The Ottawa half-marathon countdown is on! Plus a 38-second video for Connected in Motion

 

This time next week I’ll be getting ready to head to Ottawa! The time has really flown by.

 

 

My left calf is hit and miss so we will just see! Some days, ultra pain, others, nothing at all. I’ll leave it up to the running gods. Either way I will cross the finish line. I’ll crawl if I have to!

Click below to read previous posts on my half-marathon:

My first Ottawa half-marathon training starts tomorrow

Double decker workouts. Half-marathon training update + Toronto’s Nike Training Club

 

I know I’ve put in the time and trained hard, so I’m hoping to improve my time from my first half-marathon. Out of everything though, what I’m looking forward to most is hanging out with some great people. Even if the run doesn’t turn out well, I will remember this…

My Ottawa half-marathon is to raise funds for an organization close to my heart. A big thank you to everyone who has donated! So many people have been so generous.

There are many of you whom I have never met and know me through social media. I cannot tell you how honoured I am that you have chosen to take your hard-earned money and give it to Connected in Motion through my fundraising campaign. Donations have come from the UK, USA, and all over Canada. A more detailed post on all who donated after the race!

Aside from Shawn Shepheard, I have never met any of these people in person. I hope that will change one day.

 

I hope to provide you with timely updates from Ottawa. In fact, I am planning to tweet throughout my run! We will be tweeting with the hashtag #TeamCIM so look out for it!

Again, so much gratitude to those who have donated. Every bit helps and I know the money will go a long way to provide vital programming. I have found confidence, education, friendship and peace because I belong to Connected in Motion.

If you’re interested in donating, please click here.

 

© t1dactiveliving.com All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Double-decker workouts. Half-marathon training update + Toronto’s Nike Training Club

How do you know when you’ve really reached your pain threshold?

With type 1 diabetes, that guessing game gets extra tricky for me. Is this shaking related to my blood glucose levels or is it because I’m trying really hard?

My left calf pain is alive and well. Sometimes I choose to run through it, other times I pull back and walk. The pain often subsides (or I go numb to it, not sure which one) but that’s now sitting at 4km-5km in. That’s one long warm-up. Epsom salt baths, tape, foam roller, stretching, I’m doing it all.

I had one long run (an 18km long slow distance run aka. LSD) where I had no calf pain and it felt SO GOOD. Then yesterday it was really ugly where I had trouble putting one foot in front of the other. Pain threshold-what are you trying to tell me? Really I throw my hands up to the running gods.

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to balance my other activities: cycling, swimming, weights, NTC app workouts, yoga. They’ve definitely decreased as the mileage has increased but overall, I think the variety has kept me strong and happy!

Blood glucose levels have been MUCH better. Long runs are always with a hydration pack. I slowly sip eLoad and that seems to be just the trick. I still get lows, but it’s not nearly as bad as this past winter. Although I haven’t gotten faster, I find dealing with less lows a big success. Less lows=less pain threshold guessing.

Tag team back again

This past week I also managed to get back into my free Nike Training Club classes at the Academy of Lions. Spots go quickly, so I was lucky to reserve 3 for the month.

 

That meant double-decker workouts. NTC class followed by my half marathon scheduled training runs.

 

 

As someone who works out solo, joining a class again made me see all the benefits of group workouts. It’s amazing how much longer I can hold a plank when my fellow classmates are counting on me.

Double-decker workouts definitely challenged me. It also gave me an indication of my pain threshold. I realize now I’m nowhere near hitting it when I’m exercising alone. I can push further. Now that I know that, I’ve got to test the limits and work harder.

NTC trainer Paluna Santamaria had me in such a state, drinking my post-workout coffee hurt. Turning the wheel of the car hurt. Thank you Paluna!

L-R: Fellow classmate Nerissa, NTC Trainer Paluna Santamaria & I

I never thought I could pull off back to back workouts like this. It takes me back to that Nelson Mandela quote I saw at hot yoga.

Thrilled with the progress, appreciative of the process, and so lucky to be able to move in whatever way I choose.

Beyond blessed.

 

Up this week:

What strangers don’t know they do-how two women I’ve spent less than 2 hours with have helped me in my d-journey

My first outdoor NTC workout & getting more comfortable talking about t1d publicly

 

 

 

My first virtual race and it includes a tutu medal!

I’m putting on my tutu and doing my first virtual race!

Full Medal Runs hosts virtual races in support of charity and I’m lacing up for a great organization called Girls On The Run.

It’s the same charity that Monika Allen supports through her tutu business called Glam Runner. The brain cancer patient was thrust in the spotlight after being mocked for wearing a tutu during a race in Self Magazine. She was going through chemo treatment at the time and dressed up to motivate herself.

Monika’s photo was published under a section called the “BS Meter”. The popular magazine received a flurry of public backlash. Self has since apologized.

Read the original post on t1dactiveliving here

 

Photo from Full Medal Runs website

 

The virtual run has a great name: Don’t Mess With My Tutu! You can sign up for varying distances and complete it when it’s convenient. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can take part!

There are official bibs, medals (of different colours! I chose pink) and different race distances.

I’ll be doing a half marathon.

I love how Monika Allen has used the incident to further help a charity close to her heart. Now, so many people around the world have donated to Girls On The Run and others have joined in to support like Full Medal Runs.

She’s turned something negative into a big positive, all the while staying respectful and classy. What a great example!

So the question now is…you in?

Let me know if you are participating and I’ll include your photos and experiences in my follow-up post.

Rocking the tutu,

Jess

Trying my first continuous glucose monitor (CGM) this weekend! Come to me Dexcom!

On Sunday I will be hooked up to my very first continuous glucose monitor (CGM), the Dexcom by Animas.

As the time winds down, I’m starting to get antsy. I just want it on me already! My one week trial has come at the perfect time. I’ll be heading into week 2 of my half-marathon training. Here’s what the week will look like running-wise:

 

It will be interesting to see my bg’s during my short and long runs. Will it help me prevent lows? How will it feel on? So many unknowns.

You better believe I’ll be putting it to the test for every activity I love.

And although I’ll still be testing with my meter, it will be nice to see my levels on a screen all the time, all day…

 If the word “Errday” puzzles you, click here

for a week! Full report later.

Happy weekend all,

Jessie

Connected in Motion Ottawa half-marathon training starts TOMORROW!

Half training officially begins! But what have I been up to in the mean time? Here’s a quick 1 minute video:

After reviewing various programs, I’ve decided to go with the Nike Plus Coach program! Tres excited!

I chose this one because I like the app itself (moving from the Garmin 305) and the challenges I’ve already done with Nike + friends.

I missed the boat for the 12 week program start, but since I’ve been running consistently I’m going to suck it up and jump in with 8 weeks to go. Challenge accepted!

Ottawa Half-Marathon race day (May 25, 2014) goals:

  • finish strong & smiling
  • preventing lows to the best of my ability
  • significantly drop my time
  • have fun!

For my first half-marathon, Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, the goal was to finish.

I ran it with my dad and we came in at 2:39:10. It was his first and last half-marathon, so I was glad we could accomplish that together.

This race I will be going at my pace and running solo.

Goal: 2:15-2:20

I’m not sure what’s going on with my other health stuff plus my wonky honeymooning but I’m pushing through.

I’m running this half in support of Connected in Motion. If you’d like to donate and read more about why I’m supporting CIM, please click here.

Thank you to those who have already reached into their pockets. This one means a lot.

Getting pumped!

Jessie

Related reads:

My first half-marathon race report

Connected in Motion: my first meet-up, rock climbing 

 

 

 

 

Hitting the gym with Shawn Shepheard, author of the new book Life is Sweet

“Instead of our usual coffee meet-up, do you want to hit the gym instead?”

That was the question I asked Shawn Shepheard aka. Sugar Free Shawn earlier this month and as the photo above proves, he was game!

Shawn is a friend, international speaker, motivator and diabetes advocate. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of his new book, Life is Sweet.

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During the event a few of Shawn’s friends went up to speak, and I was so happy to hear stories about how he has motivated others to reach their fitness goals.

His book is a collection of life stories that range from funny to heartfelt.

Running his first marathon? It’s in there. This guy is a 3 time marathoner, 7 time half-marathoner and a 5km/10km race pro.

Fitness Q&A with Shawn Shepheard

What is your current workout routine?

I currently play hockey twice a week and hit the gym 3 or 4 times a week.

What have you found to be helpful when exercising and managing your bg levels?
It’s really important to test your blood before working out and adjust accordingly.  I also always have juice or Dex 4 with me.
What is your favourite way to workout?
Hockey, hockey, hockey 🙂
How do you stay motivated to keep up your fitness routine?
I know I always feel better on days that I am exercising.
Do you have any fitness goals? 
Although I am active, I am nowhere near where I want to be with my health right now.  I am committed to making better choices with diet and exercise everyday and have a goal of dropping 50 pounds over the next 6 months.

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Congrats Shawn on a successful book launch. You have quickly become such a great friend and supporter of mine. I’ve been very blessed to have met so many wonderful people along this journey, you being one of them.

Thanks for sharing your fitness story with us and see you at the gym!

J

2013 Year in review fitness goals. Did I meet them? Plus my promise for 2014.

I had three fitness goals for 2013: complete two mini triathlons and my first half-marathon.

It was pretty ugly at times, and there were moments where I wanted to throw in the towel (and toss my meter into the lake and never look back), but I pushed through and got it done.

Being able to do these events during my first year and some after diagnosis mean more to me than my university degree or any promotion I’ve gotten too.

 

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Why? Because the past few years have been the toughest of my life thus far.

I found out about multiple health challenges and with that came the stress, the worry and the realization of how precious life is. It also meant coming to terms with how I lived my life up to this point. It was and is really, really tough.

It was a smack in the face about every aspect of my life.

A quarter life crisis on steroids.

After all the hospital visits and endless doctors appointments, it seemed as though the universe was saying that my body was simply faulty.

As things got worse, I started to look at training differently. A gym session wasn’t just a time to get sweaty and have fun, it was a part of my day where I felt in control and in charge. Getting stronger and faster showed me how powerful I was. And instead of my body being ugly and riddled with defects, I saw how beautiful I could make it. I could turn myself into a well oiled machine and the things I did this year, blew me away.

I completed all my goals by the fall, so I decided to tackle Runner’s World magazine’s Run Streak Challenge. Run 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. I haven’t missed a day, and this morning, I silenced my doubts about hitting my 9 minute/mile goal with this:

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So 2014, I will start with the Inches Challenge at my gym. It’s time to devote myself even more. I’m ready.

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And with Nike’s #WeRun2014 challenge. 100 miles in the first month of the year.

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The distance seems scary, but so are a lot of other things. I can do it. And YOU can do whatever you set your mind to. If there’s anything I learned this year, it’s that fear can rob you of your dreams and the life you want to live. So proclaim your fitness goals for next year.

2014: 

  • #WeRun2014
  • Complete my gym’s inches challenge
  • Complete the Ottawa half-marathon
  • Complete 150km MS Bike ride (my first long distance ride)
  • Get over fear of lake swimming (so I can do more triathlons)
  • Volunteer more at events/programs that promote physical activity

I’ll be here, writing next year around this time, about how I accomplished the above. And you will too with your goals.

In the spirit of hashtags…

#letsdothis

J

 

 

 

My ScotiaBank Waterfront Toronto Half-Marathon Race Report

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You: This entry looks long. What is it really about?

Me: This is a race report, summarizing my training, but more importantly focusing on actual race day. It explains what I learned, what went wrong, and what I should certainly do again. It’s meant to be a personal guide so my next race will be even better. This was my first half-marathon, done a year and three months after being diagnosed with t1d.

I hope this will help other newly diagnosed type 1’s on their fitness journey. You can do any distance you want, any race you want. It’ll take a lot of prep, but anything is possible. Don’t let your broken pancreas stop you from anything.

Goal: Complete the Scotiabank Waterfront Half Marathon feeling good!

Goal completed? YES! Finished in 2:39:10, no medic tents and great bg’s *happy dance*

Lessons learned: 

  • Cross training is essential for running or any other sport you decide to do
  • Be patient. Really patient. What works one day won’t work another day. Enjoy the little victories and don’t dwell on the bad numbers or yucky runs. If you have a type A personality like me, this will really drive you up the wall. Stay strong!
  • Don’t listen to anyone else. Only you know your body. Everyone has an opinion about what you should be doing and many times those people don’t have your disease and don’t know even know what type 1 diabetes really is anyways. So smile, say thank you (because they mean well), and in one ear…out the other.
  • Plan for sick days/weeks and allow enough wiggle room in your training to rest and recover if need be
  • Don’t eat/drink ANYTHING new on race day, stick to what you know
  • Warm up. I preach this all the time and yet on race day, I did not do this. I could have saved myself 3km’s of grief.
  • Bring clothes you can throw away after you get warmed up
  • Be prepared for your bg’s to do anything they want to. I was so surprised at how many carbs I consumed. My body was just burning up everything. In future I need to carry a lot more with me
  • Bring your support team. At the end when you are really drained, your support team cheering will carry you home.
  • Write race report RIGHT after the race or you’ll forget the details

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How I got to the start line (aka. training): 

Before I started training for the half-marathon, I was coming off of my first two try-a-tri’s (that’s a mini triathlon 400m swim-10km bike ride-2.5km run) that took place at the end of July/early August. Prior to that, I took part in an triathlon training clinic that had me exercising about 5 times a week (on top of my usual weights at the gym, roughly 3 times a week).

Since I had never done a triathlon before, my body was definitely feeling strong and getting solid from all the cross training. I believe this provided a great base for me. By working other parts of my body aside from running muscles, it made me a better runner.

Key Lesson: Everything is Connected. 

After the two triathlons I felt like I needed to play catchup. The half marathon clinic my friends were part of was in full swing and I had missed a significant portion of it. I ran on my own and tried to follow a general schedule. I was frequently going low and remedied the situation by taking no insulin prior to runs and 50 per cent less post runs. I got to this after many long meetings with my team at the hospital and LOTS of trial and error. LOTS.

I eliminated hill training and speedwork as after many attempts, it just made me feel sick. My numbers would spike and since I have a really tight range of bg’s at the moment, it made me go high and I would feel like vomiting. One scary run took place when I tried to attempt a faster-than-a-jog 3k. I upped my speed just a tad (I miss running at a faster speed since being diagnosed) but by the time I made it home I fell to the floor and was dry heaving in a dizzy mess. That was my tipping point where I said enough is enough and to just not push too hard. I have a hard time giving myself a break with these things so that was a huge breakthrough that my goal should be to have fun and enjoy the process.

Capital F for Frustration

I found it extremely frustrating and at times, I just wanted to take off my running shoes and hurl them into the air (but I didn’t. Because I love my running shoes. And they are expensive). Sometimes I felt like all I was doing was going in circles. Test, eat what I thought was a lot of carbs pre-run, run, test, felt dizzy, thinking “am I low or just tired?”, stop, test…

I’m tired from just writing it out. Let’s just get it out there. When I ran on my own I broke down. A lot. All I wanted was my body to just co-operate. But no. My pancreas was like Newman from Seinfeld, coming in and disturbing me at the most inopportune times.

As I was and still am in a type of honeymoon phase (that’s when your pancreas is still working somewhat, and it’s never consistent), it made it even more difficult to calculate my insulin and how many carbs I needed for each workout.

What’s worse is that I was dealing with the post frustrations of guessing three different kinds of exercise for the triathlon. I think my patience was running out.

Correction, I KNEW my patience was running out.

Go away flu. No time for you. 

Then came the flu.

It was my first time getting the flu since being diagnosed. It seemed to have lasted three weeks.

Realizations include: not all medicine is carb free, it takes much longer to recover from the flu, my blood glucose levels were significantly higher and dehydration can creep up on you, so drink lots of water.

It was a huge interruption to my training. I tried a few times to run and push my body but it wasn’t having any of it.

Finally I came out of it but by then there were only a few weeks left before the half.

I did some long runs running a lot slower than I would have but I managed to get them in so hurrah!

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Race Day: 

Woke up around 5:15 a.m. as I had to be on the bus by 6:30 a.m. I ate my usual breakfast (coffee with two stevia packets and almonst milk, one slice of gluten-free toast with almond butter, with chia seeds sprinkled on top).

Disclaimer: if you don’t want to hear about digestion issues, please skip to Start Line. 

Before I left the house I went to the washroom as usual. I was happy! Typically for races I get nervous and can’t go. However by the time I got down to the race site I had to again. And again. It was not fun. I was happy that my system was empty however I was worried that this pattern would continue well into the race. Luckily it didn’t.

Start Line. 

Stayed near the 2:45 pace bunny as I thought that would be a realistic time to follow. I was estimating I would finish around 3  hours if all went well (so my final time was a surprise!). Bonus: it wasn’t too cold.

The first 3k were so painful. Because I didn’t warm up and it was slightly cold, my calves just seized up. I could barely keep up with the 2:45 pace bunny and I just kept thinking to myself, “I don’t know how I’m suppose to run a half marathon. This hurts too much.” Luckily my legs got warmed up and I was able to keep going.

Never try new things on race day

Was feeling fine, testing and downing Gatorade at each stop including water, which worked out wonderfully. Again, I didn’t take any Gatorade during training runs. I also downed a PowerGel having never tried it before. I now realize this could have caused some major gut rot.

13k my right knee started to feel very painful. It got to the point where I was hobbling on it. It was hurting with every step. I don’t know if I eventually became numb to the pain or it went away, but either way, I worked my way through it.

The last km was such a rush. I got a bolt of energy. I saw my Connected in Motion friends first! I gave them both sweaty hugs. Then I saw my cousin, then some run club friends. I was on a high! I sprinted the last stretch and was so happy.

Post race I had a banana, and half a can of Coke and my numbers were still good. I was afraid of going low before bed so I ate a lot and was subsequently high but I think it’s worth it going to bed at 13 after your first half when you don’t know what on earth will happen as you sleep. I’d take that over having a low.

I’m not sure if I’ve covered everything but this is what I’ve got so far. If you have any questions, let me know. Good luck on your fitness journey and let me know how you exercise with t1d 🙂

Race Day bg summary (mmo/L)

*food/water times are mostly guessed for actual race time

5:24 a.m. 6.4 wakeup/before breakfast

-1 coffee w/ two Stevia packets, almond milk

one slice gluten-free toast with almond butter and chia seeds sprinkled on top

7:00a.m.

-one granola bar

8:28 a.m. 5.4 (last check before race)

-ate another mini Lara Bar

gatorade and water

chocolate PowerGel

10:12 a.m. 5.2

-gatorade and water

-ate mini Lara Bar

11:20 a.m. 5.7

-Lara Bar

-gatorade and water

12:13 p.m. 6.6

-banana

-1/2 bottle of Coke (tasted so good)

1:22 p.m. 6.8 (before lunch)

-gyros wrap, french fries

-50 per cent less insulin

4:03 p.m. 5.8 (after lunch)

6:09 p.m. 4.7 (before dinner)

9:26 p.m. 6.7

-I can’t remember but must have ate up a storm

11:56 p.m. 13.6

Next day 5.6 morning bg

Please share with me your race experiences. Thanks for reading