I started reducing my long-acting insulin (Lantus) dose. I went down to 18 units a week ago, then 16, and now have reduced to 14.
One of the things I noticed lately is that I’ve been eating huge amounts of halva when I run (on long runs I have a hard time fitting enough of them into my pack)and still I can’t seem to keep my BS levels up. Each one of my individually wrapped halva snacks has 14g of carb, 7g fat and 132 calories. The high fat content slows down the absorption process of the carbohydrates.
I originally started using halva instead of energy gels, on the advice of my nutritionist, after I told her I thought my BS was going high during runs from the gels. I didn’t actually check to see if my BS was spiking or if I was just having other diabetes related problems. I may have even been having lows. The truth is that I reached many of my conclusions without really checking. I knew nutrition was a great part of my bad marathon experience, but I wasn’t very scientific about finding out what really happened during my runs.
Because I can be very thick-headed (it took me six months and a near-death experience to go do the blood test that diagnosed my diabetes), it was only after my third marathon and repeated high heart rate episodes did I start running with a glucometer. And to my surprise my BS levels during my runs had nothing to do with my heart rate. (I still don’t know what causes my HR to shoot up during runs but I think it has to do with my BS during the night).
So, since halva hasn’t solved the problems of my running lows, and the truth is that all food makes me feel nauseous after 15 miles, even water, I’ve decided to give energy gels another chance.
My plan was to first try the gels at home while not exercising and then try them again during runs, checking my BS before and after taking the gels. Here’s what I did:
The gel I decided to try is GU Lemon Sublime. This is one of the least offensive flavors during a run (this was the gel I preferred before switching to halva). It has 100 calories and 25g of carbohydrate (5g sugar) – all the GU Energy Gels have the same nutritional values.
Monday, before eating anything or taking any insulin, I sat down at my desk checked my BS (it was 130) and sucked down the gel. It didn’t taste that bad at all. It’s interesting how things taste different after 10 miles. I checked my BS every 15 minutes for the next hour. After 15 minutes my BS was 157, after 30 minutes 194, after 45 minutes 216 and an hour after consuming the gel my BS was 204. I waited another hour, which included a slow 10-15 minute walk and checked again it was 109.
Wow, not what I was expecting. 2¼ hours after taking the gel my BS was down to normal – 20 points lower than where I started. What makes this more incredible is that – remember… I’d cut my long acting insulin down to 14 (thanks Ginger for the tip!).
The next step is to try it on a run and see how it goes.
* I am aware of the fact that the energy gels are about as far as possible from the Paleo diet and that they are highly processed.