Tuesday, 29 November 2011

There Goes The Fear

Good morning.

Thanks for stopping by to read.  Hopefully I didn't alienate too many of your with yesterday's off topic musical segue.  I'm firmly back on message today.

This week has been a big week for the training.  It's the first time I've done 3 runs in 7 days which is a major step forward for me (pardon the pun).  And it's removed a little bit of the fear that I had that I was setting myself up for an impossible task.

I did Wednesday, Friday and last night (Tuesday), running 2, 1.5 and 2.5 miles.  Still no great distance but something I feel very proud of given how I felt a year ago.  I'll admit that after the Friday run I was a bit on edge.  I had a fair amount of pain in my foot and needed to properly rest up and do some exercises the physio had given me to try and loosen it up.  Fortunately there were no after effects on Saturday and I even managed a 2 mile walk to meet a friend for a drink before football on Saturday.

It was good to get a new longer distance under my belt last night too (despite the initial cold - I need to find my running gloves!!).  I was tempted to go for 3 miles but it felt like too much too soon.  An extra half mile a week feels like the right thing to do at the moment.  I've got enough time to build up to longer runs but for now I need to maintain gradual progress and not force myself into an unnecessary set back.   I do need to keep an eye on the 'official' training plan though.  I don't want to fall behind, but equally may have to adapt it to suit my circumstances.

2.5 mile route

I was talking to my Dad (my original marathon inspriation) about this and we both agreed that getting round will be an achievement in itself and that's all I need to aim for.  That takes the pressure off in a way and I think that helps a lot too.

My new training strategy is hopefully going to focus on 5 runs in two weeks (Tue-Fri-Wed-Fri-Tue) which I think will give me enough to build up over the next few months.

Things are ticking over with regards my diabetes.  I succumbed to some Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the weekend but I'd decided that after 4 days of continuous headache I needed some sugar (note - this is not medically sound advice I'm giving myself) and as such I was skirting around a slightly higher blood sugar level than I would have normally been at.

I think this is another area where I have to be realistic.  I'd love to have the confidence to tell myself I neither need, nor want anything sweet but I know the fact is that's simply not true.  I've definitely cut down significantly from the bad diet I used to have when I started this blog but which is another victory for willpower.  But I know that I'm going to give in to temptation from time to time and the key to diabetes (as with any condition) is to be able to manage it accordingly.

Christmas is becoming an ever closer reality and I'm already starting to plan out all the things I need to cook.  I'm hoping my Christmas lunch will be fairly diabetic friendly and I'm desperately rooting through recipe books for reduced sugar desserts.  And through normal cookbooks for a chocolate yule log recipe for my wife.  I think Christmas has always been a time for dietary indulgence where I'm concerned and I plan to celebrate with reasonable moderation this year.  Although if the customary Chocolate Orange from my mother-in-law makes an appearance I may have to be extra restrained.

The difficult thing I've found is managing my blood sugar after running.  Normally I'll eat dinner at about 5:30pm (when my daughter eats) but when I'm running, it won't be until 8 ish.  As I often go to bed at around 10, I'm in a tricky situation.  My insulin acts over 5 hours but peaks after about 2, so a blood sugar reading just before bed can be unduly alarming.  Take last night - it was 13mmol before I went to bed but I took a chance and didn't correct it as my insulin still had time to act.  My blood was 6.6mmol this morning so I did the right thing in the end.  Getting used to things like that still feels quite new for me.

Once again, thanks for reading.  I do appreciate your feedback and the time you take to have a read.  Apologies for the length of this post (and for getting into the science a bit too much - I'm sure it's just jargon to a lot of you so I appreciate you sticking with it).

I hope you've all got your advent calendars ready for tomorrow.  If you fancy a chat, the usual channels of communication are open - @BroomOwl on Twitter or broomowl@gmail.com

Take care and I'll post again soon


OFF TOPIC - Top 20 of 2011 - Longlist


Forgive the off-topic post, but I wanted to share this with you.  Every year some friends and I compile our Top 20 tracks of the year and compare our choices.  It's a bit of fun and often a good way to pick up on some new music.

My approach is to go back through all the albums I've listened to this year and create a longlist of tracks to select my final 20 from.  This longlist is below for anyone who's interested.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow morning when I'll post what is (hopefully) an interesting update on the marathon training.  Thanks for allowing me this musical indulgence.


The VaccinesUnder Your ThumbWhat Did You Expect From The Vaccines
The VaccinesWreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)What Did You Expect From The Vaccines
The VaccinesPost Break-up SexWhat Did You Expect From The Vaccines
Christoper ReesSparks FlyingHeart On Fire
Arctic MonkeysLove Is A LaserquestSuck It And See
Arctic MonkeysSuck It And SeeSuck It And See
Arctic MonkeysHellcat Spangled ShalalalaSuck It And See
Arctic MonkeysReckless SerenadeSuck It And See
Bombay Bicycle ClubFractureA Different Kind of Fix
Boxer RebellionStep Out Of The Car Cold Still
Boxer RebellionThe RunnerCold Still
Beady EyeFour Letter WordDifferent Gear, Still Speeding
Erland And The CarnivalSo Tired In The Morning Nightingale
Erland And The CarnivalMap Of An EnglishmanNightingale
The King BluesEverything Happens For A ReasonPunk and Poetry
The King Blues5 Bottles of ShampooPunk and Poetry
Bon IverBest/RestBon Iver
Skint & DemoralisedLowlifeThis Sporting Life
Skint & Demoralised43 DegreesThis Sporting Life
Tiny Ruins and a Singer of SongsLittle Notes Some Were Meant For Sea
Tiny Ruins and a Singer of SongsRunning Through the NightSome Were Meant For Sea
SuunsGaze QC Zeroes
SuunsPVCQC Zeroes
The StreetsWithout Thinking Computer and Blues
The StreetsTrust MeComputer and Blues
Stephen Malkmus and the JicksTigersMirror Traffic
Stephen Malkmus and the JicksStick Figures In LoveMirror Traffic
Slow ClubParadiseParadise
Slow ClubTwo CousinsParadise
Singing AdamsI Need Your MindEverybody Friends Now
Nathaniel RateliffShroudIn Memory of Loss
Nathaniel RateliffWhimper And WallIn Memory of Loss
The Naked And FamousAll Of ThisPassive Me, Aggressive You
The Naked And FamousEyesPassive Me, Aggressive You
Moon DuoMazesMazes
Milk KanWhy Should The Devil Have All The Good Tunes?The Junkshop
Miles KaneInhalerColour of the Trap
Miles KaneQuicksandColour of the Trap
Miles KaneCome CloserColour of the Trap
Miles KaneRearrangeColour of the Trap
MiddlemanOne Hundred And ThirteenSpinning Plates
Kurt VilePuppet To The ManSmoke Ring For My Halo
In HelsinkiBurdenWired EP
Frankie and the HeartstringsPhotographHunger
Fair OhsEden RockEverything is Dancing
Emily And the FavesSo Long SuckerEmily and the Faves
Emily And the FavesMy TVEmily and the Faves
BrotherDarling Buds of MayFamous First Words
Ben OttewellBlackbirdShapes & Shadows
Alex TurnerStuck on a PuzzleSubmarine EP
About GroupWith Each New DayStart and Complete
Alessi's ArkThe RobotTime Travel
TV On The RadioKeep Your HeartNine Types of Light
TV On The RadioYouNine Types of Light
TV On The RadioNew Cannonball BluesNine Types of Light
TV On The RadioAll Falls DownNine Types of Light
TV On The RadioTroublesNine Types of Light
The StrokesMachu PicchuAngles
The StrokesUnder Cover Of DarknessAngles
The StrokesTwo Kinds Of HappinessAngles
Pigeon DetectivesLostUp, Guards And At 'Em
Little DragonRitual UnionRitual Union
Jay Z & KanyeNo Church in the WildWatch The Throne
Jay Z & KanyeOtisWatch The Throne
Jay Z & KanyeNew DayWatch The Throne
Florence & The MachineOnly If For A Night Ceremonials
Florence & The MachineShake It OutCeremonials
M83Claudia LewisHurry Up We're Dreaming
M83Soon My FriendHurry Up We're Dreaming
M83New MapHurry Up We're Dreaming
White LiesIs LoveRitual
White LiesBad LoveRitual
Mechanical BrideDemonsLiving With Ants
Mechanical BrideWalk Into The ForestLiving With Ants
HorrorsWild EyedSkying
HorrorsEndless BlueSkying
HorrorsDive InSkying
Airborne Toxic EventWelcome To Your Wedding DayAll At Once
Airborne Toxic EventNumbAll At Once
Airborne Toxic EventHalf of Something ElseAll at once
Alvarez KingsDark Eyed ChildrenPatience Is Strength EP
Cat's EyesCat's Eyes, Face In The CrowdCat's Eyes
Cat's EyesFace In The CrowdCat's Eyes

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Push things forward

Good evening

Firstly, apologies for this being a bit late.  I was feeling somewhat dreadful yesterday and wasn't feeling up to doing anything.  I hope you'll forgive the tardiness on this occasion.

Secondly, I just wanted to mention a few people who I've talked to this week.  Firstly, congrats to @actualdancrosby who, by his own admission could run very far at all early on in the year, completed a 10K run at the weekend in a respectable time.   Secondly, @Simple_John1 who mentioned to me this week that despite no interest in running or diabetes, he still takes the time to read this every week.  That gives me a decent indication that there's some substance in what I'm writing which is nice to know.

I'm writing this evening having just got back from a 2 mile run.  Circumstance has meant that I've done it not too long after having had dinner so I laboured round with a bit of a stitch again.  It's certainly not something I'll be making a habit of.

I also had a sly look at my time tonight which I haven't really done so far.  I ran 12 minute miles which I guess isn't too bad considering.  That'd be a marathon time of 5hrs 12 if I can maintain that.  I'd like to think I can get down to 11 minute miles by April but that's an aside.  Finishing is my goal.

I'm getting towards the stage where I need to be doing some more intensive training so I'm thinking about trying for 3 runs in a week and entering a 10K or something in the new year.  More on that next time I think.

Having felt a bit under the weather and such I've been tempted to resort to a bit of comfort eating (made all the more tempting having made gingerbread with my daughter at the weekend).  I've coped pretty well with that all things considered.  I've mostly resisted the callings of biscuits and sidestepped a tricky situation with a Kit Kat on Tuesday.  I also seem to have reduced the number of hypos I have which is a good thing.  Being able to stay in the 5 to 8mmol range is pretty good.  I'll have a better idea of how well it's been going after my clinic appointment in December.

Finally, I wanted to have a brief mention of one of my charities.  Whilst I'm sure you can all see my reasons for running for Diabetes UK (@DiabetesUK) but I felt like I should explain my reasons for supporting The Children's Hospital Charity (@tchcharity).

I suppose my reasons are two-fold.  Firstly, becoming a parent has made me appreciate all the work that children's charities do a whole lot more than I ever did.  Secondly, before my daughter was born, the doctor told me that because I have diabetes, there's about a 17% chance that she will get it as well.  And that's something I find very hard to deal with - I have pangs of guilt that I could labour her with this condition which seems so unfair.  The money I raise for TCH will go towards a diabetes camp they have for children.  I think I've mentioned before that I can't imagine a child having to cope with this condition while they're growing up and the work that TCH do feels so incredibly worthwhile.

Once again, thanks again for stopping by and reading - I do appreciate you taking the time to read.  I find it very motivating and it keeps me going when it's a bit cold and blustery outside.  You can find me on Twitter (@BroomOwl) or on broomowl@gmail.com if you fancy a chat.

Take care and I'll speak to you again soon


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The long and winding road

Good morning.

I'll apologise up front for the loose interpretation of the Paul McCartney penned song as a title for this post, but I felt it was a decent interpretation of the route I took on last night's run:

This was my first 2 mile run of this training session and it went pretty well all things considered.  I had to contend with a shocking stitch for most of it, but I think if I'm going to insist on eating 2 hours before I go out, I'm going to have to put up with it.

Not feeling any serious after effects of the running just yet either which is encouraging.  The odd ache here and there feels pretty much normal these days and so I'm feeling pretty happy with how things are going so far.

I got up and went for a run first thing on Saturday morning as well so I'm up to 3.5 miles a week at the moment.  I think if I can manage that again this week then I can move up to around 5 miles a week by the end of November and then gradually increase that in the run up to Christmas.  I don't want to get ahead of myself but I'd like to think I could string together a 4 or 5 mile run by New Year if things go well.  I should be on my proper training plan by then which will be an important milestone.

I was talking to a friend this week about how I'm missing running with music on. It's strange because I've always found it very motivating but I think at the moment I'm going to subconsciously start to increase my pace too much or inadvertently try to do too much and I don't want to take that risk right now.  I might try and find some slower music to listen to as my distances improve but I'll leave that for a few weeks.  If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

All things diabetic remain pretty much the same.  I'm generally keeping everything under pretty good control despite the odd indulgence as I catch up with people before Christmas.

As I've said in previous posts, not being able to calculate the right amount of insulin (and having to rely on guess work) is tricky and leads to the odd over or undercorrection.  Waking up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar and having to sit in the dark and pop a few jelly babies to correct your blood levels isn't the greatest of feelings (and does little for your sleep either).

Some of my fingers are starting to resemble a pin cushion from where I check my blood (pin prick on the end of your finger) so I'm making a conscious effort to pick on less used fingers for a while.  The trouble with that is that it becomes a bit more painful.  Just one of those things I suppose.

It was World Diabetes Day on Monday this week.  It passed me by if I'm honest.  I have to say I didn't know there was a World Diabetes Day until I started to see the odd tweet mentioning it.  If you're interested in finding out a bit more, there's a good link just here: World Diabetes Day  You can find out a bit more about the symptoms (useful if you're feeling constantly tired, getting lots of cramps etc).  It's always worth knowing things like this as I effectively diagnosed myself with the condition before I visited the GP on campus at University 10 years ago.

Thanks for taking the time to read through.  I really do appreciate the support from you all.  I'm always happy to have a chat on twitter (@BroomOwl) or on broomowl@gmail.com

I hope you all have a good week.

Take care


Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Good morning

Like most people, I'm mourning the passing of our very brief summer and looking at the long nights and short days with a fair amount of contempt.  But secretly I'm also quite pleased.

Autumn is my favourite time of year to run - it's cool but not too cold and I prefer to run when it's dark rather than during the day.  I also quite like running in the rain.  Don't ask me to rationalise it because I can't.  The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps I feel like I've worked a bit harder, or it's a greater test of my dedication.  But really I have no idea why I like it so much.

Whilst autumn brings my favourite running conditions it also brings Christmas preparations and so more time gets filled up with seeing friends and family before we all take a well earned break from work.  It just means being a bit more creative with fitting in some training.

Since my last post I've done two more runs - both over the 1.5 mile route I have round the town.  I've had a bit more of an ache the following day each time but all in all I'm feeling pretty good.  It feels good to be able to do two a week and not feel like I'm made of glass.

I'm in the process of planning out a 2 mile run for my next outing which will probably be Saturday morning.  I feel a bit daft exulting a 1.5 or 2 mile run.  Before my injury I wouldn't have considered going out for less than about 2.5 miles but things obviously change.  I think I've got about another 6 weeks (or 12 runs) before I really have to start putting in a distance run once a week - I think that will be a real test of how capable my body is of holding out for the actual marathon.

With regards to diabetes, it's been another fairly successful week - I had one blip last night/this morning where I seemto have miscalculated m dosage on a piece of parkin but all should be back to normal by lunchtime.

Again, the run up to Christmas brings its own challenges for diabetes.  More meals out with friends certainly means extra calories (which I don't particularly welcome) but it also means a lot of uncertainty about looking after yourself.  It's quite easy to get carried away with it all and tell yourself it's only a treat.  The problem is that it gets easier and easier to justify that to yourself and you slip out of good habits and back into bad ones.

Of course I'm not advocating some sort of horribly strict diet over Christmas - diabetes doesn't stop you being human.  But it's not always the worst thing in the world to just go out and have a salad instead of a burger once in a while.

Whilst this may not be strictly true, the way I once had it explained to me was this:

Your diet as a diabetic should be as varied and balanced as everyone else's diet should be.  It's just the consequences of it not being balanced are worse for you than they are for other people.

I think that's fairly sensible advice (although I'm happy to be challenged).  Being diabetic won't get in the way of my customary Chocolate Orange at Christmas.  It just means that it'll get eaten over a fortnight and not a couple of days.

One final point before I sign off, I had a quick medical review at the doctors last night which ended up with them weighing me.  Aftera few weeks of not feeling quite right with myself, my weight was back to 88.5kg (or 195lbs in old money).  Again, I know it's not something to be shouting about from the rooftops, but it's good to know I've lost about 18lbs and all in all, managed to pretty much keep it off.

I'm not sure if this has been a particularly good read or not but thanks for stopping by and sticking with it.  I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

I can always be found lurking on twitter (@BroomOwl) or at the other end of broomowl@gmail.com if the comments pages are playing up again.  I hope you have a good rest of your week and I'll post again soon.

Take care