The road to 20 miles!!
I had my 18-miler all planned out. I was feeling good. And then there was rain in the forecast.
I was planning on running the Great Race 10K, which is a huge Pittsburgh event, on Sunday. It’s a gradual downhill and it’s the fastest race I’ve ever completed. I was going to get my proof of time for Princess and then continue on for 12 more miles. Before heading to the expo on Friday, I saw rain in the forecast on Sunday. Oh, crap. Time for Plan B.
One thing about diabetes: Plan Bs are STRESSFUL. Running long distances doesn’t just affect me–it affects my loved ones. For safety purposes, I run with someone accompanying me on the bike (my husband or sister) if I am not running around my house/neighborhood. I take care of myself, but my main worry is getting low blood sugar in the middle of a run and not having access to help. On race day, there are thousands of other runners and medics on hand, so it’s not an issue. But it is when I am alone.
My husband and sister agreed to split the mileage while I ran on Saturday morning instead. I woke up with semi-high blood sugar. Maybe it was nerves, stress, who knows. My husband and I started the first half of the run on the North Shore trail. About 4 miles in, we saw a huge crowd of people coming at us, and that’s when I realized the American Diabetes Association walk was that morning! It was cool to see the event and the number of people there. I felt like I was among people who knew the struggle. We passed a little girl sitting on a rock and her parents were testing her blood sugar. It was such a sobering thing to experience.
My husband finished his shift, and I ran a few miles back toward the city, where my sister would be renting a bike to accompany me for the second part of the run. I was alone at around mile 10, and at this point my blood sugar was still in the mid 200s with the arrow pointing slightly up on my CGM. I had eaten 1 1/2 bagels with peanut butter for breakfast before starting, but I guess it didn’t agree with me. I’ll play around with the banana/bagel fueling ratio.
I wanted some Gatorade or one of my gels, so I turned on my base insulin and administered 0.15 units (I don’t ever do that, but I didn’t want my levels to go up even more). I met up with my sister, between miles 11 and 12. We went into the city and as she went in the 7-11 to buy another bottle of water (probably mile 13-14 at this point) I turned off my insulin again and had Gatorade/gel, as I was in the mid-to-upper 100s. We rode/ran around the city and then made our way back to the trail. At this point, we were at 16.5 miles and I decided I was going for 20. I was feeling good, it was nice out and I felt I could get it out of the way. We ran 1.75 miles away from the bike return, and when we got to the turnaround, I felt so happy! I knew that by the time we got back to the bikes, I would have run 20 miles!
I actually had to stop at mile 19.5 because my blood sugar was low/dropping fast and I needed to eat some fruit snacks (haha, figures, right?). Oh, diabetes. Anyway, I still finished strong! Recovery went well, too! During the run, I wore 2XU compression sleeves that I bought the day before, and my legs felt great. I switched to the socks for the recovery, though. I am still toying around with which ones I want to wear on race day.
Honestly, it was much easier than I would have thought. As we were walking back to the car, I kept saying I couldn’t believe I had just covered 20 miles. It’s a HUGE deal. But I feel like maybe I don’t give myself enough credit. I read running blogs and people are always running more weekly mileage or they’re running so much faster than I am. I don’t ever think I am doing enough, but in reality, I am. I just have to keep remembering that.
Saturday: 20 miles (12:57 min/mile)