Tag Archives: running

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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I don’t have to tell you, but…

I don’t have to tell you, but for the purposes of starting this blog post:

Getting older is hard.

I’ve been training since mid-May for my local 5k, the one I run nearly every year. Nearly every year, I start training in May, so when the race comes in mid-July, I’m ready to go 3 point some-odd miles without stopping.

I’ll admit, I hate to run. Hate it. I’m not very fast, though I’m not slow, and more than any other activity, running pushes my heart rate up. Usually, into the 190-200 beats per minute range, no matter how slow I go. Training allows me to keep it between 180 and 190 on race day, but that’s about as good as I can do.

The thing is… I like the race itself. Once the horn sounds and we’ve all started, it feels more like a party at 180 to 190 beats per minute. Plus, this event is close, about five minutes away from my house. And the truth is, there are far fewer activities (read also: competitions) I can get into at my age.

Okay, I know I’m not that old, but training this year has made me feel old for really, the very first time. I’m now at the point where I don’t know if I can run a sub-ten-minute mile anymore. I’ve been trying, but I’m not there yet. It’s hard to describe… but when I run now, I seem to reach a point where I just can’t seem to move my legs any faster than they’re already going.

Put another way, my top end speed is definitely slower than my top end speed has ever been. Even when I really push myself.

The good news is that my blood sugars don’t care. Rare is the occasion where I’m above 200 mg/dL these days, although I did have one terrible excursion in the over-300 range after a four mile run last weekend. Definitely hydration related. Once I got a correction bolus in, and about 40 ounces of water, I was back down around 100 mg/dL. So fortunately, I was only up there for around two hours.

The race is in a week and a half. After that, I’ll go back to training on the bike, though sadly, there are no bike rides to train for at this point. But I plan to run this race again next year, and do bike rides too, for a few years more, if I can still muster the energy.

For now, all I can do is look forward. There is still some hard training to do, but each run completed means one less run to do before the race. And I think that’s the point for me: concentrate on the next workout, the next event. Don’t worry about how much effort is involved, or how much more difficult it is now compared to 15 years ago.

The weird thing is, I feel weaker, more vulnerable than ever, at a time when I’m doing things that will actually help me stay active longer and hopefully, help me live longer. Like diabetes, concentrating on the good rather than the difficult will help me power through and achieve more than if I stick my head in the sand. A week and a half to go!

Editor’s note: I’ll be taking the rest of the week off (from running and writing) to volunteer at the DPAC booth in the exhibit hall at Friends for Life in Orlando, Florida. If you’re at Friends for Life, stop by and say hello!

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