I had quite the running adventure on Friday enough that I'm not even sure where to begin! I'm training for a 1/2 marathon in October so I needed to start doing long runs once a week. Its been eons since I've run more than 10km so I was rather apprehensive but at the same time excited and confident.
I set my temp basal at only 20% a long ways in advance. I thought I was going for 13km. I say 'thought' because I miscalculated the distance. I was wearing a sensor (for a change) and within the first 30 minutes I had to have a gel (clocking in at 27g carbs) and 4 glucose tablets. It never crashed but it got too low to run for a long time. My CGM was showing 5.1 (92) and an arrow pointing down.
My mind and breathing were happy to be running a long distance. I took it slow to pace myself yet my legs were screaming back in horror. They were still extremely stiff and a bit achy from the 10-reps of stairs I did only two days prior. 3300 steps to be accurate. I was hoping a couple km's into the run that the they would loosen up but they never did. I was forced to stop to wait for the lift bridge and my calf muscles were actually vibrating and tingling and cramping up. My blood sugar stayed constant at 5.6 (100) (pretty amazing in my mind) while I continued to run after I had the gel and tablets. At my turn-around point I was somewhat shocked when I looked down at my watch and saw 50minutes. Hmmm..... the distance surely wasn't 13km. Oh well, I made it out here, now I gotta get back. The way back was increasingly difficult on my muscles yet all the while my lungs felt under-worked. With only 1km to go I got the tell tale signs of a blood sugar crash. My stomach felt like it was caving in on itself and those stiff legs got even stiffer. I've never said this before but a major crash while exercising is one of my biggest fears. It's why I check almost every 20 minutes even wearing a sensor. The sensor won't catch a crash as they come on so fast. I checked and sure enough I had not only entered low town but was shopping around for some wack-ass feelings.
It scares me because the two feelings of exercising and low blood sugar can often be misconstrued. A low with its sweaty shaky heavy feeling is often how I feel when I'm exercising anyway. It's very hard to separate the two so it's very hard to differentiate the low from the exercise, they are both akin to an adrenaline rush. I had one more gel on me and it took me a good 5 minutes to swallow it. I could feel my world collapsing around me. I looked down at my feet and watched as I put one foot in front of the other. I couldn't feel myself walking but I could see the difficulties. Why didn't I just stop and wait you wonder? Well for stupid illogical reasons. I had only paid for 2 hours for street parking and I was still a good long walk away and I was supposed to be at my parents house by then. It was a mind over matter thing. Step, step, step. I was concentrating so much on my feet that I noticed I started walking over to a picnic table with my cell phone in hand. I had to shake myself out of that and keep reminding myself - the gel is there, it's in your system and all will be fine before you know it. By the time you call someone, it'll be fine. I guess I just felt like I needed to tell someone. It's a strong desire when I'm alone.
When it was all said and done, the distance I ran was 15 or 16km, I'm not sure. I walked the last km and my timer watch was stopped at 1.5 hours (running time only). Within 10 minutes I was functioning again from my low but I was extremely pooped to say the least, it was an adventure that I wasn't expecting.
I learned some lessons also (as I do every time). I need to consume carbs at regular intervals on runs longer than 30 minutes to prevent the lows. Even with a low temp basal I still NEED carbs. I need to carry water (what a royal pain in the ass) in the summer on runs longer than an hour. I did have water on me, that was a lesson I learned years ago. I need to EAT MORE!! I ate my little mug of oatmeal that morning and for lunch I had an orange and some cucumber slices. Yep, that's it. That was all I ate before setting out on my 90 minute adventure that ended up being 2.5 hours by the time I finally got back to my car. Although you don't really know my relationship with food (or lack there of) trust me, it's bad. After the run I ate a banana. That's it for the entire rest of the evening. Lastly, I need to pay more attention to my temp basal as the one I set finished way too early and I didn't even notice it.
One thing I have learned in the past couple weeks is to set a temp basal of 75%-80% for 6 hours duration as I'm going to bed on days where I exercise in the evenings. Works like a charm. I was noticing way too many night-time and early morning hypos after exercising. Although even taking that into account I was still woken up at 5am in a sweaty shaky mess none-the-less. My CGM was no where near accurate, it was showing a lovely flat-line at 6.8 (122).
Until next time........