Category Archives: Athletes With Diabetes

Another 5k.

This past Sunday, I ran in my local neighborhood 5k event. This was probably my 12th or 13th time running this one, and today, I can say, unequivocally:

My back is killing me!

I should mention from the outset that I felt great Sunday morning. I was ready to go. Also, this has never happened before when I’ve run. Maybe my back would feel uncomfortable, sometimes when I ran, but that uncomfortable feeling would go away pretty quick.

Instead, this time my back started hurting toward the end of the first mile. I just powered through, because, again, this has never happened before. A little after mile 2, my back was hurting so much that I walked.

And I alternated walking and running the last mile-plus of the run.

This event helps to raise money for cancer research and treatment for people living with and surviving a cancer diagnosis. Toward the finish, I ran up to a group of 10 to 15 who were either cancer survivors, loved ones of those survivors, or people who trained the survivors to run a 5k.

I didn’t want to finish ahead of them, so I walked a bit so they could get ahead of me. Then I started running again, and before I knew it, I caught up to them again. So I walked a bit longer, then started running again, before catching up to the group one last time. Each time I walked, my back hurt more and more.

By the end, I was running nearly completely bent over. A question mark? No, I looked more like a right angle. Even though I managed a sprint toward the finish, I couldn’t get myself fully upright.

I usually take ten or fifteen minutes to recover after a run like this. Then, I get a little breakfast (this event has the best post-race spread), and we go home.

This time, I took about 40 minutes to recover. It was difficult to sit for long, difficult and so painful to stand, difficult to walk. I could not get comfortable.

In fact, I can’t get comfortable, even now. Things are a little less painful, but days later I’m still feeling pain and still feeling uncomfortable. I’ve given up on the ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. I couldn’t take what it was doing to my stomach, so I’m just gutting it out until I can feel better.

I guess that’s progress in a way, because I can get by without pain relievers now, and I don’t think I could have hoped to do that a couple of days ago. But I’m still hurting.

Believe it or not, my time was pretty good for someone my age… 35:05.8. I don’t really know how I did it.

So I’ve finished this one. I’ve mentioned that I’d like to keep doing this until I turn 60. That’s four more years.

In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what my time is, or even that I finished. The most important thing is that I did my best, I hung in there, and the adversity I experienced didn’t deter me.

That is SO worth how my back feels right now.

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Let’s award even more Champion Athletes With Diabetes.

What does your medal look like?

Does it look like this?

Hey, we all need a goal. Why not a medal that recognizes your hard work and determination in the face of a never-ending chronic condition?

I have such a medal, and I would love to send it to you or a loved one living with diabetes. If it means that 5k run is completed, if tournaments or meets are finished, if someone checks in to their fitness class on a regular basis, it’s worthy of this medal and my congratulations.

Want to get a medal just like this one? The steps are simple:

Send an e-mail to champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Let me know what you or your special athlete is taking part in, or took part in. Tell me about the resilience it takes to live with diabetes and pursue athletic goals. Give me your address. And I’ll send you a medal!

To date, over 80 Champion Athlete With Diabetes medals have been awarded to people on five continents. Trust me, it’s a cool medal. Our ranks have been growing every year, and I’d like to add you or your loved one to the roster.

Send me your e-mail today, and let me say congratulations for a medal well earned!

Join the Champion Athletes With Diabetes this Year!

So here we are, already into the second week of March. Maybe the weather is warming up a bit where you are. Maybe the weather is starting to cool off a bit where you are.

Regardless, you may be training to compete in a local 5k… or thinking about doing a walk to help raise money for your favorite diabetes charity… or maybe you’re going all out and preparing for a marathon, or a 100 mile bike ride. Maybe you’re a swimmer competing in end-of-season meets, or you’re a basketball player looking forward to tournament time.

Or maybe you know someone who is doing one or more of the above.

If so, don’t forget that I have a fabulous medal waiting for anyone living with diabetes and achieving their athletic goals.

I’ve had my athletic pursuits through the years: baseball (and later, softball), basketball, water polo and swimming, and in more recent years, running, cycling, and triathlon. I know how hard it is to start and continue a training plan designed to squeeze out every last ounce of effort. I know what it’s like to try and manage your diabetes once it wakes up to that new level of effort.

I also know how good it feels to be rewarded for a goal well earned.

So come on! Let me know what you or your loved one has been doing to stay active while managing diabetes. Send an e-mail to champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Let me know what you’re taking part in, or took part in. Give me your address. And I’ll send you a medal!

As of this writing, I’ve sent over 80 Champion Athlete With Diabetes medals to people ranging from age 9 to age I don’t know, but older than me. Recipients have come from dozens of states, around twenty countries, on five continents.

I’d like to send the next medal to you. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me too. Contact me today, and as they say in the USA:
Play Like a Champion.

Are you an Athlete? Ready for your medal?

Hey, I know it’s been a busy summer (or winter, depending on where you live). Here’s your early autumn reminder that we still have plenty of medals to give away to those living with diabetes who reach athletic goals.

Have you been like Luke, who played baseball this summer, and is playing football this fall while managing diabetes? Maybe you’re like Eli, a 13 year old cross country skier in Minnesota. How about Alisha, an equestrian who has placed well in dressage competitions?

You might have worked hard to complete one of the JDRF or ADA cycling events this year, like Mike in Virginia. Or maybe you did one of the ADA or JDRF walks instead. Hey, your definition of an athletic goal met is the correct definition, whatever it is.

Our goal in creating this program is to recognize how challenging it is to begin, maintain, and finish a fitness endeavor while managing diabetes at the same time.

Whether it’s you, a family member, a friend, or a colleague (who is likely a friend too), I want to encourage you to send a request and get your medal. Here are the rules:

1. The athlete receiving the award must be living with diabetes.

2. For now, we’re going with a pretty loose interpretation of the word “event”. If you feel you’ve accomplished something important to you, that’s an event. That’s enough.

3. Send me an e-mail at champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Tell me your name, name of the athlete (it’s okay if it’s you), and your address (we have to know where to send the medal). Most important, tell me what athletic goal was accomplished, and when. Extra points if you tell me how you felt accomplishing the goal. Full disclosure: I reserve the right to use your testimonial here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I will not use your name if you don’t want me to. As always, I will never share private information.

4. When you receive your medal, it would be great if you post a photo of it around the athlete’s neck. You can send a Tweet to @ChampsWithD (hashtag: #champdathletes) or post it on the Champion Athletes With Diabetes Facebook Page.

There’s a growing army of Champion Athletes with Diabetes who wear their medals proudly (over 80 now!), and I’d like to add you to that group. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me too. Your medal is waiting. I’d like to send it as soon as possible.

Another 5k in the books.

Well, I managed to get it done. Again.

This past Sunday marked the running of our neighborhood 5k. I’ve done this run every year since my early forties, with the exception of 2015, when I opted for surgery on a torn meniscus instead.

It’s a fun event. It’s great to be a part of, and it’s close to home. The weather was about as good as you can get for Maryland in mid-July: temperatures in the low 70s, with atypically low humidity, and not a cloud in the sky.

How did I do diabetes-wise? Only okay. Actually, it was a stark reminder of how adrenaline affects your blood sugar in a negative way. I woke up at 74 mg/dL. I had a little juice, waited around at home with a heating pad on my sore hamstring (what a difference that made), and then checked right before leaving for the race: 152 mg/dL.

Once I got to the race venue, I did some stretching and tried to stay hydrated. One more check before the race began revealed 192 mg/dL. Did I mention I was feeling a lot of stress about finishing this year?

Regardless, I was able to finish, and a check about five minutes after completion showed I had only gone down to 177 mg/dL. I was plenty hydrated; this was all stress. But I knew eventually, the stress would go away, and I could sink fast if I wasn’t careful.

I grabbed a bagel at the post-race spread (which is always nice, by the way) and put it in my bag so I could enjoy it at home. After eating a big, poofy bagel (think MEGA carbs), hydrating some more, and getting a shower, two and a half hours later, I was sitting at 94 mg/dL. Stress gone.

How did I do race-wise? Better than I thought I would. My fastest pre-race run was right around 36 minutes, and I didn’t finish any mile in under 10 minutes. But race day always makes you go a little faster. Though I don’t think I was able to do a sub 10-minute mile, I did manage to cover the 3.1 miles in 33 minutes, 12 seconds. Good enough to be 199th out of 462 runners overall, 20th out of 43 runners in my age group.

The photo above is really the only one of me that we got. However, I did record a little video after I finished, showing others finishing the race.

If you’ve been thinking of entering yourself in a race like this, and you start to wonder why you’re doing it, I hope you come back to this video for inspiration (watch full screen if you can). There weren’t a lot of people lining the home stretch, but we (especially Maureen & I) were vocal. When you’re on that last run to the finish, the feeling of having people cheering you on is indescribable. This is what we all run for.

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