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?
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.