The Big Half – How D Played Ball

The Big Half – How D Played Ball

Sunday 4th March saw the inaugural half marathon, The Big Half. An event put on by the same team who bring us the London Marathon each year. 
This was a great chance for me to see how my training had been going. As well as getting some race experience ready for the โžก big one next month. It is only by taking part in races like this that I can see how my diabetes will behave. No matter how many long runs I do on a Sunday morning at 6 am, diabetes and adrenaline do strange things. 

How I Played It On The Day

 As the ”Beast From The East” had been playing havoc all week in the run up to the event I had not upped my carb intake as much as I would have liked in the days leading up to the race. After all, I didn’t want that much stored up energy only to find that the half got cancelled ๐Ÿ™
On Saturday at around 1.30 pm I got the email confirming the event was going ahead, happy days.
I made sure to have a decent lunch on Saturday as well as a nice carb-heavy dinner of pasta, garlic bread and chicken breasts.

Sunday 4th March

  • 5.30 am – Early wake-up call – Blood sugars 6.6
  • 5.40 am – Coffee, nothing to do with running it’s just the law!
    All Set And Ready For The Off

    Kit For The Day
  • 6.30 am – Temporary basal rate switched on, just 10% of my normal rate. Wouldn’t usually put it on this early before a run. As I had to commute to London and do not want a hypo I thought this may be a good plan – Blood sugars dropped to 4.7
  • 6.40 am – On the train, 15g carbs from glucotabs to stave off the impending hypo

    Low Bloods And Early Trains erghh
  • 7 am – Blood sugars back up to 6.6 – Time now to start fueling ready for the race start at 9 am – 1 banana 20g carbs no insulin – Also drank 500ml water with SIS hydration tablet, important to keep hydrated especially when using the Dexcom to keep an eye on your numbers whilst running
  • 7.40 am – In London now and on way to start line, oww look a coffee shop – more coffee

    London Selfie – Obviously
  • 8 am – Another banana 20g carbs no insulin – Blood sugars 7.2, that’s perfect exactly where I want them at the race start
  • 8.40 am – Bags dropped off and on way to starting pen. Quick 1km warm-up jog to get the legs awake – Blood sugars 6.6
  • 9 am – Mo Farah started, adrenaline starting to kick in now as the anticipation grows – Blood sugars 7.9
  • 9.25 am – At the start line and we are off – Blood sugars now 6.9 and sitting flat
  • 9.50 am – 3 miles in and a quick glance at my watch shows blood sugars of 5.5 and sitting flat still, happy with that for now
  • 10.15 am – 6 miles in and blood sugars still sitting at 5.6 and level. Trial and error on my long runs means I know I need to take glucose on at this point. Although my numbers are good and flat I still need that energy, just as non-diabetic runners would – 1 SIS gel 27g carbs
  • 10.25 am – Heading back over Tower Bridge at 7 miles, the adrenaline is now at fever pitch and the tingles in anticipation of the London Marathon are in full swing. Blood sugars still 5.5 and level. Diabetes is on my side today it seems.
  • 10.55 am – Just coming up to 10-mile mark, a quick check of the watch and see my blood sugar is, you guessed it 5.5 Another SIS energy gel 27g carbs and that should set me up for a strong finish
  • 11.20 am – Just 1 km left blood sugars sitting at 6.3 I know that diabetes isn’t going to hamper me now and I put the hammer down for the final sprint in. The crowds and support really make a huge difference.
  • 11.25 am – New personal best in the bag, sprinted over the finish line in 1 hour 46 minutes and 4 seconds. A full 6 minutes faster than my last half marathon back in October 2017, chuffed doesn’t come close to it. Blood sugars 6.9
  • 12 pm – Blood sugars has risen to 8.9 and heading upwards, I never correct a spike after a race, experience has taught me this will drop later.
I kept a 50% reduction in my basal rate all afternoon, in this time my bloods never went above 14 mmol/l 
As you can see without using a CGM during my runs I would not have any of this data to make decisions with. Dexcom really has been key to my approach to diabetes and exercise.
For a chance to get your hands on a Dexcom G5 mobile system, and support RNIB fundraising at the same time have a look โžก Here

Well That Went Well

This event went as well as I could have ever hoped for, today diabetes decided to be on my side, tomorrow is another day and I never get complacent and assume diabetes will play ball. I approach every run in the same way, let’s look at what’s in front of me and make the best decision I can.
Next up is 22nd April….. How is that here already!!!

Any support you could give me in my fund-raising for RNIB would be amazing
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For now, take care, The Marathon is nearly here

6 thoughts on “The Big Half – How D Played Ball

  • Well done Bri, Excellent result in time and BGs. Like your slant that luck was with you; no matter how much you plan and cram the theory, sometimes my body just does its own thing! Mine going up now, prior to badminton match – they tend to make them dive!

    • Diabetes never has 2 days exactly the same does it lol
      I always take what’s in front of me on the day and make decisions based on my best estimate ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kim Tonnet

    Thanks for sharing but I am amazed that you can set basal to 10% and then go hypo and then eat two sugar laden bananas without spiking ??? Makes me think you still have some insulin production by your pancreas.

    If I eat any carb in the morning with no bolus and esp. with reduced basal, I will spike to 10+++ and then need bolus which is a no no for running.

    And I find on event days my BSL will behave diff than in training…nerves, adrenaline ? but I often spike up initially to like 14-18 and then I need to correct it and then I will crash.

    I was really hoping to find a way to overcome the desire to eat some food really early before an event. Because at the moment I can’t eat anything without needing a bolus and it depends on race start time and duration but 20+ km on water alone is so much harder than if you are fuelled. All my non-diabetic friends fuel before and during an event and I just have water ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for any inputs, Kim (in Australia) – mostly trail running which is longer duration for same distance road running

    • Hi Kim

      I think you are right regards me still having some residual insulin production, I am 4.5 years into diagnosis now and have noticed things are starting to change with regards my requirements.
      I feel your pain with the non-diabetic runners, seeing them fueling before races lol!! All I can do is eat 20 minutes before a race, and that way the exercise has started before my blood begins to spike, and the exercise ”usually” deals with the spike!!
      Race days my blood sugars always behave differently, I really do have to keep my fueling and insulin strategy very fluid on the day, and make changes as and when needed.

      Check out my video’s on Youtube, documenting my training for Virgin London Marathon 2019

  • Kim T

    Thanks I will look at the videos. 4 years – yeah thatโ€™s early days. I had some insulin production for 17 years after dx but itโ€™s 21 years now and thereโ€™s nothing. I am so very very carb intolerant. To the extent that I never eat pasta & rice / bread / potato are rare indulgences. Running in fasted state is so much easier – but still need to overcome the initial spike which is unpredictable. Bolus insulin is a disaster sooner or later but a high over 14 is also limiting. And I also feel so flat after 15k / 2h of hilly trails – reckon that it makes running much much harder.

    • Yeah it certainly keeps us on our toes with regards running and what our insulin and carb requirements are!!
      A really good friend of mine is currently training for VLM 2019 as well, and she is having great success in fueling herself with a small bolus before a run. I can never get that to work, but for her it works perfectly!! I guess it is the old addage that ”Your Diabetes May Vary” and it’s never truer than around exercise and diabetes is it!!

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