This past Saturday, Erik and I ran our very first 5K race! Earlier this spring, I scoured the Internet to find the perfect race and decided on the NYC Runs Spring Fling 5K on Roosevelt Island, which is an island located in the East River. It’s smack dab between Manhattan and Queens, so you have views of both from the island. It’s very cool! I have been running fairly regularly for the past few months, but more so since in the beginning of the year. My fastest 3 mile run so far was 40:18 so I really wanted to run my first official 5K in under 40 minutes!
The night before the race was, as you can imagine, not very restful. But it wasn’t actually from excitement. On Friday, we attended our first Christian seder, and our hosts had some delicious matzo ball soup and raspberry cheesecake for dessert. My blood sugar skyrocketed to 344 mg/dl which woke me up at 5 a.m. (because I had to pee). Yikes. I bolused and headed back to bed, but I had a hard time falling back asleep, which is typical for when I’m feeling yucky from a high blood sugar.
The alarm finally went off at 7 a.m. and my blood sugar was 299 mg/dl. Not what I was hoping for after two hours. Erik and I had scrambled eggs and a Larabar for breakfast, along with a big glass of water. I bolused normally for my meal, but I didn’t take any insulin for the protein as I normally would. I also corrected for the 299 mg/dl as usual. I have found that for the most part, I manage my diabetes while exercising by consuming extra carbs, and not by manipulating insulin. I planned to monitor and drink juice or eat a snack later if I needed to.
We finally arrived on Roosevelt Island at around 8:45 a.m., with the race set to start at 9 a.m. Just before checking my bag, I tested again and I was down to 210 mg/dl. That was a good number to start with and I didn’t have that much insulin left on board. In my spibelt I had a Gu if I needed it while running, but I suspected I would be fine.
Erik and I do not run at the same pace. He is much faster than me. So my first race was basically alone. I didn’t listen to music or my usual podcasts, so it was a bit of a challenge, but like most people say, you do get swept up in the noise and scenes around you. I enjoyed people-watching the other runners and of course I had a glorious view of Manhattan for the majority of the run.
Through sheer force of will, I managed to run the entire length of the 5K, except for a very short water break about halfway through. It was definitely a challenge for my muscles, but I felt good. I didn’t feel at any point that my blood sugar was tanking. Although I’m more or less hypo-unaware while exercising, I have developed my own “sense” for my blood sugar to make up for the lack of traditional symptoms. Normally it’s an intense fatigue that comes on very suddenly, and I didn’t have any of that.
Not having any sense of time or distance meant the run felt a little on the long side. I had no idea how far I’d gone or how much longer I had. Eventually I could see Erik waving in the distance. My final time, which we didn’t receive until a couple hours later, was 39:52. Woohoo! I did it!
We retrieved our bags and I check my blood sugar. I rang in at 158 mg/dl! Totally thrilled about that. I took my normal Lantus dose as well. After that, Erik and I went off to get lunch and basked in the glory of finishing our first 5K. My blood sugars stayed normal the rest of the day.
I already have a second 5K lined up as well! I’ll be running The Stride 5K in a couple of weeks, which benefits a local diabetes center. My Junior League chapter are sponsors, so it’s a win-win. I’m excited to see if I improve!
And as if all this wasn’t good enough, I have even more awesome news! Yesterday I had an endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) appointment and I found out that my A1C (the measure of my average BG) dropped a full percent! Just to put this into context for you, A1Cs are measured by the tenth of a percent. So dropping a full percent is quite significant. I’m not sure I’ve ever dropped more than half a percent between appointments, so I could hardly believe it dropped as much as it did. Although I’m not in the 6s yet (my diabetes goal for the year), I am very close right now. I recently ordered a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to keep even better tabs on my blood sugars throughout the day, so I have no doubt that I will be in the 6s by my next appointment later this summer.