Monday, May 30, 2011

Training for Ragnar

In case you are not familiar, Ragnar hosts multiple relay events throughout the country.  I am competing in two Ragnar this summer - Madison to Chicago (June 10-11) and NW Passage (July 23-24).  Typically teams have 12 runners that each run one leg of the race, with three cycles.  So if you were runner #1, you would run first, wait for the rest of your 11 teammates to run, then run leg 13, and 25.  Your team does not take a break and runs through the night.  It is a lot of fun, but a crazy experience. 

Training for Ragnar is unique.  This year I'm runner #8.  My first leg is 6.7 miles, then 2.5, and end with a 9.9 mile leg.  For me, the key to training is to do a couple double run days to get my body used to not having much recovery time between runs.  To be honest, I'm not concerned about my 2.5 mile run.  This will be at night, most likely around 11, 12, or 1 a.m., and will not take very long.  I'm more concerned about ending with my 9.9-miler.

Last year I was fortunate to have my distances decrease as the race went on.  However, last year I ran more miles than I'm supposed to this year.  I've tried to do some double run days in the past month, although it was challenging while training for my half.  Next weekend will be a true test, as I hope to run 7 and then 10 the following morning. 

One of the challenges I learned last year about Ragnar wasn't so much the quantity of miles I was running spread out over two days, but rather the mental side of it.  I wasn't prepared to be by myself and not see another runner for almost all of the my legs.  Other people help me run faster most of the time.  To help me mentally prepare for Ragnar, I've been doing a lot of runs outside by myself.  Although I typically run solo, in the past I've typically been a treadmill runner.  Running on a treadmill for however many miles is different than outside with no one around.  I think I am in a better place this year, but know I still have room for improvement and growth.

This year I will conquer my runs.  They will be awesome.  I am really excited for my night run, which was my favorite last year.  I'm running in a Milwaukee suburb this year and not ghetto Milwaukee, which is nice.  Last year I saw some "interesting" people on my night run and made my support car see me each mile.  This year I know I'll be done in 20 minutes or will be easy. 

Most likely the weather will be nice and hot again this year.

Let the Ragnar fun begin!

Have you ever done a Ragnar or something similar?  What do you think was the hardest part of it?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dash to Cure Diabetes Race Report

Dash to Cure Diabetes 4 Mile Trail Run (Barrington, IL)
Time: 29:04
Pace: 7:16/mile
Overall Place: 22/247
Female Place: 4/114
Age Group Place: 1/12

The race t-shirt is bright yellow, which surprised me. 

I feel like I've transformed as a runner in the past month.  I used to be extremely nervous before races, but the past few I've been unusually calm.  Even though I did not prepare at all for this race, it didn't bother me.  It was a 4-mile trail run, so I knew the distance was not going to be a problem.  I've done absolutely zero speed work in the past month, so I wasn't sure what kind of a time I was going to run.  Plus, after the Rockford Half Marathon, I've been taking it relatively easy.  I think I got a little burnt out mentally and needed to cut back a for a few weeks before preparing for MC200 relay, and the Chicago Marathon.   

When my alarm clock went off this morning, I actually forgot why it went off.  After it went off twice, I remembered that I had to get up for the race.  The race, which benefits the JDRF, was about an hour away.  The only reason I decided to run it was because it benefited the JDRF, otherwise, I would have skipped it and slept in. 

I had to register for the race the morning of, which was not a problem.  I started to stretch and did a warm-up run of 1 mile and then went back to my car to check my blood sugar.  However, I forgot my meter at home.  Does anyone else find it funny that the only time I have ever forgotten my meter is the race that benefits diabetes?  I had to laugh at myself.  I felt good though, going by feel for what my blood sugar was. 

The race started, and off I went.  I started at the front.  I've learned that people don't know how to line up for smaller races.  People who will run 9 or 10 minute miles think they should be at the front.  Therefore, I start at the front now to avoid those types of runners. 

The course was absolutely beautiful.  The only negative was an older man running next to me from miles 2.5 to 3.5 who was huffing and puffing his way along.  However, I left him in the dust the last 1/2 mile...and was happy to do so.

We got to run through this.  It was pretty awesome.

I was pleased with my overall time, although I have to question its accuracy.  There was not chip timing, and when I crossed the finish line I specifically looked at the clock, which read 28:57.  However, since this was not really a race for me, I won't complain too much.  I still averaged a 7:16 pace, which I'm happy with. 

Next weekend Chicago training starts.  I'm soooo excited!  This summer is going to be epic..I can feel it. 

The awards were coffee mugs...something new for me. 

Now, I must get to work.  I have tons to do!!

Must.  Be.  Productive.!!

Have you ever forgotten anything important for a race?  Do you feel like this summer will be epic for you as well? 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The "30" Rule

Although I was never told this, I've read many other diabetes bloggers that follow the "30" rule, trying not to eat more than 30 carbohydrates per meal.  I get it, the less you eat, the less you have to bolus for, the less insulin you take, and, hopefully, the better control you have.  Although many strive for this, and also follow this "rule", I don't think it is suited for diabetic athletes.  Or, at least, for me. 

On a typical day, I eat three meals, and one or two snacks.  In the past six months or so, I have started to eat more because I've been training more, .and therefore burning more calories.  My body needs energy boosts multiple times a day, especially in the morning. 

Breakfast is a bigger meal for me, typically about 50 carbs or so.  I'm almost always super hungry when I wake up, and it is my favorite meal of the day.  I then eat a mid-morning snack around 9:15, which is 25-30 carbs.  Lunch is at 11:45, being 40 to 50 carbs, then another snack at 3:30 or so, which is another 25-30 carbs.  Dinner is late, around 8 or 9, and 60 carbs.  I typically consume another 20 or more during my workout, depending on a variety of factors.  According to these numbers, I eat about 250 carbs a day, 

I feel like when I look at the number 250, it seems big.  If you follow the "30" rule, from what I gather, you would only consume roughly 100 carbs a day.  I get 2.5 times that amount.  However, I typically burn 1,000+ calories a day working out.  I don't think the "30" rule people do that.  If I followed the 30 rule, I would be a worse runner.  But the same is true for the opposite.  If the 30 rule people ate 250 carbs a day, they would most likely gain a ton of weight, which would not be healthy for them. 

There is no set of rules for diabetes management.  Yes, test your blood sugar, and test it often.  Take your insulin.  But when it comes to the finer points, like food intake, everyone has different needs.  There is no master plan because everyone is different.  Even though people have diabetes, it is unique to them.  I am able to learn from other people's uniqueness to make my diabetes work better for me. 

Do you follow the 30 rule, or do you break it, like me?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Running Survey with Tons of Pictures

I read this survey on Jess's blog and thought is was interesting.  I like to learn about other people's running plans, favorite races, and anything else. 

What is your favorite type of cross training?

Lately, I've come to have a new appreciation for biking.  After buying my first road bike, I've ridden a few times and like it.  Recently I have also been putting some quality time into the elliptical machine, although I find it rather boring.

What is your favorite song to run to?

This varies month to month, but right now it is The Time (Dirty Bit) by the Black Eyed Peas. 

What brand of shoes do you wear?

Saucony.  And only Saucony.  Nothing else compares. 

Do you wear a hat when you run?

I never wear a hat, but often times I wear a visor in the summer.  Last summer I wore my visor the majority of my races to keep either rain or the sun off of my face.  Plus, I was easy to spot. 

Can you see my white visor?  This was taken during the MC 200 Ragnar Relay last year.  During this leg, it poured and the race got held up because of the torrential downpour!

What temperature is your favorite for running?

Mid to upper 70s and sunny.  I have to wear layers for anything cooler, so it is nice to just run with shorts and a shirt or tank top. I would much rather run in 100-degree weather than 0-degree weather. 

Do you have any big races coming up?

This weekend, a 4-mile race.  Also the Madison to Chicago 200 Ragnar Relay, another duathlon, hopefully another half, a metric century bike ride, and the Chicago Marathon. 

What is your favorite distance?

13.1/half marathon.  I think it is what I'm the best at, too.

Are you a morning, noon or evening runner?

It depends.  I typically run in the late afternoon/early evening.  However, this summer I'll be running my marathon long runs in the morning, which will be different. 
Did you know that I made this print when I was in junior high?  We had to trace a picture from a magazine onto a block and then use paint to create a print.  My love for running started many, many years ago. 

Do you run solo or with a buddy?

I run solo 95% of the time.  I sometimes run with one of my friends, typically longer runs.  However, I don't know too many people that run my pace or my distances, which makes it hard.  As mentioned before, I'm training with others for the Chicago Marathon so I won't be running solo then. 

What's your favorite post run snack?

Greater Than.  You must try it now. 

What's your FAVORITE race?

I don't know if I have an absolute favorite race.  Each race is special for its own reasons, or for the people I have done it with or who were there with me.  Last year my favorite race was the Quad Cities Half Marathon because my uncle ran it as well.  It was super flat, in Iowa (I <3 Iowa), and my parents and brother came to support me. 

Photo taken by my mom near mile 2.  Can you find me?  I'm wearing a white long sleeve shirt and black shorts with black gloves, running behind a guy in red.  I'm pretty far back in the picture.  I am not the lady with the bib on the front of her shorts.  I don't know why anyone would ever do it.  It is a fashion no-no on race day, at least for me!!!

Do you wear a Garmin? If not, how do you track your runs?

I'm in love with my Garmin.  It makes runs so much easier and of higher quality.  I'll never go back.

What is your least favorite race?

There are races where I was hoping to run a better time, but I don't have a least favorite.  If a race was not enjoyable, why would I run it?  That just does not make sense. 

What race is your favorite medal from?

I like the medal from the Flying Pig Half Marathon because it has a flying pig on it.  I think it is funny.

My former medal display.  I've recently added some new hardware and had to expand to showcase everything.  I'll post some new pictures soon.  They flying pig medal has a blue ribbon. 

Who is your running idol?

My brother.  Always has been, most likely always will be.  He signed up with me for my first half because I wanted someone else to do the race with me, and did the year after just to be nice.  That first race we did, the Mad City (Madison, WI) Half Marathon was so hot that they cancelled the marathon due to the amount of runners that had to go to the hospital.  He ran so well that he got 5th place overall and beat me by 52 minutes.  However, I've gotten a lot faster, but so has he.  Now he only beats me by 20 some minutes.   

After my brother finished the Madison Half Marathon the second time we did it.

How long have you been a runner?

13 years.  I started running in 8th grade and haven't stopped.  I've run more and more every year. 

Labor Day Benefit Classic 5k...nearing the finish.  Once again, taken by my mom.

Do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on?

Considering I'm not married or engaged, no.  But, I don't run with any rings on.  I rarely wear rings as it is.  The picture below is one of my favorite rings, though.

It is the symbol for new beginnings in New Zealand.  My parents got it for me after a vacation they took there. 

What's your favorite workout? repeats? long runs? tempo? fartleks? Long runs.
I like middle distance runs, from 4 - 8 miles at a nice, faster-ish tempo, in the 7s somewhere. 
One of my favorite pictures from last year.  I was so proud that I got to start in Corral B for the Hot Chocolate 15k Race, where there were thousands of runners.  This year, if I do it, I'll get a Corral A start.  It was freezing during this race, though!
I'd love to learn about your running habits!  You should do the survey as well.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Different Sports; Different Impacts on Blood Sugars

Blood sugars can be interesting.  Some days they like to act nice, while others it is like trying to tame a wild beast.  I'd consider myself more active than 99% of the population...maybe 99.5% of the population. 

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.
    • This averages out to 21 minutes a day of moderate aerobic activity or 10.5 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a day.
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines.
This article, in Time magazine, says:

We exercise close to the recommended 20 minutes a day—but that's because 17% of us exercise for well over an hour, while the rest of us scarcely stir at all.

Which means that I make up for a lot of people who do nothing everyday. 

To get to the point...

I've been exercising a lot in the past few months.  This week I did an intentional cut-back week following my half marathon and all the miles I've logged this year so far.  I only ran 18 miles,  and my legs are thanking me.  However, today I did some biking.  It was nice to get outside on my bike.  I feel like I've neglected it since the duathlon. 

I've noticed that when I run, my blood sugars tend to go low during my training runs, starting at the 1 mile mark, if I don't eat something before or reduce the basal or both.  After I'm done, they'll be high and need extra insulin.  I'll go high without eating anything, even if I was lower beforehand.  I feel like this should not happen, although it typically does.

Now, biking is another story.  While riding, my blood sugar tends to be okay.  I'll occasionally snack on something, but the real issues come later on in the day, 6+ hours after I'm done.  I'll have low blood sugars the rest of the day after biking, especially if I bike more than 15 miles.  It is the exact opposite of running. 

Others sports have their quirks as well.  Volleyball tends to make my blood sugar go high, as well as basketball.  Golf has the same impact as biking, with lower blood sugars later in the day, while ultimate frisbee sends them through the roof.  Walking has no effect on them at all. 

It all amazes me.  The human body is an interesting thing, that I'll probably never be able to figure out. 

Do different sports impact your blood sugars differently?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Late...Diabetes Blog Week Day 4 Post

I stopped participating in Diabetes Blog Week because of my half marathon, but it is better to post late than never, right? 

Thursday's post topic, where I left off, was Ten Things I Hate about you, Diabetes.

"Having a positive attitude is important . . . but let’s face it, diabetes isn’t all sunshine and roses. So today let’s vent by listing ten things about diabetes that we hate."

I try not to let the things I don't like about diabetes take up my time.  Diabetes is going to be with me for a (most likely) long time.  Complaining about it won't do anything.  But, there are things that I think would be much different in my life if I did not have diabetes. 

Can you guess what I'm thinking? 

Running and racing, of course.  So, here is my list....

10 Things I Hate about you, Diabetes: Running/Sports Edition

1.  That I must carry some type of low supply with me while running.  Sometimes I just want my hands to be free.

2.  That I should check before my run multiple times to see what my blood sugar is doing.  Going out for a random run is harder.

3.  That I should be checking my blood sugar while I am running, but never have.  Because of this, I feel guilty.

4.  That some sports cause me to go low while doing them (running), while others will send me extremely low many hours after them (biking).

5.  That even when you think you've figured something out blood-sugar wise, it does not mean it will work the same way again.

6.  Three words: Insulin.  On.  Board.

7.  Playing volleyball, basketball, and other sports with my insulin pump.  I wish I could ditch it sometimes.

8.  People asking me if my pump is a new Ipod/cell phone pre-race. 

9.  The fact that I'm at risk for getting many other health problems because I have diabetes. 

10.  Diabetes is like a fan.  If the fan is on your team, it is easy to play (live).  If they are rooting against you, they are annoying and many times frustrating.  However, they are relatively easy to tune out if need be.  That sums up diabetes pretty well for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rockford Half Marathon: The Long Version

2011 Rockford Half Marathon - The Stats

Official Time: 1:40:43
Pace: 7:42
Overall: 46/589
Age Group: 1/53
Female: 6/307

Garmin distance: 13.27 miles
Garmin time: 1:40:57
Garmin pace: 7:36


Sometimes you can train your best and the result does not turn out according to your plan.

I woke up at the insanely early hour of 3:40 a.m. to prepare for the race.  My blood sugar was 70, which I was happy with.  I'd rather be a little on the low side prior to a race than high.  I got ready to go and had breakfast and was out my door by 4:10 to pick up my friend T was who also running with me.  This was her 1st half, so it was exciting to be running the same race.  We also did the Peanut Butter Duathlon together in April.

It takes about an hour and a half to get from where I live to Rockford, and I wanted to get there around 5:30-5:45.  We had to pick up our packets, and I wanted to make sure i had enough time to stretch and warm-up beforehand, especially since the winter weather decided to make a return. 

We got to Rockford at 5:45, got our packets, searched for indoor bathrooms with no luck, and went back to my car.  I was also checking a bag, so I knew that was going to take a few extra minutes.  Although that does not seem like a lot to do, by the time we went back to my car, attached our timing chips, and decided what we were wearing for the race, it was already 6:30.  I quickly tested my blood sugar, only to see a 56.  I had a Clif bar and thought I was going to be fine by the start of the race.  I had to go to the bathroom again, as the nerves were getting to me, but the line was longer.  By the time we made it through the line, it was already 6:45.  I did a 3 minute warm-up jog and attempted to stretch.  I knew I had not planned properly.  I had to get lined  up for the race, and started near the front.  The gun went off and I went out, into a fierce wind.

My plan was the run with the 3:20 marathon pacer for the first 12 miles, and then go ahead for the last 1.1 miles.  I was a little ahead of him my first mile, but ran with him the following three.  After checking my Garmin multiple times, I noticed that the pacer was running about 10 seconds faster per mile than he should have been.  This frustrated me.  10 seconds is a big time split to be off by.  I decided  not to run with him because I was afraid I would run out of energy. 

There were not many people doing the race.  When I signed up I thought there would be many more people running.  After I backed off the 3:20 pace group, I felt lonely.  There were not many people running around me.  I knew I was near the front just based on where I started in relation to the start line, but I felt lonely.  I decided not to run with my music.  I struggled with negative thinking from miles 5-9, which were all into the wind. 

By mile 9, I realized that I still had a shot of breaking 1:40 if I pushed myself.  I told myself that I was a stronger runner and could do it.  I now had the wind helping me along to run faster. 

There is not a whole lot more to say about the race.  I kept looking at my Garmin and had hope.  When I got to mile 13 on my Garmin, I knew that I would break 1:40 with my Garmin time, but not with the race time.  This made me so sad, upset, and frustrated.  I thought I did a good job of not running an extra step.  Either I did a poor job, or the course was a bit long.  It was most likely an error on my part.  I had enough left in me to have a decent finish, crossing the line at 1:40:43.  It was not as good as my last half, but still my second best half ever.

After finishing I printed out my results and got my bag out of gear check.  I tested my blood sugar and saw the best number I've ever seen post-race on the screen.

I wanted to do a celebratory dance after seeing this number.

I then shivered in the cold weather for the next 50 minutes, waiting for T to finish.  She did, and was so proud.  It was neat to be able to share the experience with her. 

Sometimes I forget about the accomplishment of running 13.1 miles and just agonize over my time, or what I wish I would have run.  However, it is an accomplishment just to finish that many miles, regardless of time.  It was good for me to be reminded of that. 

This race was a great learning experience for me.  I learned:
  • Training runs should be done outside, not on a treadmill.
  • I did not eat anything during the race.  I drank water and a little Gatorade, but did not eat any glucose tablets like I have in the past.  I also left my pump on 100%.  All of these things helped me determine what I should do the future.
  • I don't give myself enough credit for the runner I've become.  I'm a lot better than what I used to be.
  • There will also be another race to PR at. 
  • Sometimes having a diabetes PR is just as good as a running PR.

I'm not done with running half marathons this year.  I want to do at least 1 more and try to PR.  However, I know that races are not going anywhere, and I'm not either.  I can get that 1:30-something time for my half.  It just motivates me to work harder next time. 

Finally, my Garmin stats and then a few pictures from the race.

Mile 1- 7:25
Mile 2- 7:26
Mile 3- 7:28
Mile 4- 7:37
Mile 5- 7:30
Mile 6- 7:51
Mile 7- 7:52
Mile 8- 7:43
Mile 9- 7:27
Mile 10- 7:43
Mile 11- 7:44
Mile 12-7:44
Mile 13-7:32
0.27-1:55 (7:00 pace)

My race bib, age group medal and finisher's medal.

T crossing the finish line...she's in orange.

My medals.  I hate the design because it looks like the girl is going to pass out at any second and the guy is strong and sprinting to the finish. 

Back of age group medal.

Finisher medal...for half marathon #8.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rockford Half Marathon: The Short Version

I'm still recovering from the Rockford Half Marathon yesterday, but the short story is that I didn't make my goal time.  I ran a 1:40:43, which is slower than the half I ran in March (1:40:14).  Although I am disappointed, there were some highlights of the race, including some blood sugar nirvana, which is a first for me after a race.  More to come tomorrow...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Preparing for Rockford

Tomorrow is my 2nd half marathon of 2011, and 8th overall.  It feels like I've been training for it for a very, very long time.  Hopefully, my hard work pays off and I run the time below, or faster (1:39).

I've been analyzing the race course.  I google mapped it, which allowed me to drive it.  Although the incline chart looks bad, Google maps did not make it seem that bad.  Either way, it will be fine.

And checking the weather every hour.  The chart below is deceiving because although it says the temperatures will be in the 40s, it will feel like the upper 30s. 

It'll just be like playing in the rain, right?

Last night I started to get some of my things prepared.  It is a  never-ending task.

Multiple to-do lists

This morning I woke up and got to work.  First, I made a much-needed trip to Starbucks.  I slept awful last night, constantly thinking about the race and other things.  

I now feel much better!! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Run Done

Yesterday was my last training run before the Rockford Half Marathon on Sunday.  I'm excited as I could be, and feel like I've prepared myself well.  One major difference in training for this half and all of my previous half marathons is that I did all of my long runs outside, as opposed to on the treadmill.  Hopefully this will benefit me come Sunday. 

My last run went well:

But, it was hot.  It has been in the 90s here...but race day temps are supposed to be 39 degrees.  Hopefully my body can adjust accordingly.

Last run = done!

I'm done running until the race.  My legs have been feeling tired, so I think it is good that I am taking 2 days to taper, instead of 1 or 0, as I've done in past races. 

I've been trying to take extra good care of my feet and legs.  I'm about ready to lose another toe nail, the same one that fell out 3 or 4 times last summer....I lost track after awhile!  The past two days I've worn shoes to work.

The Stick has become one of my BFFS this week.

And, I've been trying to keep hydrated.
Lots of water and Greater Than...the best drink ever.

 And...race day inspiration can be found in various places.

I plan on posting the remaining topics for Diabetes Blog Week within the next few days. 

Only 1 day, 13 hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds left before the race!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stopping By a Diabetic’s House on a Regular Evening

Day 3 of Diabtes Blog Week: Stop Outside the Box

Stopping By a Diabetic’s House on a Regular Evening

Whose house this is I think I know
With insulin, pump supplies, meters, batteries, and glucose tabs to treat a low;
She will not see me stopping here
To observe diabetes in her life's flow.

Her little finger must think it queer
To never have a lancet near
Among all the others fingers
Who get poked thousands of times every year.

Her pump sends her a vibration which makes her shake
To see if she has a blood sugar mistake.
The only other sound is stomach’s rumble
To signify that the reading is not a flake.

This diabetic’s life is lovely, happy, and deep
But she has blood sugar logs to keep
And miles to go before she sleeps,
And miles to go before she sleeps.

Based on Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost...becauase it is only in the mid-90s here today. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Little Queenie

Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week: Letter Writing Day

Dear Little Queenie,

Enjoy every moment of your childhood because it will pass quickly.  Even though you are only four years old right now, and have so much to experience, do what you want.  Don't let others tell you what you can and cannot do.  If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish the task. 

Even though you really didn't understand what was happening to you when you went to the UIHC for one week on Halloween, you were disappointed.  And, rightfully so.  Getting to dress up and go trick-or-treating is a big deal for kids.  It is a good thing that mom and dad were advocating you at such an early age, requesting that you go to the hospital after you dressed up as a witch and went around the neighborhood with your brother and neighbor, being escorted by your dad and the neighbor's dad.  Your dad and mom will always be there for you - always advocating, helping, and doing whatever they can for you. 

Advocating is important.  Dad and mom will start fundraising and donating to helping finding a cure for diabetes in a month, and continue on for the rest of your life.  Even your brother will help in this effort.  He will run a marathon in support of the SpringPoint project, dedicating the race to you and finding a cure for diabetes.  You will even start to be a small advocate, walking with a student of yours that has diabetes and joining in the Tour de Cure bike ride.  Always hope for a cure. 

Don't always listen to the doctors, although they want what is best for you.  You will have good doctors, even great ones, and then one that does not understand your personality.  Your current endocrinologist will be with your for 18 years.  She will try her best to help you, take some of the knowledge she shares with you with a grain of salt.  She will tell you that diabetics should have an A1C between 4 and 6.  Please know that even if you do not have an A1C between these numbers DOES NOT mean that you are a failure.  It means you are human. 

You will work hard for years to be in good control.  You will constantly be concerned with keeping your A1C between 4 and 6, but know that it is not (for you) the healthiest thing to do.  You will test a lot, but still experience your fair share of high and low blood sugars.  Some will be scary.  Some will be frustrating.  Take it all in stride.

Lastly, you can be whatever you want to be.  Don't let others think you are not smart enough or talented enough to not achieve what you want to do.  You will go on to get a master's degree, volunteer in Ohio, and run many races.  You will be a better runner than you ever thought you could be.  You will earn the respect of your brother for your running achievements, and your parents will be your fan club.  You will do more than you thought possible.  Even when you are older (26), you still will not know all that life has in store for you.  But, you will be excited to find out.

Go out and be the change you wish to see in the world.  Go out and make a difference.  Go out and excel at life.

Your Future Self

Monday, May 9, 2011

Admiring Differences

Running Update: I ran my last 11 mile training run yesterday, and it was less than wonderful.  I'm glad I had a crappy training run, as opposed to a crappy race.  I felt sluggish throughout, but hopefully that will fade as I'm now in full taper mode.  I'm so happy to be tapering!  It's been a long training year so far.  Six days until the Rockford Half!!

Admiring our differences is the theme for day 1 of Diabetes Blog Week.  "Today let’s talk about how great it is to learn from the perspectives of those unlike us"!

Of the posts I've read today, most people are acknowledging the admiration they have for Type 1 parents.  I'm sure their blogs are interesting and informative, however, I don't read any of them.  I read blogs where I find commonalities with the writers - running, similar age, where we live, athletes, my friends, and people I find interesting.  I have admiration for all of the blogs I read, which are many (although I don't comment too often, if at all). 

In the diabetes online community, there are two people that I admire a great deal.  Jerry and Marcus are both people I admire for their ability and wisdom.   

Jerry wins the prize for the most frequent commenter on my blog.  His wisdom has helped me become a better runner and diabetic in more ways that he probably realizes.  It is nice to have someone who has trained for races similar to me, who has experienced some of the same things I have as well.  Thank you, Jerry, for always being willing to share you wisdom and support with me. 

When I read Marcus's post about his 50-mile race, I was inspired.  If you didn't read his post, go do so now.  How can one not be motivated after reading that?  Although Marcus doesn't blog a ton, and I've never met him in person, I feel like he is a person who everyone likes.  Training, making time for his kids, and "sneaking every running gizmo and diabetes gadget into his house" means his life is most likely incredibly busy.  There have been times on my blog when I've complained in a post about how my training wasn't going how I wanted, or being disappointed after a half marathon, but Marcus's comment always remind me to suck it up and continue on.  Disappointment happens to everyone.  It is how we bounce back that really matters.  Thank you, Marcus, for reminding me of this. 

Lastly, there is one Type 2 diabetic that I admire greatly: my dad.  About 10 years ago, he went to the doctor and they told him he either had to lose some weight or go on pills for diabetes.  My dad has the most drive and determination of any person I've ever met.  He did not want to go on pills, so my parents bought a treadmill.  He has walked almost every single  morning on the treadmill for the past 10 years, getting up at 4 a.m. to do so.  Now, he is really skinny and very healthy.  He takes everything in moderation.  He lives such a balanced life, making time for being the president of a company, traveling, volunteering on numerous boards, exercising, and spirituality.  He's the best dad I could have ever hoped for.

I look forward to reading all of the posts on this topic.  Did you post?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Running Free

Time can be a funny thing.  Some people are always early for things, no matter what.  Some people are late, while others are always incredibly late.  I'm a person who gets to work on time, but is always late for everything else.  I'm trying hard to break my bad habit, though. 

One area where I do care an extraordinary amount about time is running.  Running a certain pace is critical to my training and my confidence.  If I run on the treadmill, I carefully watch the time and miles go by, making sure it is where I want to be for that day.  When running outside, rarely do I leave my Garmin at home.  I like to see my pace at the end of my longer runs and it helps me analyze what I need to do better or what I have done well.

Last Friday, it was perfect running weather.  Mid 60s, sunny, and not much wind - yes, please!  I had packed my gym bag for the gym only, not for running outside.  Therefore, I did not have my Garmin.  As I was inside running on the treadmill, i kept looking outside and wishing I was there.  I decided to quit, and drive to my normal running trail to take advantage of the weather. 

It was a weird feeling not running with my Garmin, but somehow, made me more free.  I wasn't looking at my slits, and I did not even set my stopwatch on my sports watch that I wear inside.  I decided I was just going to go out and run - free of everything.  I don't know my pace for that 5.5 mile run, but it felt pretty good.  Other runners were out on the path so it was nice to be in the company of others. 

Running free let me just run and enjoy everything.  A few times I wondered how fast I was going, but then realized that I didn't care too much.  Technology is a great thing, but sometimes it is nice to take a break from it.  However, today when I do my last long run I'll have my Garmin strapped to my wrist. 

Do you ever run free?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Students' Thoughts

Teacher Appreciation Week ended on Friday.  And, much to my surprise, I got a little box of wonderfulness from my students.  Obviously, they were forced to do this, but some of their comments were too funny not to share. 

I laughed out loud when I read this. Obviously, dressing well makes you a good teacher!

This was another favorite.  I'm liked because I'm a great runner.  Many of my students run cross-country or track, but not this girl.  I found it very interesting.

 I got quite a few comments about my "fun" projects, and many mentioned building the catapult, which was done a few weeks ago. 

This girl is the happiest girl and always laughs.  She comes in the room every day and comes up and talks to me.  She makes me laugh.

The box that was on my desk.