Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cleveland Marathon

This Sunday I will be running the Cleveland Marathon! This will be my first attempt at this distance in this event. However, I've run this venue - the 10K - since I was 16 years old! Two years ago I decided to tackle the full marathon, and forked over the race fee in the fall preceding the race. Unfortunately a large kidney stone sidelined those plans :( Last year, a good friend and I decided to both take on the Half Marathon event. It would be a first for both of us. We were excited, I enjoyed having a friend that I could talk training with, and we did a great job preparing for the race. Race day came and we both had a super day, accomplishing our respective goals. I was so happy with it, true to form - as you will see I am an impulsive individual - I signed up for another half mary 2 weeks later and dropped 14 minutes from my previous time! Giddy up! I tackled my first full marathon in Columbus, Ohio in October, 2009. My time wasn't brilliant, but my goal was to go the distance, and I did. It was a beautiful fall day, a nice flat course, and plenty of supportive spectators to recharge me as I ran by.

True to form, yes, 2 weeks later, I did another marathon! And, I dropped my time by 17 minutes.

My goals this year are different, as I prepare for an Ironman distance triathlon. Well, three, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. This week's marathon is to have a consistent and strong race. I'm BUILDING. Time is secondary. Building endurance and the mental toughness is what I'm working on right now. Oh, and managing my sugar.

On the BG (blood glucose) front, my endo gave me a new insulin a month ago. Apidra. It's a quick-acting, short acting insulin. I was having trouble late in endurance races with BG >300. That's NOT GOOD. I was taking in plenty of carbs, but without insulin, my muscles were STARVING for energy, and then turns to breaking down whatever is available to get the energy it needs. That's called CATABOLISM, and in this situation, it's NOT GOOD. So, the Apidra is given and it allows all that circulating glucose in the bloodstream to get into the peripheral tissues, specifically my muscles. So far, so good! I love it. It's really working for me. The only drawback is that I need to stop and TEST with my glucometer (finger stick then drop of blood on test strip so the meter can read it). It's not as easy to know what BG is doing until extremes are reached - too high, too low. Basically I want BG to be between 80 - 140 during a race. Those numbers work for me, and are different than the range I aim for during everyday life (60-120 ... although at 60 I'm feeling pretty cruddy). So, I have 2 SPI belts, that are awesome! My orange one holds the glucometer, and my purple one holds 2 Powerbar gels and my Apidra pen. I'll never look slim and sexy when I run an endurance race because I've got to have these strapped around my waist. So much for my modeling career.

So, am I READY for the marathon? Well, probably not. But that doesn't stop me. I think I will be able to complete it, however, I fear I will fall apart around mile 18 and then just dig deep and hang on for dear life! Of course I'll do a race report - many of us that do these things just love to share our experiences on a blog.

I am a single mom of 3 kids. They are ages 11, 9 (in June) and 6. I have shared custody of them so it's a challenge to get in the training I need when I have them with me. But we seem to make it work. I remember sitting everyone down and telling them that this year was going to be a challenge and told them that I NEEDED their support in this effort. From training to competing, they needed to be on board with the commitment that is required. They all readily agreed to do their best to help me out. I use that trump card every now and again. So far, so good! Sometimes I go for a long run and the two youngest will jump on their bikes, while the oldest chooses to roller blade lately. So, we all are getting exercise and I am able to train. Sometimes the distance is too much for my youngest. We've been 4 or 5 miles from home, on a cold, windy day, and he'll just stop and cry. He's tired. He's cold. He wants to be done. It breaks my heart, but I can usually bring him back around to finish the journey. So, each and every endurance race I do, including these Ironman triathlons, will be a result of sacrifice from everyone in my family! This weekend, my wonderful sister, Jodi, has agreed to take on my 3 chicklets - goblins? - along with her own 2 kids. Five kids for 4-5 hours? Sounds terrifying to me! More scary than the marathon!!!
But I am deeply grateful for the help of friends and family. I need you now, more than ever. The sacrifices and help I've had from Katie, Jodi, Ted, and the kids' father, Steve and his wife, has been ... just amazing. I am honored and blessed for the help I get during this journey I've undertaken.

So, ready or not, Cleveland Marathon, here I come!!!


  1. When you do the triathlon, what is your plan for the blood sugar starting the swim? I am type 1 and doing my first triathlon next week (5/23). I can't find any info on that specific question. Can you let me know your plan?

  2. I am one of Tiffany's Triabetes teammates. The directional trend of your blood sugar is the most important. For example, if it is a race that I care about, then my nerves sometimes kick in which causes my liver to dump sugar and my reading go up rapidly. I would eat 2 hours before the start, test at 1 hour after I eat and then at least 15 minutes until the start and the adjust the food intact or insulin as necessary. Again, find the trend, not just the one reading. GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. I agree with Brian (thefishin6) exactly. I eat 2-3 hrs before my race (mostly for the PRP!! - Look for that blog SOON!) and test an hour after I eat. Then I test 15-30 min. before the swim and dose accordingly. If I'm under 200, I don't take insulin, over, I do (Apidra - quick acting/short acting). Nerves do tend to play a part in that prerace BG. I'd rather be too high than too low - ANY DAY, esp. during a race. Then, in transition, I only test if I feel off, or if I had to take Apidra before the swim) But I always have glucometer, Apidra pen and 2 gels with me from the bike on (clearly not for swim, for obvious reason!). I will test at fixed points, such as halfway, or after a huge climb. Ran a Marathon yesterday and tested at mile 10 and 18. That's how I approach it. Hope that helps Larry!