I was feeling up for another run this morning so it was no trouble getting out of bed at 05:30. At one time, before diabetes, I would have had a mug of tea, donned my gear and been out of the door, but diabetes has changed this. For me, it’s one of the most inconvenient things about this disease – the lack of spontaneity. I discovered early on that I now need two things to have happened before I can set off for my early morning run: I need to have injected insulin around ninety minutes to two hours before setting off, and I need to have some food in my stomach. If I don’t inject and eat then my blood sugar levels will climb and climb, and I would place myself in danger of developing ketoacidosis. Having experienced that just the once, I never want to experience it again!
Diabetes is complicated at times, and it’s something that most non-diabetics would be totally unaware of – it’s not simply a case of injecting a fixed amount of insulin each day, you have to take into account how your body behaves at different parts of the day and alter things accordingly. Like many people with diabetes, mornings are the times when I am particularly resistant to insulin, and this, when coupled with an enthusiastic liver, eager to pump forth vast amounts of additional glucose into my bloodstream, means that my breakfast doses of insulin are much higher than at any other time of the day or night.
I discovered some time ago that the only way to keep my levels reasonable is to inject, wait for around half and hour, then eat a small amount of food – usually a slice of toast – then wait a further hour or so for that to begin to digest before I can get out of the door. This, unfortunately for me and my running, means that I have food digesting as I run which often causes sensations of nausea which in turn can make steady breathing difficult.
More of that later though, I am off out of the door in a shorts-and-tshirt darkened day before the dawn has broken. It’s cool, not cold, with a bit of a breeze which scarcely ripples the surface of the river alongside. My breathing is good and my legs feel strong, so I am striding out into the depths of the park, when suddenly I have to skip to the side upon encountering a man flanked by German Shepherds. Not two teutonic wolf-worriers out to defend their flock, you understand, but two large hairy creatures of canine descent. I was brought up to think of German Shepherds, also known as Alsations, as police or guard dogs, aggressive and to be given a wide berth at all costs. It’s probably a very unfair image, and these two hardly bat an eyelid (do dogs have eyelids?) as I pass, and my heart can slow again to a less agitated rhythm!
Passing alongside the far reaches of the river and approaching the bridge, a loud quack breaks the tranquillity, and I see a small group of mallards paddling past. I don’t speak mallard, but I imagine she is wishing me a cheery ‘good morning’, so I give her and her party a little wave. Of course, for all I know she may be saying ‘hey! You forgot your shorts!’, although I am not entirely sure what levels of humour might operate in the brain of a duck.
Up and over the bridge and I’m still feeling quite good. If it was light enough to see my Garmin, then I might be able to check my pace and progress, but it’s still quite dark and about twenty minutes from sunrise. I wonder to myself what time those ducks wake up and what prompts them? Down the main road and I find I am moving much faster than the adjacent stream of traffic, as it is stalled in the queue for the busy roundabout. Makes me feel smug! The smugness dissipates though as I turn the corner to encounter my last challenging hill of the route, and I realise that I still have a significant degree of fitness to acquire before the race!
Back in the park again, and that toast is starting to protest in my stomach – so annoying! Having not had to deal with this for most of my running career it’s taking some getting used to. It’s at this point that I realise what the wise Mrs Mallard was trying to tell me – ‘cut short your run by a quarter of a mile, that’s enough for today!’ So I do, and arrive home slightly earlier than planned!
Quick update – the postman has just delivered my fairy outfit! Eek!
Time 41 mins 33 secs.
Distance 4.24 miles
Pace 9:52 per mile
BG before 8.9 mmol/l
BG after 9.7 mmol/l