Featured

Martin’s Run for Type 1

If you’ve been following along my stream of consciousness that I document on this site, you know that the leading man in my life film is Marty*. He is my biggest supporter, my coach, my photographer, my check and balance, my everything. If you’ve met either of us, it’s easy to tell we’re dreamers**. We look to the horizon and imagine the world that could be.  Call it rose colored glasses or optimism or whatever you like but I’ll take that over dwelling on the negatives any day. We imagine a future where our families, friends, communities and the world are safe and healthy. 

We imagine a world without diabetes!

With that in mind, I’m going to take a break from my normal posts this week to let you all know about a really amazing thing that Marty decided to do.

On August 8th 2020, Marty is going to take on a solo run across Luzerne County, PA in an effort to raise money which will be donated to JDRF.org. This run will take him along a challenging and hilly 55+ mile course through northern Pennsylvania. When people ask me why I do the crazy athletic thing I do, often my response is that “I’m just trying to keep up with my husband!”. In this case, I’m not even going to try to keep up. Instead, I’ll have the opportunity to support him the way he has always supported me as I “crew and coordinate” the run. I’ll share a “race report”, minus the blood sugar tracking, after it is complete but feel free to check out my social media pages for real time updates as he is running. 

Marty is really excited to take this on and I’m really excited to share it with you all. If you would like to donate or share with your friends, the link for his JDRF donation page is below! Otherwise, feel free to follow along on our adventure! Raising awareness about this invisible disease is just as important as far as I’m concerned.  

Link to donate

Stay Strong Diabuddies!!

*Want to learn more about Marty? Check out my post about him here, or his guest post on what it is like to be a T1 spouse here, or the newspaper article about his run here! Also check out some of my favorite photos of him below, just for fun!

**My “Favorite Mother In Law [FMIL]” (my nickname for Marty’s mom) even calls me “Jenny Joy” because I am so optimistic most of the time.

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

8/3/2020- Run + Abs

Shake out run

+ Abs

  • 4:31 am, SG: 96, Start Abs
    • 5 x the following, 30 sec rest after each round
      • 30 sec Boat in & out – Left/center/right
      • 30 sec Crunches
      • 30 sec Incline atomic mountain climbers
      • 30 sec Boat in & out – Up/down
      • 30 sec Decline mountain climbers
    • Plank to fail (after 5th round)
  • 4:48 am, SG: 98, End Abs
  • 5:16 am, SG: 108, Start run
    • Mile 1.8, 1g carb
  • 5:55 am, SG: 65/ BG: 70, End run
  • 6:25 am, SG: 77, 30 Minutes Post Workout

This morning on the training plan I had a 30-45 min shake out run and abs scheduled. The dawn phenomenon wasn’t hitting hard when I woke up, so I decided to do my abs first since that generally has very little impact on my blood sugar. Then I got ready to run, made a pot of coffee so that it would be ready post run and headed out the door. The sun wasn’t up yet so I took my chest light along, which I forgot to charge. Whoops! It died about half way into my run. Even though it was still dark and I was just running along the side of the road, our new town is so pretty! It has a lot of old buildings and history which I really appreciate!

As far as blood sugar management goes, I really did nothing for the ab block. For the run, I waited to see a slight dawn phenomenon rise before I left and then monitored on the run. It peaked at 109 so when I saw 108 just before my halfway point, I has a jelly bean to prevent a low. I debated having two but since I knew it would hit hardest after the run and today is sensor change day, I didn’t want a crazy post run spike. I knew it was a slight risk that I would go low but I wasn’t far from home and I had my phone and road ID on me so I decided to chance it*. By the end of my run, my sensor was reading 65 but a blood test showed 70. Not ideal but I felt fine and my BG came up from there so it worked out.

*I’ve got a fair amount of experience running with diabetes and felt pretty comfortable making that judgment call but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re just starting out. It’s better to be safe (high) than sorry when you’re just learning how running/working out will effect your blood sugar. Everyone is a little different so self-experimentation is crucial!

After my long run yesterday, Marty and I decided to “play on the train tracks”. The photos turned out pretty cool so I figured I would share them with you all! 🙂

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/29/2020- Run

Easy Run

Getting back in the routine

  • 5:14 am, BG: 139, Start run
    • 5:46 am, BG: 127, Mile 3.5, 2g carb
  • 6:05 am, BG: 89, End run
  • 6:25 am, BG: 186, 1.5 U Pre-bolus for breakfast
  • 6:35 am, BG: 100, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Since it’s now been a few weeks since our move, I realized I need to get back into a real routine and training schedule. I asked my coach* to write me a training plan so that I wouldn’t wake up each day wondering “What am I going to do for my workout?”. Last night I checked my plan and saw 5 miles, so today I did just that. The heat finally broke so I had beautiful weather for it and I went early enough that I even caught the sunrise.

My BG management was simple this morning. Run until I use the dawn phenomenon sugar dump and then have some carbs if needed. That happened around mile 3.5 today. I saw a drop from 140 to 127 in 5 minutes and knew I would need something to prevent a low. I also knew that I would be done running in about 15 mins, just about when the carbs would start to hit. I had two jelly beans to be on the safe side and kept moving. It worked, a few minutes after my run, I saw 78 with an arrow down. Normally, this would be cause for concern but I knew I had those jelly beans about to hit so I waited. My next BG was 86. Boom!

“Trust that what you know will happen, is going to happen!”

At that point, I correct and pre-bolused for breakfast because I don’t need to be trending up before breakfast and what fun is a run without a good post run meal? 😉

*Yes, I mean Marty. 🙂

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/25/2020- Run

Exploration run

Part three

  • 10:03 am, BG: 113, Start temp target
  • 10:23 am, BG: 112, Start run
    • 25g carb in small sips throughout
  • 12:20 am, BG: 86, End run, End temp target
    • 12:29 am, BG: 88, 0.5 U correction
    • 12:33 am, BG: 93, 0.5 U correction
    • 12:45 am, BG: 110, 1.1 U pre-bolus for “breakfast”
  • 12:54 am, BG: 114, ~30 Minutes Post Workout

So, in case you haven’t noticed, with the move and the new job, I’ve been slacking a bit. When you live in a place that people take their vacation, it’s easy to let that relaxed mindset creep in and takeover. There is certainly a benefit to balancing work and relaxation in life but you have to check the relaxation part periodically so you don’t get soft. Doing the “hard” things comes with it’s own benefits and rewards. While I would be lying if I said this was truly only my third exploration run, I certainly haven’t been pushing my limits recently.

Today, I decided to change that. I went out with a goal of 10 miles, minimum. Since I haven’t been race training, I’ve really been slacking on the long runs. Today was a true exploration run. I went out looking for a trail that one of my new local friends told me about. Unfortunately, I never found it. I did end up with just over ten miles looking for it though, so really not a bad day overall. I got a later start because we were waiting around for an “early” morning installation for our new place. As soon as we were set up, I went running out the door. It was hot and a bit hilly today and the late start only made the heat worse!

My BGs were actually fantastic on my run today. I set a temp target as soon as I knew about when I would be running and kept it for the entire run since I was hanging toward the lower end of where I like to be on a run towards the end. I put one scoop of Tailwind in one of my bottles and finished the whole thing (25g of carb) around mile 9. When I finished, I ended my temp target and watched. When my next BG was 88, I knew I was on the upswing and gave a correction. When the next one was 93, I gave another correction. Then I showered (since I was a sweaty mess) and at that point pre-bolused because I realized I hadn’t eaten anything except tailwind all morning. Marty and I had planned a trip to one of our favorite wineries this afternoon. A summer day like today calls for a chilled white wine and some carby snacks (crackers and cheese today) so I wanted to be ready!

Cheers to you diabuddies!

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/19/2020- Run

Exploration run

Part three

  • 6:01 am, BG: 120, Set temp target
  • 6:45 am, BG: 139, Start run
    • Mile 0.5, 2g carb
    • Mile 3.5, 2g carb
  • ~7:25 am, BG: 94, Lake break/meditation, 6g carb (15-20 mins or so)
    • Mile 6.5, 2g carb
  • 8:15 am, BG: 77, End run, 0.2 U correction, End temp target
  • 8:42 am, BG: 81, ~30 Minutes Post Workout

This morning I had planned a mid-distance run, so I set a temp target even though I anticipated I might get a dawn phenomenon spike. I had barely started my run when I noticed my BGs were already trending down. Since I was planning on 7-8 miles, I had 2 jelly beans, even though I was just a half a mile in. I was still trending down three miles later so I had a couple more jelly beans. Then at the turnaround I stopped for a bit to take in the view, meditate and check in on what automode had actually given me in terms of basal earlier in the morning. This way I could more accurately predict what might happen and manage more effectively. Turns out that from 5 am-6 am I got my full basal, then between 6 am-7 am, I still got a significant amount despite setting my temp target (see pick dots on my graph below). More insulin + more activity = more carbs to stay stable. Since I was only half way done, I had 6 more jelly beans to try to get me through the rest of my run. About a mile and a half from home, I was dropping faster than I would like, so I had 2 more jelly beans to prevent a post run low and waited until I was done running to end my temp target. It worked out pretty well and I only dropped to 73 at my lowest post-run. Success!

Today’s “exploration run” took me from our new home to the lake and back. Okay, so I might have known where I was going today as opposed to it being a true exploration run! It was a hot one and I was a sweaty mess by the time I was done, just under 8 miles total. When I got to the lake, I just knew I had to take a few minutes to sit by this huge willow tree and take in the view. It was so beautiful and peaceful! I know a lot of runners that get so stuck on hitting times or mileage that they forget it’s supposed to be fun too!

Enjoy the run, enjoy the moment!

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

FAQs

When you put your life out there, in public, often people reach out and ask questions. Here are some of the things I’ve been frequently asked, in case you might be wondering the same thing.

Do you listen to anything while you run/workout?

If I’m lifting, I usually listen to music (especially if I’m working out at home). If I’m riding my bike on the trainer, I’ll usually listen to an audiobook or podcast. Usually when I’m running, I don’t listen to anything. I get lost in my own thoughts, think about running or what my next move to keep my blood sugar stable will be. I consider listening to something “cheating” somewhat because it distracts you from what you’re feeling. You lose the benefit of toughening your mind if you’re always listening to something and you lose the opportunity for a meditative workout.

How old are you?

Well that depends on when you stumble upon this post but I was born in November of 1987 so, at the time of writing (July 2020) I’m 32.

What kind of insulin are you on?

Humalog, currently. I’ve also used Novolog and Lantus previously.

What system do you use to manage your T1?

The Medtronic 670G & Guardian Continuous Glucose Meter

What do you have your high & low pump alarms set at?

During the day 70-120, at night it’s 75-140. I know this might seem like my pump would be alarming all the time but I believe that if it will alarm at 120, I can fix it and it might hit 150-160 before the insulin takes effect. If I wait until 150 to correct a high, it might hit 180  before coming back down. If I have  my high alert set to 180, like I did when I was first diagnosed, you’ll end up going out of normal range pretty frequently. I can also typically fix an oncoming high pretty quickly with a walk  around the block. For me, it’s faster than insulin and isn’t affecting me (and potentially causing a low) two hours later. On the low end, I can easily bump a lower BG (in the 70s) up to an 80 or 90 with a smartie or jelly bean or two to prevent a low. I keep these fast acting but low carb sweets on me pretty much at all times. 

What kind of tape do you use?

Sugar patch! Love them! I’m allergic to everything else I’ve tried so far.

Are you a personal trainer?

I’m not but my husband, Marty, is a personal trainer. I am a licensed massage therapist, primarily working with athletes doing sports massage as a side hustle. This experience has provided me with an in-depth knowledge of muscular anatomy and kinesiology and being a lifelong athlete doesn’t hurt!

When were you diagnosed?

On June 9, 2017 at age 29. I ended up in the hospital with DKA and the ER nurse  called up to the ICU and said, “You won’t believe this girl! She is textbook T1. Checks every box in terms of symptoms, but she is 29!?!?! How weird is that?” I now know a bunch of  people diagnosed later in life and much older than I was but I totally blew the mind  of that ER nurse. 🙂

What do you eat?

I get some form of this question more than any other! Honestly, there are very few things I don’t eat. Unfortunately, this answer is so long to actually get into detail, it will have to be its own post. More to come on this topic in a future post!

I hope that you find this to be helpful and maybe even a little bit fun. If you have any questions here that I missed, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/14/2020- Run

Exploration run

Part two

  • 6:46 am, BG: 157, Start run
    • 1g carb @ mile 2.5
    • 1g carb @ mile 3
    • 1g carb @ mile 3.5
    • 2g carb @ mile 4
  • 7:34 am, BG: 93, End run, 1 U correction
  • 8:04 am, BG: 120, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Today I went out for another easy explore-the-new-town run. Ended up with about 5 miles, and today the weather was perfect, low 60s and a gentle breeze. There are a few small hills right near our new place but the route today was mostly flat.

When I woke up this morning, I was at 107 so I started to leisurely get ready for my run. A few minutes later, I looked again five minute later and was already at 120. Oh the dawn phenomenon was going to be raging this morning! I started to get ready a bit more quickly and had already hit 157 by the time I ran out the door. About 2.5 miles in, I started to drop slightly and decided to have a jelly bean. I had one every half a mile after that since I began dropping pretty quickly. Then, when I finished, I immediately corrected and pre-bolused for breakfast knowing I had way too many carbs for uch a short run.

The timing worked though. Jelly beans are a quick spike and even if you over do them, they tend to come back down with insulin pretty easily (assuming you aren’t eating other things with them). They definitely aren’t the healthiest emergency food but at 1g carb per bean (jelly belly brand), they are great for micro-adjustments. Not to mention, it’s a fun surprise to see which flavor you get mid-run. Mile three today was buttered popcorn, (yuck!*) but I also got a green apple today, which I love! Overall, not a bad way to start the day!

*I mean, really does anyone actually like the buttered popcorn flavor?? :p

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/13/2020- Run

Exploration 5k

New city/New route

  • 6:13am, BG: 137, 30 min temp target
  • 6:52 am, BG: 139, Start run
  • 7:24 am, BG: 114, End run
    • 7:30 am, BG: 99, 5g carb
  • 7:54 am, BG: 72, 30 Minutes Post Workout

We Moved!!!

So in case you missed the update, we moved from our home in the Philly suburbs to a new state! Our favorite place in the world, really! Getting to know a new town calls for some on-foot exploration. So today, I explored my new neighborhood with a quick morning 5k. Certainly wasn’t trying to break any speed records, just casually looking around and trying to get the vibe of our new neighborhood. I love it so far! It’s like we were built for the lake life!

Of course, just because things are new and exciting, it doesn’t mean I get a break from diabetes. My BGs have admittedly a bit wonky the past few days with the move. Whether it was the lack of sleep, the stress of driving a 26′ box truck for 4+ hours, moving and unpacking boxes or dealing with new unknown foods, it’s been challenging being out of my routine. After three days, I’m starting to adapt to the new routine and learning my new normal.

Of course with everything, my BGs didn’t act exactly the way I would have predicted on my run today. To be on the safe side, I set a temp target before my run. This way it would hit during my run and end before I started my run, since I wasn’t planning on going too far. During the run, I was fine but almost immediately after my run, I started dropping really quickly (see the 99 with 3 down arrows). Since I was dropping so fast and we were planning on taking Miles to the lake before breakfast, I had 5g of carbs* too make sure I wouldn’t go low. I also knew I would need a slight boost for playing with the boy and swimming in the lake**. Luckily, it worked out well! Without doing anything else, I had a nice steady line between 100-120 the entire time we were playing at the lake. I could get used to this! 🙂

*Jelly Belly jelly beans today! Yum! Definitely more carbs than I might normally have had in this situation but better safe than sorry.

**Miles is a Weimaraner, which is a German breed known for being high-energy, and great hunters and swimmers. Fun fact, Miles actually has webbed toes (so do all Weims)! Also, Miles HATES being wet… and is scared of choppy water. All of that being said, I’m determined to ‘break him’ until he loves the water. As a former competitive swimmer, I feel like it’s only right that my “swimming breed” pup ought to join me for swims in the lake (and enjoy them, of course)!

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

The Medtronic 670G System

When I was first diagnosed in 2017, the Medtronic 670G closed loop system was the only FDA approved closed loop system. It was the latest and greatest diabetes technology. It was so highly recommended that I of course chose this system over other options. After using it for a few years, I can honestly say there are a lot of things I like about it and there are some drawbacks too.

For some background, this system is made up of the Medtronic 670G Insulin Pump and the Guardian Continuous Glucose Monitor. A closed loop system means the CGM “talks to the pump” and the pump will adjust your basal rate to help keep your blood sugar in range.

The Positives

  • I have fewer lows with the closed loop system then I did on MDI or in manual mode on the pump.
  • It keeps me pretty stable if I don’t have time to micromanage my BGs
  • Having a sensor taught me a lot about how things affect my blood sugar. This level of knowledge has been key to my BG management strategy and great A1c levels
How to change your infusion site on the 670G (video)

The Negatives

  • The algorithm doesn’t manage the dawn phenomenon well. 
    • It is not a predictive technology, it only reacts to what your BGs are doing.
    • Since the sensor reads the interstitial fluid, not actual blood, it runs about 15 minutes or so behind your actual blood readings. This means it is 15 minutes “behind” on all reactions.
  • The Guardian sensor isn’t the most accurate on the market (but it isn’t horrible either)
  • You can only see your sensor information on the pump itself and you can’t share it with anyone else.
  • The algorithm targets a BG reading of 120, which is a bit higher than I like mine and I tend to have more highs when it is in automode than if I manage it myself.
  • To reduce basal, you only have the option of setting a temp target to 150 in automode
  • In automode, the only way to bolus is to enter the number of carbs you’re eating. It doesn’t factor in fat or protein. As you probably know, 30 g of carbs in rice, hits differently than 30 g of carbs in pizza or 30 g of carbs in a salad with salmon.
  • I’m not convinced the pump is very durable. I have had 3 insulin pumps in a two year time frame because each of the first two had critical pump errors and they had to be replaced.
    • This also means the algorithm needed to “learn me” all over again with each replacement. Very frustrating!
How to change your Guardian sensor (video)

Even though there are more negatives than positives on my list, the positives still outweigh the negatives in terms of how much weight they hold.  When automode isn’t effective, I take it out of automode and manage blood sugar myself.  It’s similar to having any other pump/CGM (that isn’t looping). Also, for my friends on MDI, I prefer a pump because I can micro-dose and therefore micro-correct (small inputs=small mistakes). I started on MDI and the two times my pump failed and I had to go back to it while waiting for the new pump to come in. I’ll personally never go back to MDI unless I don’t have another option. MDI works for some though, so I’ll never knock something that works for someone. 

Final verdict: Good enough for now. There is a lot to be said for fewer lows and a somewhat hands off approach. If those are things you value, this could be a decent option. Also be on the lookout for the next version of this system (hopefully this year!). Rumor has it that they fixed a lot of the issues with this one in the new model.

Scott (and Jenny) from the Juicebox Podcast also did a whole episode on this system. Check it out here for even more on this!

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/8/2020- Run

Easy 5k

Family Run Time

  • 6:08 am, BG: 141, Start run
  • 6:39 am, BG: 106, End run
    • 7:03 am, BG: 80, 1/2g carb
  • 7:09 am, BG: 78, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Marty was going into work a bit later than normal today so we decided to go for a family run this morning. It was foggy, humid and hot but still a lot of fun. With all of the extra stress and chaos from the moving process, we all needed this one*!

I didn’t do anything special to manage my blood sugar before the run since it was another quick one this morning. I carried some jelly belly jelly beans (1g carb each), just in case but didn’t use them on the run. Towards the end of the run and just after, I started to drop pretty quickly but my numbers were still in a good place so I waited a minute to see what it would do. Around 7:03 am, I saw I was still dropping (but more slowly) so I had 1 smartie candy (1/2g carb) to prevent a low and avoid a spike before breakfast. I generally try not to drop below 70 but spiking before even a low carb breakfast could send me sky high really fast. 78, I’m good with though! Time to pre-bolus and eat! Happy hump day all!

*Yes, the move has been stressful for Miles too! Most of his toys are packed, lots of strange people have been in and out of the house and he has an irrational fear of cardboard boxes (which are everywhere right now)!

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Or Follow Me on Social Media

Did I use an abbreviation or term you haven’t heard before? Check out my post on T1 & Athletic Lingo!

The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

%d bloggers like this: