Last weekend I had a very rare opportunity through another blogger by the name of Queenie. We are runners. We are type 1 diabetics and we connected a while ago in the great wide world of the blogosphere. Queenie invited me to come stay with her and run the Illinois marathon/half-marathon with her. I did what I always do when presented with an offer such as this one, I jumped on it! She ran the full marathon and I ran the half.
Queenie picked me up at the airport, we ran a few errands and made our way a few hours south to the town of Champaign Urbana. We went to the expo and did the "expo" thing and then spent the night in a pretty awesome (sarcasm) hotel. Only the best ones are sketchy ones. When we asked where the bar fridge we were promised was, the dude showed up at our door dragging one with him.
I didn't know what kind of clothes to pack for the race since the weather was calling for all sorts of things. I didn't know whether to pack for warm, cold, rain or a mix of them all. I ended up dressing for warmer weather which meant some major frozen bum pre-race. Thankfully the rain stopped when the race started. The weather was ideal running weather. Chilly, mostly cloudy, no rain and no insane wind. The course was awesome. I don't think I've ran a flatter half-marathon. I laughed when I overheard some ladies say, "This is the second last hill....". THIS is what you call a HILL?! Holy fuck it was like a speed bump compared to a real hill.
In all my craziness packing for 10 days away from home with a week of bikes and a half-marathon I was rather scatterbrained. I forgot to pack my hand bottle. My most favourite running accessory of all! I also forgot my heart rate monitor. My CGM was on it's last legs causing me to rip it out the night before the race. I had one sensor left that I was saving for the following week of bike mayhem. Then, right before the race started and after I checked my bag at the luggage truck, I realized I left my glucose meter in there. So, I did what I could and I ran it completely blind. No water bottle, no glucose meter, no heart rate monitor and I forgot my body glide too. 4 things that I never run without. At least I had my Garmin.
I ran at a steady pace. I got to experience frat houses and sororities that I only really see in movies. They were lining the streets one after the other. A lot of college kids out on the front lawns drinking and playing music and cheering. At mile 6 I could feel some chafe starting from the shorts under my skirt. At mile 10 the chafing was REALLY burning. The last 3 miles kind of sucked. My legs were chafed and it just seemed to take forever. The finish line was on the 50 yard line of the stadium which was a pretty surreal feeling. I finished in 2:15:something. Believe it or not but a PR for me. Without even trying. I went for a couple short runs since Around the Bay but nothing big. I ran a half marathon AND PR'd with literally no training in the past month aside from some cycling. I don't really get it! I claim it's because my bowels didn't act up on me like they usually do. Often forcing me to run for the bushes (or port-a-potty) or having to walk through cramps. I don't know what I did to deserve a run without cramps and poops but I'll take it!
I had no major BG issues either. I had 3 shot blocks at 10km and an accidental cup of Gatorade around there too. I hate Gatorade while running but had passed the water table and was stuck. It was different relying on the aid stations instead of my hand bottle which I'm used to. I think I actually enjoyed the experience. I ran the entire race without stopping except to slow down through the water stations. I ate the other 3 shot blocks around mile 10 and that was it. I had a 50% temp basal running. Running blind to my BG was the hardest part. I'm used to checking at least once or twice. At the same time it felt oddly "free" being without my glucose meter or CGM. I was relying on feel more than anything else. I know folks do it all the time, but it wasn't something I was accustomed to.
I tested my blood once I was reunited with my bag and it was a touch high, like 8.5 (150) ...perfect!! I turned off my temp basal and bolused a couple units to ward off the post exercise highs before grabbing my camera and waiting for Queenie to make her appearance!
Coming up to the finish line with a smile after 26.2 miles! (and rocking the insulin pump!)
When I saw her literally FLYING down the field she had a big smile on her face. She was aiming to qualify for Boston with a 3:35 or less. She finished in 3:26:40. 9 minutes less than her BQ time. I was elated for her! What an amazing runner!
Post race well deserved lunch!
I then had to deal with..... THE.WORST.CHAFE.EVER! Which really, deserves a post all of it's own. So...... next is the chafe post.