Sunday, March 17, 2013

Germantown Half Marathon

Here's the skinny on the Germantown Half Marathon - 

Flashback - The 2012 race was infamous, to say the least.  I had trained up to 12-miles, some days easier than others. I felt good on race morning. I ate oatmeal, which probably sent my undiagnosed Diabetes into hyperglycemic nightmare-land. The rule of thumb is that you do not exercise if your blood glucose reads above 250 mg/dL, because you can often spike it even higher and spill ketones in your urine. I imagine this is what was happening to me. I ran 9-miles, some of which were faster than my training pace. I ate a Gu (25-carb shot of glucose that folks take for energy on longer runs) about an hour into it. I imagine that spiked my blood sugar even higher. At that 9th mile, I felt like death. My friends were passing me by, and I couldn't even muster the energy to keep running. I walk-ran the rest of the way, ultimately finishing at 2:31:00. Afterward, I felt worse. I was nauseated. I couldn't eat or drink. I drove home, forced down Pedialyte, and fell asleep for hours. I failed all of my goals, and I felt horrible.

Fast-forward one year. Now, I am an official Diabetic, and I have learned a good deal about what that means for me. Exercise is encouraged for us, but doing so safely is of paramount importance. Training season and the race could not have gone more perfectly. On race day, I had my Dexcom, two Gu packets, and my cell phone. I wore my Medical ID bracelet (just in case). The weather was fabulous. I'll take an overcast day in the 50s for a race any ol' time. I started off a bit slow. Around mile 3, I thought to myself,  I feel good. Mile 3 is about when my blood sugar starts to fall from breakfast. I ate two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter this morning. My blood sugar topped off at 155 mg/dL and declined once the run began. Around Mile 5, my knees started hurting. I tried to ignore it. This year,  I found myself with the energy to smile at the onlookers and cheerleaders. Around Mile 7, I grabbed beer. Yes, beer. It is hardly any, but I thought it would be fun. The road back is pretty straight and flat. I picked up my pace a little. Around Mile 8, I saw Sheri and Dave Hogue (shout-out for the great support!), and that helped me pick up the energy even more. When I came across dreaded Mile 9, I felt this sense of intense relief. I felt so much better than last year. My body was working with me and not against me. Between Mile 9 and 10, I saw a bunch more friends, and that gave me the boost I needed for the final three miles. For that last mile, I decided it needed to be my fastest, and it was. I even mustered the energy to sprint across the finish-line. 

I can't tell you how amazing it felt. First, this is a goal that has been on my To-Do list for a while. Last  year did not even count for me because I had to walk some of it. Second of all, my goal was to run the race in under 2:30:00, and I ran it 15-minutes faster than that. Third, it was symbolic. I feel like an empowered person, but I also feel like an empowered Diabetic. I know tons of Diabetics run races all the time, but I wondered if I could be one of them. I can! For two-thirds of the race, my blood sugar hung out in the 80s. 

Do I want to do another one tomorrow? No. My legs feel terrible, and the training is time-consuming. Our next goal is to run a 5K per month. Working on speed with the shorter distances will be fun. 

By the way, Andrew ran the half-marathon in 1:34:00. For a new runner, I'd say that is amazing. For any runner,  it is amazing. 

What we earned: a medal (everyone does), the right to a 13.1 sticker, and I am about to buy us a 13.1 Tervis. Oh, and a heck of a lot of pride...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pizza Effect 2.0

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Memphis yesterday, and it appears to be headed in that direction this Saturday morning. Last night, we had dinner at Aldo's Pizza. I've handled this well with insulin in the past, so I figured I would just bolus. Dexcom revealed no spikes immediately after consuming the pizza (and fro-yo). I bolused two units between pizza and fro-yo. I came home to go to bed and a blood sugar check revealed 89 mg/dL...nice, I thought. I should have known what would happen in the twilight hours. Here I am thinking I've dosed well, but I forgot about the dreaded pizza effect. Remember? I wrote about it in one of my very first posts of the blog. I have subsequently discovered that it is a common discussion among diabetics. The high-fat content of the pizza meal delays the digestion of the carbohydrates, so I had a good reading two-hours after my meal because the carbs had not even begun to do their thing. Well, they did their thing, and I was 240 mg/dL by 1:00AM. I never see that number, so I bolused two again. It came down, but by 5:00 in the morning (when the Novolog was no longer effective) it was rising to 180 mg/dL again. Crap. So, I corrected again, and it has done the trick. I woke up at 9:00AM with a reading of 94 mg/dL. I think I am out of the woods with the pizza-carbs. I had forgotten how much of a headache it can be to deal with pizza, and now I remember why I so seldom partake. I have to do insulin-gymnastics just to keep up, and it really isn't worth it.

You may have won the battle, pizza, but I will win the war.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

the anti-housewife dinner adventures

99% of the time, Andrew cooks. He likes it, and he is good at it. Better than I am, for certain. I saw a Pinterest recipe recently for tuna burgers that sounded relatively easy to make. Because Andrew is working tonight, I had a good opportunity to try out the recipe. I couldn't click through to get quantities, so I added as much spinach as I wanted. I won't like, the recipe calls for tomato and onion, but I just can't do it. 

This recipe is incredibly low-carb, so I hope you will try it and rejoice in happy blood sugars :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Month: March 2013

I alluded to a lot of the exciting things happening in March in my last post. But it is a new month, and you know what that means? New goals! March is cool because it is a perfect transition into the Spring. It is snowing in Memphis right now, but 65-degree days are in our 10-day forecast. That is just the bipolar nature of our weather. Is it just me, or are warm temperatures an invitation for more jogs, more dog walks, more bike rides, etc? I make a similar argument for the transition into Fall. The leaves are crispy. Pumpkin spice everything comes out. There is a new chill in the air. Spring is different for many reasons. We aren't seeking the chill in the air. We want the warmth on the skin and the beginnings of new tan lines (don't lie, you love them). We want pollen-induced sneezes and greenery abloom. So, what of it? Do you have goals as we approach traditional "Spring Break" season?

Here are mine:

Finish the Germantown Half Marathon in under 2:30:00. Do Pure Barre, at minimum, three days per week. For goodness sake, eat less YOLO. Take Rosalyn on daily morning walks. Find a new coffee creamer. Less dependence on sugar. MORE WATER. At least five-days in a row without hitting 180 mg/dL. Keep up with my food journal. Don't stop jogging once the half is complete. Save money. best efforts and attitude at work. TURN 26 WITH GRACE :)

Oh yeah...and a perennial favorite: abs. 

I have been experimenting with new breakfast recipes. This one I call DIABETIC FRENCH TOAST. 
What makes it "Diabetic" you ask? Well, these slices of bread are packed with Fiber and are low in calories. I use almond milk instead of whole milk in the mixture. I use ground cinnamon with splenda rather than cinnamon-sugar. I top it with either agave nectar or Cary's Sugar Free syrup. Point is, you can substitute any which way you like. Maybe this recipe will work for you, or maybe it will still be a bolusing nightmare (isn't breakfast rough sometimes?) Or maybe you are a non-Diabetic who wants to cut some corners on the calories. I think it is delicious. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Long Time, No Chat

It has been a while, friends! I blame the dreaded Bar Exam, which is over by the way. I flashed back to July when I took it the first time. I left the testing place thinking, "Man, I am glad that is over. Never again." Even after I found out I didn't pass, I was thinking "Nope. Never." Shyeah. When people tell you to never say never, they mean it. 

This time, I mean it. If I don't pass, I really do think there are plenty of other things I would love to do just as much. I did my best last time. I changed strategies this time, so I guess that is a different version of my best. 

I still have Diabetes, though. Shocker, I know. It hasn't magically grown legs and exited my body. 

I do have some exciting things coming up:

My Birthday - Tuesday, March 5...I may or may not be turning 26. This sounds a bit unreal. I often feel 15. Maybe because the world around me assumes it, and I don't hesitate to play along. 25 had some rough patches, so there is a big part of me that is glad to see it go. 26 is a new year...with [[hopefully]] fewer surprises. 

The Germantown Half Marathon - Sunday, March 17. Am I ready? We will see. Last year, I stopped running at Mile 9 and did this awkward Walk-Run combo all the way to the finish line. I felt like death the entire rest of the day. I wonder why? Do you think running with blood sugars in the 300s might be a pain in the butt? But I didn't know. I had no way of knowing. This year, I have trained alongside rather than against Diabetes. We work collaboratively to make the long distances work. We have a team - Dexcom, Gu, and plenty of water. I have made it up to 10-miles in training. This weekend is an 11-miler. From there, there are no more long distances until race day. I want revenge on this one.

Doctor's Appointment - March 4. I won't give too many details about this, but I am sharing in the name of living transparently with Diabetes. I have a new OBGYN I will be visiting. Before we jump to any conclusions, no. I am not pregnant. Diabetic pregnancies, in an ideal world, are pre-planned and carefully thought out. That process starts with establishing a team of physicians who will dedicate themselves and encourage me up to and through a successful pregnancy. This appointment is an annual check-up, but I am starting to gather the information. What is the current status of my health? Where do I need to be in terms of numbers? Do I need to switch from Metformin to insulin (again)? Really, I just want someone qualified to give me the green light that I am healthy. But healthy and ready are two different things. The readiness is a constant discussion between Andrew and me. I promise that when and if the time comes, I will try to share (and not overshare) the ups and downs of a diabetic pregnancy. I won't be the first, and I am sure I won't be the last. Everyone's pregnancy is different. Everyone's diabetes is different. Maybe my insight will be unique and valuable to someone going through the same things. To me, that is what this blog is all about. Cheers to the preliminary stages! 

In other news, my eyes are still healthy. I still don't need glasses. So, Warby Parker and I will maintain our artificial relationship.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meals Lately

I am still working on the recipes for these. Andrew is the chef of the house, so his Blackberry Chicken & Shrimp recipe is somewhat of his "secret", but I think I can pry it out of him. I do know that it involves Sugar Free Blackberry Preserves, actual blackberries, and perhaps Apple Cider Vinegar? I'll update this page when I know. That meal is carb-friendly, unless you eat a giant sweet potato like I did. The blood sugar suffered for that move. In my experience, if it isn't a tiny potato, it isn't going to be friendly. The rest of the meal is a healthy, and the whole meal is healthy if you know how to bolus for it or you happen to have a fully functioning pancreas. 

He also enjoys making chicken tortilla soup in our crockpot. That recipe is off of a website, so I will be snagging that from him too. 

So, here is a little photo diary of our latest indulgences. 

We are out of eggs in this house, so I my entire breakfast experience is all out of sorts. I just ate a wheat waffle with Laughing Cow cinnamon cream cheese. I topped it with Splenda and actual cinnamon. Pray for good post-prandials :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

fajitas + smoothies, but not together

 One of my favorite meals at the Holt house is fajitas. I used to be more intimidated by them because it is hard to find a carb-friendly tortilla. We found a great Carb Balance variety by Mission. 6 Net Carbs? Yes, please! The recipe is easy. You can remember it just from this image. Once you purchase the flavor you want, you follow the directions on the back to marinate (usually water, olive oil, and the flavorings). Marinate for 15 minutes. Cook until browned - we added bell peppers. And VIOLA! Fajitas :)

make with
guacamole (recipe here)

The world deserves to see this clip in keeping with fajita night. Ross was having a bit of a hard time coping with Joey and Rachel's relationship...

I am also obsessed with berries. They are lower-glycemic than most fruits, so I can eat more with less of an impact on my blood sugar. They are packed with fiber, so they are perfect for a side or the flavor of a smoothie.