It’s late, and I should probably do this tomorrow, but I’ve been wanting to write it since 3:00 this afternoon— right around the time I wrapped up my run. So I’ll start it and hope I don’t fall asleep in the middle of it but keep writing. I’ve been known to do that.
On the schedule today was a 75 minute run @ 10:00 minutes a mile for a total of 7.5 miles. I have yet to do that as an adult. My longest run— on the day I got into the car for North Carolina and then didn’t walk for 2 weeks— was 7.1 miles. Or thereabouts. Whatever it was, it wasn’t 7.5, but I also wasn’t worried about it today because you said it was going to be my easiest run of the week… And I believed you
It was the easiest run of the week, it was the most wonderful run of the week, and it left my head full of questions and thoughts and realizations and longings and gratitude. It was that good of a run.
But first, I’ll tell you about the morning because it wasn’t perfect. I told you the other day I’d use this Saturday to get myself back onto the Zero Basal for an hour prior to the run. I also told you I wouldn’t have any coffee for at least 2 hours before the run. It all made sense and sounded easy enough when I was working it out on paper. Last night though was tough, and my head hurt through the night, and I just couldn’t sleep well… which meant I wasn’t awake this morning to see out the plan as discussed. My BG was excellent when I opened my eyes, but it looked like a total of a couple of hours’ of suspends had gathered just before I woke. I knew it would make me climb (because I’ve seen this scenario just a few times on the 670), but I couldn’t just ride the rise because I really wanted some coffee. Needed some coffee. My head was just clouded and sore, and there was no way I was starting a run in that shape, perfect opportunity or not. So with a good BG with a potentially ugly rise ahead, the need for some caffeine (and its additional spike), but the wish to avoid putting any insulin into my system just in time for a long run, I did the only thing I could think to do, and that was to give myself a 2.5 unit IV shot. Within an hour, I was properly caffeinated, my BG had fallen back to a very comfortable number, and I had no insulin on board. I have yet to use this before exercise and will continue to work on hammering out a good pre-run schedule, but sometimes diabetes is patchwork, and today it was just right.
So I started my run at a 107. I set my timer for 75 minutes and began at 10 minutes a mile. I didn’t need a thing until almost 4 miles in when I needed my first bit of carbs. The first part of the run, RPE of maybe 4, was easy. Really easy. The toughest part was finding something to do with my mind because there was little distraction available. Even though that was the case, my body was so at ease that I was tolerating the little bit of boredom. There was still plenty to tend to— like checking my Dexcom, checking my cadence, messing with the fan… The little tasks and the music were enough to help the miles feel like they were passing by. At just around 4 miles though, I found I was getting tired. It was not quite as easy, and I couldn’t help but think of the fact that I had just started, in effect, my second run. I don’t like those kinds of thoughts… overwhelmed is not the most productive feeling. I also noticed the music was too tinny and too loud, and the temperature wasn’t right… and then realized that I was probably low. Checked my Dexcom and Libre, and they agreed.
I know this is the longest write up in the history of training notes, but I have to put it here. So if you need a nap, I’ll just wake you at the end.
Anyway, I still had a bag of Extreme Energy Beans, or whatever, so I ate probably 8 grams’ of carbs. I thought that would hold, but as I shuffled along, I continued to feel just a little tired and just a little low… but not a little demoralized, not a little scared, and not like I might need to quit. In fact, as I moved along, I realized this was just diabetes that I was feeling, and I was relieved. I can’t explain this, but the thought was magical. It was just diabetes… and this was better than it being exhaustion or pain from running. It was better than the alternative. Better! Never has diabetes been the better option when I’m evaluating a possible cause for something. Never have I thought, Oh, I hope it’s just diabetes. But I did today. I was glad it was diabetes that was making me drag along a little rather than being truly tired from the run. I realized I can fix my diabetes much easier than I can fix my endurance. And I ate a few more carbs and noticed that where my brain had felt like it had vacated only a few minutes before, it was on the mend, and where my feet had felt like they were not my own just a few minutes before, I could feel them strike the ground again… I was finding my legs and my stride and my head and my path. And then there was the best part of one of my favorite songs, and it was starting to sound good again, and amidst all of these things taking place at once, I realized I was smiling. Almost 5 miles in, and I was smiling. I love when I find myself smiling in the middle of a run. You just can’t buy that kind of moment.
I know this is corny, and I hope no one reads it, but I want it all in here with stories of running and other mishaps. Anyway, the rest of the run was that… a lot of smiles and ease and joy and accomplishment. And where there had been just the slightest sense of duty in the first part of the run, there was not so much as a drop of it in the end. There was no only 15 minutes left or 2 more miles… not a thought, and that realization planted the idea that maybe fear plays an important role in pain, and that pain and discomfort without fear is just not as powerful. Today I felt a little tired and went a little low, but neither scared me. I never was concerned I wouldn’t be able to sort it out, and I never was concerned I wouldn’t be able to finish, so I just fixed it and continued on.
I finished at a BG of 126. My hips were rock solid… but I didn’t run 7.5 miles. I ran 8 and could’ve run 10. It wasn’t my brain or body that made me turn it off but a spot of guilt over not sticking to the run as written.
Today it felt like I needed a little bandaid for my diabetes. It was a little irritated and could use a quick fix. This is worlds away from where I was when I felt like nothing could fix my diabetes. And that really was not long ago. I love what you’re doing to my brain, @Eric. I hope you know this. Now I must sleep.