Monday, April 20, 2015

A trail race

It's been a long time since I signed up for a running race. It's been at least 2 years probably more like 3. Crazy considering running was my only obsession at that time. I've also never ran a trail race.

Running for me these days is completely recreational. I never run alone. Some times I run every week, sometimes it's once every two weeks and other times it's 4 days in a row. I run with Ryan and with his meet-up group from time to time. I don't take it seriously as it's become just "something I do sometimes" usually because someone else is doing it. I don't run because of the pain it used to cause me in my collar bone. I don't run because I am usually so focused on cycling. I'll save that for another post.

So I signed up for Ryan's trail race. He coordinates the race series where he works and created this gem of an event last year. It got so much interest that it became the biggest event across the board. I coerced my BFF Steph to play with me.

Mr. Race coordinator himself.

Much to every body's surprise the weather was fan-fucking-tastically beautiful. SUNSHINE and WARMTH!

I fucked up though. I fucked up and failed my diabetes. Lately I've been going low every time I participate in physical activity so I padded my BG a little. What was supposed to be a little turned out to be killer. Right before the start I was sitting at 9.2mmol/l and had no insulin on board. Breakfast was mostly out of my system also. I had my shirt stuffed with 2 gels and 3 dates just in case cuz y'know... diabetes. We were trotting along at no intense speed or anything. In fact we were chatting about life and probably annoying all the other folks.

Half way through and my wee jog started to suffer. My lungs felt pushed to their limits and my legs replaced with blocks of concrete.

We turned to go back to the start and I could hear Ryan's voice over the loudspeaker which made me feel safe and comfortable. That's my husband! This is his race! We went past the start/finish to do another loop in a different direction which sucked because we thought we were done! My Garmin was in my pocket. After heading back into the forest I finally stopped to test my bg. First number was 16.9mmol/l (304mg/dl). WHAT THE FUCK? that can't be right, test again and see 15.7mmol/l (283mg/dl). A loud "FUUUUCK" was screamed from me. I stabbed myself in the boob with 3 units of insulin and resigned myself to just fucking getting this shit over with. I was in it now and nothing I could really do was going to make this any less painful. I was thankful I ran with my meter and insulin on me. Yeah, no wonder I was struggling and suffering harder than I should have.

After crossing the finish line I slumped down on the grass. Head in my hands and trying to drown out the noise and hubbub. I considered getting someone to take a pic but then I chose not to. Steph rubbed my back as I fought back the tears. My body hurt so bad. My stomach nauseous. I couldn't even move. I tested a few more times topping out at a whopping 17.6mmol/l (316mg/dl). I don't see numbers like that often so when I do, it feels REALLY bad. I took another 2 units into my quad. A nice big muscle that was just being used to move me through 10km of trails. A muscle that would work in my favour to get that insulin into my system faster than if I stuck it into fat.

I laid down on the barely there brown and damp spring grass. I couldn't think, I couldn't do anything. I was suffering. I looked up to find out I was in the middle of the show as Ryan was announcing the winners. This is awkward. No fucks were really given by me because I was in so much discomfort and pain. We sat there with a few friends while they rubbed my back assuring me it would be okay soon. I hate it when people have to see me like this.

I was in a different kind of pain cave that not very many of the some 350'ish people there could ever fathom.

The race itself was fine! a wonderful and super challenging course! The end feels like a blur to me and there are parts I don't remember at all. Here's the kicker of all kickers.. the results. Now, previously in my years of running I'd be lucky to place anywhere not in the bottom quarter. No shit. Always, the bottom quarter. I've never run a trail race and typically it's just common knowledge that you can't move as quick in the trails as you can on the roads.

I know it's just a small local race but, Officially, I was the 11th female out of 50. Whaaaat?? I uploaded my Garmin data when I got home and had to rub my eyes. My first assumption was that the data was wrong. It lost a signal or something. The Garmin had me at a time of 59:04 for 9.8km making the average pace of 6:01/km. I've never run any race that fast and I officially don't run any more. However, much to my disappointment (not surprise) data was indeed lost. The chip time had us at 60:05 minutes with an average pace of 6:31/km. Okay fine. I guess chip time knows all. Still though, to come in 11th out of 50? In a running race? In a sport I don't even do any more? In not just a running race but a TRAIL running race? Perhaps I need to go back to running. Ryan is convinced it's because I changed my technique last year to a forefoot strike. He could be right.

Post race rest of the day was spent somewhat hungover. The insulin eventually did it's job where I obviously could not. But WHY? why did this happen today? A banana on top of a 9.2mmol/l BG before a hard hour of running should have been perfect!  It wasn't even a very BIG banana. *should* have been does not mean it will. Not today.

I love my BFF for taking care of me more than anything. I really needed her in that moment. It's not often I show these extreme diabetes situations but I'm grateful for having someone there for me. I'm sorry Ryan for collapsing in front of you and you being unable to leave your race director post.


  1. In the boob!

    Not even that big a banana!

    I wish I understood the science of this better, not that it would make it any more predictable but I want to understand what Alanna said about it on Fbook.

  2. Scully, that's a terrific time, so congratulations on that! When I've been high on endurance events, it's always been because I was dehydrated. I know, I'm stating the obvious. But that's my experience.


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