Yesterday I wrote about the half marathon. I wrote about the support I received from friends and partners. I wrote about the heat, the port-a-potties and the finish line chocolate milk.
What I didn't write about was Rose. My two-week old Animas Vibe insulin pump. The one with the fancypants continuous glucose monitor built right in. I didn't mention her yesterday because I figured she deserved an entire blog all to herself.
Rose was not in my life during most of the training for this race. As a result, we didn't have time to practice together and I did not know how she would react to blood sugar changes during long bouts of running. I did not know how she would react to running in the heat and sweat-drenched sensor sites. Or less than ideal hydration levels.
Here is what my race-day diabetes adventures looked like.
I woke up at 5am for an 8am race. I immediately tested my blood sugar and the glucometer reading was bang-on with Rose's number. I took a full bolus for my breakfast. I wanted the breakfast insulin to be out (or mostly out) of my system before the start of the race and I wanted to take a full bolus so that I wasn't starting off with high blood sugars. I figured it would help combat the pre-race adrenaline spike too.
I waited 25 minutes before eating and I watched my number slowly drop from 8.5 to 5.5 during that wait. I ate breakfast and then stalked Rose to see what was happening. I climbed up to 9 and then settled back down at 7.8 by 7:45am. I had a gel and headed for the start line. At that point, I figured Rose's responsibilities were over. I could not trust her readings during the race and had asked Doug to meet me on the course for some good ol'fashioned finger prick blood sugar testing.
He agreed to meet me at 7k and again at 14k which broke the race up nicely into thirds.
At 7k my glucometre said I was 7.2. Rose also said I was 7.2. I was impressed. I had a pack of fruit chews and carried on.
At 14k I was 6.3. Rose said I was 6.5. I was more than impressed. She was keeping up despite the heat, humidity, sweat and activity. I had a second gel and ran the last 7k to the finish line.
At the finish, I tested again and was 6.2. Rose said I was 6.7.
Seriously folks, for anyone who hasn't struggled with a continuous glucose monitor that doesn't handle exercise well, you have no idea how wonderful this was. Wonderful because I could rely on Rose's numbers but also wonderful because I knew I could trust the graph she provided that showed what my blood sugar was doing between finger pricks.
Rose kept up her stellar work all day. I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off so I did regular (hourly) finger pricks all afternoon. She was bang on every time. Which meant that, by the time I went to bed, I had every confidence that she would wake me if I had a post-race 3am low.
She didn't wake me.
Because I didn't have one!
I slept like a rock all night and woke up to a lovely 4.6.