The things I never thought. My Nike 15k recap, running with type 1 diabetes + other autoimmune fun

 

 

Source Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Source Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

The Nike Toronto 15k took place a few weeks ago and I need to share with you some surprises that happened along the way. This was a great experience from my own personal health perspective in dealing with multiple autoimmune disease fun.

1. At the water stations, they provided Nuun. I have never used this before at a race but realized quickly that I needed it. According to the packet, each Nuun tablet has 13 grams of carbs, but was each tablet used per drink? I have no idea.

Lesson: Check to see what is offered at the race stations and try it out beforehand. My stomach doesn’t welcome everything with open arms so I lucked out that taking it in went smoothly.

Also, check if they water the carb drinks down (common practice). That can also mess up your calculations while you are pounding the pavement. Be assertive. Sometimes companies don’t like to admit how much they water down drinks but usually when you say your medical well being heavily depends on knowing this information (and it does), you can usually get a truthful answer.

2. Since I was on an island (Centre Island), it meant cooler temps with the water surrounding me. Add some nasty rain and chilly wind and it equalled out to be quite the bg dip before the race started. I downed a ton of carbs but nothing seemed to bring my levels up so I started a lot lower than I would have liked.

Lesson: Think of ALL weather factors and basically be a came and pack all your food, super extra food, if possible.

3. Take lows in stride. It’s easy to get frustrated quickly when you look down and see your CGM says….

Lesson: Enjoy the experience and think of it this way: You are running a race. Some people would never get the chance to do this, yet here you are, feeling the buzz of thousands around you getting active and building a sense of community. STOP AND TAKE IT IN.

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Running where the planes take off! How cool is that!? Source: Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

4. Okay, if I can help it, I rather pee in the bush than wait in line for the few port-a-potty’s that are out there on the course. I did not look as carefully as I had thought and when I crouched down a thorny needle-like plant went right into my inner thigh. Once I was done I quickly pulled up my pants and kept running but it hurt. A lot. Eventually it either fell out or I became numb to the pain. Either way…

Lesson: Pee carefully.

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Overall, the race went well. I had to take some of my other neuro medication the night before (which makes me feel super lazy and feeling ‘hungover’ the next day) so I was thrilled with my efforts. And once I got into the groove… I took the time to stop and smell the roses.

XO,

Jess

 

Animas Canada has kindly chosen to support me with the Dexcom CGM as I continue to train for triathlons, cycling and running events. I believe in full transparency and appreciate that Animas Canada does not review or approve my blog posts. Please read the full disclosure here

Advertisement

Training this season with Lumiere, my continuous glucose monitor

IMG_9343

 

WHYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?

My mind screams it in anger. On good days, I yell it half-laughing.

It is the question I ask myself when I ate enough carbs to feed a small army before my workout and yet, here I go, tanking into low blood sugar abyss.

falling

This happens for mostly cycling and running these days. It seems like sometimes no matter what I consume, my body sticks its tongue out at me and says “Oh yeah? Watch this”.

I have purposely set my low alarm alert a bit higher so that I can be notified even earlier to try and adjust and avoid the lows.

Bonus? Drinking Coke. Mmmm I love regular Coke.

Minus? Frustration. The quick reaction to blame myself. I need to catch these sooner and just trust that hey, I’m doing what I can, and that’s all I can ask of myself.

These lows have changed how I train in that I carry more fuel (I am a human camel).

This season I realized how much I miss running with nothing. Just carrying absolutely nothing. No snacks, no belt, fanny pack, hydration pack. NOTHING.

To combat this, I found a loop near my house where I can set supplies down in a safe area and run free! The loops don’t bother me as I zone out when I run so this works for me. As for Lumiere, I do put him inside my running arm band (which I’m fine with). I feel seeing the same thing over and over is worth it to run without carrying as much and feeling that lightness.

I know they have golf carts that follow people around. Wonder if I can get some kind of contraption that does the same? I could carry my water, glucose tabs, bars, tester, CGM, insulin.

Am I dreaming? Maybe. But it’s fun to think about it.

XO,

J

Animas Canada has kindly chosen to support me with the Dexcom CGM as I continue to train for triathlons, cycling and running events. I believe in full transparency and appreciate that Animas Canada does not review or approve my blog posts. Please read the full disclosure here

Now what? After the big race…

I’ve been singing Disney songs ever since my race. Aladdin. Little Mermaid. You name it, I’m singing it….poorly mind you but with big hand gestures and sometimes twirling.

Okay, a lot of twirling. But hey, I’m celebrating right?

Realizations? I love the long run. I prefer half-marathon distances to 5 and 10 km races.

Another marathon? I think that’s very likely.

For living well with type 1, for life in general. Here’s your Monday Motivation:

2015/01/img_0093.jpg

IMG_0094Bummed to have missed Connected in Motion‘s Slipstream this year so sent some active vibes their way during my workout yesterday.

XO

J

 

Outrun Diabetes update: Montreal will welcome Sebastien Sasseville, cross-Canada run nearly 1/3 complete

Fun. Grounding. Too short.

Those are the words Sebastien Sasseville uses to describe what it’s like to be back home in Quebec.

He’s reuniting with friends, family and home-cookin’.

I asked him what it’s like to finally have meals made by mom.

“Filling. Like combo bolus filling.”

Sebastien began his run across the country in February, starting the journey in St. John’s Newfoundland. Two weeks ago he crossed the border into Quebec and this Sunday, he’s scheduled to be in Montreal.

MTL should mark 2,500km completed, that’s 1/3 of his trek. Roughly 200 people are expected to join the Outrun Diabetes frontman for a 5km run to celebrate the occasion. More info on the run below. 

Here are some Instagram photos of Sebastien’s time in Quebec. All photos courtesy of Outrun Diabetes.

And now…a random fact about Sebastien.

The latest from the video world…

Type 1 speaker and author Shawn Shepheard continues to do video updates with Sebastien. Here we find out why disco balls are given to each Fan of the Week.

 

 

Cute alert. 8-year-old type 1 diabetes superstar Anwar interviews Sebastien in French.

 

If you’re interested in joining Sebastien in Montreal, here are the details:

Distance: 5 km run

Location: Centennial Esplanade along the historic Lachine Canal

Time: Sunday May 11, 9:30 a.m.

Connect.

Outrun Diabetes | Website | Twitter Facebook Instagram |

Sebastien Sasseville | Website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn |

Shawn Shepheard | Website Twitter | Facebook |

Make sure to follow Patrick’s Instagram account too.

Read more.

Sebastien Sasseville runs home to Quebec celebrations, passes 2,000km mark

Just hold on we’re going home: Sebastien Sasseville nears Quebec

Sebastien Sasseville out of Nova Scotia and into New Brunswick

Sebastien Sasseville #MCM t-shirts hit the market, Outrun Diabetes fans go crazy

Sebastien Sasseville hits 1,000 km mark on run across Canada

Outrun Diabetes update: Crazy photos of Sebastien Sasseville’s run across Canada

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck.

 

 

DMCA.com Protection Status

Running on empty. Meter reliability in the cold.

My doctor: “Ditch the meter when you run.”

photo

My Contour USB meter has shown below 2 mmol/L (36 mg/dl) over a half dozen times mid-run these past few months. Once it said below 1 mmol/L (18 mg/dl), blog on that here.

I’m fully aware that meters are not 100 per cent accurate. 

The question: Am I really that low or is my meter being extra wonky in the cold?

  • I’ve tried pretty much everything to warm up my meter while running. Still reading bad lows.
  • Seems like no matter how many carbs I eat, I still can go really low when running. I don’t take any insulin with my meals before running (I’m on humalog-short acting insulin ONLY with meals, hello honeymoon!).
  • Often don’t feel my lows during runs (hard to tell with being numb/sweaty already). This equals danger.

Nurse says those dangerously low numbers could POSSIBLY be right and not the meter being off in the cold.

Times I’ve seen numbers below the 2’s (around 36 mg/dl) I usually pop 4-8 Dex 4 tabs. After 15 minutes my blood sugar is typically 4-5 mmol/L (72-90 mg/dl).

Tests afterwards/done running altogether don’t run high (over 10 mmol/L or 180 mg/dl).

My nurse said that means I just MIGHT be burning all those carbs and really that low. She said she’s seen people who have high functionality with such low numbers. At the end of the day, we don’t really know.

Narrowing down the problem

photo 3-1

My doctor and I tried testing my bg’s when I wasn’t running, at a time I knew my numbers would be stable. Test indoors, then put the meter outside, wait, and test again. It produced error messages.

New plan: Create a loop so every half hour I’m passing my house. Run inside. Test. Continue on.

photo 2

I’ve learned through this process that just ditching the blood prick accessories really messes with my head.

The plan was to run a slow, steady pace which I usually do, but I just couldn’t. Not feeling the weight of my diabetes stuff made me nervous. I ran faster, which meant higher bg’s. Pain crept up on my left side, which it usually does, and I ignored the pain and just kept trying to push. My foot was exploding with agony. I ended up limping and then walking parts of it. I was scared and just wanted to get home! I had glucose tabs on me but I hated that feeling of not having my stuff on me. I’ll have to get an extra meter to carry around with me when running even if I won’t use it.

Just changing the route and testing inside? Not as easy as it seems.

photo 4.PNG

Test 1: Run one loop. 

Pre-run 5.7 mmol/L (102 mg/dl). Lower than I’d like pre-run. I usually take carbs if I’m at this level but now I can’t remember if I did this instance. Pretty sure I did.

Post-run 7.2 mmol/L (129 mg/dl)

Test 2: Run two loops instead of one.

photo 1.PNG

Pre-run 10.2 mmol/L (183 mg/dl)

First loop: 5.4 mmol/L (97 mg/dl)

Second loop/run end: 6.4 mmol/L (115 mg/dl)

So does that prove the meter is wrong? Don’t know if there’s a concrete answer to that.

photo

There’s lots to learn, adjustments to be made and miles to run. Running is one of my huge passions and I refuse to give it up. It’s still early in the game.

So I come to you, more experienced #t1d athletes, what has been your experiences with winter running? I’d love to know your story and any tips. 

Every day I’m learning more about being active with type 1 diabetes. This journey has taught me to become more dedicated to my athletic goals and at the same time, to let go. No matter what I do, sometimes my bg’s are just not going to co-operate.  I’ve got to be okay with that. I’m pushing harder to reach certain achievements, but also learning to enjoy the process.

I have the ability to lace up my runners and go out on the road whenever I want. There are people who don’t have that luxury. That’s a perspective I’ve gained more and more after being diagnosed.

Yes working out can be difficult, but I can so I will.

See you out on the road,

J

Tips on winter running: 

  • Put your meter inside your glove. Keeps it much warmer.
  • Use the empty case of Listerine Pocketpaks to carry your test strips
  • ALWAYS carry some kind of fast-acting carbs with you
  • Wear some kind of medical identification
  • If you are running solo, leave your estimated time of arrival and route for a loved one. Also write down what you are wearing in case of emergency (saw this on Instagram, what a great idea!)
  • Let the people you train with know you have type 1 diabetes and the signs and symptoms of low/high bg’s

Scully gave me the first two great tips in a previous post. Thank you Scully! Check out her blog here.

Terrence Teixeira: Canadian triathlete, adventure-seeker and all round type 1 super star

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Terrence’s adventures around the world. In no particular order. 

“Do you know Terrence Teixeira?”

I’ve had a handful of people ask me that question the past few months.

I understand why.

We both have a passion for fitness and were both diagnosed as adults within the last two years.

During the Animas Type 1 Diabetes Update at Mount Sinai Hospital this weekend, I finally met the double T (I just made that up. Do people already call him this? Verdict unknown on whether he will think that is funny or lame. Will update later.)

He was the last speaker of the day and had me in stitches.

photo 5

Terrence is one of those people that just make you feel happy. I didn’t spend much time chatting with him but I believe in that statement.

As he talked about his diagnosis, it became apparent that from the very start, he BELIEVED and knew diabetes wouldn’t stop him from anything he wanted to achieve.

He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world in 2012. And what did he do when he got to the top? Snap a shot of his bg’s of course! This pic makes me happy.

580286_10100319372513600_498683853_n

Terrence shared with the crowd many sentiments that I also believe. Living with type 1 diabetes gives you mental focus. It makes you a better athlete because you’re more aware of your body.

“Diabetes doesn’t prevent you from doing anything.”

Here are 5 things the triathlete, marathoner and all-round athlete shared:

Master the transition. For those who don’t know, a triathlon is a race where you 1. swim 2. bike 3. run. The transition in between these activities is considered the fourth sport.

Terrence says diabetes is a bit of the same as that triathlon transition or fourth sport. Managing your diabetes is what you are doing in between (testing your bg’s, giving insulin, making adjustments) but incredibly important for you to reach your goal.

Knowledge is power. “In a race you need to know all the twists and turns.” Terrence told us he went on a pump just three weeks ago and is learning this new way of delivering insulin.

Become educated. Life with diabetes can’t be perfect but he says we can arm ourselves with more information to help us navigate through the race.

Expect the unexpected. Strive for excellence. Change your attitude. It’s all about how you approach things.

Teamwork. Gather support from those around you. Like me, Terrence points to Connected in Motion as part of his support team. Ask questions from others and help each other.

Setting priorities. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Set your own priorities. You choose what you want to do every day.

“Everyone has their own marathon to run.”

Thanks for sharing your story Terrence. Another example of a Canadian athlete smashing personal records and going for gold with type 1 diabetes.

Visit Terrence’s website here.

J

Recap #WeRun2014 challenge: 100 miles in January

How are you tackling 2014?

At the end of last year I took part in the Runner’s World Run Streak (#RWRunStreak), running 1 mile every day from American Thanksgiving to New Years Day. I did whatever it took to get it done. A few times I had to resort to jogging on the spot in a hotel room to make sure I got my mileage in, but I made it!

One mile doesn’t seem like a long distance, but I found carving out the time to do it challenging. Once I started to get into it, I was on a mission to best my time as well.

1 mile goal: under 9 minutes

Fastest 1 mile: 8:32

When all was said and done, I was proud to say I successfully completed it.

A few days before 2014 I saw that Nike + was hosting a challenge called #WeRun2014. 100 miles in the month of January.

100 miles in 31 days= 3.2 miles per day (5km)

There wasn’t the demand of pounding the pavement every day like #RWRunStreak but this was a big leap in distance. Miss a few days and you can really pay the price. What if I got sick? Injured?

I crossed my fingers and tried to spread out my mileage evenly. The most I took was one day off, making it up with a 6.4 mile (10km) run the following day.

My legs started to grow tired about 2.5 weeks in. I ached, I foam rolled until near tears, but I made sure to slow down my pace to make sure I hit my mark. Whenever I could I ran outside, but this crazy winter made that dangerous at times. Getting my #WeRun2014 on via treadmill was a real mental test. At first it was excruciating, so boring and I felt like a hamster.

Now I’m used to and actually don’t mind the dreadmill treadmill. It also makes me appreciate the outdoors that much more. Another bonus is that I’ve mastered using my meter on the treadmill. No flying test strips anymore!

I crossed the virtual finish line in 12th place and with a few days to spare. This challenge has definitely taught me that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve great things, things you never thought possible. A few years ago I wouldn’t have attempted this.

werun2014finish

#WeRun2014 challenge highlights

  • A dedication run for Meg Cross Menzies, a Boston marathoner who was killed during her morning run by a drunk driver #MegsMiles
  • 5km “Poker Run” fundraiser for Ride to Conquer Cancer
  • My longest treadmill run at 7.19 miles (11.5km)
  • My fastest 5km recorded on Nike + 30:26
  • My fastest 1km recorded on Nike + 5:12

I’m definitely going to sign up for more challenges. What fitness goals do you have for 2014? And how do you plan on reaching them?

As my cousin would say….Long May We Run

J

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck.

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

Sebastien Sasseville sucks.

Those aren’t my words by the way, they are 100 per cent his.

He’s talking about his natural athletic ability. Now I know what you’re thinking. Ultra-marathoner. First type 1 diabetic to reach the top of Mount Everest. Needs more than one hand to count the number of Ironman’s he’s done. Really?

But out of his own mouth, Sebastien admits that growing up, he was the furthest thing from a high school jock.

“I suck at sports. You know that kid who is always picked last in school?”

Yup. That was him. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 22, he decided he wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. So off he went, laces tied, ready to go.

“I didn’t get out of the parking lot. I ran 250 metres.”

I found hearing this comforting. Sometimes we see well-accomplished athletes as untouchable and their titles so out of reach. The tale of how he began is one that needs to be told and re-told. He started just like we all do. One foot in front of the other.

“People need to know, that stuff is done by people no different than them. Find the drive, make it big. Learn, take notes and never give up,” he says.

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

It’s that kind of attitude that will be accompanying Sebastien on his next conquest.

On February 2nd he will start Outrun Diabetes, a cross-country run from St. John’s to Vancouver. That’s 180 marathons in 9 months. The journey will end on November 14 on World Diabetes Day.

“The goal is to inspire, empower and educate. The message is very simple. Diabetes should never be a limitation. It’s a message of hope and I want people to realize there’s nothing they can’t do,” he says.

Sebastien may be the one pounding the pavement, but he insists the adventure is not his, but ours. Every single one of us.

“I want everybody in Canada to know that they own this project. It is their run. It’s not just Sebastien running, they can be a part of it. They can participate and be an agent of change in their communities. I’d love for this to become a huge collective project and see people be empowered by it.”

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

Photo by Genevieve Sasseville

In a way this has everything and nothing to do with diabetes. It’s about perseverance, resilience and hope. And Sebastien will need all of that.
“It’s extremely exciting, I’m very nervous. There’s a lot of things we cannot control from a medical perspective, physical perspective. Running 5 marathons a week for 9 months. Probably not a good idea.”
No, not a good idea, but a great one. We’ll all be watching, cheering and hopefully participating with you, one foot in front of the other.
Best of luck,
J
Follow Sebastien on his personal Twitter, Outrun Diabetes Twitter & Facebook
Fun facts about Sebastien and Outrun Diabetes
  • Sebastien’s favourite way to treat a low is with maple syrup
  • Outrun Diabetes will take Sebastien through Halifax, Moncton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary with events in each location plus other local communities
  • Sebastien will be using the new Animas Vibe pump
  • Sebastien estimates he’ll go through 15 pairs of running shoes during Outrun Diabetes
  • It took a year of planning to make Outrun Diabetes become a reality
  • A self-confessed foodie, Sebastien hopes his first meal post-event will be steak and a glass of wine

Other publications on Sebastien and Outrun Diabetes:

National Post: Six-Time Ironman and Type 1 Diabetes Athlete Sebastien Sasseville to Take on Solo 7500 km Run Across Canada

What’s a poker run? Costumes, cards and charity. Running Room’s Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraiser

“Do you want to come with me to a 5km charity poker run?”

“What’s a poker run?”

“At each kilometre, a sealed envelope is handed to every runner containing a card. When the race is over, the runner hands over all his or her envelopes. They are opened by race volunteers who reveal what you got. Prizes are handed out to the best and worst hand. Proceeds go to Ride to Conquer Cancer.”

I immediately said yes.

So off I went to make some last minute poker-themed attire.

image

My headband. M&M’s aces all around.

Matching card patches

Matching card patches

Here are some of the creative costumes I saw.

There was a great crowd out and together we trekked through the snow and tackled one nasty hill that seemed to go on forever.

Anticipating the next card and what it might hold made this run completely different. So fun!

Grabbing my third card. Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the cold.

Grabbing my third card. Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the cold.

Turns out I wasn’t so lucky.

photo 1

But I felt like a winner.

Raising money for charity, experiencing a unique race experience, running, meeting new people and dressing up.

I’ll be back next year,

J

Meg Cross Menzies. What was she thinking? Why should I run for a stranger? #MegsMiles

Photo taken Jan. 18 at Whitby Waterfront, Ontario, Canada

Photo taken January 18, 2014 before our #MegsMiles run.

I’ve spent the last few days consumed with a woman I’ve never met.

Until this week I had never heard of her, or her road club for that matter.

However when I found out that Meg Cross Menzies was hit and killed by a drunk driver during her morning run, just 1 mile from her home, my heart just sank.

It was fast and horrific.

image.png

Photo taken by me, before my #MegsMiles

And then throughout the days that followed, I began to wonder, what was she thinking during her run?

Was she happy that day? Burning off steam?

Was she dreaming of the Boston Marathon finish? She was training for it.

Was this a tough run where her legs cramped up? Or was she enjoying good momentum and in the zone?

Maybe she was thinking of her three children. Or an upcoming dinner date with her hubby.

Perhaps she ran to let her mind rest, and that’s what she was doing, not thinking about much, just enjoying the scenery and that feeling of pain and perseverance that so many runners get addicted to.

Did she know she was about to be hit? Did she have a split second where it registered she was in trouble?

We’ll never know.

But just like after the Boston Marathon bombings, today I put on a bib to support and honour those suffering from a needless tragedy. The victim, the families, the community.

RIP Meg Menzies. Pre #MegsMiles run

Thank you to my friend Rebecca who helped me with these photos.

I think as runners we do this to show support. I think we do this because we all know the pain and heartbreak of losing a loved one. That feeling is universal.

5.55 miles for Meg

Today I ran for Meg.

What was she thinking? No one can answer that.

As for the question, “Why should I run for a stranger?”

There’s an endless amount of answers to that.

To Meg Cross Menzies, may you rest in peace.

At the end of our run

Love,

A stranger in Canada.

There are instructions on Meg’s Miles on how to participate in the virtual run. You can pin your location on a global map and also input your miles and afterwards there will be a global tally. If you’d like to raise money for Scott, Meg’s husband, you can contribute here by buying a t-shirt.