My Saturday long run

As I mentioned Friday, I was excited about my 18 mile long run for my RockNRoll New Orleans marathon on Feb. 24th.

I didn’t get up as early as I would have liked, but I did start my run around 8:30am. I woke up with a great blood sugar of 110 and it was 129 before I started my run. I didn’t eat breakfast, but I ate a GU gel to get me going. Looking back, I should have eaten something before the run. I was feeling pretty good as I went and thought I would check my sugar every 5-6 miles.

At mile 5 I thought it was a good opportunity to check. I was feeling good, but when I checked, my sugar was 57. This is the second long run where I’ve crashed at mile 5. It’s also the second long run where I haven’t eaten properly before running. I ate a package of PowerBar Energy Blasts. They are gel filled chews with 46 carbs in a package. I thought the 46 carbs would get my sugar up and give me the energy to power on. The chews were basically a gummy candy and were supposed to have a liquid gel in the center. I’m not a fan of gummies and the liquid gel was just more gummy. They didn’t taste great, but they did the trick in getting my sugar up and getting me going.

While I was chewing through my Energy Blasts, I walked to get my sugar up. I walked for a few minutes and decided I felt okay to start back running. I checked my sugar again around mile 9 and it was 79. It’s a great blood sugar for a normal day, but I need it a little higher for my runs. I ate a GU gel to get it up some more. I like the GU gels. They taste good and they work fast to raise my sugars and give me energy.

I was battling a mental block. It’s hard enough to run 18-26.2 miles for a normal person. It’s hard to get that mental toughness and push through. When you’re a diabetic, it adds another element. I’m constantly thinking about my sugar getting low as well as trying to battle through long distances.

Around mile 12 I checked my sugar again. It was 97. I ate another GU gel and walked a little. I was 6 miles away from my goal and down on myself. I started back running for another 3 miles. My Nike+ told me I had 3 miles until my goal. I got a drink from my water bottle and realized I was out of water.

I was parched. I was tired. I was mentally struggling. I was just 3 short miles the finish. I knew there was a water fountain a couple miles down the trail and I couldn’t wait to get there. Once I did get to the water fountain, I filled up my bottle and drank from the fountain. I actually drank to much. My stomach was full of water. I only had a little more than a mile to the finish and ended up walking the rest of the way. After I stopped to fill up my water bottle, I couldn’t get going again. I was determined to finish the distance tough. I ended up finishing in 3 hours and 26 minutes at an 11’26″/mile pace.

I was pretty hard on myself for not being able to run the whole thing. It’s been almost a year since I’ve run that distance. I remember the struggles and the blood sugar challenges. When I started this blog, I knew getting into these distances would be a challenge. Not only on my body, but my mind and sugars.

When I was training for the Madrid marathon last year, I remember how my legs were like Jello and I could barely walk afterwards. This year, my legs were still strong. I was sore and fatigued, but that was it. I felt good.

Now it’s the mental challenge of running a marathon without my sugars getting too low. This is the challenge for me, getting my sugars stable for the long distances on top of the mental challenge of completing the races.

My sugars for the rest of the day got higher, but I also needed to change my site for my pump. My sugar got low around around 2am and I drank some juice to get it up. I also ate some mac and cheese to keep it up through the rest of the night.

When I woke this morning, it was still high and stayed high through lunch. After lunch, it finally stabilized and has been good since. Karebear and Baby J walked about a mile with me enjoying the beautiful weather today and when we got back home, I ran my streak mile. I finished my mile in just under 10 minutes. My legs were pretty tight, but I fought through it. My upper body is still sore from my Friday TRX workout.

I have my 20 mile long run next weekend. It’s the longest run I’ll have before the race. Hopefully I will remember to eat before the run and my sugars will stay up so I can focus on the run.

If you know any diabetic runners who have gone through or are going through long distance training, please have them stop by and maybe we can help each other out.

I’m already ready to get this marathon over and I’m still a month away from the race.

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