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exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic
I was first introduced to the Boston pride when I was a freshman at college in Rhode Island. From New York, I knew the spirit and pride that NYC held but Boston had something different. While it’s clearly demonstrated in its sports, it’s a pride that’s deep in roots and history, which can be felt throughout most of New England. I had often felt as the opposing New Yorker, smiling at their stubbornness but not feeling it within myself. That said, it’s undeniable to recognize that pride and strength, as many cities in a time of crisis, Boston is one that’s quick to come together to demonstrate its support.
When I moved up here a month and half ago, it wasn’t for the city itself, it was for the opportunities it offered me personally…part of that was knowing I would be able to find a spot in the running community. As of last week, I still hadn’t figured out how and where that spot was exactly. From my first day in Cambridge I saw my neighborhood filled with runners which provided a comfort as I adjusted to my new surroundings. In my list of differences between my old home and new, one major one was Central Park. While it certainly isn’t the only spot to run in NYC, the moment you step into the park, especially at Engineer’s Gate you feel the running community – something that I was newly a member of. There didn’t seem to be that central hub here.
I was still searching for it, determined to be in a groove before starting my own training for Chicago as I took note of the runners around me. On Saturday I was on Newbury street, crowded with people – many with yellow bags containing their packets for the Boston Marathon, some in the blue and yellow jacket. The first one I spotted was a husband with his wife and as I came up behind them waiting to cross the street, a part of me wanted to say something to him, to thank him for providing inspiration – because I was searching for it and being surrounded by all of these people who were not just gearing up to run a marathon but The Boston Marathon started to fill me with hope and strength and determination. Every runner has their story, we’re all overcoming a challenge of some sort. And while I may not have known what it took to bring everyone I saw to Boston, seeing that they were here was enough.
I turned on the TV to watch the marathon from the start, knowing the empowerment it would fulfill and remind me what I love about this sport. While there had been a fleeting idea to see it live, plans were never made – there wasn’t even a almost or what if moment. I am very grateful that all of my loved ones as well as myself are very very safe. Shocked, saddened and safe is what I told everyone who reached out. While I’ve been reminded of how much support I have more and more this year, I was touched yesterday by the stream of texts from NY as my Boston support system tried to process what just occurred. Heartbreaking was the word I constantly used. As I told my friends from college, it’s been too many emergency check-ins this year.
Unlike other events this year, I tried to limit my news intake, I turned instead to the running community through social media. I have never been prouder to be a part of such a community.
While I may not have a drawer full of race shirts, one was all I needed today. I wore my 2012 NYC Marathon one, a race that was never ran but a shirt that symbolizes so much. I wore it on a 3 mile run, one of my first since being here. I don’t think I have ever been more determined to get a run in somewhere in the day. From the start I had tears in my eyes. It wasn’t an easy run as I’ve lost endurance and stamina but nothing mattered – I was running because I can. I wore it to spin class where I was challenged and empowered. I had it at yoga where my legs trembled for being re-introduced to all this activity after quiet a lull. Tomorrow I will be sore. Tomorrow old injuries will nag. But it wont matter because it will serve as a reminder that no matter what the aches or twinges, I have a body that can do so much. I sit here in my first race shirt from a Turkey Trot so as I sleep I am reminded of the support and bond within this community.
There are so so many posts and tweets out there showing strength – people who were there, people who have dreamed of going, people who are now determined to cross that finish line, people who reflect on their love and reason for running. It was heartwarming to see not news broadcasting of facts (and mis-facts) but stories and personal thoughts. I will continue to bookmark and read the ones that come my way to serve as a reminder of the empowerment that comes from the running family.
Thank you runners, whether we have connected or not: you have inspired, you have motivated, you have understood, you have related, you demonstrated determination and strength, you have shown perseverance and dedication and you have provided comfort and condolence.
So I declared that I was a newbie for marathon training.
I started a tumblr recording my marathon training workouts and then embedded my running stories here (sorry for the technical glitch / mass dumping of updates the other week!! Don’t try technical things the morning after a night of insomnia – zero sleep).
I’ve stated many of times that I’m dealing with/living with/managing Diabetes.
But the whole blogging thing? Yeah I’ve made it hard to follow along. Two months in to marathon training – where are my daily updates?? My first summer where I have weekends 100% free (a first since I was 15?) and I have been outside more in past 3 months then the past three years (the tan proves it). Where I’m exploring new career paths, passions, interest and self. Yeah, all those things – there’s a lot to be said about it all. Somehow the thoughts don’t transpire into posts on their own (you mean I can’t telecommunicate them?!).
So by no means is this one of those “Sorry I haven’t posted in x amount of time” ….um a) because that would mean I was a consistent “blogger” in the past or b) those are annoying and I’ll never (that’s right never) write that.
Nah, this is just to provide another chapter of sorts as I finally update some running recaps, my reflections on training so far ( first hill workout! first track workout!) and really start to try to document all of The Adventures of Now (see what I did there?). Not to mention, if you happen to stumble along all this rambling and wonder what direction I might be aiming for (uh, forward?) and if it’s worth checking back you have a little idea.
So to come:
– My thoughts on training with Team for Kids so far (preview: awesome)
– First time experiences as a runner
– Why I’m doing this (not just for me but my passion for health & wellness in youth)
– What I’m learning about running, nutrition and Diabetes (may be old news you but may be interesting to see it from a beginner’s perspective …just saying…I’m admitting I don’t know it all)
– Definitely pins. Did you know that pinning is an exactly distraction when dealing with the after shock of a low blood sugar. Or while foam rolling. Or a pre-game to your run (what? crafts don’t get you pumped up?)
– Links. I like to share things, whether it’s articles, other people’s posts, product finds, tweets – I may be in need of going to the library but I still read a lot.
– So much more rambling. And short sentences – I like those too.
– Hopefully some discussions?! I’d love to hear from you – advice, comments, questions, jokes (really – if I could come up with a good one for a 10-year-old it would make my day).
Ok, now ready? As one of my friends JM & I like to say : Take 2! Only it’s more like chapter 2 (oh, that makes me sound like a writer doesn’t it?? I’m not …).
Let the adventures unfold!
Because every post needs a picture: this captures summer & running! (and future trips to the beach?…)
First to come : a letter to my kneecap (yeah that’s right), recaps on NYCM training weeks 1-8 & some thoughts on hydration. (<– see, now I’m accountable for those posts…)
BS: 77 @ 6:15a
– 2s bread w. SB (no honey) [34 carbs] + 2 chomps @ 6:30a –
Insulin: 3u @ 7:07a
– 7 mile walk / run –
Felt great during the run despite the heat.
BS: 201 @ 10am
Alternative could have been to skip the chomps and aim at 27-30 carbs + coconut water throughout run.
Because of the whole phone debacle it was an hour before I got home.
BS: 212 @ 11:15a
Had (flavored) greek yogurt and vitamuffin before rushing to catch a train [40+ carbs].
Did same insulin formula as in the past – 10u.
Had the perfect summer lunch put together by a friend :
Salad with chicken & avocado + fruit salad. Midway of eating it I went to 51 @ 1:32p. So I had to slices of bread (16 carbs) + GT. (stupid blood-sugar ruining a perfect meal)
Laid out in the sun …. 68 @ 3:36p. Went for the OJ
95 @ 5:02p (they’re going to have to up the number of strips I get …)
We went inside for fruit salad + chips and salsa (and I was really mindful of how many chips).
298 @ 7:06 … WTF ?
Was reminded to alway make sure you have enough insulin before leaving the house … I had 3 units. So not cool when we’re baking!
We went to a diner for dinner – I went for Omelet / skipped the carbs.
Then I gambled and did insulin once I got back to the city at midnight without doing a blood test first (which is just stupid) and went low (duh).
Aside from the late night, I felt like it was a really balanced day (I finally had that cupcake once I was near insulin) I was annoyed to have Glucose Tablets & Orange Juice crash the party.
And that is a day in the life of a (/this) diabetic.
The last time (and only other time) I had ran 7 miles was before the More/Fitness half. It was a great run and I had been holding on to that feeling. However, that run was at night and during perfect temperatures – all very different variables from the current ones. Not to mention that my runs lately have been less then stellar. The coaches all emphasized taking it easy and paying attention to how the heat effected us – slowing down was encouraged. I started out the run feeling strong, bloodsugars weren’t being stupid and no signs of injuries. My bloodsugar was 77 that morning – close to low (70) and tricky on any normal heatwave day. But mind over matter, I felt good going into the run. I chatted with one of the coaches about Diabetes (after I elegantly blurted out that I’m type 1 as a way of introducing myself) and she told me about a friend who was T1 and completed Ironmans. While I have found motivation in the blogosphere, I haven’t found too many T1 role models (know any??). I synced up with another runner around mile 2 and we ended up keeping pace for the rest of the run. That pace included some walking which I was completely ok with. After we went up a hill she pulled back and as I got hit in the face with a wave of heat I didn’t hesitate to join her. It took me a long time to realize just because you walk doesn’t mean the run is over. We ended up doing a walk/run (some how always walking when we passed the coaches) combo. The key part for me : the running was strong. I felt good when running and smart when walking. Perfect mix for facing bloodsugar, heat & distance. I didn’t even feel the need to test at mile 5, while it made me a little nervous, I trusted my body and went with instinct (I ended up being 202 after the run [see fueling]).
The drama came after the run. As I went to record my bloodsugars into my phone I realized it wasn’t in the (DIY/needs to be replaced) armband. I turned right around prepared to walk those 7 miles back looking for it (not that I’d remember the route). A few steps up I ran into one of the coaches who kindly helped me, calling and running back to look. Some other runners passed by and said they saw a phone a few feet up (I took off before hearing the specifics #classicmove). We searched and asked and called. No luck. I was in denial to prevent from freaking out (sad but true, I’d rather lose my meter than my phone – pretty much anything else is replaceable). Sara was awesome and offered to check one more time/go one foot further/keep calling. When it was determined that it clearly wasn’t on the path – someone answered! The office at the tennis house had it!!
I am so so so lucky.
So the seven sweaty miles restored my faith in running and the kind people who passed along my phone restored my faith in humanity.
Oddly enough as I went to grab my bag we passed another TFK’er who lost her phone (it must have been the one on the path since mine was all the way north) – and when Sara called it someone answered to return it.
Have you ever found someone’s phone / wallet ?
all low intensity, following yoga, had little energy
headstand (by j / f / photos)