Training for a marathon with type 1 diabetes. Hitting peak week and the glory of the taper.

I’m walking down the stairs backwards. I’ve got a swagger walk with no swagger. Ah, it’s the sign of finishing my longest distance to date- 32 km (19.8 miles) and it wasn’t pretty.

My bg’s seemed stable throughout but my stomach was another issue. 5 km (3.1 miles) in I had to make a dash to the ladies. With my tummy in knots the run overall was painful. Legs were seizing and it was just plain ugly.

95% of my marathon training was done on the treadmill and here are some tips to keep your mind distracted.

  • Netflix. As much Netflix as you can get.
  • YouTube “running music” and pick your favourite hour-long mixes or create your own playlist
  • Play games on your iPad or tablet. I can get away with this because I’m not running at a fast pace. Don’t expect to win at whatever game you are playing though. Your slippery, sweaty hands won’t let you.
  • Visualize your race. Today’s run was all about imagining myself at the start line, hitting each km/mile and finishing strong.

Up to this point the biggest lesson has been to let go of the self criticism when it comes to my bg levels. I reminded myself that I’ve never done this training before. I reminded myself that the road isn’t supposed to be easy but that it will totally be worth it.

I want to thank everyone in the DOC for their support! This online family has really kept me motivated and inspired. Special thanks to Shawn Shepheard & my triathlete sister and good friend Anne Marie Hospod (who is doing her first IRONMAN!). Thank you for the texts pre, during and post-run.

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Now to taper! For non-runners, taper means that my training will significantly decrease and that the bulk of the “hard” stuff is over.

I love to exercise but I am REALLY looking forward to this taper time.

Happy running,

J

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7 Comments

  1. Awesome!!!! So in awe and know you totally have got this one! Enjoy the taper, organize you playlists and don’t go crazy…you totally have the marathon covered! It is hard to trust your training but you’ve got it there. The GI issues are also normal. I have friends that swear by Imodium but I have found while I have had them on training runs, I stick to the breakfast plan and fueling and I’m ok. I would love to hear about your basal/bg plan as I struggle with Ibbies during short athletic events so think that in itself is a great accomplishment. Thank you for being a strong woman role model for my girl!

    Sent from my iPhone.

    >

    Reply

    1. Thank you for all the encouragement! It’s so great to be part of such a supportive community. I have also heard of people using Imodium but I haven’t tried it myself.

      The marathon training was a completely new experience in terms of my insulin needs. Every person is different of course (and I’m not a doctor) but for myself, I made sure I ate at least 15-30 grams of carbs before running to ensure that I wouldn’t go low. Because each workout would be different, that also changed my insulin rates. A long slow run for example, would make my bg’s drop dramatically however speedwork or hill-type training would keep me afloat. The best way is to keep testing throughout. And to have everything you need in case of a bad low. That has been my saviour when it comes to my own confidence in the whole process.

      There are so many variables to consider that I think the best thing I can tell you is to be patient and that documenting the scenarios (environment, food eaten, workout etc.) can help navigate more clearly what will work for Ibbie.

      No matter what, getting out there and deciding to be active is a good thing. For your mind, body and soul. Keep going and never give up!

      Reply

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