Different people have different ways of dealing with nervousness. I like to make lists. The Rotterdam marathon is less than two weeks away, I have three more short (8-10 mile) runs left, and I’m starting to get nervous. I’m not nervous about running the marathon (although that will come too) but about the traveling. True I’m only going for a long weekend, but because it’s a marathon weekend I’m especially nervous. So I’m starting to make lists. I’m not sure they really help me remember things but making them makes me feel better.
There’s a list of the usual traveling things – tickets, passport, hotel confirmation…
Then there’s the diabetes list. Whenever I go away I worry about forgetting my insulin, glucometer, pills, needles….
I actually spent a week at a resort in Turkey without a glucometer and it wasn’t fun. I also worry about what I’ll eat. Like all traveling diabetics, I’ve had my highs and extreme lows while away and it has definitely made for a good story afterwards.
This time, though, it’s a little different. It’s my first trip abroad for a marathon and I know that if I forget anything crucial, like insulin or a glucometer, it could ruin the race – especially since I’ll need to keep my blood sugar under tighter control than usual before the marathon and I should also beware of unexpected lows after I run.
One of the many frustrating aspects of diabetes is that forgetting something, not only risks my health, but it could cost me all the training I’ve put in (and all the money I spent on the trip). It’s true that I’m going to Holland and not to a third world country, but I don’t know anyone there, I don’t speak the language (although most Dutch speak English) and I don’t have a clue where I would start to look for any of the things I’d need.
Then there’s the runnining gear list – clothes and shoes for the race, clothes and shoes for after the race… and food.
The one issue a list won’t help me with is food. I’m very nervous about eating before the run. I’ll be arriving in Rotterdam two days before the race. So I’ll have plenty of meals to worry about. But the important ones are dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of the race. The marathon starts at 11:00 am which means I will have plenty of time to correct bad waking blood sugar levels but it also means that I will have to eat some breakfast (I’ll probably wake up early out of nervousness). I usually eat at home before long runs, so I know exactly what I’m eating. I also usually don’t eat anything the morning of a long run. My dietician told me to take bread with me – so I’ll know exactly how many grams of carb there are and how my body responds. That way, there won’t be surprises at breakfast.
I’m bringing a pile of Halvah treats (sesame with sugar) and dried apricots, which I need for the run itself. But for some reason I feel foolish traveling with a loaf of bread (which will be a few days old by race day). I’m also not sure how Dutch customs will feel about a bag full of food.
I guess there’s a lot to be nervous about. I’ll make some lists and try not to forget anything. And hope that everything else works out.
Also, a letter explaining *why* you’re bringing all that random stuff. I recently asked my endo for one and he sent me to the receptionist desk, where they had a whole file folder of them ready to hand out. I’ve never been stopped at an airport for my diabetes gear before, but for my next trip, I’m playing it safe.
Also, a friend of mine just introduced me to a program called rememberthemilk.com Just in case you REALLY want to get into list-making. . . .
Batteries! Don’t forget batteries– I always assume, “Well, we can always buy batteries if that comes up,” but I have been proven wrong before.
Good luck, Michael. Hope you remember everything you need and don’t get hassled over the food. It will be a great adventure and I look forward to reading about it when you’re done.