I’m just a few days away from my first half marathon of the season the Beit Shean Half Marathon. Although I participated in a 30k race a few weeks ago this race is important to me as a way to evaluate what kind of shape I’m really in. I’ve run 5 half marathons before, including the Beit Shean Half Marathon (2 years ago), and my time will be a very good indicator of my ability to run a sub 4 marathon in Tiberias this January. I would also like to break my half marathon personal record.
I’m feeling confident about this race since all of my recent long runs have been at good paces including a 13.1 mile run almost two weeks ago on a relatively hot and sunny November weekend (82F°-83F°).
I had planned on running on Friday morning but was too tired so I decided to run in the evening. I prefer running long distances in the early morning for a few reasons: I like the quiet, I feel like it’s not at the expense of anything else and there are fewer blood sugar surprises. But sometimes I just can’t get myself going at 4:30 in the morning.
My evening run started out fine but after 3 miles I felt weak and light-headed so I stopped to check my blood sugar. It was 47. I quickly downed 2 gels and drank some water at a nearby fountain. I decided to cut my losses and headed home – another 2 mile run. This surprise was quite expected. I had a small snack and took 2 units of insulin an hour before heading out to run. Running and rapid insulin in my system usually means trouble.
I tried again the next day. I had to drive my son to Haifa for sailing practice, so it was 11:00am by the time I started my run down the beach (with a water pack on my back). I had a great run, my pace increasing throughout. I finished the run in an hour and 53 minutes, a minute over my personal record for a half marathon.
My good long runs and my much quicker pace in short runs make me feel confident in my ability to break my PR for a half marathon and run a sub 4 marathon. The problem is that too often there are surprises. Not all are diabetes related, but most are. That’s the real frustration – everyone has a certain risk of running related injuries, but for me, no matter how much I train, no matter how closely I count carbohydrates, no matter how perfect everything seems like it’s going to be… sometimes it just doesn’t work.