The Adventures of Now

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


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14 Long, tough, slow miles

Last Saturday hit 14 miles, wrapping up the 11th week of training it hit the half way mark & provided as a turning point…and a reminder to check in on fueling and injuries…

 

Given that I skipped my runs during the week due to the shin splints, I wasn’t too sure how the long run was going to go. I was hoping that it would be like last weekend and my legs needed to just warm up.

My second concern was the new battle of needing fuel but bloodsugars saying no. I had HoneyStingers instead of chomps (more per serving = being able to mix up carb amounts more) and did 1/2 serving of Cytomax split between two bottles in my fuel belt (5 carbs each).

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I was excited for this run because it was taking us across Queensborough bridge and around Roosevelt Island – something I always wanted to explore when I lived down in the 60s.

I knew Jackie wouldn’t be there this weekend but figured I would be able to stick around the beginners group that I’m usually with. I caught up with Erica before we started but I knew that even with her taking it easy I wouldn’t keep up …especially if I was taking it easy for my shins.

Already overly thirsty before our warm up and having chugged some Nuun on the bus down I hopped into the bathroom line after our jog which lead to missing the pre-stretching. When I returned to the group I followed the coaches directions to where everyone was ……only to quickly realize that it was either the advance or intermediate group …. none of the usuals. I quickly asked another coach where the beginners group was and ran down the block (essentially making a circle). Flashback to that fear of being left behind by the team when the bus stopped.

And we were off!

Garmin was being stupid and wouldn’t catch a satellite ….didn’t help that I didn’t reset it until we were already moving. After playing with it for the first half of the bridge I figured I would just start it from the bottom.

I didn’t feel awesome from the start but got into a discussion over compression sleeves/socks with some girls and Erica for the better part. As soon as we hit Queensborough Bridge Park I started to drop back (uh from 10:25 to 12:03?).

When we got over to Roosevelt Island they had a Gatorade stop set up (thank you TFKer Michael Ann!!) so I did a blood test check in – 233 …. no fuel for me! So I tried to ignore the 2 bottles of Cytomax and just drank the water. When we passed it again at about 6.5 I did another bloodtest – 155 ….still no fuel but then I started mixing in the Cytomax, spreading out the 11 carbs. I was hurting after this. I needed fuel but not going to happen. I was drinking water but not an insane amount and was feeling a mixture of thirst and water logged. At around mile 7 I thought I might actually throw up. It had nothing to do with bloodsugars. It was having nothing to go with the liquid. Around this time one of our coaches feel in step with us ( I was a few feet behind two others) and we started chatting fuel. He’s an ultramarathoner who usually runs with the advance group so I haven’t really ran with him since the open house fun run. He seemed to have a more natural approach to fueling and agreed with the less but more often / steady approach. When we reached the Gatorade stop for the final time I did another check in – 110 – finally! I could pop some chews. I took 6, I probably could have gotten away with 4 but I thought about how there was 5 miles left. At this point I got dizzy. Luckily we were waiting for more water and the gang to regroup (though I was one of the last to come in) so I was able to double over and catch my breath. It was not an awesome feeling.

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Then we headed back across Roosevelt Island Bridge … by the time I hit the road again I was dragging! On Roosevelt Island I would catch up with some of the group along the water stops but this time they were far ahead. I caught up to two of the guys during the stop lights but on the way back over Queensborough bridge they were just in eye sight. I played music but barely paid attention. I did try to pay attention to my form, ignored the fact that there was no more water until the end and tried to just push forward. I finally made it to the end. I had completely given up any care about my pace or the fact that I was one of the last few. Did those facts suck ? Of course – but if I gave even a second to those thoughts it would have killed any remaining energy I had.

So while the legs weren’t it the best of shape it was more about the fueling that made it rough. It definitely helped to be in a totally new area

 

The splits don’t quite break it down but it’s approx 14 miles.

 


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Return of Summer Streets

 

I have to be on a bus to Southampton at 9:30am tomorrow.

That means tomorrow’s TFK Long Run in the Bronx isn’t going to work. When I first realized I wasn’t going to be able to do my 13 miles with the team and  my running buddy Jackie I wanted to cry. No, really. Everyone has been talking about how great of a route it is and plus I’m going to miss the olympic viewing party after. Even more,  Jackie will be out-of-town for the next two weeks – which means 3 weeks we’re on own, just when we decided we’re in this for the long haul together.  I had been trying to figure out various options of what time I needed to be out there, what options were available and how far Van Cortlandt Park really is, and I had to finally conclude that it wasn’t happening. 13 miles on my own. I had deja vu of my first half marathon and the same exact lack of enthusiasm. I scrambled for plan B.  Hamptons Marathon does group runs with Gubbins  on Sunday … I could just move it a day. In fact I recommended it to a fellow TFK’er, Erica, when she said she was going out this weekend. But it’s in East Hampton and I don’t necessarily have access to a car.  I could run it with Erica, but she’s slightly faster than me and also in EH. And then in the middle of downward dog and sun salutations I remembered! Summer Streets start this week!  Gone was the zen breathing (ok it was never there) and with each move into a pose I was calculated how to make this work.

When I got home I looked up the course – 7 miles  of Park Avenue closed off.  Out and back will get me my 13+ …..perfect!

via treehugger.com 

Summer streets is where I  really pushed myself in running last year. It’s where I broke PRs (how far I’ve come!) . It’s where I battled the heat and focused on hydration and fueling. It’s where I learned about running on empty …fuel and insulin ….and how that doesn’t work. It’s where I got caught up in the excitement of other runners.

By taking it to summer streets  I wouldn’t really  be running alone, and there’s excitement in the air and water stops along the way. That was instantly settled. But now about time.  13 miles.  Right now that’s looking to take me 2h30m – 2h45m. While I plan to sleep and “recover” on the bus  (wishful thinking of  there being room to stretch my legs …so not going to happen) I want to leave enough time to shower, ice and stretch.  Goal is to be back at my apartment by 8:30. That’s not really a goal but more of deadline. Ok so working backwards….that has me heading out  at 5am. Blech. Having gone back to a night owl routine that’s rough, but I’d be beating the sun to head up to the Bronx anyways so not much difference.

Now, summer streets doesn’t really start until 7am. And a good handful of blocks below me.  Last year I was  closer to the start and usually didn’t go out until 10-11.  So technically I might  be on my own for at least half  of the run but  all the activities and people will be up and going to push me through the end.   If I was staying in the city I would totally stop at 40th st rest stop for massage therapy & yoga! (Does someone want to bring myself down and meet me at the 39th street Jitney stop instead?  I’ll just be there getting a massage while waiting for the bus. You do? Awesome, you’re the best, thanks!) 

My shins aren’t too happy with me for skipping the compression sleeves lately and all of the hill / street work so I’m a little nervous  about a long run on the concrete. I’ve been heating my calves, icing my shins and have grand plans of some serious sticking & foam rolling this evening. Perhaps to episode 2 of Saved by the Bell which I recently discovered on Netflix.

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If you’re in NYC have you ran Summer Streets? Are you going tomorrow??

Any suggestions for Netflix entertainment while massaging the heck out of my muscles ? 

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Group Run : 6/30

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 ? 


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Group Run: 6/16

TFK mixes up which coaches lead which groups which I think is awesome because it means more perspectives, more advice and more styles to learn from.

The coach that led our group out 2 weeks ago stressed that we were going to start off easy and all run together – there would be time to pick up the pace later. Perfect! I’ve been trying to focus on having control over my runs vs. pushing my hardest for each one. (the whole work smarter not harder thing? I was never good at that.) I had no pain during the entire run – a first since February!!

Of course my bloodsugars wanted a turn at challenging me. I had had a pretty good formula for food & insulin that I was testing out in our past long runs and I tried to keep in line with that but my pre bloodsugar was a tad higher from the start …. which included high blood-sugar hunger (not to be confused with low blood sugar hunger or normal hunger). So I wasn’t feeling awesome going into it. By the time I caught up to everyone at the water fountain I feeling sick. I did a bloodtest … 210. Spiked since breakfast, not awful  or enough to stop a run but insulin kicking in, carbs breaking down and trekking along on a run was sending a lot of mixed signals. 

It was my first time time doing a blood test during a TFK run (that sounds way too important), I was already kind of on my own so did my thing and kept going. By the time I met up to the next turn point with the coach directing us I was struggling. As she gave out directions and tips I used that time to blurt out I was diabetic – just a heads up. With in our little chat another TFK’er caught up and we started on the new path together … only I struggled to keep up. By the time I saw the coach again she asked me how I was feeling and gave me a new plan – instead of 6 miles I was going to do 5. As she told me, it’s better to cut it short and run it strong then be shuffling losing form at this point. 

Instead of getting embarrassed that I was taking a modification I embraced it, I was kind of already doing my own thing anyways. Instead it gave me confidence to make it my run. Since I have awful sense of direction I missed the point she told me to run up to so I went a little further but circled back before the planned turn. 

Best part was the strides at the end reminded me that I do have what it takes – I’m just not there yet.

The coach wasn’t there last week but her style was exactly what I needed for that shift from injuries to bloodsugars and I look forward to learning  a lot from her.