Nagi.” http://www.amazon.com/Exercise-Sport-Diabetes-Practical/dp/047002206X Its written for physicians but the information while jargony at times is great for the serious athlete. You might be able to pick up at a local university as I did or have your local library Interlibrary Loan it for you as it costs about $120 on Amazon.

Terry, Congrats my man… I like your humor “No. 2 - Sr. Romualdo Sanchez passed me in the last mile. Romualdo was the winning marathoner with a time of 2:29:59. We were neck and neck for about, oh, .05 seconds. To give you some perspective the only difference between the two of us is that he ran twice as far as I did in the same amount of time, and I ran 13.1 friggin’ miles”

How much horsepower does he have in his engine?