3 tips for your first marathon with type 1 diabetes

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 2 years and 3 months since diagnosis.

5 weeks into a 16 week training program for the Disney Marathon. My first. Race date? January 2014.

Here are 3 tips that have really helped me in tackling this distance so far. Share with me your advice 🙂

1.

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We have soccer, crossfit, and swim coaches…running should be no different. When you step out of leisure running and want to complete distances like the half or full marathon, I strongly suggest hiring a coach. You don’t have to shell out big bucks either. Work out a barter system with someone or negotiate a deal.

For me, I hired a coach who is a good friend of mine. We worked out a great system where we both helped each other out with the skills we have. This will be one of the best investments you make into your running. She knows my personality, the challenges I face with t1d and all my other health challenges that come into play.

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Type 1 author/speaker and good friend Shawn Shepheard once told me, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

In training. In career. In life.

Be ruthless. Make sure that those around you are supporting your goals (whether it be a marathon or something else). Good people motivate, inspire and keep you accountable.

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Nailed a run with smooth bg’s? Finished a great workout when you really didn’t feel like hitting the gym?

Maybe you passed a certain mileage point or hit a PR.

It’s important to treat yourself for the mini milestones but also just for taking part in the process altogether. We all know t1d is unpredictable. You’re a star.

Happy running!

 

 

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What a difference a year makes: Connected in Motion’s Trampoline Dodgeball Tournament 2014

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Last year I showed up to Connected in Motion’s trampoline dodgeball tournament scared and alone.

It was my first active event with CIM and I was beyond nervous. You can read my blog on that day here.

This time around was so different. It was a chance to see my amazing friends, but it was also a reminder of what a difference a year makes.

So many CIM events in between and friendships made and grown. More acceptance. More empowerment. More strength. Without Connected in Motion, I really don’t know where I’d be in this journey. I cannot thank you guys enough-from the people who run the show to the volunteers and all its members.

Special thank you to Amy & Steph-dodgeball organizers 🙂

Here are the photos from this weekend’s tournament-another one in the books!

 

 

Opinion: Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult

My diagnosis smoothie is a not-so-healthy mix of guilt, frustration and…wait for it..an additional hit of more guilt.

At the last JDRF adult support group meeting I attended we got into the topic of what it’s like to be diagnosed as an adult. I was pointed out by one of the organization’s reps as someone who was diagnosed much later in life (29).

I was happy to share my thoughts on the issue, but more importantly, incredibly thrilled that someone else in the room was able to chime in with me in feeling the same.

JDRF in the exhibit hall.

JDRF in the exhibit hall.

Guilt: I haven’t lived with type 1 diabetes for very long. I’ve passed my two year mark but that’s it. The majority of t1d’s were diagnosed so much earlier in life. What right do I have to complain when I lived such a huge portion of my life free from the worries this disease brings?

I’m hyper aware of this fact and so when I’m around other type 1’s or even people who are curious about what it’s like to live with t1d, I watch myself carefully. I don’t ever want others to feel like I’m not acknowledging their long struggle with this autoimmune disease.

I’ve been through my fair share of struggle, heartache and pain. This did not happen to me at a time when I was still growing. Why can’t I get this down? Why do I feel so incredibly helpless at times? I have often felt guilty for feeling this way, not for myself, but for the loved ones around me who feel the ripples of t1d.

Frustration: Trying to explain t1d and that I was diagnosed at 29 can be a pain. As an adult, coupled with the misconceptions about the disease, I feel (FEEL, not that it’s in any way reality) like there is a judgement put on me when I proclaim I am diabetic.

“She must not have taken care of herself.”

For me- I equate the above statement with being lazy about my health. I know that’s not the case, but for some reason I cringe to even think that the word ‘lazy’ can be associated with me. I’m a self-confessed workaholic (but I’m getting better). Prior to being diagnosed I was the girl who stayed late at the office and checked her e-mails in the middle of the night. It has been incredibly difficult to own my disease because of my Type A, work-work-work mentality I have carried with me for many years.

A little more guilt: I know there are people in this world praying for food, water, the end to violence. I live in a place where I have access to insulin, doctors and amazing organizations like Connected in Motion. In the grand scheme of things, I know I have it good. I am free to live how I want, pursue my dreams and have the hope of a long life ahead of me. There’s a tinge of guilt for me when t1d gets me down and I complain or make note of my annoyance.

I left that meeting feeling a lot better about being diagnosed much later in life. I always knew it, but this time I felt it- I was not alone in my thoughts and emotions.

Irregardless of what struggle you face (a disease, a troubled relationship, a career dilemma) it always feels good to know you don’t walk the path solo. Others have prevailed and so will you.