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Scratch

13.1 Miles, documenting my way to the Half-marathon in Philadelphia

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Scratch

It seems I'm mostly the only one now posting any notes in Notey's workout thread. I don't need to do that there, but I continue to do so because I would like to see more participants on the message boards here to think about becoming more active. Perhaps I should explain my interest in that.

 

While I was never a complete couch potato, I had become more sedentary over the years. I suppose it reached its nadir in 2004 when my right shoulder was a complete mess from being afflicted with frozen shoulder. I went through my days with 2 shots of NPH and using R for corrections, trundled away at my computer and desk at work. Although I suppose I did finally get one positive step forward physically when in March of 2004 I was able to quit smoking for good.

 

But I was not in good shape. The big turning point came in August 2005 when my best friend from childhood had come back into the area to visit his mother and contacted me about going out to play a round of golf. That got me going. I began going out once or twice a week, and walking the courses I would play. The right shoulder was good enough to let me swing the clubs.

 

But it wasn't until September of last year that I decided it was time to switch to MDI. Yeah, I know, stupid of me to stay with NPH/R for so long, but I suppose it's a reflection of how it is so easy for all of us to get comfortable with routines. I had shaken free of the routine of being mostly inactive with golfing, but I had remained in a comfort zone of 2 shots and eating on schedule.

 

Switching to MDI was huge. In November last year, I began thinking of doing something I had never done really. In school, I had always been a slow kid. Always one of the slowest in the 50-yard dash. I didn't run. I wasn't a runner. Getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 15 became another roadblock to any thoughts I may have had to take up running to improve fitness. The constant downward push exerted by NPH on the blood sugars made extended physical activity troublesome, as many of the longtime diabetics here probably well know.

 

Last November, I began running. With the increased freedom offered by MDI, running became an opportunity to explore new territory. It was beautiful to become aware of my body in this new way, to gain a bit of release from the constant grind all of us go through with the blood tests throughout the day. Instead of the constant presence of blood sugars and insulin activity, I could know learn about how my body felt in motion, footfall after footfall, breath after breath.

 

I started falling in love with running. Unfortunately, due to my inexperience and lack of consideration on my part, I ran too much too soon too hard. On the 21st of December last year, I had to pull up on a run with what at the time I thought was an ankle sprain. The pain and discomfort grew worse over the next two weeks. X-rays on the 4th of January revealed a complete transverse fracture of the distal tibia and I'd spend the next 6 weeks in a cast.

 

It wasn't until April 21st this year that I was able to step out on to a high school track, walk a few laps, run one, walk a few more laps, run another lap, and begin trying to run again. There is a goal in mind for this: the half-marathon event at the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18th this year.

 

So sometimes I find myself thinking about how it is I've reached this point here, right now, when I was up early this morning so I could go out and enjoy a run of 2.75 miles on a wonderfully cool July morning. Seriously, the early morning runs can be incredibly beautiful, to be out there, to be alive and moving. So this morning, I put in another few miles on this road to November 18th and Philadelphia.

 

Along the way, I've seen my resting heart rate which was at 70 to 72 bpm in late April now go down to around 60 bpm. I've seen marked improvement in my fitness as measured with an estimate of Vo2max using my performances in 5K races:

 

* May 5th, 37:35, VO2Max: 23.4

* May 20th, 35:37, VO2Max: 25

* June 16th, 34:28, VO2Max: 26.1

* July 4th, 32:00, VO2Max: 28.5

* July 21st, 29:35, VO2Max: 31.3

 

It's a tough draw of the cards for those of us who have become diabetic. I'm not such a cuddly sort that I'll say, "Oh yeah, I'm okay with it" because it simply wouldn't be true. I'm not in denial about it which is good, but I certainly don't enjoy the relentless nature of this condition.

 

I'm just not going to let it stop me here. I began running and discovered how beautiful it can be. Life is a lot more interesting and involving when one is in motion and not at rest behind a desk, at the computer, or watching television.

 

I hope that maybe some who pass through here will read this and consider possibilities.

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Ronin

Hi Scratch!

 

What a great life story! I have to agree on the life-in-motion position, although my prefered form of motion is aboard our Custom Co-Motion tandem (preceeded by a custom Bushnell for 11 years). Life becomes different after you discover the joy of being in motion.

 

Today Linda and I set what was a personal record for our 35 mile (and most hilly) front-door tandem ride (as in we leave from, and return to, our front door). We have longer and hillier rides but they involve putting the tandem on the car and going someplace to ride -- we reserve those for our club rides. We completed the course in 2:15:33 (yeah, we count the seconds - obsession is what it is all about). Many of our tandem friends have parents our age who think of a heavy workout as not using the remote to change chanels on the television.

 

For all of our fellow Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics (my club) you really need to think about how you can get out there and be in motion. No, it isn't easy, but after a time you cannot imagine your life without it and it does burn calories, eat up carbs, and makes you feel better.

 

Time to get some sleep as another (albeit shorter -- only 22 miles) ride awaits us tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,...

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Scratch

Howdy, Ronin. I don't know about the sum of my life story being inspiring. I'm just trying to do better now with what I've got and what may be squeezed from this somewhat sour lemon.

 

That's pretty impressive, I figure, what you and your wife can do on a tandem bicycle. I've been using a bicycle for crosstraining purposes because my aerobic base was so lousy to start with taking into consideration my long time of rather sedentary lifestyle and about 12 years of smoking. I try to get in a couple of cycle rides per week and can do about 12 mph in them, so it looks like the two of you are faster than one of me. Good stuff.

 

But yeah, sometimes I feel a sense of sadness that this area of the board is so quiet. I suppose some it may be that when it comes to those who use these boards for talking about diabetic issues that those who do exercise may be more participatory on boards dealing directly with the activity -- for example, I use the boards at Coolrunning.com and Kickrunners.com a lot more than I use this board here.

 

Still, the benefits of exercise can be remarkable. Last year when I began using MDI, my basal dose was 24u. Presently, I'm using 16u of Lantus daily but with recent trends I may need to reduce to 15u. That's a substantial decrease in my basal needs.

 

My blood pressure readings are more consistently in range again.

 

While it was a tough lesson to learn, breaking my tibia provided a piece of evidence that caused me to realize my diet has been somewhat lacking in calcium. I suspect my bone density was less than ideal, but now with improved diet and carefully implemented exercise I should be able to improve my skeletal framework. I might not have learned that if I hadn't started running and in the years ahead having weaker than normal bones could be disastrous.

 

The emotional benefits are also substantial. Most all of us type 1 diabetics on these boards are subjected to the relentless nature of monitoring blood sugars, carbohydrate consumption and insulin dosing. Man, that just gets awfully tiresome sometimes, to be aware of our bodies in a way that we aren't supposed to think about.

 

Exercise has provided a way for me to reconnect with my body in a way of my choosing. That, that's a lot more enjoyable than studying the blood glucose numbers and searching for the patterns. It's given me a sensation that my body and I are on friendly terms again.

 

I loved the way it felt last Saturday when I crossed the finish line at the 5K having broken the 30 minute mark. My legs were screaming at me, I thanked the woman who handed me a cup of water, and I staggered a bit on my way to a parking lot curb where I could sit down and check my blood sugar. The blood sugar had spiked some, so I wasn't staggering from being hypo, but just from having tried to take my legs beyond anywhere they've been before. Just an incredible feel when that runner's high keeps you going.

 

It doesn't solve everything, but I know that I'm enjoying life a lot lot more over this time 2 years ago.

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HelenM
I'm just not going to let it stop me here. I began running and discovered how beautiful it can be. Life is a lot more interesting and involving when one is in motion and not at rest behind a desk, at the computer, or watching television

Here, here:thumbsup: Well done for overcoming the fracture and not letting it get you down. Its realally hard to give up the training and then to start again slowly..

I know exactly how you feel. I was very surprised to get type 1 diabetes at my old age but it was a wake up call and I started running up and down the stairs whilst in hospital. Just over a year later it was one of my lifetime achievements to run the New Forest Marathon last year. (although I do want to try to do another with a faster time)

It is great to be able to do things in spite of the diabetes. Tomorrow I'm setting out on a tiny segment (just one weeks worth of the Camino St Jacques from Le Puy. If I can carry the weight OK I want to try the whole 1600km next year.

Like you I'd encourage every one to have a go. You only have to start with small amounts of exercise ... at the start I was running between two lamposts and walking between the next two.I'm still not very fast but its fantastic when you realise 'yes I can do it 'and even better when the medical checks confirm that you're getting fitter each time.

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Ronin

Scratch, et al.,

 

Yes, this is one of the more quiet boards, and that is sad.

 

There is a reason why I'm a tandemist -- I want to share time with my wife, not be out there on the roads by myself. The issue is that I'm 6' and Linda is 4' 11" and I have a 35 inch inseam while hers is only 25 inches so even walking together is a huge problem (i.e., either I have to do a slow stroll while she walks or I walk at my pace and she has to run.)

 

Yeah, we are probably faster than you on a bicycle -- now. When we started we barely managed average speeds in double digits and rides in excess of 10 miles required rest stops. Now, a 35 mile ride is pretty normal and rarely requires a rest stop (albeit, a "natural-break" is sometimes a requirement on the longer rides). The simple reality is that as you get fit you get stronger, as you get stronger you get faster, et cetera.

 

Exercise has changed my life, or I should say our lives. On a personal level, I was bowled over when I got the Pre-D diagnosis. I still have to get that C-Peptide test to validate my assumption that my body just isn't producing the insulin required to control my BG levels. Every medical person I know says that with my level of activity and fairly restricted diet Insulin Resistance is not likely whereas Beta-Cell-Burnout is.

 

I've made lots of improvements: from being 225 down to 150, cholesterol dropped from >300 down to 170 (with and HDL >80!), Triglicerides down to double digits from tripple digits, a nice low-normal BP, and resting heart rate down in the 50's.

 

In my 60th year I'm more fit than I was back in my 20's! However, age, I beleive, along with a life filled with poor eating habits now have me in the classification of Pre-D and I have to make yet another adjustment to my life.

 

We did a nice 22 mile ride today and are planning for the 25 mile loop tomorrow.

 

And for HelenM -- enjoy the run to Camino St Jacques from Le Puy. Sounds like it will be fun.

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BlueSky

I am also preparing for a half-marathon. It will be the first time I have been on an organised run. And I suppose it is a bit unusual to be starting with this type of activity at the age of 50. I used to have a terrible time with exercise causing massive blood glucose swings. So for many years I did very little exercise (I was diagnosed in 1977). But things have improved a lot with the new insulins. I have spent the last year building some muscle and getting reasonably fit. And my wife and I will be participating in the Auckland Marathon in October. I say "participating" because I suspect that it will be a mixture of walking and running :D .

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Scratch
Everyone:

 

Today's NY Times has a great article on Diabetic athletes. The URL is: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/26/fashion/26fitness.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1185451846-ibL+DpLwYIjEKxijgJ/ybw

 

A great bit of inspiration.

That's on my reading list now, thank you.

 

This morning I put in 2.75 miles of recovery running. On Tuesday, I had run the same route but in fartlek style, with some speed up and easing back on the route back to the mailbox. Today, I just wanted to give the legs some more running and circulation to help them recover from Tuesday's effort and get me in shape to put in what will be my longest run yet of 6.2 miles on Saturday.

 

Give the legs some running and circulation....

 

Ahhh see, that's one of the huge reasons why I thought running would be a good choice for a diabetic. Every time I go running it opens up the blood vessels to more blood, more circulation and then afterwards when the legs go through the rebuilding after the stress of exercise, the muscle fibers get repaired and the body also responds by building more capillaries to help out for the next time you go running.

 

I don't know about you all, but considering some of the potential complications of diabetes, I see that as being hugely beneficial to my health now and in the future. Already it I've noticed that a scratch I got on my foot a bit ago is healing much quicker than a similar scratch in the past. Of course, one scratch isn't an accumulated body of evidence, but I like to think that the running has made a big difference to the circulation in my legs by now. It's had to. I can run farther and faster than when I started out, and to do that, I have to get the blood circulated into the muscles of my legs and feet.

 

Here are the totals so far since April 21st when I started up again:

 

121 miles

1 day 1 hour 30 minutes

Longest run to date: 5.5 miles on 7-7-2007

84 before and after blood sugar test strips used

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chinku

Great thread guys,

 

Inspirational I should say.

 

I have been doing the same thing (used to run 5 mi 3x week), but lately I gave up running becoz I am loosing too much weight (I am always skinny ) and I started lifting weights and playing racquetball instead.

 

So far I am having fun and cant imagine anytime in my life so caring about my health and fitness.

 

I have been a smoker in past too and I completely quit after being dxed with Type1 D.

 

And all you people going on long hours for run and Ride what is your diet like before starting the training and how you make sure you are in that perfect range (glucose levels) all the time ?.

 

Great going Scratch and please keep us posted about your road to the marathon and how you keep ur motivation alive all the time.

 

What I believe is you will be definitely be successful in your endeavor.

 

:congrats: :congrats: :congrats: :congrats:

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Scratch

And all you people going on long hours for run and Ride what is your diet like before starting the training and how you make sure you are in that perfect range (glucose levels) all the time ?.

 

Great going Scratch and please keep us posted about your road to the marathon and how you keep ur motivation alive all the time.

 

 

I believe there's some individual variation, and I think that maybe I seem to be somewhat lucky that I don't have too much trouble with my blood sugars veering all over the place from exercise. The best you can do is take notes -- know how much insulin you have in your system, test before and after exercise, along with some way of monitoring the exertion level. The way I monitor the last bit of exertion level is using a heart rate monitor, HRM, to help me make sense of that.

 

The HRM has definitely shown me that the higher the exertion and that the closer to anaerobic threshold I go, the more of a liver dump I get. Last Saturday's 5K, I planned on running it at 160 bpm or more, which was going to put me at around 90% of my heart rate maximum.

 

I injected 2u of Novolog 30 minutes before the race, when my blood sugar was 125 mg/dl. After the race, I was 187 mg/dl. On the other hand, if I had done the same and run with a heart rate down in the 130s at that time in the morning, I probably would have seen my blood sugar remain stable or drop slightly.

 

But there'll be variance some day-to-day, and variance among individuals, so you just got to make notes and do the best you can.

 

I usually try to start my workouts above 100 mg/dl and up to 150 mg/dl. If I'm low, I'll put some carbs in my system.

 

------

 

I did a bike ride after work yesterday for some more crosstraining. Managed my fastest pace yet, 12.64 mph when I covered 11.65 miles in 55:27.

 

I've also decided to make my training log at Runningahead.com open to public viewing so anyone who's interested in seeing a record of my workouts can look at them. I'll see about adding information about my blood sugars and insulin doses for the workouts as well, as that may be useful to me and others.

 

Scratch's Training Log click here

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Scratch

6.2 miles this morning. Wish it could have been 10 degrees cooler and less humid, but I'm happy with having increased the distance of the long run.

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Scratch

A 2.6 mile recovery jog today. That may have been a bit too long for what I wanted the recovery jog to do, make my legs feel a bit better at the end than the start. The last few tenths I could feel my legs tiring out from still feeling the effects of yesterday's long run.

 

I might try using a rule that no more than 35% of the miles from the long run as the number of miles to do in a day after recovery.

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Scratch

3.3 mile run this morning and my legs felt wonderful. Going 3.3 gave me an even 50 miles for the month of July and my log has shown some good progress.

 

* May, 31.8 miles, 12:56 min/mile, not all those miles were running

* June, 40.3 miles, 12:25 min/mile, all running

* July, 50 miles, 11:49 min/mile

 

Set a new PR in the 5K in July with 29:35. Had my longest run so far going 6.2 miles this last Saturday.

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chinku

Good Job Scratch, u are doing a wonderful.

 

I my self started going to gym regularly, although I am skinny I like to play Raquetball and some strength exercises (These are kind of joke... I dont try too hard though ;))....

 

Keep posting.... and by the way "Set a new PR in the 5K in July with 29:35. H" is amazing.... I cant even think of it that fast....

 

U :rock: :rock: :rock:

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Scratch

Keep posting.... and by the way "Set a new PR in the 5K in July with 29:35. H" is amazing.... I cant even think of it that fast....

 

 

I'm slow compared to people who have been running regularly. :) But I was rather happy when I broke the half-hour mark. I think probably most everyone given some time and effort would be able to run 5 kilometers in under 30 minutes. It's a great feeling to do it.

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chinku
I'm slow compared to people who have been running regularly. :) But I was rather happy when I broke the half-hour mark. I think probably most everyone given some time and effort would be able to run 5 kilometers in under 30 minutes. It's a great feeling to do it.

 

May be its not that Hard, but when I was regularly jogging for a month and so, I used to do the 5K in an Hour (52 min).

 

So, its a good effort I should say.

 

Cheers :beerglass

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Scratch

Went out for 3.1 miles this morning. Humidity is awful right now. It's supposed to stay hot and humid too. Argh.

 

I remember looking at my log and figuring out that with this morning's run, I've now run over the last 100 miles without any walking breaks. When I first started running again on April 21st, I mixed in some running into the walks and gradually transitioned over to all running after May 20th.

 

My easy running pace is now about the same pace as the time it took me to complete a 5K, 35:37, on May 20th, because I ran that 3.1 this morning in 35:31.

 

That improvement in pace has occurred with most all of my training runs done at easy conversational pace. People often think of running as something that's painful and hard to do, but by and large the bulk of training runs should be done at a comfortable pace.

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HelenM
My easy running pace is now about the same pace as the time it took me to complete a 5K, 35:37, on May 20th, because I ran that 3.1 this morning in 35:31.

 

And if you run a 5km race now you'd probably be a minute or 2 faster. Well done

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Scratch
And if you run a 5km race now you'd probably be a minute or 2 faster. Well done

I estimate right now if I could go out and run a 5K full tilt, I could probably get somewhere between 28 and 29 minutes. Of course, there's always some variation depending on how the body feels and weather conditions, I ran that last 5K in nearly ideal conditions for July, and my body and legs were well rested.

 

Right now though, I don't have any 5Ks planned for until mid-September, when there'll actually be one about 1.5 miles from where I live -- perfect for me to run there as a warm up, run the race and then jog home for a bit of recovery, especially since my mileage by then will certainly allow for about 6 miles of running with half of those being hard miles run in a 5K.

 

I hope to use that 5K to again check my progression and my projections for pace and effort I'll be capable of come November 18th. Also, I hope to find a 10K that I might race in October.

 

I suppose if there's one thing that I've realized from all this is that patience can especially be a virtue regarding something like this. When I started up again running, I had some considerations of whether I should aim to run my first half-marathon in September at the Philadelphia Distance Run or hold off until November. I made my decision to go with November because I realized along with it being safer to give myself 7 months to get ready (more gradual building of miles and more frequent recovery weeks), I was going to enjoy all of my running a lot more by taking my time.

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Scratch

Dewpoint of 69 degrees today for a shortish long run of 4.6 miles. Other than the discomfort from the humidity, the run felt quite good. It's been an excellent recovery week, every third week I try to cut the miles back down a little bit below what I've run two weeks prior. Two weeks ago I ran 12.6 miles, with today's run I put in 11 miles for the week. Recovery weeks are great ways to give the legs a chance to fully heal from all the microtrauma that happens with exercise.

 

There are still many miles to go, but the progress is steady and I love the way it's making my legs feel.

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Scratch

After two days of rest and an easy week, it was time again to put a little more stress on the legs this morning. It wasn't helped by heat and humidity resulting in a dewpoint of 71-72 degrees, but I got out there to do a tempo run. I started off running easy for 10 minutes, then ran comfortably hard for the next 25 minutes and then dropped back into an easy recovery pace for the last 10 to 11 minutes to get back home.

 

Whole lotta sweat. I sure hope cooler weather gets back into the region. But now I'm all set up for an short easy run on Thursday morning and have my legs ready to go for my longest run yet on Saturday morning.

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Scratch

Ran 2.75 miles this morning, kept it very easy with an average heart rate of 134 bpm. I wanted to make sure my legs are recovered from Tuesday's tempo run and that I'll be ready to extend my long run to halfway or slightly beyond halfway to half-marathon distance on Saturday.

 

Still wish this heat and humidity would vamoose. Dewpoint was 70 degrees down a bit from Tuesday, but it still feels awful.

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Scratch

It was time again to go and run a bit longer distance, ran 6.7 miles today in 1:21:39, ran the first half of it at a slow pace in 41:52, then picked it up during the second half and did that in 39:47. It felt good to finish it up strongly like that.

 

A short recovery jog for tomorrow, then next week I'll try to run a little more than 17 miles with the long run reaching 7 miles or slightly more.

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