Running As A Stress Buster

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Tomorrow I go for what is now going to become a regular 3 mile fun run.  I want to beat my previous time of 31:04.  Hopefully going on these runs with my running club will push me to improve, to get stronger, faster.  It’s going to be chilly tomorrow so I get to wear a new pair of sweat pants I bought last week.

I also intend to use running to help me deal with a new health concern I have.  I have a cataract in my right eye.  My vision in that eye is seriously impaired.  I can see shapes and colors, but I can’t see a lot of detail.  I have a cataract forming in my left eye, too.  I know cataract surgery is one of the most common and simple surgeries.  But it’s still scary.  I hate the thought of anyone messing with my eyes.  I don’t think anyone likes that.  Since I was diagnosed a diabetic, the idea of going blind is the one thing that scares me the most.  Even more than the idea of dropping dead from a heart attack.  Diabetes is a truly horrible disease and it can cause damage to so many parts of the body.  The frustrating thing is my sugar is under control right now.  My fasting sugar is still averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  Yet this cataract has been getting steadily worse for over a month.  I get surgery on my right eye on the 11th November.  On the 2nd December I go back to get the same procedure on the left eye.  It has been so frustrating lately.  I have to use reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read a book.  I just can’t wait until it’s all over so I can see clearly again.  The doctor told me that cataracts happen faster with diabetics.  She also said getting outside and exposing my eyes to extra sunlight because I’m out more with my running could have sped up the process.  Unfortunately I’ve never been the type to wear sunglasses.

At least I can still run.  Running will help me deal with the stress of my impending surgeries.  It’s bad enough having to go through it once, but knowing that just a few weeks later I have to do it all again with my other eye just makes it so much worse.

Talking of running, the pics above are of products I’m using that help me with my running.  The first pic shows the Access bar.  This is a delicious bar I eat about fifteen minutes before I start to run, or before I start any kind of exercise.  It helps fuel my workout, giving me energy for whatever workout I’m going to do.  It also helps the body access fat stores.  I wouldn’t want to run without eating one first!  The protein shake is delicious and it’s something I look forward to drinking when I go home after a run.

The second pic shows the products I use for my post workout.  There is nothing better than a long soak in the bath after a good workout at the gym or after a hard run.  The essential oils are especially soothing.  The Pain-A-Trate is great for soothing sore leg muscles after my run.  All these products are available from an amazing online Wellness company we shop with.  Running is so much better with them!

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Partnering Up To Keep Motivated

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I blogged recently about how I’ve joined a running club.  This has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made since I started on my health and fitness journey.  I went to my first meet with them on Tuesday at a school track.  It felt so weird going back to a school as it has been a long time since I last set foot in one.

I won’t say how long.

The group meets there every Tuesday for a track run.  The track runs around a football pitch and the school team were training on the pitch.  This just added to the feeling of being back at school!  We spent about 45 minutes running around the track, while avoiding the occasional football player who crossed the track to either catch the ball or to move one piece of equipment or other.

I made the mistake of keeping up with the leaders for nearly three laps.  I say mistake because I obviously hadn’t thought this through.  They run a lot faster than I usually do.  I tend to run a 12 minute mile and they were running about an 8 minute mile.  As you can imagine this is a lot faster and takes more effort than I’m used to.  As I rounded the halfway point of the 3rd lap I started to feel the pace and they began to edge further and further ahead of me.  I then slowed to a pace I’m more used to.  I still ran faster than normal, though.  I managed to complete 3 miles on this track.  Three miles running faster than I’m used to.  I’m quite proud of that run!  My legs were sore the next day, though!

Every Saturday the group has a fun run in a local Staten Island park.  The park is Clove Lakes and as you can see from the photos, it’s beautiful.  I usually run in Great Kills park, which is close to where we live.  The fun run is a 3 miler.  The course is a bit twisty and I was afraid of taking a wrong turn and heading in a completely wrong direction, so I concentrated on keeping up with a couple of runners ahead of me.  We had to run one twisty circuit and then go round again.  My legs were burning from the exertion of once again running faster than I am used to.  Although this is not an official 5K race, we still have someone there with an official timer and I came to the finish with a time of 31:04.  This put my running pace at just a fraction over a ten minute mile.  That’s almost two minutes a mile faster than I usually run.  I’m starting to realize how beneficial it is to belong to a running club.  I tended to run a 12 minute mile because it’s more comfortable and an easier pace to maintain.  The running club is starting to put me in a discomfort zone, and making me a faster runner in the process.  The fact our local newspaper covers this group and published our names and running times the next day was a bit surreal.  I haven’t run any races yet so this was my first experience of seeing my name and running time in print.  It made me feel like a real runner.

These two weekly runs are going to be part of my weekly running routine from now on.  I made the right choice and I obviously chose a good club.  My fitness level is going to sky rocket now.  The fact I’ve lost 25 lbs since March and I’m off diabetes medication through running means running is a huge part of my life now.  There is no going back.

Because of the Chicago marathon I’ve seen no end of posts on Twitter and Facebook from people who ran the marathon.  I have nothing but admiration for each and every one of them.  Running 26.2 miles is a huge achievement, whatever their time.  As for me, I have no plans currently to run a marathon.  I can run 3 to 4 miles currently and then I’m burnt out so I can’t even fathom running a full marathon.  But six months or so ago I couldn’t fathom running a mile so one thing I know right now is never say never to running a marathon.  As I say, I have no plans to run one but who knows.

Maybe one day….

Stepping Up My Fitness

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I really love what running is doing to my body.  Since I started running I’ve lost 25 lbs.  My sugar is much better,  My A1C is in the normal range and I’m off Metformin, a drug for diabetes.

I have joined a local running club.  I went to a track workout last night.  That workout really kicked my butt.  I ran three miles.  But I really picked up my speed.  The first three laps I ran with the leaders of the group.

Which was fun.  But probably a bit of a mistake, too.  I ran an 8 minute mile pace for about six minutes before I felt my pace start to flag.  It was exhilarating to run that fast.  I usually average a 12 minute mile.  It might have been a slight mistake though because my legs felt so heavy for the rest of my run.  It’s a good experience for my first 5K race, which I think will be happening in the next few weeks.

Don’t start too fast.

And run your own pace.

Still, it was a great workout.  I felt it this morning.  But today I’m having a new problem.  I seem to be having a low sugar day.  My fasting sugar this morning was 69.  I tend to average somewhere between mid 70’s and mid 80’s.  So this was a little lower.

Three hours after breakfast my sugar was 72.  I’m used to it being around 120 -130 at this point.

Two hours after lunch it was 85.  That’s definitely on the low side.  Half hour later it had dropped to 78.  I haven’t been active today to cause my sugar to be like this.  It’s worrying because I know over the coming weeks and months I’m going to be running further and probably faster.  I’m going to have to watch I don’t have any sugar crashes while I’m running.  We’re also planning on going to the gym later so I have to worry that my sugar might crash while I’m working out.

I know I pushed myself hard last night, but Sunday I ran 4.5 miles and my sugar was fine the day after that.  This is a new situation for me.  I test every morning anyway, but I’m going to monitor my sugar carefully over the next week or so.  Saturday I’m running a three mile fun run with my new running group.

At least I have GC Control to stabilize my sugar.  I’ve always used it to lower my sugar when it’s high.  Now I’m going to be using it to normalize my sugar when it’s on the low side.  That’s what GC Control is meant to do.  Stabilize your sugar level.  This is a new way to use it.

Does anyone have any advice on how to manage sugar levels and prevent crashes when running or working out?