Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Niagara Falls International Half-Marathon

2 hours, 24 minutes.
I never said I was quick as a hare but I also said I'll be damned if I don't cross that finish line. 

I was so nervous before I started that I had butterflies in my stomach and I was visually shaking.  I haven't been able to train very much in the past month and it made me very anxious.

One comment first though, why is it that pictures of runners always look so AWFUL?!  Ugh.

Anyway, what can I say?  That was one of the most fantastic races I've ever run.  I ran a half-marathon a couple years ago when my health wasn't at the best and I suffered through a lot of training as well as the race.  I remember saying "I'm never doing this again." Then I hung my shoes up and turned to cycling.  This time around I have enjoyed running so much that I followed in my same footsteps toward another half-marathon, uh, pun intended.  It was completely different!  I'm much more healthy these days and training went quite well.  I kept up with my running and exercising (well, until the past month anyway).  It honestly felt like the time went by fast during the race.  I was enjoying it so much that I rarely noticed. 

So I suppose I should spew out some numbers and random diabetes details.  I had some oatmeal for breakfast and bolused a little bit less than normal.  It was 7am and the race didn't start until 10am.  I set my pump with a temp basal of 20% 1.5 hours before the start time of the race.  Right before the race I had a banana and didn't bolus for it.  At 5km in my meter read 10.4 mmol/l (187 mg/dl).  At 11km in I got a 5.9 mmol/l (106 mg/dl).  I sucked back a GU gel.  Upon crossing the 21.6km finish line it read 5.4 mmol/l (97 mg/dl).  It went..... entirely as predicted!  It was, for the most part, a blood sugar race nirvana!  I have trained enough to hope that I have this thing figured out (sometimes).  Even if I have my temp basal set low and ahead of time, unless I'm going for a quick run I still need to eat right before.  I also need to consume a gel's worth of carbs (approx. 20g) every hour during heavy cardio (running/cycling).  That usually sustains my blood sugar quite well.  I was pretty excited at the predictability of my blood sugars and timing the banana/gel just right.  Furthermore, it's currently Tuesday morning.  I ran the race on Sunday.  I am happy to report I haven't had A SINGLE LOW since!  I set a temp basal overnight on Sunday for 80% and woke up in range on Monday.  And since the race, my blood sugars have been mostly in range.  This doesn't happen often, so I'm very proud to say that for once... experience and trial and error have proved correct.

My cardio was in top shape.  All those stair climbing interval training evenings!  My legs, however, were not in top shape due to the reduced past month of training.  My lungs said "Go Go Go" but my legs professed.  I felt wonderful up until the last 3 kms when I really started to feel the aches.  Doesn't it always go that way?  It was a non-compliance between my lungs and legs.  I had no choice but to back it off a bit.  Of course at the end, I did quite the opposite and picked up my speed.  It was hard not to!  Hundreds of people screaming and cheering, the sites, the balloons, the loud music and the announcer heard even over my music just drives a runner.  The numb muscles set in and the adrenaline rush wiped the pain away.

All in all, a beautiful race along the Niagara Parkway, gorgeous warm fall weather and of course, the bestest friend a diabetic half-marathoner could ask for.

You rock J, I'm really glad you were there.  You calmed my nerves at the start and were right there with my high maintenance diabetic needs at the end.  And for the first time ever, I have some really nice photos.  And at least we made it to the start line with 4 minutes to spare!  I couldn't ask for a better friend.  I'd like to be hopeful that the next race I run, you're running right along with me.  So get those knees back up and strengthened.

Needless to say, I want more!  More, more, more half-marathons and maybe, just maybe one day I will take the leap into the marathon world.


  1. Congratulations on an amazing run and a great blood sugar day(s) to boot! Way to go!

  2. Yay! way to go! You've inspired me to pick up running again! (I tend to quit once I get to 3-4 miles-seems to be my limit) How long did it take for you to train up to this point? It takes me about 2 months to comfortably get to 1 hour of nonstop running. I am amazed at your 2 hr/24 min!


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