Tuesday, May 26, 2009

an anniversary almost forgotten...

Amidst the busy weekend and trying to pack up and move, I almost forgot my anniversary - my long distance running anniversary. On Memorial Day weekend three years ago I ran my first half marathon and was so proud to have finished a race that long. I didn't realize how much my time sucked (honestly!!!) but was just happy to finish in all one piece.

Having remembered my anniversary on Monday, I decided to do a nice 10-mile run in honor of my first half. I took it nice and easy - not too fast but not too slow. It was not hard on my body since I've been logging quite a few miles everyday. However, when I woke up this morning I was incredibly sore. My right ankle bone (on the outside) hurt so bad. It nagged me throughout the day, but I went running on it in the afternoon - an easy 5-mile job at 8:20 pace. It seemed like I was in slow-motion the whole time going that pace, but my ankle continued to bother me. I had some Advil so hopefully that will remedy the issue.

I always get paranoid that whenever something hurts, I have something majorly wrong. I'm sure that when my 3 alarms go off tomorrow morning (I hate getting up in the morning) I'll feel better. It's kind-of like my first half, I was a little sore, but felt better in just a few days. Hopefully I have the same result with this issue.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sensors, Technology, and the Future

As you know (if you have been reading my blog), I have been having problems with my CGM sensors and system. However, I have been pleased with my current sensor. It has been pretty accurate for the most part. Today when I calibrated before I ate lunch was the farthest it had been off. It said I was 194 when my finger stick read 151 (I hate being that high at lunch, but a correction put me back in line for the afternoon).

It is amazing how much I now rely on technology. I resisted getting a pump for many years and for various reasons. It was not until a little over three years ago that I gave in and got one. I thought it was okay at first, and as I had it longer and longer it grew on me. I can't imagine my life without it now. The thought of going back to taking insulin shots does not appeal to me at all. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 4 years old so over my lifetime I have taken my fair share of shots. And do not miss them.

Now, I not only rely on my pump but also my CGMS. Technology has let me take better care of myself and I hope in the future that it continues to get better. I recently had the opportunity to talk to a person who works for Minimed and asked what new products they would be coming out with in the near future, since it seems like they have not had anything new for awhile. She said they are close to make the sensor for the CGMS and the pump infusion site one set. I think that would be great - I would have to wear one less thing on my body. I hope it comes out soon, and works well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

THe Wonder Veggie

Five years ago I became a vegetarian, although I am terrified of and hate animals. I got to the point where I thought about where the food I was eating was coming from and it started to nauseate me. I have always been a picky and particular eater. I do not like a lot of "normal" foods and like some weird combinations of foods.

For example, I hate all kinds and flavors of pie and cake. Ketchup is the world's most disgusting food to me, but I love mustard. I have eaten the same thing for lunch every day I have taught: carrots, an apple, and Kashi crackers. I think Cool Whip should be a food group of its own because I love it so much.
This year I discovered "The Wonder Veggie" at my grocery store. I try to eat organic and all-natural all of the time and stumbled across Seaport Farm's Dry Roasted Edamame one day while pa rousing the organic aisles. I bought a bag of it and have been addicted to it ever since.

According to the label on the bag, 1/4 of a cup gives you 32% of your daily fiber and 28% of your daily protein. Not only is it rich in fiber and protein, it also tastes wonderful.

I used to love (and still do) peanuts and almonds, until I realized that I would have a high blood sugar a few hours after I ate them. Edamame does not have that effect on my blood sugar, probably because there is not nearly as much fat in it. I typically have 1/4 cup with my dinner and it fills me up and does not impact my blood sugars. Have you ever tried edamame? I am sure that you will love it, just like me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Warning: Grumpy Post

I am grumpy today. Yes, downright grumpy. Tired. Frustrated. Stressed out. Overburdened.

In a nutshell, my sensor went bad last night and I called Medtronic. It seems as though every time I call, which has been often recently, I get different answers. I know that it is not realistic to expect everyone to be 100% on the same page, but all the different help people give different advice. The lady I was talking to last night (when I should have been getting my beauty sleep) told me I was calibrating at the wrong time. She attempted to explain to me the good times to calibrate a sensor, which I replied by saying I have already talked with my doctor about this and my times are just fine, thank you very much. Was I a bitch? Probably. Was I tired and frustrated? Totally...I wanted to throw my pump out of my window.

I do like Medtronic, I just don't like it when people tell me different answers every time I call. A supervisor called me this afternoon and he is sending a replacement sensor, which is what should be done in my opinion. I spoke with the pump trainer here and left her a message about my recent problems with the sensor. Being the kind, caring, and nice person, she has tried to figure things out, too. I saw the sales rep. tonight and she is also nice. She wears the CGMS and said that sometimes she gets frustrated at it, too.

After calling my dad about the sensors and a nice cry when I was on the phone, I do feel better. Am I asking for pity? Not at all. Sometimes I have bad days, and today was one of those days. The good thing is that tomorrow is another day, and I'll more than likely be happy again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's a Small World

I went to hear Dr. Heile speak a couple weeks ago at a pump support meeting hosted by my endo.'s office. At that meeting, I knew one person out of the twenty-five or so that were there. However, since the meeting, I have run into two fo the people randomly. It is truly a small world.

While I was at the Flying Pig expo, I was stopped by a lady working one of the booths. She said, "hey, were you at Dr. Heile's presentation? I noticed your insulin pump and thought I saw you there." I told her yes, I was there and we struck up a conversation about his presentation, exercise and diabetes, the Flying Pig, and DESA. It was really random.

Then, tonight I had to stop at the grocery store quick and who do I run into? Another lady that sat directly behind me at the presentation. We were talking and apparently there is another insulin pump support group meeting next week. We spoke about our pumps, her Omnipod and my Minimed, insurance, CGMS, and going low. She did ask me if I graduated from, "high school or college?" When I told her I was done with grad. school, she replied that it is good to look young. It just made me smile...I used to get those comments all of the time from people.

Living in a medium-sized metropolitan area in Ohio, I never thought I would see any of the people at the pump support group. The probability of me running into two of them again was probably slim to none. But, it happened. It makes me feel happy when I can talk candidly about diabetes to people who understand and who go through some of the same things that I go through.

Support is such an important part of caring for diabetes. In the business world people have to make connections and network if they would like to do better business or change jobs, or other stuff (which I admit tingly know nothing about), but have a diabetes network is very beneficial for me, too. Therefore, I think I'll go to the pump meeting on Monday to learn some more things. Maybe I'll run into these people, too. You just never know...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today my school had a play about superheroes. Although it was long and I lost interest, compiling a list of things to do in my head for later on that day, week, month, in the future, it did give me the opportunity to think about what super-natural power I would like to have.

I thought, "would it be best to take the diabetes route, and go with the ability to be 83 at all times? Or, what about the running route, and run incredibly fast mile times?" I then pondered what life would be like if I could wave my hand and have all of my papers graded for school, or have the most time-consuming projects laid out and ready to go for me?
Then I really started to think seriously. If I didn't have challenges, life would get boring. I like having to reach for something farther in my life and the thrill of attaining goals. I am competitive and work hard at (almost) everything. I like to overcome obstacles.

So really, I don't think I would like to become a superhero. Although when I was younger, I had a "super power ring." It was gold and came out of a 25-cent prize barrel. I told my mom that its magical ability was to turn all red lights to green lights. I still have it today, although it is not in my car. Maybe I should test to see if it still has its special powers?

In the meantime, enjoy the picture below of me as a superhero.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dr. Heile’s Wisdom

A week and a half ago I was able to go to a presentation by Dr. Heile, a doctor in Cincinnati who has diabetes and has run marathons. The diabetes center that I go to sponsored the event, which my endo. encouraged me to attended since I run a lot. Here are some of the most beneficial things I got out of his presentation:

Interesting fact: 1/10 of 1% of the population runs a marathon. Hopefully I will be part of this small percentage soon!

Hypoglycemia is a cycle. If I go low today, I am more likely to go low tomorrow as well. I had never thought of this before, although I firmly believe it. Going low is a bad cycle to get into, which I have been in and constantly struggle with.

Diet, insulin,, exercise and testing are like four legs on a chair. If one is missing, it is hard for the chair to balance. Being in control of your diabetes means effectively managing all four parts of it. This is easier said than done!

Some ways to avoid hypoglycemia are to decrease insulin (basal) before and after exercise, pre-treat exercise with carbs and test 1 hour before exercise. To put it bluntly, I am failing miserably at these things. I do not touch my basals, except in the morning on the weekend, where is need more insulin. I always test my blood sugar before I exercise, but it is right before I exercise and never an hour before. I treat with carbs if I am not at a high enough number (in the mid-100s). Testing 1 hour before is hard for me. Many times I do not know exactly when I’ll be exercising.

Exercise makes diabetes more forgiving. I totally agree with this because I do not have to be as strict with my when I exercise a lot. Exercise makes everything more forgiving I think.
The more you control diabetes the easier it is to control. If I test my blood sugar a lot, then I have better control because I always know where I am. Right now I am filling out a log sheet for my endo. because my blood sugars have been unpredictable. He is awesome and gives me feedback. I have been keeping track of everything to try to get things back to running smoothly before summer begins. Although it is a lot of work and not enjoyable for me, it is necessary. I am working hard to control my diabetes even better so it does not control me, my life, and things I want to do.

Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. I thought it was interesting Dr. Heile said this because I have a magnet that says “It’s (meaning life) a marathon, not a sprint.” Diabetes takes time to figure out.

If you ever get a chance to hear Dr. Heile speak, I would recommend it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ready for More

When I got done racing on Sunday, a couple things went through my mind that have been stuck there ever since. The first thought/feeling was that I was proud that I PR'd again. As I was walking through the finisher's area with all the food and stuff, I did not feel sore, like in the past.

As I continued to walk through the finisher area, I was thinking about how far I have come in running. When I completed my first half marathon (Mad City Madison (in Wisconsin) Marathon in late May of 2006), I was so thrilled just to finish. At that time I had started to run farther distances and wanted to see if I could run for 13.1 miles in a row without stopping. Looking back, my time was horrific, but I was so proud of it.

The following year (after my college graduation) I decided to sign up for the Madison half again, knowing I could do better. I had logged more miles in preparation for the race and knew I could PR. In that race, I broke the 2:00 mark, and was again happy with my performance. I was proud that I had made it down into the 1-hr. mark, which just sounds a lot better than 2-hours.

My first two half marathons are special. I signed up for them with my brother, who had excellent races at both, placing in the top 5 the first year and 8th (I think) the second year. I knew the course the second year and felt prepared. The entertainment was good, and the runners were friendly. The course was flat (in my opinion), something I love.

I then took a year off before signing up for the Wright-Patterson Air Force 1/2 Marathon in September of this year. I once again made improvements, running 1:50. I was proud, but knew I could do better. I started to train even harder although I did not have another race in mind. Then, I decided to complete the ORRRC 1/2 a couple days before it was scheduled and then the Flying Pig.
After finishing the Flying Pig, I felt good, but it was much different than before. It wasn't that I was not satisfied with my time, because I was. I PR'd, which is always good. I just feel like after completing 5 1/2 marathons, I am ready for a new challenge.

The past couple days I have been thinking about a marathon. I am done with grad. school now which will give me more time to do the things that I want to do. The Flying Pig marathon bag had many brochures for various marathons across the country. As I was flipping though these on the back to my house, I felt like I wanted to run one.

Although I think it funny to type this, a goal of mine is to run at least 10 half marathons and at least 1 full marathon by the time I am 30. I think the half marathons will not be too difficult to conquer, as I am already halfway there. Given the fact that I am in good shape right now, I think it only makes sense to start to accomplish the other part of that goal, completing the full marathon.

Any suggestions on a good marathon to sign up for? Or, which one are you competing in this fall? Let me know your advice!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How many days until Summer?

Today I am lacking motivation on many levels. I think summer needs to get here, and soon. It is my time to rejuventate myself as a teacher. I like being able to get my full 8+ hours of "beauty sleep" every night, drinking coffee when I wake up without having a time I have to get somewhere by, and soaking up the sun.

I did have a good run/workout today. 4 miles in 29 minutes, then I hopped on the arc trainer for 20 and back to run 2 more in 16. It felt good to run after taking yesterday off from the 1/2 on Sunday. Everyday that I do not run I feel like something is missing from my daily routine.

Hopefuly my motivation will return tomorrow for a more meaningful, useful blog post. I know this one was pretty much worthless.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flying Pig Half Marathon - the great, good, bad, and ugly

I am still digesting the events from the weekend, but it was definitely memorable. The Flying Pig was great, good, bad, and ugly. Before this race, I didn’t know I could feel such a way about a race, but now I do. According to the brochure in the Race Expo. Bag, the Flying Pig is one of the top 10 most fun marathons in the U.S.

I got to Cincy a little before 5:30 a.m. I woke up at 3:30 to eat breakfast because I did not want to have any active insulin in my body on the start line. I went into the stadium and got loose – “stretched” and used the bathrooms (a major plus of this race is that runners actually got to use real bathrooms and not porta-potties). At about 6:15, I was finally out of the ridiculously long bathroom line and decided I should make my way to the start. My dad went with me, so I gave him all my warm-up clothes and proceeded down to the street.

I should have come down a long time before that because I went into the crowd and noticed I was with the 5 hr. marathon pace team. My original plan was to run with the 3:30 pace team. I had to scramble through thousands of people to try to get up to the place I wanted to be. It never happened, and the whole first mile was a sprint for me to catch up to Pace Roger.

The first 5 miles went well. It was neat to cross the bridges in downtown Cincy and run into Kentucky. There were a lot of fans out in Covington and Newport to support us. For the race, I decided to rely solely upon my CGMS. My last race with it went well and it was very accurate, so I decided that would be best for this race, too. However, I was totally wrong. My CGMS was not accurate at all.

At the start line it said I was 150-something, which is where I wanted to be. The first 5 miles I dropped to the 130s, so I ate some glucose tabs but my blood sugar would not come up according to my sensor. The hilly part of the half marathon started at mile 5, and I wanted to make sure I had enough gas in my tank to conquer the hills. I ate 4 more glucose tabs at this point, and then it all went wrong. At mile 6 I was still with the pace team, but started to feel kinda bad. I felt sluggish and knew that I shouldn’t. I ate some more glucose tabs since my sensor was still reading 120. I thought I was just low. At the halfway point, mile 6.5, I put some tabs in my mouth but could not chew them. I felt them get stuck in my throught and started to choke. It felt like I could not breathe. At that point I knew that I had to stop because I felt like absolute crap.

I went off to the side of the hill and just stood and tried to swallow the tab in my mouth. A lady that was watching came up to me and rubbed my back, saying “are you okay?” I told her that I just really, really needed water. Luckily, at that time, another spectator, a middle-aged man, was walking up the hill and happened to have a water bottle. The woman said to the man, “can this girl have your water bottle? She really needs something to drink.” The guy responded by saying he drank half of it, but said I could have it. I drank a huge gulp of water and thanked them both. I walked for a couple more steps and then started to run up the hill again.

At that point in the race, I was well behind the 3:30 pace team with many hills left to conquer on my own. I ran the 7 – 9 miles relatively slow, still recovering from my choke. By mile 10, I felt a little better and began passing people again. I picked off people and used positive thinking to finish. By mile 12, I knew it was possible to PR so I poured it on. My last 1.1 miles was under 7:30, which I was happy with.

I PR’d, a miracle considering everything that happened (read on further for more explanation). My official time was 1:43:07. I am happy with it, but wished I could have broken the 1:43 mark. I thought I would with the chip time difference, but it was not meant to be.

When we got back to the car, my CGM was still reading 140. However, I tested and my real blood sugar was “Hi” on the meter – over 500!!!! No wonder I could not swallow the glucose tabs – I had no water in my mouth and probably had tons of keytones at that point. I was beyond disappointed in my sensor and wanted to throw the whole thing in the garbage when I got home. Being off by over 300 is not okay!!

The ugly – my numbers during the race; my starting position; choking on glucose tabs

The bad - the fact that I did not listen to my body signals and solely relied on my CGMS

The good – the fans were good. At each water station there was a different organization. My personal favorite was a high school football team. They had funny comments as I ran by.

The great – People are good. The lady and guy that helped me were so nice. I don’t know what would have happened without their generosity. Also, it is good that I PR’d.

Who could forget a day like that?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

One busy week

Last week I was so busy I felt I barely had time to breathe. Some of the highlights included:

Wednesday: went to hear Dr. Heile from Cincy speak about exercising and diabetes, met Rdn5cents

Friday: drove to Cincy for the running expo., family came to town

Saturday: it is official - I graduated with my master's degree!

Sunday (today) - Flying Pig half marathon, a memorable event in many ways

I did not get much sleep last week and am exhausted right now since I got up at 3:30 a.m. Check back tomorrow for a blog about the Flying Pig - the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the race.