This is the first half-marathon I ever did back in 2007. I remember at the time swearing I would never run another half-marathon again. It would be 3 whole years before I put my running shoes back on again and that was a little over a year ago now.
At that time, I was dealing with a lot of illness. Permanent daily illness that I couldn't fix until 2 years ago. I had to give up running and most other high intensity sports because my body just couldn't take it.
So when I finished the half in 2007 I KNEW I had done some damage as I trained 4 months on a deteriorating body.
Well, clearly I picked up running again and .. well... ran with it! (pun INTended). 4 years later I ran the Mississauga half again. That would be.. erm, this morning. There are a lot of reasons that made this race really difficult for me today. I remember thinking to myself around 17k "This is a TERRIBLE race." Let me
PART 1: THE BLOOD SUGAR
The past 3 or 4 mornings I've been waking up with altitude sickness BGs. I mean, they were so high even my BG's were sick. For no real reason either. They would skyrocket after I went to sleep (sneaky fucking buggers) and it would take me until noon or so to get them back down to earth. So last night I was sure to monitor them closely all night long. I set my alarm for every 1.5-2h. I had to keep bolusing corrections on top of having a 130% temp basal rate on. I woke up a little higher than normal but not like Everest high.
I think I made a mistake because of the time of the race. The start was 7:30am instead of a normal 10:00am or so. SO, my BG's were still on the rise well past my wake up time of 5:00am. I had the same breakfast I always have and bolused only half for it, like I always do. I set my TBR of 30% 1.5hours ahead of time, like I always do. Except this time, come the start of the race I was sitting pretty at 15.8 mmol/l (285 mg/dl). With arrows still pointing up on my CGM. I knew where I went wrong. I gave myself 1.5units right at the start line. I didn't start seeing down arrows until maybe 5k in. I wasn't feeling so hot. On top of that my CGM wasn't performing very well either. This totally pissed me off because I have had SUCH good luck with it on long races lately! I almost didn't bring my meter because of that. At 11k I started feeling a little bit better and my BG's were now manageable. I downed a gel and finished in range. But the damage of exercising through the ridiculous highs was already done.
That's just the blood sugar part of it.
Yeah, maybe you just want to skip to the bottom eh?
PART 2: THE WEATHER
I don't expect beautiful sunny warm days for all my races, I'm not that selfish! But that is not to say that I was looking forward to cold windy rain either. I had put a lot of thought into how I'm going to deal with it. My plan was to get warm and STAY warm but near the end the wind coming off the lake was really wearing me down. Chilly rain sucks the fucking life out of you! As soon as I finished I knew I would be in a danger zone. I don't warm up very easily and when I finish cold weather runs I get mildly hypothermic. Although the temperature was in around 8C (46F), the rain made it feel horrible. The only thing I wanted was warm dry clothes. Not to mention the interesting way I had to waterproof my insulin pump (another post).
PART 3: THE GUTS
So it's no lie, I get cramping and abdominal erm.. upset. Unlike most runners, it tends to hit me super early on in the run. I have learned through trial and unfortunate error how to prevent these issues from happening. I avoid all caffeine 2 days before. I drink decaf coffee in the first place but I still cut that out. I also avoid ALL hot liquids. I avoid high fibre, dairy and sugar. I drink as much water (some with electrolyte tablets) as I can. These measures usually work for me and prevent me from having extremely embarrassing and uncomfortable "encounters" along the race. It is quite possibly one of my biggest fears. This morning at 18k my entire abdominal insides were having a party. I had to walk/run the remaining 3k for fear of crapping my pants. Yes, I really did just say that. I was ogling some nice bushes but I pushed through. The resulting PAIN of cramps and bloating after the race has left me in a lot of discomfort.
So really, it was kind of a horrible race indeed. I didn't enjoy it and I didn't do as well as I had hoped for. A lot of anxiety induced stress. (Again, another post).
I tried to make light of it all and come up with something funny to say about it all but in the end, it just wasn't that funny.
Distance: 21.22 km (says Garmin!)
Average pace: 6:30 min/km
Average heart rate: 181 bpm
Time: 2:18 hrs