Thursday, August 4, 2011

Balancing Blood and Body

It's Thursday - that means it's interval time again.  Ten times 800m.  Same as last week except this time I didn't dream about doing them before I actually did them. 

I woke up to a blood sugar of 4.6.  That's a wonderful number to wake up to but, when I have a hard run that I didn't wake up at 3:30am to adjust my basal for, it feels a little on the low side.  Normally, for early morning runs, I have a gel and head out the door.  My instincts told me to have a gel, a date and a big handful of raisins.  So I did.

Doug asked how many intervals I had to do.  I said ten.  He said 'do six'.  I said that I would aim for ten but listen to my body.  He headed off to run Hydro Hill and I headed down the road to my interval spot. 

I did six intervals and felt quite energetic.  My calves and shins were feeling tight.  I wondered whether I should push them or attend to their whining.  I gave them a mini massage between each rep and, after a few rounds, they loosened up nicely. 

After the sixth interval, I was feeling so good that I decided to do all ten. 

Then I did the seventh one.  Part way through, I felt my speed drop and my body seemed to shift gears.  Nothing hurt, nothing specific was wrong, I just felt my energy level drop a notch.  After number seven, I drank an extra gulp of water and took a longer rest before starting the next one.  On number eight, I again felt that body shift and energy drop.  Nothing significant but enough to decide that eight was the magic number. 

I had two etabs, drank a bit more water and headed home.  I ran slow and easy which was exactly the speed my body was able to sustain for the two kilometre return trip.  As soon as I got home, I checked my sugar.  It was 4.6. 

Exactly the same as it was before I started my run.  That part is impressive.  But it also explains my gear shift problem.  My sugar rarely goes below 5.0 during a run - I do what I can to ensure that it doesn't.  Anything under four is a pretty serious problem and I like having a bit of a buffer.  So I try to keep my sugar over five.  On top of the dangers of going too low, I've noticed that as soon as I get near 5.0, I feel my energy start to drop.  That's probably what happened back at interval 7. 

I feel my best on runs when my blood sugar hovers between 6 and 10.  That's probably where I was for the first six intervals which is why I felt so good and ran consistent times for each. 

I'm glad that I didn't listen when my shins and calves started complaining.  I took care of them but carried on with the run.

I'm also glad that I didn't push myself to run all ten intervals.  If I had, I would most likely have had a low on the run home which is never a safe place to be.

It's all about knowing when to listen and when to ignore.  When to hold 'em and when to fold'em.

When to walk away...and when to run.

I never count my money, when I'm sitting at the table...but here are my interval times, for anyone who is interested:


Funny, you can see my body warm up during the first few, settle into a groove and then, lose momentum when my sugar took a dive.

Another day in the life of a runner with diabetes.  Which, as my friend John well knows, is NOT the same thing as a diabetic runner.

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