It’s About To Go Down

I was surprised by a really high blood sugar (280 mg/dl) at lunch today after an awesome afternoon on the basketball court. I took what I needed for my meal, and to correct for the high, and knew I’d have to keep an eye on things for the next couple of hours.

Back at home, and only about an hour after eating, I’m surprised to see 121 mg/dl and dropping on my CGM. Slightly worried, and wondering if my CGM is confused I do a BG test.

As soon as I see the number (110 mg/dl) I hear Kevin Hart in my head.

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Still full from lunch, I scarfed down a bowl of cereal and a cosmic brownie. I’m now coasting at 95 mg/dl and holding steady.

Why did I freak out with such a “perfect” blood sugar? 121 mg/dl is great, right? So is 110 mg/dl, and 95 mg/dl, right?

It all depends.

Those numbers are NOT at all great when I have a large lunch bolus on board that’s just beginning to hit its peak (well, maybe if I had pre-bolused or did something else fancy, it would be different).

When I see a number like that so soon after a meal it means there is a nasty low blood sugar right around the corner and I need to take action right now.

It’s another great story about how a “great” number can mean so many different things depending on the situation.

And here’s more Kevin Hart because he makes me laugh. Caution: Just a¬†little bit of language here. If you’re the sensitive type, just skip it.

 

I Ran a Half – Check Out my Medal!

Must be early in the race if I'm still almost smiling...

Smile and pretend you’re fine ūüôā

After finishing an 8k with Insulindependence last fall I talked myself into completing a half marathon in Seattle and committed to doing so on live internet radio (it’s also recorded, so I couldn’t pretend it didn’t happen).

I trained, and trained, and trained, and was feeling good until about three weeks before the race when I hurt myself (turns out I didn’t pay enough attention to proper running form early in my training).

I tried to work through it, I tried to rest it, I tried pretty much everything except going to the doctor until I couldn’t take it anymore (two days before leaving for ADA, 11 days before racing). Diagnosis? Proximal hamstring tendinopathy.

Injured

That’s a fancy way of saying a high hamstring injury. Treatment? Acute physical therapy, with no hope for recovery or relief in time for the race. But the doctor was so cool about it.

“Of course – run the race. You have to run the race, we’ll rehab you afterward.”

I didn’t talk much about the injury online beforehand, but I was totally freaking out. It totally threw off my training plan, which, in turn, really shook my mental confidence for completing the event.

It’s one thing to push yourself hard through an event you know you’ve trained properly for. It’s something completely different to do an event when you know you haven’t.

Holy mind games, Batman.

Enjoy the Experience

But I was all in. I was going to do the race and just take my time. Slow down if I hurt, walk if necessary, and just take in the experience. And that’s exactly what I did.

I enjoyed Seattle, had some wonderful quality time with Dana Lewis & Scott Leibrand (#DIYPS), saw some old friends (hi Ghosn’s!) and met some new ones (hey Terri & David!). Oh yeah, we raised some money for the American Diabetes Association along the way, which is pretty great, too. Thank you, all, for helping make that happen.

I earned a half marathon medal, and it’s something I’m very proud of. I wore it all the way home and was congratulated a few different times. That felt pretty awesome. And you can bet your green, orange, and yellow bracelets that I’ll be wearing that medal at Friends for Life next week, too.

Why? Because if I can do this then you can set a goal and do it, too.

Picture of me with my finisher medal after the race

Check out my medal, yo!


Minneapolis ADA Tour de Cure Champions! Let’s Roll!

Riding!

The Tour de Cure is FUN!

QUICK! What are you doing on Friday night?!

If you’re in the Minneapolis area and are coming to the Tour de Cure Champions VIP Dinner – I’ll see you there!

I’m honored to be the keynote speaker for the Champions to STOP Diabetes VIP Dinner on the night before the big ride, and I couldn’t be more excited!

You are an incredible inspiration to me, and to think that I’ll be up front trying to inspire you is humbling. But don’t worry! I’ve got some great stuff ready for you!

We’ll have some fun, get some food, and get all charged up and ready to roll on Saturday morning!

“Go Red Rider!”

This is Doug

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Douglas Scalia, official badass, five times over

This is my friend Doug. He’s pretty cool. He has type 1 diabetes, just like me. ūüôā

He decided he was going to run a marathon. In February of 2011, he couldn’t run 0.25 miles, and in October of 2011 he completed the Twin Cities Marathon.

He’s done four more since then.

Doug (and a handful of others) spoke at a local JDRF Adults with Type One group tonight about exercising with diabetes, and it was really great.

But my favorite part of the whole evening was looking over to see Doug wearing all five of his marathon medals.

I Support: Dr. Korey Hood – Boston Marathon for JDRF

Dr. Korey Hood is one of my favorite people. He training to run the 2014 Boston Marathon (!!) with Team JDRF on April 21st, and could use some help.

I love Korey because he’s a great guy, and he has dedicated his life to helping us with the hardest part of living with diabetes – the part that happens between our ears.

As a practicing staff psychologist and associate professor at UCSF’s Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes, his work today is all about helping with kids with diabetes and their families to improve outcomes and overall quality of life.

His diagnosis story fascinates me. Korey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young adult. He was in graduate school at the time, studying for his Ph.D. in clinical and health psychology and had just decided to work in diabetes.

I have the pleasure and honor of working with Korey regularly as faculty at CWD’s Friends for Life conferences and have grown tremendously as a result of knowing him. He’s been known to make Kerri cry on sight, and I once saw him with an infusion set in his bicep. Totally badass.

Let’s see if we can kick his fundraising up a notch¬†(and spread the word).

 

 

Running 8k in Philly – AWESOME!

I had two thoughts when I received the invite to run an 8k race and speak at the Insulindependence Philadelphia Weekend:

  1. Cool!
  2. Holy crap! 8k? I better start training!

8k is just about 5 miles. Well outside of my comfort zone, but not so far outside that it felt unachievable. The Insulindependence group provided a training plan that looked realistic, and I started following it – to the letter – on day 1 of week 1.

The Training Plan

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Run 20 minutes. Yikes. I haven’t done that for over a decade. I play basketball, and do some biking, and have experimented with some running (run 2 mins, walk 1, run 2, etc), but 20 minutes straight? Not going to be fun, but let’s go.

I couldn’t show up in Philadelphia and not be able to do this. So I took it slow and steady and worked through it. I thought back to my cycling training in 2012 and knew I could do it if I stuck with the plan.

It took about three weeks before the running felt different. It felt … not easy, but not as hard. I noticed a difference, and it felt good to notice that difference. It was encouraging and motivating.

Kick It Up a Notch

I was still playing basketball – my favorite form of recreation – but I was doing the running just whenever it fit in. After basketball, in the evenings, sometimes instead of basketball. Just whenever. One Saturday I did my running right before playing basketball in order to hoop with my buddies and enjoy lunch with them afterward.

It was a complete disaster. I shot air-ball after air-ball. I felt horrible, was exhausted, and my basketball game was a train wreck.

One of my buddies coaches high school varsity basketball.  He said that I should expect to feel terrible for about three weeks, but if I could stick with it, if I could tolerate the terrible and continue to run before playing, that I would feel like superman on the court before too long.

So I started to be very intentional about my running. I’d get to the YMCA early and hit the treadmill before basketball. If I was running late, I wouldn’t let myself play basketball until I got my running homework done first. More than once it meant that I completely missed basketball – I was on the treadmill while the guys were out there hooping it up, only to be done playing ball by the time I was done running.

But I was starting to notice a difference, and it felt good to notice that difference.

It was encouraging and motivating.

Feeling Good

As time went on, I started feeling better and better. Balancing my blood sugars was still tricky, but I figured that’s to be expected when adding a big variable into the mix. Part of investing time in training with exercise and diabetes is preparing physically, part is experimenting and learning about blood sugar behavior during the activity, and part is building the mental confidence. Again, I leaned on my experience with the cycling training in 2012 to know that this process isn’t necessarily smooth but is critically important.

As race weekend approached, I was feeling so good on the basketball court that I knew I was going to continue running after the race.

Having Fun on Race Day

Running at the gym before basketball and running outside on race day are two very different things. But this was a very fun weekend for me and I had worked hard. I was ready.

Gary giving Scott a verbal tour of downtown Philly while Scott focuses on breathing...

Gary giving Scott a verbal tour of downtown Philly while Scott focuses on breathing…

I had the great pleasure of Gary Scheiner and his son running with me for the whole race, and they gave me an awesome tour of the city as we ran. We even got to high-five Mayor Nutter at the finish line!

Gary, Ben, & Scott giving Philly Mayor Nutter a high-five at the finish line.

Gary, Ben, & Scott giving Philly Mayor Nutter a high-five at the finish line.

Official finish time? 53:49 pace of 10:50/mile.

How Awesome You Are

On Saturday afternoon, I had the privilege of giving a short presentation during the Northeast Symposium on Diabetes and Exercise. It was like a fancy rock concert where I got to open up for Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, Anna Floreen, and Dr. Matt Corcoran, MD, CDE.

The goal of my talk was to remind everyone what an amazing job they do with the tools they have to manage their diabetes and to be proud of that!

Seriously, the cards are stacked against us in many ways, yet we all find a way to not only make it through a day in one piece, but to do a bunch of amazing things on top of it all.

We kick so much ass.

Inspired

I spent Sunday spectating the Philadelphia Marathon and Half-Marathon. I woke early to show support for my Insulindependence brothers and sisters who were running ¬†(seriously, y’all, we were out there at 5:45 am…).¬†¬†I spent the rest of the day hanging out with Amrie, taking in the marathon experience, and seeing some of downtown Philly before heading home later that afternoon.

I had never spectated a marathon before, but it was an absolute blast. But even better than that was being there to be inspired by some incredible people with diabetes who I am proud to know and call friends. I watched Bill King finish his 21st marathon, I saw Stephen Meo grit out a hard fought finish, I celebrated a great half-marathon finish from Harry Thompson, just to name a few. I even got to meet The Diabetic Camper (and runner (and streaker)) himself, Dave!

And then there’s Danielle. Her guts. Her attitude. Her drive. And her medal.

Scott Johnson supports Danielle Panetta after her half marathon! Danielle tells Scott of her half marathon medal, "You want this!"

Scott Johnson supports Danielle Panetta after her half marathon! Danielle tells Scott of her half marathon medal, “You want this!”

Yeah. She’s right. I do want that. But more importantly, because of her example, and people like her, I think I can do it. Which is encouraging and motivating.

Seattle – Here I Come!

Four short days after returning from Philadelphia I was doing a live recording of DSMA Live with Cherise Shockley and George Simmons, with our guest Stephen Shaul. I was still riding high off the Philly trip and committed, live on the internet (recorded internet, at that), to running 2 more 8k’s and 1 half-marathon in 2014.

Long story short? I’m running the Rock n’Roll Half-Marathon¬†in Seattle on June 21st with Dana M. Lewis, Cherise, and hopefully a few more who are on the fence.

Motivated by Basketball

This all comes back to the basketball.

It’s what I enjoy.

And the running I’ve been doing has been making the basketball more enjoyable. I feel so good out there that I can’t help but keep going with this running stuff.

I’m motivated to run by how I feel when I play basketball.

That is encouraging and motivating.

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Diabetes Won’t Stop Me

I’m a big fan of the folks at Jerry the Bear, and my love and support for Kim and her work is¬†almost as true and strong as my love for Diet Coke. When they came up with this idea, I couldn’t wait to add my contribution!

I can’t wait to see the other videos and pictures.

The rest of my World Diabetes Day is packed with fun activities as well!

As this post is published, I’ll be arriving at the gym to complete my last scheduled training run for the Insulindependence Philadelphia Weekend. I’m really proud of myself for following this training plan. I’ve completed every single assignment without fail except for falling 5 minutes short on one run because of a low blood sugar. I’m writing that one off as close enough.

After completing my 30-minute run (and my first #BigBlueTest of the day) I’m hoping to enjoy some basketball (and another #BigBlueTest or two). I can’t say enough about how much better I feel on the basketball court because of the running I’ve been doing. That alone is enough motivation to keep me running for at least 30 minutes a day a few times each week.

Once I get home I’ll be joining the Diabetes Hands Foundation staff for an action packed World Diabetes Day Living Room Workout (and another #BigBlueTest) LIVE on TuDiabetes.org! Check it out!

 

Making it Available – Thank You Insulindependence!

Were you interested in the 14th North American Conference in Diabetes and Exercise that took place in August but couldn’t afford the hundreds of dollars for travel, lodging, registration, and accompanying expenses? I totally feel you, and so do the incredibly generous Corporate Members of Insulindependence and friends at Brown Hound Media. The entire conference, including the Greatest Award Show in Diabetes, is online for you to view completely free.

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For so many people living with diabetes, getting to events like this is just plain out of reach financially or logistically. I am so happy that Insulindependence has made all of this available to everybody. Please do yourself a favor and take advantage of this great resource.

Thank you to all of the sponsors and corporate partners who made this possible – I can’t say enough how much this means to the diabetes community.

Insulindependence Corporate Members

 

Platinum Members

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Silver Members

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Join Me in Philly?

In other news, I have been running, running, running in preparation for the Insulindependence Philadelphia Weekend. To kick things up a notch, I’ve been doing my running homework before playing basketball. The first few weeks were really rough. I shot more air-balls than ever before, my stamina was super sketchy, and my defense looked more like “efense” (get it? no “d”?).

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But I knew that sticking with it would pay big dividends, and I’ve recently turned the corner. I’m starting to feel¬†really¬†good on the basketball court. So much so that I might even keep running a few times a week before basketball after this Philly race is done. I’m starting to hear some really crazy thoughts in my head while I’m on the court:

I can outrun this dude.” & “I have more stamina than this guy.” & “I can wear him down.

I can’t even describe how empowering it is to hear those things in my head while I’m out there. I’ve earned them by investing a little time in running.

Let’s not get too excited – we’re still talking lunchtime ball at the local YMCA. I’m not putting in big minutes at any intense leagues or anything, but it’s still progress, and progress feels good.

What I haven’t figured out yet is my blood sugar management with this new variable in the mix (running before basketball). It always takes a lot of time, a lot of experimentation, and a lot of good record keeping whenever I add something new into my diabetes and exercise routine, but I’m confident that I’ll get it nailed down before too long.

I still don’t¬†like running – but I do like how I feel on the basketball court because of running, and that’s good enough for me.

Slipstream in the US! Oh Yeah Baby!

It’s my honor (or “honour” as they might say up north… is that a bad Canadian joke?) to present a guest post by Jen Hansen¬†from Connected in Motion!

What is the special occasion? Slipstream is coming to the United States, October 25-27, 2013! I’m so excited!


In 2009, I attended my very first Slipstream event. In fact, it was the very first Slipstream event. Hosted by Connected in Motion, a Canadian-based Charity focused on creating community for adults with Type 1 diabetes and using physical activity and outdoor adventure as a forum, Slipstream weekends have become a staple in my own sanity as a Type 1. It is the place where I can totally relax where having diabetes is both the focus and the very last thing you are thinking about. It is a second home, no matter where the geographical location. It brings together a community that somehow becomes instantly tight-knit, caring and supportive a community that understands all of those ‚Äėlittle things‚Äô that can really get to you as a Type 1.

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The Slipstream is more than just a weekend event it is the very philosophy upon which Connected in Motion and the Type 1 community here in Canada has been built upon.

Connected in Motion creates a ‚Äėslipstream‚Äô for people living with diabetes.

slip‚ÄĘstream\slip-strńďm\ noun:

  1. the airstream generating reduced air pressure and forward suction directly behind a rapidly moving person with diabetes
  2. to ride in the slipstream of a fast-moving person with diabetes
  3. the momentum that fuels Connected in Motion

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Something incredibly unique about Slipstreams is that they are formed by those who ride along in it. Although the CIM Team has been a driving force of the Slipstream, guiding it as its momentum builds, one of the coolest things to see has been the power it can generate and the energy it builds through the community who chose to make it their own. Each Slipstream forms its own unique culture and begins to take its own direction as it grows and that is something that, as we have seen, knows no borders.

The CIM Team, in partnership with Riding on Insulin and with the support of Insulindependence, are excited to bring the energy of the Slipstream to the Pacific Northwest in October. This will be the first time that the Slipstream has traveled outside of Canada and we are so excited to see where it will take us in the future.

If you are an adult (18+) and living with Type 1 diabetes, I would like to formally invite you to join the Slipstream at YMCA Camp Orkila, just north of Seattle, October 25 Р27, 2013. We will have the chance to connect with one another, share our experiences, challenges and success stories, and pick up a tip or two for living a life with Type 1, without limits. All the while experiencing the outdoor adventures that the facility has to offer, including testing the waters sea kayaking, pushing our limits on the challenges course, and enjoying the beautiful west coast hiking trails.  For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

In the meantime, keep in touch with the CIM Facebook Page or Twitter, and check out some previous Slipstream experiences on our YouTube Channel.

See you in the Slipstream!


Thank you, Jen! You are awesome, as is the whole Connected in Motion crew, and all of you dedicated Slipstream enthusiasts! I love that these are coming to the US, and I love that these groups are collaborating to make it happen.

See also: Guest Post: See You in the Slipstream! at SixUntilMe

1 Mile for Diabetes

While in San Diego for the Insulindependence event I met Doug Masiuk (@1RunAmerica) in person. I had heard of him, something about a crazy guy with type 1 diabetes who ran across the United States last year.  He and I had chatted via Twitter a time or two, but meeting him in person was a real thrill.

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He told me about a project he’s been working on, and I’d like to do my part to help spread the word.

Doug needs all the help he can get with this, both for this year, and for upcoming years. He’s got a lot of people excited about supporting this, and a lot more who are interested in joining in.

If you have some time and energy and are interested in helping Doug coordinate something in your local area, he would love to hear from you.

If you don’t have any more time and energy than it takes to get out and run one mile that weekend (10/25-10/27), he would¬†love to hear from you (or not – just go run, he’s happy with that, too).

If you can’t run one mile but want to get out and walk, he would¬†love¬†to hear from you.

Bottom line? He just wants people to get out and get moving, and to do it because they believe in a good cause.

Maybe you have a bit of time and can help keep his website up to date, or have some ideas how he can better track participants without doing a donation based system? He’s all ears. The guy is a one-man machine doing incredible things by shoe-stringing it together so far. ¬†I’d love to see what he could do with some help and a budget.

If nothing else, maybe you can help spread the word. That often helps more than you know.