Timing is Everything

April 30th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Last night I ran that same run I did a couple weeks ago when I went low while out on the hills and ate all my low food. 

Last night I finished at 303.


I knew I had a run coming, but what I didn’t know was that I had heard my running buddy say 5:00 and my running buddy had thought 5:30… so I planned for a 5:00 departure, not a 5:45 departure.

This matters when adjusting basal rates before exercise.

I try to time my temporarily lowered basal rate precisely for the moment my body has different requirements—when I run, my insulin responsiveness is much higher and essentially the insulin in my system becomes more “powerful”.  As a result, any insulin I have on board at the base of that hill can work against my efforts as it did the other day.

So yesterday, I tried to outsmart the system.  I lowered the amount of insulin about an hour before I expected to go for the run.  It should have been as beautiful as a symphony.

Except for that extra 45 minutes I hadn’t factored in.

As I drove to the run, I also ate a dried fruit bar, 10 grams CHO.  Should have all worked wonderfully to sustain my blood glucose levels.

Except for that extra 45 minutes.

So what ended up happening was that I was already heading high from not having enough basal insulin in my system without any exercise and I added more glucose to my system, in the form of that bar.  So I overloaded my body with glucose and had insufficient insulin to use the glucose.  Result?  38 minutes of running as my glucose levels climbed steadily.  (Insulin can’t be powerful if it isn’t in my system!)

I’m not sure if I run as well when I’m at 300+ as I do when I’m at 150; it doesn’t seem like I should.  Although, I ran my fastest half marathon last fall at 250-320 (same reason- basal rate and my start time). 

I will say, that run last night was no personal record.  And I know I struggle with my timing on temporary basal rates all the time. 

It bugs me.

But the insulin I took after I checked at my car worked well, and I still did a good thing out there last night. 

Next time I’ll make sure me and my running buddy synchronize our watches.  Maybe that’ll help.

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