It's fourteen days until Christmas.
Which means it's fifteen days until the Boxing Day Ten Miler.
The first weekend in December, I ran 12k. Last weekend, I was due to run 14k and next weekend I'm supposed to run 16k. Taper down to 10k the weekend after and then it's race day.
I ran 12k and then promptly got sick with a cold. I swam last Monday but didn't do any form of physical activity after than. Not until Sunday morning.
I was pretty much over my cold other than the left-over congestion that always takes a few days to work itself out. I was not however over the cold-induced blood sugar crazies. I have way too many examples of ridiculous, stubborn, crazy rabbit blood sugars from last week. Examples like: I would eat my normal breakfast and take my normal insulin but then spike to 20 and stay there for hours despite repeated boluses and a 150% basal rate. Or examples like: I would be 6.0, I would eat a normal lunch and take a normal bolus and then be 22 two hours later. Hours of bolusing and water drinking finally resulted in a 7.0 before dinner - a meal where I steadfastly refused to eat anything remotely resembling a carbohydrate for fear of starting all over again.
Steak topped with onions and mushrooms makes a fabulous no-carb meal by the way...
So Sunday morning I woke up to a 3.8 blood sugar which, after the last few days, was fabulous. I had two glucose tabs (8 carbs) and bounced up to 7.0. Uh oh.
I wanted to run. I wanted to run 14k. But I didn't know if my body had the energy and I certainly didn't know what my blood sugar would do.
But I had to try.
I packed my running belt with lots of water, emergency carbs and my glucometer. I ate one gel (instead of one gel, a handful of raisins and some nutella) and I headed out the door. I didn't know if I'd be back after 1k, 5k, 10k or 14k. I planned an out and back route so I could turn around at any time and know exactly how far I had to run to get home.
I quickly discovered that my body was energetic after a week off but also kinda tired after being sick. I settled into a 6:15min/k pace and trotted down the street. Everything felt ok other than an annoying stuffiness in my head that required regular stops for decidedly un-ladylike nose-blowing.
At 5k, I checked my blood sugar and whispered "please" as the glucometer counted down. I was 8.6 ("thank you!"). I ate one pack of fruit chews (instead of fruit chews AND a gel) and ran 2 more kilometres. Seven down - time to turn around and head home. I was still feeling pretty energetic which was encouraging considering I had run 7k from home and was now committed to running the full 14k.
I checked again at 11k. I was 7.0 ("thank you!") and figured I could make it 3 more kilometres on that number. I was tiring by that point but still moving forward and doing much better than I had expected to be doing.
I finished 14k in 1 hour and 21 minutes with a blood sugar of 6.0.
Along the way, I managed to beat back the diabetes demons who had been hovering over my head all week. The ones who reminded me that the 'control' I normally have of my blood sugar is really only an illusion of control. That the best we can ever do is stay one step ahead of the demons but we can never really escape them. That one sick day, one stress day, one unexplainable crazy rabbit day can take days to recover from.
I probably spent 24 hours over 7 days with blood sugars in the 20s. Despite having insulin, a glucometer and a lot of diabetes knowledge at my disposal. Despite my best attempts to get those numbers down. What kind of damage was done? What long-term effects did last week contribute to? Maybe none. Maybe lots.
I left for my run feeling scared and beaten down after days of fighting against high blood sugar and fighting back my diabetes demons.
I returned exhausted but victorious. I had a firm grip on my blood sugars again and that grip stayed for the rest of the day. So much so that I made homemade chicken noodle (yes, carbs!) soup for dinner and had a cupcake snack for dessert.
I live to fight another day!