Any diabetic can tell you that diabetes comes with a lot of stuff. You have your glucometer kit which you need to take with you every where you go, your insulin, pens, shots or pump, emergency sugar packet and all kinds of other things.
In the days before I had diabetes, I could fit everything I needed into my pockets, but since I was diagnosed I go most places with a small backpack. It’s not always comfortable, but it is not such a big deal.
Running with diabetes supplies, however, is a totally different story. When I run I take my glucometer with me, a bunch of energy gels that I use for fuel and to stabilize my blood sugar. I also take a few extra gels in case of hypoglycemia.
I used to stuff all of these supplies into a Nathan’s Gel Waist Pack. It was a great running pack which held everything without being bulky. The problem was the access. It was very difficult to get the glucometer out and in again during a run, and every time I took out a gel I was scared a piece of the glucometer kit would fall out. During my runs I would have the pack behind me and when I needed something I would pull it to the front and get it out.
A few months ago I went on the pump. I tried to use my pack but found that it wasn’t very comfortable to hook the pump on the back. When I tried to bring the pack around to the front I usually got the tubing tangled or, if I pulled to the wrong side, got an uncomfortable tug on my infusion site.
After going to a few running stores to look for a new pack, and not finding anything better that what I already had, one of the guys on TUDiabetes, diabetics who run marathons, posted a picture of the belt he runs with. It looked more like a policeman’s belt (just without a club) than a running pack, but it looked perfect. It was made by a company called Amphipod.
Amphipod makes modular running belts which allow you to add and remove any pouch or bottle you need.
I looked at their different products and ordered what I thought would be a comfortable set up for my runs – a large rear pouch for gels, credit card and ID and two side pouches one for my glucometer with easy access and a one for more gels and sodium tablets (all the belts come with bottles which I removed).
I have been training with my new belt for over a month, during which I have run quite a few miles including a half marathon, and I am a satisfied customer. It is a little bulky and I’ve had a few comments like “it looks like you’re about to take off” referring to the engine looking black pockets sticking out of my sides, not the speed of my running. But so far it definitely does the job.
Next week I will officially start my marathon training for my next marathon and although I have not figured out how to control my blood sugar with my new pump yet I’m happy I will at least be able to carry all the diabetes supplies I need comfortably.