The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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The need to reset

Where is that girl who would get up at 5am to walk 15 blocks in the February cold to go to the gym? Or the one that would get in a few (struggling) miles before a draining day at the office, breaking it up with a lunchtime yoga session & rushing out to make it to a soccer game? Or who would collapse in a drenched neon heap at yoga, straight from a training run this summer? Occasionally after another yoga class earlier that morning. Or more simply, went to yoga several days a week or sweated up a storm on the elliptical for 30 minutes?

I want her back.

Maybe not to the extent of 3-a-day or making it the focus of my schedule – that luxury is over. But this trade off of being glued to my chair all day is not working. I’ve had the “too much time at the office, no energy left” excuse – this isn’t that. Worse. I do have time to go to the gym, I’m finally getting 8-9 hours of sleep (unheard of in this city).

So what’s my deal?

I lost my goal, I lost my focus.

Without digging up drama and focusing too much on the past, short & sweet: November 2011 I set a goal – to run the NYC marathon. The very next NYC marathon. I won’t deny it – part of me liked the fact that it fell on 2012 (duh, the very next year). I have a thing for even numbers and have even appreciated all my graduations falling on an even year, plus it marked 4 years post college and 26(.2) miles while 26 yro. So began a year planning. Everything became “for the marathon.” I loved joining a soccer team this past winter & spring but left when training started to avoid injury. But as much “sacrificing”, I think deep down it became a bit of a scapegoat too – blood sugar battles and nutrition fights were in vain of the marathon.

And money? Ha! They say running is cheap – they lied. MRIs, physical therapy co-pays, compression sleeves (worth it), more strips for bloodtests, increased groceries for hunger, nutrition and low blood sugars. And yes, the self justified items like a garmin. Not really what severance packages are suppose to be for.

This makes me sound bitter, regretful – I’m not. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful for it.

It’s about goals. Something that’s discussed a lot in the upcoming weeks.

Since I can remember (age 3&1/2) I’ve always had one major goal : A1c of 5 or 6. I didn’t pick this goal. I didn’t set the perimeters for it. I didn’t outline the consequences for failing or straying. It was all laid out for me. …… Except for the part on how to realistically achieve it – for my lifestyle & health. See, I’m not the only one with this goal – ask any Diabetic. Many even achieve it.

I have never gotten even close. On a scale of 5-12, I often sit at a 9, it’s a achievement if I get it to 8.x. Do you know what it’s like to do a check-in every 6 months (ideally) and each time fail at reaching your goal? Since you were a kid? Maybe you do, there are a lot of different goals out there. The funny thing is, I often hear many people tell me how “in control” I am, how well I manage the Diabetes. Deciding not to drink doesn’t give me a free pass to perfect A1c – especially if chocolate is involved. So while I don’t often address this issue (aside from every bite and shot where I’m calculating perfection vs consequence), it lingers.

The marathon gave me a tangible goal of sorts – I would get a shiny pretty medal for it – which would justify everything (gained & given) “for the marathon.”

But still, why the pity party? It’s been WEEKS since that goal date has come and gone. I may not be at my highest moment currently but I have been so lucky during recent events and there are soooo many people who sacrifice, battle and overcome during training. Yet, pity party it has been.

It’s true, I wasn’t my strongest on November 4th. In fact the 4 miles I managed with some teammates that day were not easy (though tremendously moving). My immune system was kicking my butt.

So I took a break.

Apparently a month+ long break (with one very sad exception of 2 miles in early November). I wasn’t with my team, the negativity around the marathon which I apparently took very personally weighed me down, and I was just thrown some new elements in what felt like my never ending fight with my body. Running just wasn’t fun. At the same time I was being zapped of my energy with no direct reason so the extra push was harder to find (of course when you need it most…).

But the thing was – it wasn’t just a break from running , it was a break from everything.

To be fair – part of it was the immune battle. While nothing overly serious, it had me dreading the gym. So I started slacking, failing my GymPacts, skipping my favorite yoga classes and opting for newly acquired cable over apartment workouts ( roommates mom staying with us for 10 days may have something to do with that).

It’s not just the exercise. When I was home for a wedding the second weekend of November I discovered Nutella & cookie dough. And consumed them both. Yep that’s right. A whole jar of Nutella and a roll of cookie dough. Don’t judge. That is not ok for anyone, let alone a diabetic (see part about A1c). Like really not ok. No wonder those 2 miles felt awful – they were fueled by cookie dough. I really should stop looking at the desserts on Pinterest that shoot up my bloodsugar just by repinning. And while most of my teammates are rejoicing about being able to skip the PB & bagel, I’ve turned to it for one too many meals.

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So no exercise & binges …. You can imagine I’m feeling pretty good right about now. I was feeling sick going into Thanksgiving let alone no Turkey Trot this year (not my fault) and tacking on those few extra calories.

Don’t even get me started on all the holiday talk.

I know, you want to shake me by my shoulders and tell me to snap out of it – to quite my whining. I do too. While I’ve gained intentions to get back on track it’s been all (whispered) talk and no action – my pet peeve. Kind of like how they tell you to just set your alarm an hour earlier to fit in a morning workout, only it just produces an extra hour of hitting the snooze button – not really the arm workout I’m aiming for.

Excuses, justifications, embracing and fighting. Yada yada yada. Eventually something needs to break you out of that trance many call a rut.

Many of my teammates & the running community threw out race options and alternative marathons. Florida in January – perfect, mom could actually watch me run it now instead of being my biggest supporter from a distance….

Oh right, that whole mounting medical bills and babysitting while looking for a new job thing. So I’m out for that. Even local races – race fees add up. I have so much love & appreciation for the running community and its organizations & it sucks to say it but $50 for a 5k was not happening – I’m sitting out for winter racing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to sit out of running. And definitely not out of the gym (as I wuss out from the cold).

I went from being in full force to a dead stop – and it hurts my body way more than a 18 miler.

Time to set some new goals – and equally important, some new commitments.

{to be continued…}


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Gym: 6/21

I had planned to do my 4 miles after yoga Thursday night last week. 

That planned failed. 

Just as I dropped all my stuff and started up the treadmill I got the feeling that I should do a blood test.  

113 – perfect!

Just not for doing a run when my insulin was still going through it’s 2 hour peak. 

But since I already started the treadmill I decided I was going to knock out (a slow) one mile. 

And then I packed it up and went home. 

Packing up did not include glucose tablets or a wallet … if it had I would have fueled or run into the CVS near by  – I was determined to get my run. So much so that I debated running home, fueling up with some chomps, waiting out the 2 hour peak and going back for the remaining 3 miles. Then I sat down when I got to the apartment and that whole idea vanished – I was in for the night. 

So my first run cut short from blood-sugars …. I’m sure there will be plenty more runs thrown off. 


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Gym : 6/24

I put off going to the gym all Sunday, by the time I couldn’t put it off any longer (the gym was going to close) I was really not in the mood. But I had my final Gym Pact workout to complete for the week and I already short changed a run during the week. I was originally going to make up the 3 miles but could only talk myself into getting on the bike, rationalizing that I picked up some miles on Sundays in the beginning of training (you know because that’s how it works).  

30 minutes to fill a Gym Pact … make the most of that stretching and foam rolling … 10 minutes on the bike…I could handle that, anything for 10 min right? 

I decided on a hill workout to make up for the strength training I was also skipping (ugh, again). 

Well wouldn’t you know, 21 minutes later and I had killed a sweaty 4.89 miles.

 

you never regret a workout


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Gym: 6/22

After my usual yoga class I had planned to knock out some cross-training. 

Blood-sugars decided to kill that plan just as it had the night before. 

I had only grabbed my keys, mat & iphone … leaving my meter behind (such a liberating feeling!)…. but atlas a stupid move. 

I  still knocked out 20ish minutes on the elliptical at a low intensity (apparently I didn’t record it). 

My blood sugars ended up being 141 – which means I could have put in a real cardio session.  

Lesson learned (two days in a row): if I’m going to do cardio must have meter and tablets/gus/$$ with me.  Sigh, I was just getting used to grabbing my keys and going. 


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Running Reflection: 6/20

Low bloodsugar killed the idea of a morning run before the heat really set in. I know that I have to train in all conditions because the marathon could be in heat/snow/rain/perfectly beautiful sunshine & breeze. But because the bloodsugars were seriously PMS-ing last week and have started to drop back down I didn’t want to throw them the curveball of the heat just yet. 

So treadmill it is! 

Goal: 4 mile quality  run was on the agenda. This is where I have a lot to learn, not as a diabetic but as a runner. Hill workouts, Fartleks, tempo runs. I’ve read about them but haven’t given much thought to how I’d be tackling them. I definitely need to do some more research and pull up some suggested plans. 

Intensity: I also need to re-evaluate my intensity scale. Effort level is not equal to the speed level on the treadmill. The truth of the matter is right now my effort level 6 is more like speed 5 / 12 min mile. I’ll get back to 6-7/ under 10 min mile but it’s more important to build back up to it. I did mile 2-3 & 3.25-3.50 @ 6 … rest was between 5-5.5.  About half way through I realized I set the treadmill for 45 min and was cutting it pretty close to finish with in that time so it became a motivator to pick it up. 

Injuries:  Wore my lovely green compression sleeves (and a matching top – way too coordinating for me – as I was walking back someone asked if I played soccer) and had very little shin pain. Left hip had very light dull pain(stretching should take care of it). 

This is week 2 of no PT … and I havetohavetohave to start being better about icing/heating and strength training. I’ve been super good about stretching and icing my knee & shin but my hip needs more attention. 


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Gym: 5/19

Elliptical

Time: 10m

Intensity: lazy 

Distance: 0.83

Stairs

Time: 5

Intensity: knee hated it, planned for 10min but had to switch

Treadmill

Time: 10m + 2m cool down

Intervals: started at 5 & got up to 7 for last 1.5min Intensity: was testing out knee for run club next day. Started out slow but then went for a mile

Distance: 1.03m

Injuries: knee hated stairs, didn’t like elliptical & was cool with running.

Mood: tired & not in the mood to but gym pact made me – ended up being short & sweaty.