Monday, March 28, 2011

Around The Bay in 30k

If there's one thing I'm going to do today (other than run 30 fucking kilometres) is get this blog post done!  Everything is still fresh in my mind.  When I finished and met with my friend he was so eager to ask me how it all went and hear some stories.  My only response was "I'm still processing it all."  It was a lot to take in.  In those post race minutes of pain and ache comes the endorphins and adrenaline pumping through from just crossing that finish line.  Everything seems a little over-exposed.  Everything sounds so much louder and yet calmer at the same time.

It's hard to explain that post race rush.  What goes through one's mind?  Well what was going through my mind was to find somewhere to sit for just a minute where I can stretch my muscles while they're still warm.  I didn't really have any other thoughts in my head.  I had to process yet and I really wanted a coffee!

Breakfast of Champions!
Pre-race jitters got me good last night (Saturday).  I went to spin class in the morning - and cheated all the way through it.  I just wanted to get my body moving.  I was so exhausted I fell asleep in the afternoon for a couple hours.  This didn't help come bedtime.  I couldn't sleep.  I was nervous with excitement going over in my head all the stuff I need to organize.  What I'm going to have for breakfast and when.  (No I did not eat just peanut butter, there was some banana hidden under all that PB).  I was thinking about blood sugar calculations, temp basals and how they relate to my gel consumption timing.  Contingency plans should my BG's go awry.  I got stuck on what I was going to WEAR for fucksake.  The morning temps were calling for a "feels like" -19.  JEEPERS!! This is the end of March. So I was going over clothing options.  Most of all I was worried about my.. um... antsy in the pantsy guts.  They act up - A LOT - when I'm running.  My biggest fear during a race is not having a place to "go".  For some reason, I've never had a problem during a race but almost ALWAYS have problems on my own runs.  This kept me up the most at night.  It's just so utterly embarrassing.  Even though I took precautions.  I hadn't had any coffee or tea since Friday morning and tried to cut my fibre intake down to almost nil.

New site & new sensor ready to go.
I would first like to bow down to the CGM gods.  I have officially found my use for my CGM.  Long distance races.  If used correctly they are a godsend.  I mean, I have to time just right the placement of the sensor.  No later than Saturday morning for usage on Sunday.  I've learned through a lot of trial and error that the only time you can really rely on the CGM to be accurate is day 2 of the sensor.  I ran the whole race without a single BG check.  It's rather expensive for a few hours of usage but it really made me feel comfortable.  I didn't fear a rogue BG.  No worry about relying on BG checks being off because of sweat, sticky gel fingers or cold.  I timed my gels at the 11km mark and 21km mark.  At 26km I turned of my low TBR and set my obligatory 140% TBR for 4 hours.  It still boggles my mind that after running for 3.5 straight hours I still have to set my basals that high before finishing.  My levels just skyrocket no matter how long or short the race.  Mind you come later this evening they will plummet and that's when I'll change my TBR down.  This is also precisely when I'm going to dig into my chocolate stash GUILT-FREE!!!!!!  Helloooooo chocolate buzz!

Just a itsy bit of the 7000 people madness

Checking my blood sugar one last time.  The money in my mouth is really gross, I don't know why I did that.

All smiles at the start of course.

Having a gel while J filled my bottle.
SO...  the longest distance I've ever run!  I won't say it was easy because it wasn't.  It was madness with the other 7000 runners.  We didn't even know where the start line was!  I heard no gun or siren or anything.  I was probably out of ear shot.  I just followed the herd anyway as we walked a few blocks to the starting coral.  the first 20km were actually really great. I saw some of my family out to greet me and they made my day!  I saw an old friend twice waving me on.  I don't know what it is about seeing people you know, it's heart-warming.  Even if it is for just a couple seconds as we wave, smile, high five and run by.  It makes a difference.

So it was those last 10kms and they weren't pretty!  Rolling hills one after the other.  I ran up all of them but I wasn't very graceful.  I met my friend J at the top of the last hill as he was there cheering on every runner.  He was waiting with a bottle of electrolyte water for me to put in my bottle and I had my 2nd gel.  It looks like an ad for GU in the picture!  I love the gels in the cold because you can almost chew them.

Then came the last grueling hill.  The hill that everybody gets warned about.  The same hill my father repeatedly warned me about.  I ran up the bottom bit but walked the rest.  Even walking it was tiring.  There was no way at 25km I was going to race up that killer hill.  It got me... the hill got me good.  The last 4 kms were flat all the way.  I really wanted to stop running, scratch that, my legs really wanted to stop running!  My cardio has always been my advantage.  This is the point where I go into my daze phase.  I turn into a zombie. One foot in front of the other.  Just go, just go, just go.  I was afraid if I stopped I wouldn't get moving again.  It was 4km of flat open road.  The sun was blaring in our faces and the weather had really warmed up since 3.5hours ago.  It was dizzying.  I felt hydrated enough but had no desire to sip anything.  I just wanted to get there.  And got there I did, happily.  When I ran down that ramp and turned the corner to see the funnel into the centre of the stadium I was filled with giddiness.  At this point, it was all worth it!

I'm stretching. (not barfing into the seat)
I had a really good time and the first 20km flew by really fast.  I was grateful for that.  I finished about 3:30 according to my watch (and chip time).  I'm okay with that.  7min/km pace for a 30km race.  It just gives me something to work better at.  My legs were really hurting.  I had no emergencies (toilet or otherwise) and I really felt it was a smooth race.  Most importantly?  This is a milestone for me.  I have dreamt about running this race for years.  I was happy to be a part of something so huge and look forward to doing it again in the future.

I have one last picture to show because I'm so damn stinking proud!  My 3hour CGM graph.  I realize hovering around 8 mmol/l (144 mg/dl) is not exactly ideal.  But when it reflects the past 3 straight hours of running while managing temp basal rates and gel consumption?  Dude, it's like magic!!  I said, "bow down to the CGM god!"

Really though, I just always wanted to earn one of those race shirts.  The ones that say on the back "Older than Boston".  It's true, I feel honoured to have finally earned my Bay shirt.  I found out later that my father was there at the finish line.  He didn't see me and I didn't look for him because I didn't know he was there.  I was elated that he came out to watch me finish but so upset that I didn't see him.  My father is the one I get the running gene from after all.  He was a marathoner for years and has run the Bay race on a few occasions.  I have always wanted to make him proud.  And I'm eternally grateful to be able to have something in common with him.  Thanks for the gene Dad!

And a giant THANK YOU to my friend J.  Personal support bunny and friend.  Always willing to jump in and help me out.  I need to return the favour one day.  You don't realize (well I don't) how important it is to have a friendly support person at the beginning and the end.  It makes a great deal of a difference.  Not to mention all the awesome photos I get to keep as reminders.  I've never had so many cool photos before.  It's awesome.


  1. Wow - sounds like you had a fabulous race. Diabetic runners everywhere will be jealous of your blood sugar levels - that's amazing!

    You've inspired me to re-evaluate the dreaded CGM for long runs. I can't believe how steady your numbers were.

    Congrats on a great race and great finishing time.

  2. Way to go Scully!
    I am so very proud of you and all of your accomplishments. Congrats on the great finishing time, and the blood sugar management. That's freakin' awesome!

  3. Yaaay congratulations!! Love the pics too :)

  4. Awesome!! I thought about you and your race yesterday and was hoping you'd be posting about it! Love the CGM graph :)

  5. Amazing job! Congratulations! And so heartwarming your dad was there ... my parents showed up to my first marathon and my moms went to the washroom just as I came around the corner at the Finish (she couldn't wait any longer) and she felt so bad about missing me, but just knowing she was there was a pretty awesome feeling :) Enjoy your success!

  6. Congratulations! Sounds like a fantastic race, well done.

  7. Super-awesome! Congrats on a fantastic race :)

  8. Well done! That's so cool that you've managed to fulfill one of your goals. Congratulations.

    I'm hoping to run the London marathon next year and I am seriously hoping my BGs stay that stable! Access to CGMs for adults in the UK is virtually non existent so I probably won't have access to that technology.

  9. Congratulations on a stellar run! A flatline 8.0 is amazing!

  10. You're freakin amazing!!!!! Yayyyy!!!!

  11. Awesome race. Your hair is amazing - love it!

  12. O M Gsh


    Thank you for inspiring me today.

    I needed this more than you'll ever know.

  13. WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Way to go Scully. I am always worried about the bathroom "emergency". Nothing worse than worrying about crapping yourself!

  14. Well done on the great race! 30km... awesome. And I'm totally jealous of your 8s during the race.


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