I'm the mom of a beautiful Type 1 daughter and married to a wonderful husband who also has Type 1! This blog serves as a place for my thoughts and feelings, in the hopes that it will help other families struggling with the many challenges diabetes presents. I can't always promise it is uplifting...but, it is honest.

And, of course, it is by no means meant to offer medical advice.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Running With Diabetes

When I turned 40 a good friend introduced me to running.  In a former life I had been a soccer player, and I can't say I was particularly interested in running.  I thrived on competition and teamwork, and running seemed boring and pointless.  But, I trusted this friend and so I gave it a go. And, I was hooked.  I loved what running gave me.  A time to reflect...to challenge my body...to feel healthy and strong.  I am not the fasted runner, nor have I any major claim to fame.  I've done half of a half marathon with the friend that introduced me to running, and a handful of 5Ks.  My running has been derailed by work, my daughter's brain surgery, and my own lack of motivation.  Yet, I have always returned.

Recently, Jessica has joined me.  I love having her as a running partner.  I love having the chance to introduce her to something that I have grown to love.  I love that unlike team sports, she can easily run throughout all life stages.  It gives us a time to be alone, to talk, to be healthy together.

Some runs diabetes is only in the background.  The bag of skittles clutched in my hand is the only reminder that it is there.  As our distance has increased I now bring her Dexcom along with the bag of skittles.  Sometimes she has a hard time telling when she is low when her heart is already pounding from exercise.

I'm learning to be able to tell her blood sugars by her run.  The slightly slower pace when she is high.  The days her blood sugar is perfectly in goal and she zooms past me.  I'm learning what works and what doesn't work.

Today what I tried, didn't work.  She started at 146 with a flat arrow (steady blood sugar.)  I gave her skittles and chocolate milk and we headed out.  Half a mile in and she was 86 and an arrow down.  We slowed to a walk and I gave her more skittles.  We ran again and a mile later she was dragging.  The dex showed 68 and flat.  More skittles.  More running and the dex stayed in the 60's.  We both figured it was just lagging with the amount of skittles consumed.  I could see the disgust with diabetes on her face.  "Remember Sebastien Sasseville and Korey Hood," I told her.  "Is Sebastien still running?" she asked.  I told her he was in fact still running...I mean it takes awhile to run across Canada from coast to coast.  I reminded her that Korey had run the Boston Marathon with ridiculously high blood sugars and ketones.  "Diabetes can't stop you," I told her.  We made it back home...it was not a great run.  She was upset by the 2.86 miles.  We normally do at least 3.12 (the kid likes to say she ran a 5K.)  The Dex was beeping and alarming the whole way home.  We walked in the door and the fingerstick showed a blood sugar of 71.

I don't know what it is like to run with a blood sugar in the 60s.  I sometimes have off days where it just doesn't feel good.  Somehow, I doubt these off days compare to what it feels like to run in the 60's or 300's or more.

I told Jess I was proud of her.  She is strong and brave.  Tomorrow we'll try a temp basal an hour or two ahead.  I reassured her I always have more tricks we can try.  And, if we run out of ideas we have people to ask.

It's a new experience, this running with diabetes.  But, we're up for the challenge.


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! (not the low) I was around her age when I joined cross-country and I still run. No matter how much you run, there will always be a bad diabetes day. Just like there will be bad running days while diabetes is being perfectly well behaved! It can be a frustrating thing, but it is SO worth it. Keep it up ladies!

  2. Thank you!!! We will keep working at it and have another race next weekend. Thank you for your encouragement!