Ah, Instagram abounds with diabetics who perform superhuman feats of athleticism while battling their blood sugar levels at the same time.
Not me. I’m here as your bog-standard ordinary gel whose only prize ever will be persistence. Did you note I got a massive disclaimer in there before going on to write about my latest race?! I like to make sure I’ve lowered the audience’s expectations before I start.
Anyhoos, for those of you still reading, here it is. On Sunday, I ran another 10k in preparation for the BIG ONE (the half-marathon) next month. Conditions were much more promising than the last time. Back in June, Scotland experienced an unprecedented spell of warm weather. Plus, that course was hilly. And I woke up that morning with a blood glucose reading of 13.1.
In theory, the Paisley 10k should have heralded a vast improvement. I’ve been running for longer, the back-to-usual Scottish summer conditions (dreich, grey and cool) were present, and the course is flatter.
Still sensing that disclaimer?
Bah, humbug dear readers. I added three minutes to my previous time. Not only that, the online system was cruel enough to remember I took part in the Paisley 10k ten years ago when I achieved my personal best. There it was, my 2008 time taunting me with its nine minutes faster brilliance.
For those who want the numbers, I awoke on Sunday morning with a blood sugar of 8.5 (I’d knocked one unit off my basal rate the night before). Half an hour before the race, I was 8.1. I ate half a Hike bar before starting (10-15g carbs) and I finished the race at 11.1, possibly because I put on a sprint finish. Nothing like pretending your race pace is much faster than it really is.
I didn’t take insulin afterwards, ate the second half of the Hike bar and went off for a session in the sauna. An hour later, my blood sugar level was 4.9. A massive portion of battered fish and mushy peas later (I know, NOT low-carb), further low blood sugars and indigestion kicked in*… 3.3 one hour after the meal, 5.8 two and half hours later.
Lessons to take—eat more. Try something other than a Hike bar. Drop the daytime basal injection rate. Keep practising. Keep experimenting. Expect fluctuations and weirdness.
All shapes and sizes
Mass running events are special though. I’d recommend everyone takes part in at least one if they are able to—and these days there are loads of 5ks and even 3ks you can do. You see all shapes, sizes and abilities (and the two former don’t predict the latter), the crowds cheer you like a champ and even a slowcoach like me will overtake enough people to feel gratified**. The runners’ high exists.
Now, time to take off my medal. It is two days later after all.
Low carb diets ‘could shorten your life’
And now for something completely different… Last week, headline news suggested low-carb diets were dangerous—more likely to lead to an earlier death.
As it’s a rare week, some nutritional or lifestyle study doesn’t hit the news, I sighed. “Oh, whatever.”
I don’t have the skills or knowledge to interpret the data, but two websites I trust have commented on the studies (and more importantly, the way they were reported). You can read them here:
*Was worth it.
**One of whom wore a tee shirt saying Vegan Runners. Just sayin’.