I got low on my morning run today. I’ve been running for how many years? 23 years? Thankfully it was at the end of my run and I could just tell; my energy dropped and I couldn’t focus on any one thought. I was glad it happened today, when I was alone, because Will has been riding his bike with me while I run and I don’t want him to see me acting funny. I still haven’t figure out how to talk to the boys about diabetes so it’s definitely a topic I will research for my book! In the end I made it home fine, drank some OJ and was glad to have run outside on this beautiful morning instead of stuck on the treadmill at the gym!
What I want to talk about is diabetes and exercise: when I was diagnosed at 14 years old, my first thought was great, that means I won’t have to play sports anymore. My pediatrician quickly corrected me, explaining that exercise was actually very important for diabetics. (disappointing news for my 14 year old self who would have preferred sitting on the bench and resting to running around on the field, off the bench!)
So I began my love affair with running. I ran through the cold woods of NH to the rocky mountains of Colorado to the rivers and salt marshes and heat of South Carolina. After college, I began running in races and trained for and completed a marathon! (I still am amazed.) I ran 4, then 10, then 15, and finally 26.2 miles. I remember when 3 miles was a “rest” day and now, at 36 years old with my 2 boys, 3 miles is about what I do every morning. And other than days when I am high or low, it still feels great.
Here is what I’ve learned:
1) Run, or walk or ride your bike with candy ( a few pieces of starbursts, or a rolled up dollar in your sock)
2) Test your blood sugar before you go.
3) Try to eat first and then exercise an hour or so after, enough time for the food and insulin to stabilize in your system.
4) Eat a combination of carbs and protein to avoid a spike and/or drop in blood sugar levels. Ex. toast with peanut butter.
5) Exercise with a friend. Even though I didn’t want Will to see me get low, in the future, he could carry candy for me as he rides his bike while I run.