"Activity" is not the same thing as "Exercise": Allison's Running Trial

We have a lot of amazing exercise threads on here. I’ve learned so much from the exercise warriors out there (looking at you, @daisymae, @Nickyghaleb, @Trying, @Eric, just to name a few).

I started a running program with the help of our guru here this week. I warned him that I’m in TERRIBLE cardiovascular shape. I think he believed me. And then he saw how high my RPE was for my first run on Monday. And then he rewrote my training plan…like tapered it down a lot…bc like I said, I’m in TERRIBLE cardiovascular shape. It’s nice to be able to say that I was the one who finally threw a curve ball at the master of The Force. :smile:

So I’ve run three times this week so far. Almost died the first time. Didn’t almost die the second time. And sweated less the third time.

As many have posted here, I am seeing a straight up MIRACLE in my body’s ability to use insulin now after even just the first run. I knew that my basal would decrease (10% less now). But it’s been my body’s newfound ability to use bolus insulin so effectively that is making me slap my forehead and wonder why in the world I didn’t get on this horse sooner?!

I know why I didn’t get on this horse sooner.

  1. Time. I was working, raising kids, parenting for two when my husband was out of town, caring for an aging pet, etc etc etc. Throwing in an exercise routine and all of its time demands AND changes to my insulin sensitivities just wasn’t happening. I was hanging on for dear life as it was. Running wasn’t getting added to that.
  2. Fear. I was afraid of my ability to handle the acute and macro effects of exercise on my finely tuned basal programs.
  3. Chronic pain. I’ve been watching the right side of my body get increasingly messed up since my second pregnancy (hip, shoulder, and ribs, most notably). Doctors, PT, chiropractor…nothing has slowed it down.
  4. (Biggest One) Misconception on my part that “Activity” is the same thing as “Exercise”. I’ve been in the “little years” for a while with my kiddos…which means PLENTY of steps per day. In my mind, my non-stop activity basically equaled an exercise program in and of itself. I didn’t think that I NEEDED to do an actual exercise routine since I’m on my feet so much anyway. I thought I was already getting exercise.

One other thing to point out. I resigned from my office career about 6 weeks ago. Now, my bg has VASTLY improved since getting out of the stress of that specific situation plus the sedentariness for so many of my waking hours. But my bg did not improve as much as I expected that it would by virtue of being home and doing house projects and playing with the kids, etc.

So…adding running has been a game changer for me already. I know it’s early in the process, but I never would have expected to see such improved (i.e. lower) post-meal spikes for the same foods even on a non-running day. My body has been turned back on, it has been plugged in and now recognizes what the heck this “insulin” stuff is that I keep injecting into it. And with that increased efficiency comes increased precision in dosing…meaning that mythical “1:10” I:C ratio I’ve supposedly been using for the last 7 or so years (while doubling it or adding 3 extra units or whatever I had to do to try to make it sort of work in the moment) is now ACTUALLY working again. I have less “free radical” bolus insulin (as I call it) floating around in my system which leads to a LOT fewer “oh shoot” drops out of the blue four to six hours later after being stuck at a 240 for several hours.

So. The caps lock in this post is indicative of excitement, relief, why didn’t I do this sooner??, and happiness. Some parts of the new program still spook me. I’ll be watching for how all of the parts work together (my way of mentioning hormones without mentioning hormones) and what I need to adjust as I go. But I have an AMAZING support team here. And my right side currently hurts a lot less. And joints keeps popping loose like they were encased in stress-cement before and now I can breathe again. I wish I was exaggerating that statement, but it is truly what it feels like. (My last PT person told me that I had the rib cage of a 70 year old. He meant that I had super locked up muscles due to chronic stress and probably some alignment issues post-pregnancy.)

So…anyway…thanks, @Eric and FUDiverse.


This is so great, @T1Allison, I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait to hear about all the progress. and you’ve got a fabulous coach in your corner, that much is for sure!


You’re hooked
You’re cooked
You’re caught in my running trap


So excited for you!! And so glad you made the discovery and healing powers of running for more than insulin sensitivity but for chronic pain, too:-) Like you, I’ve learned so much from @Eric, @daisymae, @Nickyghaleb, and everyone here, sharing excellent advice. I love the title of your thread, too! :slight_smile: Looking forward to your posts of your continued training.



Guuuuuurl… I KNEW you’d come around. :raised_hand: (High five)

And hold on… I have to get you the image you need to get you in the mood…



I’m getting as much as I can but holy hell I’m outta shape.


I was there just about a year ago. Just keep getting up and getting out and chipping away. You, too, can be boring the medics at the end of a half marathon sooner than you could ever imagine possible. :fist:

Seriously. Let’s get it, baby. :sunglasses:


I just finished my fourth “run”. I’m amazed at how quickly my body’s adapted to it. I’ve felt good for the last three runs. But don’t tell @Eric. He’ll just turn up the heat on me.

I’m trying to remember what I used to sort of know about form and breathing and all of that from my softball conditioning days. Will keep chipping away! Thanks for the great example, @Nickyghaleb!


Just don’t look at all of my days. Not all of them are a “great” example. :grin:

That’s fantastic. But not surprising. :fist:


I’m starting Week 2 of my four runs per week plan. My goal, if I failed to state it earlier, is to run a 5k with my husband. He’d love that and so would I. I’ve never run one before.

Granted, I drank two glasses of wine last night, was dehydrated, and have not slept well in several days…but I hauled my butt on the treadmill and did my longish run today anyway. I do imagine I would have felt better had I (1) been sober last night (2) been hydrated today and (3) had slept well at some point. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

My body wants to run at 6 mph at this point. My heart and lungs want to run at 5.6 mph. Hopefully they’ll talk and get on the same page as I continue.

The other thing I’m noticing is how ridiculously variable my pod site absorption is. Exercising has refined my insulin dosing…meaning that my body’s increased efficiency at using insulin is giving me much less “slop insulin” in my doses that can spin off in different directions. (I take meal insulin by injection, by the way, to preserve my pod sites and get better consistency in my bolus uptake.) So watching each pod site’s variability in basal absorption is clearer now than it was before. Some pod sites need a reduction in basal after exercise (-10% for where I’m at in my fitness right now)…and others are duds and don’t require the reduction seemingly bc they are not absorbing that well to begin with.

My conclusion in all of this is that with all of the potential failure points in our self-care systems (site integrity, skin integrity, variable states of efficiency in using insulin depending on proximity to exercise, CGM variability, test strip variability, hormones, etc etc etc)…my goal continues to be “livability” with this disease. While I would never turn down a lower A1C, my goal is to continue learning how to go about daily living with generally good control and with as few D-interruptions to the things that I want to do as possible. And to not get too wrapped around the axle about +50 or -30 or whatever. In my opinion, and maybe I’ll turn out to be wrong after running longer, that level of SD is more of a reflection of the variables of the effectiveness of the tools and of the conditions of the disease itself rather than my ability to control it. I just want to live well without undue distraction.


That’s me, too! :smile: Have a good week running!!


I think if I have to give up coffee (or at least remember to pretend I have), then you should have to give up wine. Not that I’m trying to throw you under the bus or anything, but I would like some company under here. :thinking:

Sometimes it’s not all about what your body or heart or lungs want you to run but what Eric wants you to run. I have learned that if he says 5.5, he’s gonna get his 5.5. He’s either going to get it where he’s written it in, or he’s gonna get it later in the week when I’m too tired to give him the 6 that was scheduled. I’m just now really learning, kind of, how to do what’s in the workout, and then keep doing that for every workout that week, no matter easy or hard. I’m not even sure you’re there yet with him, but it’s good information to keep in mind for the future.

Sounds like you’re crushing it so far. Love this. :heart:


I pretended to give up wine! And then I had a ton of reasons to go get a bottle of wine the other day…and now I’m fighting the 40’s and am waiting to come back up and have you to keep me company while my Dexcom regains signal…no one is making me give up coffee…no one who wants to live, that is.

My nose and upper lip and neck and inside of my elbows are sweating and I feel generally terrible. Apparently I can feel “crisis mode” as @Beacher astutely observed elsewhere recently…at least I woke up for this one while my Dexcom lost signal!!!







I’m having a coffee now.


I just realized you were actually saying this to me about your low… and I missed the whole thing.

I feel terrible. I didn’t mean to leave you alone with that. :confused: Did everything turn out okay?

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One juice box, two tabs later I was fine. I haven’t been that low in a longgggg time. Fortunately it felt really awful! I meant to get up and brush my teeth after I was safely back up in range…but then I slept five more hours…so I’m going to end up with Meth Mouth one of these days…


Probably not Breaking Bad kind of Meth Mouth I don’t imagine… You might be doing something wrong there with your lows… :thinking:

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We are just in the 2nd week, so I’m still figuring out all the buttons, dials, and settings on this machine. :wink:


So here’s the problem with running: it’s ruining my hair routine.

I’m a low maintenance kind of gal (i.e. I only put on eye liner and mascara if there’s a super good reason to). But I do put the effort into straightening my hair. Which is an hour long process that I do every three days.

But if I’m sweating my butt off on the treadmill, that ruins my straight hair…which gives me “I just had an infant” hair but my kids are too old for me to look this rough.

Just sayin’.