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 ➡ 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 🙁
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!
- 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
- 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
- 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 ➡ 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!!!
For now, take care, The Marathon is nearly here