Friday, August 8, 2014

All Figured Out?

I have had diabetes for 11 years, 10 months and 7 days. 

You'd think I'd have it all figured out by now. 

I like numbers and patterns and I have a degree in biology. Heck, I even took an entire course called "The Discovery of Insulin". 

You'd think I'd have it all figured out by now. 

I like routine and, when something works, I do it over and over rather than messing with a good thing. 

You'd think I'd have it all figured out by now. 

And yet...

Yesterday morning I did my 6x800m speed workout. Other than my easy 1.5k warmup where I lope along at a leisurely pace, the rest of the workout is basically me sprinting as fast as possible at a speed I can just barely maintain for the entire 800m. I take a 2 minute rest. I do it again. The entire workout is just under 7k in distance and takes the same amount of time as when I run 7k but I'm running 12 fewer minutes overall because of the rest. 

When I run 7k at a steady pace, my blood sugar steadily drops throughout the entire run. In order to deal with that, I typically eat one (or two) dates before my run, depending on my blood sugar. The dates keep me pretty steady and I have been known to start and end many a morning run at the same blood sugar number - right down to the decimal point. 

When I run 7k in a speed workout, my blood sugar does not drop steadily throughout the run. It seems to either stay steady or even climb a bit. Having a date beforehand is not necessary and it can even cause a spike in blood sugar that is neither helpful nor particularly nice-feeling. 

But I have to tell you that it takes a lot of willpower NOT to have a date on speed work mornings. My brain keeps telling me I will go low if I don't. It freaks me out to do such a tough workout with no backup sugar on board. I stalk my CGM like a hawk during the workout and I put several packs of emergency carbs on the roof of my car just in case. Even though the distance between the roof of my car and my kitchen is about 50 feet. Because you never know. 

So I have figured out short steady runs (eat 1-2 dates) and I have figured out speed workouts (DON'T EAT A DATE!). I have not yet mastered hill workouts. They are tough sprint-like runs with rest periods built in. Kinda like speed workouts. And yet I seem to trend downward as I would in a regular run. The problem is that hill workouts don't take that long and I don't do them that often so I have yet to figure out the pattern. 

So I eat my date because it makes me feel better. I bring extra carbs with me because that is the sensible thing to do. And I bolus a tiny bit extra with my breakfast if I climbed to high (ha!) during the hill workout. I guess that means I have figured out a pattern while I figure out the pattern. 

Of course all of this will be shot to hell when the temperature dips below zero again and the winter winds blow cold and strong.

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