Monday, September 26, 2011

Never To Old To Learn Something New

I have learned something over the last two weeks regarding how my body handles blood sugar that I would like to share with you.

When I started my weight loss regimen back in July 2008 and started exercising I found that my blood sugar would drop quickly the more cardio I would do. In layman’s terms my words no one elses: This is because a diabetic's body doesn't know how to burn off sugar because in my case there is no Insulin being delivered to take the sugar in my blood to where its suppose to go. In a normal body it would deliver where it needs to provide energy that doesn't happen with me.  However, its a well known fact in the diabeties world if you exercise your blood sugar will drop temporarily. That is how we bring down high's unless its over 240 mg then we cannot exercise we have to treat with insulin.

So, I had to eat protein bars such as Power Bars that are 240 – 250 calories a pop. As time went on and my fitness level became better and I could exercise longer I would need to also eat GU or GU blocks which are anywhere from 100 – 190 calories. I would eat to exercise which made me so mad you have no idea just how much. I would be eating the calories my 1 hour workout would burn!

I keep a spreadsheet of all my weigh-ins dated back from when I started and with the weight I keep a little column for notes. Last year when my husband and I started riding our bike over 30 miles 3 to 4 times a week I noticed weight gains. It didn't make sense to me because I am exercising so much and keeping my calories in check. Yet I knew too I have had to eat more so my blood sugar would not drop low and leave me in a bad hypoglycemic state.
Fast forward a year, my husband a few weeks ago started researching up on blood sugar and read that our bodies naturally store enough carbohydrates in the body to be able to sustain itself for a period of time. The book he was reading from was called “The Lore of Running” and it was about runners.

Apparently a marathoner will have to start consuming carbohydrates after 1 hour of running to help the body sustain its carbohydrates. So my hubby suggested that I find out from other diabetic runners that run long distance how they train. So I did, and found some very interesting things which I won't share here, but here is what I have changed.
  1. Those of us on insulin turn down the Insulin pump 2 to 3 hours before starting the run.
  2. If you haven't eaten for a while before running, eat something small like Yogurt.
  3. If you have run an hour and decide to continue on, start eating something (for me that would be GU)
  4. Keep blood sugar supplies with you at all times (already did this).
The scariest thing doing this for the first time was trusting my body. Trusting that I wouldn't go into a hypoglycemic state. Every 15 minutes I'd stop and check my blood sugar and each case I was good, usually I'd like to eat something below 75 mg, but I trusted that my body would have enough in storage to keep me going. I knew I wouldn't run over an hour, so I should be fine.

Well, I was at mile 2.25 and my blood sugar was 75 mg, when I got home it was 102 mg. Ever since that day I have been able to cut out all that added calories. That makes me so happy!

This being said and if your a diabetic remember I am not a doctor or a medical professional! I am just a blogger trying to find my own way in this life as a diabetic runner. So, seek the professional advise of your doctor before trying to change anything!


Excerpts from The Motivational Girl are protected by copyright and used here by permission of The Motivational Girl, 2011.


  1. Hi Sheri! I don't know if it is my side or your side but there was no where for me to leave a comment today. The little box did not show up. I know I have been having issues with IE so it might be my side. Anyway, I wanted to tell you how great this is that you can help people with your knowledge of diabetes & your own personal experience!!!

  2. I'm so glad you found a happy solution! And kudos to your hubby. This is yet another example of the importance of listening to your body. There are sooo many important guidelines out there for fitness stuff in general, but "Body knows best" is the motto I go by. Except for when Body tells me I need 4 slices of cake. Whoops!

  3. I admire your determination to find the best path with your diabetes.

    I am not diabetic, I just want to share with you the two things that really hit me:

    Running 15 minutes before stopping - beyond my ability but one of my goals.

    Running an hour b4 stopping - beyond my comprehension.


  4. You sound so intelligent, Sheri! It's great that you went through the analysis to figure this out. Very very smart to find out what other diabetic runners are doing. These are the little eureka moments that make life so much better! <3

    :-) Marion


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