2/3/2020-Strength

Strength-Lower Body

  • 4:10 am, BG: 156
  • 5:00 am, BG: 141, Start workout
    • Indoor cycle 10 mins, warm up
    • Back squat 3 x 8, 1 x 5 max
    • Hex bar squat 4 x 10
  • 5:41 am, BG: 90, 1 slice dried banana 
    • Split squat 4 x 8 each leg
    • Pull ups 5 x 5
  • 6:00 am, BG: 82, End workout
  • 6:30 am, BG: 86, 30 Minutes Post Workout 

When I woke up this morning, my blood sugar was a bit higher than I like it but I had two low carb alcoholic beverages last night for the Superbowl so I didn’t inject any insulin to correct. I don’t drink often but when I do, it seems to counteract my normal dawn phenomenon and sometimes even drop my BG low in the morning. 
On today’s training plan I had legs, which I find to be really important to support my running habit. In the middle of my workout today, my BG started to drop.  My pump alerted me when I hit 90 so I had a single slice of dried banana (about 1g of carb). It may not seem like a lot but it was just enough to keep me stable. The Law of Small Numbers saves me again!

*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.

2/2/2020-Run

Running Outdoor

Moderate pace, Hills

2/2/2020 

  • 5:26 am, BG: 150, Bolus 0.3 U
  • 6:40 am, BG: 105, Black Coffee
  • 8:00 am, BG: 75, Coffee with protein powder (5g carbs, 3g fat, 41g protein)
  • 8:30 am, Set temp target on pump (670G version of reduced basal in automode)
  • 9:00 am, BG: 123, Race start
  • 9:30 am, BG: 155
  • 10:00 am, BG: 163 (highest BG during the run)
  • 10:30 am, BG: 143, Race end
  • 11:00 am, BG; 135, 30 Minutes Post Workout 

When I woke up this morning, my blood sugar was a bit higher than I like it so I did a small correction. Today’s training plan is a 9.3 mile race with my running club at 9:00 am. Since I completed a 10 mile LSD (long slow distance) run yesterday, I didn’t “race” the race. I took it out at a relaxed pace and enjoyed the hills and the company of my running buddies. BG levels were stable and within a safe range the entire time today thanks to the protein drink before the run. I carried a pack of gummies with me just in case but didn’t end up needing them. 

*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.

Morning Workouts & the Dawn Phenomenon

The (dreaded) dawn phenomenon, if you haven’t experienced it yourself, is an early-morning rise in blood sugar (usually between 2 am and 8 am) in people with diabetes. This rise is caused by the liver releasing blood sugar in order to prepare the body for the day ahead. 

In my experience, this makes the morning an ideal time for a workout that can lower blood sugar, such as moderate intensity cardio. I personally enjoy running, swimming, cycling and/or rowing in the mornings. Walking and fitness classes can also be great options. These moderate intensity workouts help to lower your blood sugar because when your muscles contract, your cells are able to use glucose for energy without the assistance of any insulin. Therefore, you can use that sugar that your liver dumps into your bloodstream to fuel your workout, (no food or insulin required) and keep the dawn phenomenon from knocking your BG out of range. Double win!

To do this effectively, I pay attention to my heart rate during the workout. If you workout too intensely, you may find your blood sugar spiking higher. I find that what most heart rate training charts call the “moderate”/“fat burning zone” to “aerobic” is ideal for lowering my blood sugar. This means you’re slightly uncomfortable but you could still carry on a conversation (also known as the “talk test”). This should be somewhere between 60-80% of your max heart rate and generally you should be able to maintain that level of effort for 20-30 minutes.

What is your favorite morning exercise to control your BG? Comment below!

Sometimes all you need is an early morning run!

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*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.

I Owe Everything to Him

“Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”

Misty Copeland

Most love a good “self-made man” kind of story but I have to tell you, I’m not sure those really exist and mine is a story of accomplishment through family support and community. I’m certainly not a “self-made” woman. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my amazing husband, Marty. When I was diagnosed, recovering from DKA and sitting in the intensive care unit of a hospital, my mom and Marty were sitting by my bedside and chatting. 

My mom said, half joking, “Well now she is defective, might as well trade her in for a better model.” 

Without hesitation, Marty responded very sternly, “Not a chance!”

Now you have to understand, we were engaged at the time, about three months away from our  wedding and I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had run away from that situation. Everyone told us hard hard it would be, not just for me but also for him! 

A T1 spouse has to deal with a lot. When my pump alarms wake me in the middle of the night, it wakes him up too. When I’m at my breaking point and balling my eyes out, he is the shoulder that I cry on. When my blood sugar is high and I’m moody, he takes the brunt of it. When my  blood sugar is low and I want to give up, go to sleep and let the suffering stop, he is there supporting me, keeping me safe and bringing me back to my purpose. When my blood sugar is out of whack and I can’t eat or have to eat and the social norm is the opposite of what I’m doing, he makes me feel like it’s no big deal. All of this and the frustration that comes with knowing that  he can’t make me better. Yeah, if the shoe was on the other foot, I might have considered running away. It’s a lot to say the least.

Despite all of that, this amazing man has been by my side every step of the way. Not only has he  been supportive but he has gone above and beyond. He adjusted his diet to make it easier for me to stick to mine. He ran right by my side during many training runs and races to make  sure I was safe despite being almost twice as fast as I am. He does everything in his power to make sure I’m happy, healthy and that I will never give up on the goals I had before my diagnosis.

So all of that to say, any of the amazing things I might accomplish throughout this journey, I owe to my husband, Martin Anthony Nat Jr. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t also add that he has taken on his own personal challenge in the search for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. In August 2020, he will be running a solo run across  Luzerne County, PA (over 50 miles) in order to raise money and awareness for T1D.
More information can be found at  www2.jdrf.org/goto/martinsrun

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*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.

My Diagnosis Story

June 9th, 2017 was the day when my life changed forever. Before then, I was full of energy, optimism and was going through life without a care in the world. I was work-a-holic, and working three jobs because I enjoyed pushing myself and the feeling that I was giving something back to the world. I was also an enthusiastic athlete using the majority of my free time to train for and compete in marathons and ultramarathons. After I completed my first 50 mile race in Spring 2016, I decided I wanted to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon and started training so I targeted the Ocean Drive Marathon (26.2 miles) in March of 2017. I ramped up my training and thought everything was going well. I was getting faster and I lost a little bit of weight which I attributed to the intense training. The day of the race came and I came up just short, 12 minutes slower than what I needed. Despite not making my time, I was happy because I still dropped 25 minute off my previous personal record. Determined not to slow down, I ran another strong marathon (26.2 miles) in April of that year before deciding to take a break from training to plan my upcoming wedding in September. Life was good!

During the weeks and months that followed, I continued to lose weight, despite a much easier workout schedule and no real changes in diet. Then in May, out of nowhere, my vision got really blurry. I remember attending a work conference at this time, where I met people, had full conversations with them but couldn’t recognize them the next day when they were wearing different clothes. It was incredibly embarrassing, so I had my eyes checked and got glasses. I asked the eye doctor at the time how my vision could turn so poor so quickly and she told me that, “It probably happened gradually and I just didn’t notice.” Then she added, “Sometimes sudden vision loss can be caused by a thyroid condition or diabetes but I don’t think that is it in your case”. I thought she must be right. I was hypothyroid but it was well controlled. And diabetes, I thought only kids and people who didn’t take care of themselves got that (boy was I wrong)!  Then a week or two later, my vision corrected on it’s own and I didn’t need my glasses anymore. It was very strange! Not long after that, I started to notice that I was really thirsty all the time and I began getting dry mouth. I was also going to the bathroom a lot since I was drinking so much water.  I didn’t think much of it at first but it kept getting worse and worse. I was hungry all the time and craving sugar and even though I was working out, I felt like my muscles were weak and I was generally exhausted despite getting enough sleep. 

I mistakenly self-diagnosed my symptoms and assumed that my thyroid levels must be out of whack. I was due to have my annual blood work done anyway, so I made an appointment for a few weeks out, the first available one. Then one morning, I got up and weighed myself and I had lost even more weight. I was down to 105 lbs despite trying desperately to gain weight and I started to get nervous. At 5’3”, healthy weight should be closer to the 110-130 lb range. I went into work and tried to make progress but I was exhausted, had an intense brain fog and couldn’t focus so I left early. I decided to start fasting for my bloodwork that night so I could get a walk in appointment the following morning. 

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep well because I kept having to get up to drink water and go to the bathroom. When the morning finally came, I got out of bed and tried to walk downstairs but I was so weak it felt almost impossible. I had to stop to sit and rest before I even made it to my bedroom door (about 10 ft of walking) despite having complete my fastest marathon only a few months earlier. My now husband (then fiance), Marty, told me I needed to go to the hospital. I was stubborn though, trying not to worry him and told him that I would know what’s going on once I had my blood work done. After a few minutes, he got in the shower to get ready for work and I tried to make my way down the stairs of our home. Our house is a split level and I only had to make it down the hall and down six stairs but by the time I did I was so exhausted and  weak that I couldn’t stand and was in no condition to drive. 

Sitting there at the bottom of our stairs weak and confused, I finally realized that I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I called to Marty but he couldn’t hear me over the bathroom fan and running water. I panicked and started calling my parents and brothers who, at the time, lived less than a mile away. The first one to pick  up was my brother, Stew, first and he came over immediately to take me to the hospital (before Marty even got out of the shower). When I got to the hospital, they were trying to assess my condition and began asking me questions, my brain fog was so bad that I was talking in circles and couldn’t even answer simple questions about what was wrong with me. They took me back to the ER, tested my blood sugar and discovered it was 819 (normal range is between 80 and 120). The ER nurse told me that at that level, I should have been in a coma and probably would have been if I wasn’t so healthy otherwise. 

Marty and my mom arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and they told me I had Type 1 diabetes and was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). After a few hours in the ER, I was admitted to the ICU where they slowly brought my blood sugar back within normal range. Every hour they would do a fingerstick and write my latest blood glucose on the board. Little did I know, I would be doing this multiple times per day for the rest of my life in order to stay alive. I also wasn’t allowed to eat anything since they hadn’t figured out my insulin sensitivity or proper dosing yet. It took months to figure this out and I still make small adjustments daily to try to optimise my levels. It was completely surreal and I kept wondering how this could have happened to me, since I had always taken such good care of my health. 

A few days later, it finally started to sink in that this was something I was going to have to learn to live with for the rest of my life. I resolved to come back stronger than ever and while each day is a new challenge, it’s helped to apply my running mentality to this disease. I couldn’t say it better than Dean Karnazes does in the quote below.

“If you can’t run, then walk. And if you can’t walk, then crawl. Do what you have to do. Just keep moving forward and never, ever give up.” ― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

It’s been almost 3 years since I was diagnosed and to honor that, I’m starting this blog to share my journey and some lessons I’ve learned along the way in the hopes that someone else may learn from my mistakes and find some solace in knowing you’re not alone. 

Share your diagnosis story in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #T1DiagnosisStory 

*Symptoms of T1 in Italics #KnowTheSigns #SaveALife

  • Weight loss
  • Extreme unquenchable thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Headaches & Brain fog

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  1. […] a way to get four more marathons done int he next two years if I want to stay on…

*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.

1/31/2020-HIIT

HIIT

(High Intensity Interval Training)

  • 4:35am, BS: 141, Pre-Workout
  • 5:00am, BS: 128, 10 min assault treadmill warm up
  • 5:15am, BS: 122, HIIT workout 
    • 6x 30 seconds each
      • Ski Urg
      • Push ups
      • Battle Ropes
      • Bicycle Crunches
  • 5:45am, BS: 108, Indoor Cycling (cool down)
  • 6:15am, BS; 104, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Today was supposed to be a rest day, however I already took a rest day two days ago due to my work schedule. So today I decided to do a quick HIIT workout, mostly focusing on upper body and abs since I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow. Blood sugar pretty much cooperated this morning.

(*no food/carbs consumed for this workout)

*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.

1/30/2020-Strength

Strength-Upper Body

  • 4:44am, BS: 173, Bolus 0.4 U, Pre-Workout
  • 5:10am, BS: 144, 12 min assault treadmill warm up
  • 5:20am, BS: 127, Upper Body Strength -45 mins
  • 6:05am, BS: 75, End Workout
  • 6:35am, BS; 83, 30 Minutes Post Workout

My original plan was to run today but after a few minutes on the treadmill, my BS started to drop quickly (because of the small correction I gave pre-workout) so I switched to an upper body strength day and let the dawn phenomenon stabilize my levels.

(*no food/carbs consumed for this workout)

Working on getting better at pull ups!

*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.

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