One Run and Two Lows

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I am four weeks away from the Tiberias Marathon and one week from tapering. This is supposed to be my peak training week in which I run 60+ miles including a 24 mile run (plus a warm up). This morning I was supposed to run 15 miles, 13 of them at my marathon pace. But everything went wrong.

Last night Jessica and I ate a relatively light and late dinner last night after spending a few hours in the ER with Adam who has had a very high fever for four days.  Since Adam had pneumonia just three weeks ago the doctor wanted to make sure it hadn’t recurred and sent us to the ER for blood work and other fun tests. The experience was very unpleasant with Adam screaming through much of the process.

When we got home we were too tired to start making any real food and just made a salad and a big omelet for two.  Scared of going low and thinking of tomorrow’s run I decided to have a slice of bread with butter and bolused for it.

Expecting to be low, I checked my blood sugar before going to bed.  It 268, unusually high for me and very surprising considering I’d had very little to eat. I bolused again, using the Bolus Wizard, and set an alarm to wake me an hour and a half later.

When the alarm went off at around half past midnight I felt weird. My mouth was dry, which for me, is a classic symptom of high blood sugar. I checked my blood sugar and it was 222. I couldn’t understand it but didn’t know what to do other than bolus again. I went back to bed hoping that was the end of it.

At around 2:30 a.m. Adam woke up from his fever that was on the rise again. Jessica woke up and went to take care of him while I went to check my blood sugar once more. This time it was only 203. In my half-asleep state I realized the thing to do was to switch my infusion set and site. So as tired as I was, I changed my infusion set and bolused again.

When I woke up at 4:15 a.m. to get ready for my run I checked my blood sugar again. I was happy to see it had come down to 137, but I still had more active insulin on board.  I reduced my basal rate and got ready for my run. I knew that with the very little bit of sleep I had gotten and the insulin in my body I was in for trouble, but decided to head out as planned.

I set out at 5:00 thinking I would be back at home by 7:30 after my 15 mile run. Two miles into the run, feeling fine, I stopped to check my blood sugar. It was 45. I checked again to make sure – 43. Suddenly the woozy, weak feeling of hypoglycemia hit me and I took a GU gel and stood for a while until I felt a little better. I’m not sure how long I waited but it couldn’t have been more that 10-15 minutes. I continued running feeling terrible and understood that all I could do was to try to run a shorter easy pace run and maybe try again tomorrow.  Four miles later, feeling weak, I stooped to check my blood sugar again.  It was 59. I took another gel and headed home frustrated, a two mile run from where I was.

I know that I can do more damage than good at this point in my training. I have trained hard, run many 20+ milers and aside from my pestering groin muscle injury, I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m also thinner than ever (1-2 ponds thinner than my last marathon – around 160). But it is unnerving when things go wrong like this. I mean what if it happens on race night? At least now I know what to do. I will not forget to take an extra infusion set or two with me.

Running Update: After two weeks of trying to take it easy because of my injury I finally got a good full week of training last week running a total of 57 miles including a 22.5 miler (plus a mile warm up).

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Scott K. Johnson

What a stressful situation with Adam.  Maybe some of the stress showed up in your blood sugars that evening?  It (stress) always plays games with me and my numbers.

It’s very frustrating when blood sugars get in the way of our exercise.  It really irks me when I have to skip basketball, or cut my session short, or just plod through a crappy session because I’m high or low.

I think if diabetes teaches anything, it is how to roll with the punches and try again. 

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