Over the last few years, I have made friends with too many people who live with diabetes to count them all. These people have become my friends, both online and in real life [and some currently online and ABOUT to become real life friends!] and through Twitter and their blogs, I get a small glimpse into their worlds of living and thriving with a variety of types of diabetes. When I was searching for a Fall race to do, the Run for Diabetes in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. Thanks to my generous friends who helped me not only raise but shatter my fundraising goal, and thank you to anybody who has supported me in the physical activity endeavours in the past couple months!  With tribute to Jay, we unofficially called our team “Good Things Run on Insulin!” and got to throw the phrase around and tell the story to a couple people today, which was super awesome.

My friends Sam, Danielle and Julia joined me today, and they were so much fun to race with. We got up at 6 AM (can you say early? I work at 10 AM tomorrow and 7:30 AM for the rest of the term, and my body is going to have no idea what to do with getting up at that hour), got ready, and drove across the city to the beautiful park where the D-run was being held. We preceded the race by visiting the bulk of the booths set up, where the people from Virgin Radio gave us free shirts, and tweeted and facebooked about us (this was the first time I told the Good Things Run on Insulin story!)

Love the tutus and the t-shirts – its team Good Things Run On Insulin! 


Left to right: Sam, me, Julia and Danielle

Photo Credit to Virgin Radio


The actual race got rolling a bit late, and in the time we were waiting, literally seven people asked for pictures with us and our tutus. It was a little crazy (stay tuned for those, I know the Diabetes Association has a couple, as do the pharmacy people, as does the Manitoba Runners Association).


Come on guys, I’m ready to go over here!

Finally, after a lengthy walk to the starting mat, and some sort of siren-esque interlude as the gun, we were off!

Being a walker in a race is awesome, but awkward. People cheer you on, but all the runners run past you all the time, and the half-marathoners have triple-lapped you, and et cetera. Also all the runners are super hardcore, obviously. Here’s some footage of the race, except minus the parts where we had to say thank-you four hundred times when people commented on the tutus. It’s super short, because video-ing is kind of distracting from the task at hand and such.


You can’t see all the names, but you can clearly see that there are way, way too many people in my world who have diabetes.


My first chip-timed race! Results TBA!


How could you not want to walk in this? [Running Room! Want to make a deal and you can use this?]

Hmm… maybe the view literally took my breath away and it wasn’t asthma? 😉

Aside from some of the usual muscle-related off and on pain, my legs were totally awesome this race (and they’d be good now if I hadn’t stopped moving!). My lungs, on the other hand, were just true to the pattern that’s developed. I tried a new plan of attack on this walk, and it mostly worked until the last couple kilometers, and I was still able to amp up a run across the finish line at the end!  Today’s plan involved a neb treatment (a bit less than a 5mg vial of Ventolin–I got sick of doing the treatment, okay?) at 6 AM, the usual meds with an increased Symbicort dose to 2 puffs instead of 1 (I upped the Qvar to 3 puffs instead of 2 a couple days ago). Then, two-plus (with the delay) hours later I took two puffs of Ventolin from the inhaler.  Since my asthma is the most trouble after an hour, or 5.5K-ish, I took two more puffs of Ventolin and two of Atrovent early into the second lap. The pattern of the last longer walk held true, and over the rest of the second half, I think I averaged 1 puff of Ventolin per kilometer, but I didn’t start feeling really short of breath until we started kilometer 8, which was good! I need to stop trying to make sense of this exercise induced asthma pattern, but I really want to understand it so I can treat it better! (Really, I am doing all I can be, which sucks) I really feel that it’s taking me an excessive amount of Ventolin to get through these longer workouts, and I am not super okay with that. To prevent any rebound-flares later on today and to quell the dyspnea already developing, I did another neb when I got home. (The night of my first 10K, I had a really hard time breathing and if it wouldn’t have been for having access to a nebulizer at home, I would have had to go to the ER. Crossing my fingers that I don’t have a repeat of two years ago!)

I had Gatorade at the first station (which I after realized was stupid because why the hell would I need Gatorade by the first stop) but it was also way too strong. I stuck with water for the next few (because cold water > the water from my bottle), threw back a few sips of Gatorade (which Julia described as Mr. Clean. Thanks, Julia ;)) and ditched over half of that one, and stuck to the gross water bottle the rest of the race. I tried the homemade gel at about 7.5K, I think. It worked really well, but it was just too freaking sweet. My pre-race nutrition was also crap, because it involved exactly two bites of some random protein bar that came in the race kit, and about four sips of some almond milk smoothie thing (complete with a carb count on the table! 11g per serving, y’all! I was actually surprised that was the only carb count sign I saw, considering Good Things Run on Insulin and all).

Finally we rounded into kilometer 9, where my friends refused to leave me to go run the last kilometre (I told them to go because I knew pushing myself any harder would be no bueno, but they’re just awesome and told me that we were all finishing together). Halfway through the crowd of people, we kicked into a sprint to the finish line about two-hours after we started, where were unceremoniously handed our medals over (there’s something about when they put the medal around your neck, you know?) to put on ourselves.


Post race

We walked around for a bit, because when you stop moving is when you start to hurt. A guy gave us funeral home branded water (like “Good health choice doing that race! Now, time to think about when you die! Ouch?) Found the bathroom that had no line by the point we crossed the finish line (it had a huge line pre-race because the porta-potties were still being put up, so we stood around until the Gotta Go guy was gotta gone. Also we had nothing better to do but stand there and dance, really–I’m sure even with the dancing we stood around less time than if we’d have waited in the bathroom line).

Subway had a booth with free sandwiches and yogurt parfaits, so we went and ate free food and sat on a bench overlooking a similar view to this, where Julia ran away from wasps while we had snacks and then headed for home!


I was happy to be a small part of making a difference today. With charity races, the making a difference is two-fold: the difference in yourself in not only working to keep your body healthy through training and racing, but in your thoughts in how you perceive the good things that these non-profits are doing for people, AND in bringing much-needed funds and support to these organizations that do so much to help ALL of us live the best possible life we can have! I can go out there and have all the fun I want, but it’s not as meaningful if I’m the only one benefiting from it. Just as a Canadian discovered insulin, my hope is that Canada can be an equally big part in finding a cure–and supporting those living and thriving with diabetes while they wait.

The Imagine race last year was my first “real” race [you know, with those tear-off things on your bib number that you can’t pin onto your shirt], and I was so stoked to be back again this year.  The race is in a fairly small town, which makes it have this awesome atmosphere, where people are sitting on their lawns and cheering and cute children are giving out freezies to runners and walkers en route!


We arrived a bit late, which was just chaos as Danielle and I still needed to register.  We weaved our way through to the reg table, paid our fees, and jetted over to the start line [not the nice calm start I’d been anticipating!] at the back of the pack.  We did our share of passing people throughout the first few kilometers, all but a few were people with jogging strollers and/or small children.  So I’m unsure if our passing counts for anything. Also, I think we passed a couple runners which always makes me laugh–ohai, you just got passed by a walker, you know.

The first kilometer always sucks for my legs, no matter what I do.  And I know you’re not supposed to do new things during races, but really.  So I decided to suck back a gel [after Danielle and I traded, cause I wanted her strawberry kiwi and she wanted my grape pomegranate [mostly cause I think she thought it was berry].  Dude, that stuff rocks.  Hello glycogen.  Legs felt good after that [Well really, what was I expecting. Four graham crackers isn’t exactly ample pre-race nutrition].  I now get what the hype is about.

I think I missed knowing it was kilometer two completely, which leads me to believe that perhaps CarbBoom! is full of drugs.  I remember looking at my Garmin at 2.55 kms and telling Danielle we were over halfway there in about 26 minutes.  Not super fast, but steady.  I’d like to mention here, that we kept up such a pace that it was fast enough for my liking, but thanks to aggressive pre-medicating, despite how I sounded while talking, I felt good and didn’t need my inhaler at all during the race.


I loved the third kilometer.


Danielle looking awesome at 3K.


I was indeed actually walking, but I was also posing.  I don’t typically look like this when I walk.  Typically.

Also, K 3 contained the best sign of the entire race:


At which point, an old dude who was racing ran up, grabbed the sign, and ran off with it [and then returned it].  Apparently that hadn’t happened in the race yet, so the people with the sign were all stoked that someone had tried to steal their sign.  Best sign and best old dude ever.  And then I cheered for the people who made the sign.

Fast forward to 4.6 K.  After someone tells us they like our cat ears [thank you Tara], I look at my Garmin, and realize “If I had been paying attention to the TIME on this thing, not just the distance, we could have cranked up the pace earlier and I’d have PR’ed.  That sucked. We kicked up the pace, then decided to try running.  Running never works for me.  I didn’t last long and told Danielle that I had to walk.  Kept the pace cranked.

Passed the finish line.

No idea if there was a clock.  Stopped the Garmin in the chute at 5.09K and 54+ minutes, as I forgot about it.  I went back and found that i crossed the finish at 53:43.  44 seconds faster and I would have had a PR.  Seriously, it sort of sucks when the only one you’re racing is yourself and you are THAT close.  Or at least i’m consistent in 5Ks? Anyway, yeah, frustrated I wasn’t paying more attention to the Garmin earlier.


Post Race

We got our medals and progressed through the chute.  I stretched it out a bit while Danielle went to the bathroom, then we found chocolate milk [seriously a staple of my post-workout/race nutrition] and various other things in the food tent.  After about ten or fifteen minutes we met up with Caren and James, ate some food, and then went to the Land of Amazing


That was awesome.  I am officially addicted to massages.  I signed my life away and told them that if I died it wasn’t their fault, and then chilled out on the table while the physiotherapy student made my legs feel like amazing.  Then because Danielle wasn’t done yet and the masseuse man looked bored, I got him to massage my shoulders.

I’m now two years in at this race, and it’s by far my favourite.  It’s run like a RACE.  With Gatorade and water and massages and food and CHOCOLATE MILK.  Oh my goodness.

So while I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to, I made it.  I had a ridiculous awesome time, and I can’t wait till next year!