Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The first step is the hardest

I didn’t mean for the title to sounds all Cat Stevens like, but I said those words to someone the other day and I’ve inadvertently been singing them to that tune ever since.  All I meant was that getting yourself out of the door in the first place is the worst thing about running.

I went for another run on Monday (6 days since the last run) – same route, same time and I didn’t really feel much pain off the back of it.  I had a bit of an ache in the joint yesterday but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

So obviously I’ve now got a part of me that thinks I can go out and run a few times a week and step it up a level.  I think that the more reserved and cautious part of me is winning and I’ll try for another run on Friday or Saturday instead.

If that goes well I might look at slightly upping the distance but keep the running to once every 4 or 5 days in the short term.  I’ve got one eye on the more rigorous training plans that I’ll need to get into after Christmas but I think I need to take it slowly and possibly revise my strategy for running as I go.

I’m fully convinced that I need a run/walk strategy to get me round all 26 miles, but I suppose the tricky bit is understanding what that ratio will look like.  Obviously I’d like to run as much as possible but I may end up walking a fair amount.  I suppose that will reveal itself as the weeks go on.

I feel like I’ve got a good handle back on my diabetes control now.  I had a check up appointment at the hospital last week and the specialist nurse and I both agreed that things seem to have made a noticeable progression since I last went to see her.

We talked about how difficult it can be when you’re eating out (or eating something where you can’t get a good idea of the carb content of your food).  I think I’ve started to get better at estimating that now which is a real bonus.

It takes away a lot of the guilt regarding “treats” (well, it takes away the diabetes guilt, not the diet guilt).  A couple of cases in point from the last week or so:

  1. My wife and I had both had a pretty long, stressful day last Friday so we decided to get a chinese takeaway.  Whilst I can’t remember the exact figures, I know I managed to keep my blood sugar within normal limits before and after and into the next day.
  2. My parents came over for Sunday lunch and I’d baked a Victoria sponge type cake for dessert (with reduced sugar jam of course).  I managed to get away with a small slice and keep my sugar below 7 which felt like a real achievement

It’s not always that easy of course and to a lot of you, it probably seems crazy to be so pleased about managing a takeaway and a cheeky slice of cake.  And I completely understand that.  I almost feel ridiculous making such a big deal about it, but it does represent a big step for me.  It also means that I don’t have to feel chained to my diet and a small set of meals just to keep my condition in check.

Going back to my tightrope analogy from a few weeks back, I learned something new recently that I’ve never known in 10 years of being diabetic.  1 unit of (fast acting) insulin will reduce your blood sugar by 3mmol on average.  That’s a bit sciency, but if you consider that I’m trying to keep my level between 5 and 7.5, it shows how easy it can be to miscalculate and fall low and need to correct a wobble.  I might talk more about that next time.

Finally, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who reads this.  I know I’m supposed to be talking a lot more about the marathon training and that’s slow going at the moment.  But I’m finding that talking about diabetes for a few paragraphs once a week helps to keep me focussed and determined and so I wanted to say thanks for allowing me that and for taking the time to read it.  I really appreciate it.

As usual, drop me a line on Twitter (@BroomOwl) or to if you fancy getting in touch for a chat about anything (marathon/diabetes related  or not).

Thanks for reading – take care


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