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

I had a dream my blood sugar was 1, 172.  I remember the screen had “11172” displayed, but in dreamland it was one thousand, one hundred and seventy-two


Because not only was I over a thousand (which I think has never happened in my real life) but I was in a weird blue bathroom and about to run a half marathon.  Since the half marathon was going to start whether I was ready or not, I just had to figure out what to do.  In my dream, I stood there a while and I don’t know what happened because I woke up then and said aloud “Weird!  I have to blog about that today!”

I rarely dream about my diabetes.  I rarely dream about much of anything from my close daily life, either, so it was weird to dream about my blood sugar.

I wonder if it has anything to do with my miserable run on Saturday.

I have to wake up for bootcamp every day at 5am.  This means I am reluctant to set an alarm on weekends.  Last year when I trained for my marathon I woke up one day of the weekend and did a long run before most people woke up.  This summer I haven’t been able to do it—I set the alarm, wake up, hang out in the bathroom staring at myself in the mirror, ask the dreaded 3-letter question one should never ask at that time of the day (“why?”), and head straight back to bed.

This on its own is not a problem.  On Saturday, however, it was a problem because when I woke up at 8am for my planned 16 mile run I ran out of cereal and turned on the TV.

Of course, I’ve been trying to bolus 10 minutes before I eat, so when I got to the bowl my insulin was already delivered.  Yikes when I opened the box and saw a literal tablespoon of granola at the bottom of the bag.  (I’d love to have shouted “who did this?!” but I’m the only one who eats that cereal.  All me.)  This meant I had to fudge it a little with some raisins and a gulp of Gatorade.

But the real culprit was Mike Holmes.  Now, in hindsight I know it was an hour-long show that was only part one of two.  At the time, though, I thought he would have built a beautiful home within an hour and I’d be able to see his magnificent work. 

So I kept continuing my reduced temporary basal and watching the show.

Which all meant I was 3 miles into my run and checked my blood sugar: 372.  Whoops.  Dang.  Small bolus, keep going.  Checked again 5 miles in, 330.  Looking better.  Keep going.  Checked again, 7.5 miles in, 220.  Phew. 

I was having a completely miserable run, though.

It wasn’t until I had returned home after forcing myself through the 16 that I started to wonder why it was so terrible.   (I finished with a blood sugar of 105 for those of you who are interested.)

Now it seems so obvious, but it wasn’t that obvious when I was out there!

Usually, at that 3 mile spot I have something to eat.  And usually, I’ve had an entire bowl of ceral.  And usually, I eat again after 9-10 miles.  But on Saturday I didn’t eat at all because I kept checking and seeing numbers that started with 3s and 2s. 

This isn’t how I normally run, and I haven’t seen a 300 in a while.  I’m glad, because I don’t like to see them when I’m out running.  Just like that 1,172 in my dream, I’m not always sure what to do when they are so high mid-run—my gut reaction is “insulin!” but when I’m running I know I need to moderate my gut response with something that makes better sense for my current situation.

Let me tell you, though, on Saturday I was one UNHAPPY camper.  I haven’t run that plainly unhappy in a number of years—and I’m glad I haven’t.  It sucked.

It brought to mind a comment Jerry Armstrong said once about running and nutrition: he said you know who did it right if they cross the marathon finish line and ask where the sign-up is for the next marathon.  If someone crosses the finish line and says they’ll never do that again, they haven’t taken care of their nutrition for the long distance.

That Jerry is a smart guy.

So the next time Mike Holmes builds a house for a sweet 63 year old lady with 5 grandchildren whose house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, if I decide to watch that instead of going out on my run when I planned to go, I’ll remember to eat on the run—even if I’m high—because if I don’t fuel my body, how can I expect it to perform?!

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