Fish

I’ve spent a large part of the summer up in St. Cloud. One of my most favorite things to do is fish with papa Paul out on Kramer Lake. It’s a private lake in St. Joseph. One has to be a member of a Rod & Gun Club to use boat landing.

It’s been a good summer for panfish (sunfish, crappies). It hasn’t been great for northern–we’ve only had 2. I caught a 3-inch baby bass, and an 8-inch baby walleye that were both returned to the deep. We have enough fish for the annual family fish fry thanks to my friend Sören, who over the weekend of the 4th of July, helped us snag 19 crappies and 20 sunfish for a grand total of 39.

I have also learned to clean fish independently. As daddy says, “True fisherman help clean the fish.” I can now officially bring a fish from the lake to the plate without help.

Sören, his wife Jen, papa Paul and I are all heading back out to Kramer Lake late tomorrow morning for another go. Here’s to pulling-in another 39 keepers.

Mermaid and Robot Hit Ikea

My friend and co-worker Suzi texted me this morning and asked if I wanted to accompany her and her two peanuts (kids) to Ikea. My response was what it always was when people ask if I want to go get lost amongst droves of organizational solutions–YES. I only spent $30.00 of my own money and mostly got things for my office.

When I went to the Mall of America on a field trip in spring, I bought 3 lego keychains at the LEGO store. I bought a Yoda for my sister, Beth, because she is wise. I bought mermaid for Suzi because it’s blonde (like she is) and has yellow skin like she does. Just kidding! Yellow is her favorite color. And I bought a robot for me because I am a robot (with my OmniPod). I smile every time I see our key rings!

I actually got to be a double-robot for the last three and a half days. My blood sugars were whack, and Dr. K (who is back from maternity leave!) suggested a 3 day constant glucose monitoring study. The monitor they hooked-up to me on Friday didn’t display any numbers for me to see, so I still had to test frequently. I had it taken off this morning. That sucker was painful to insert. It believe it was the Guardian CGM by Medtronic. It had a cannula that was least an inch long. It was kind of terrifying. I hope that the Dexcom isn’t half as painful to insert because I’d really like to get one in the next few months!

Work It Out

Half-marathon–done.

Next challenge? I’m going to attempt to work out 100 days in a row. I took a few classes in undergrad with a girl who started the website/challenge Work It Out 100 a year or two ago. I’ll take some before and after pictures and send them to her if there is any noticeable differences.

I’m plan to log each day on MapMyRun. I kicked off my personal challenge with a 3 mile dog walk through the hills of my neighborhood. With Tuesday, June 2nd as Day #1, my ending date will be Thursday, September 10th as day #100. Halfway will be Wednesday, July 22nd.

Insurance Change

Has an email about changing insurance ever made you cry?

If so–you might have a chronic disease.

My employer is changing insurance providers and I’m scared out of my whits. For most people, a change in insurance companies doesn’t mean a whole lot. You will probably still go to the same urgent care clinic for strep throat tests, and you’re probably fine calling whatever toll free nurse-line number that’s printed on the back of your insurance card. You might have to see a different primary care physician each year for your pap/physical, but the only doctor who would have ever recognized you in a crowd was probably the pediatrician you had until you moved out of your parent’s house.

The insurance company is the gatekeeper to our care. They approve or deny every aspect of what keeps us alive. Typically it means a change in the ‘provider network.’ Most insurance companies make deals with certain providers for two reasons; it keeps the insurer’s costs to a  minimum and it provides some assurance that patients will consistently obtain care from those providers.

I’m thankful to be employed. I am thankful to have insurance in the first place, but I am scared that my current endocrinology team will not be within the new insurer’s provider network. This means paying some percentage for every visit out-of-pocket. It’s commonly between 20-40%. That’s a lot when I am supposed to see them 4 times a year with each visit costin between  $300.00 and $500.00.

All I can do is hope that all of my OmniPod supplies are covered and that my team is within the provider network.
Even if not–I’ll keep fighting the good fight.

Check

I haven’t written in forever. So here’s an update.

I trained, and trained, and trained for the half marathon. The longest I ran before race day was 8.5 miles. I got sick with two separate week-long illnesses (one cold and one flu) during training. I hoped that the excitement and flow of race day would get me though. And it did! That and having Emily and Matt my cousins, and my bff Suzi at my side. Emily and I ran the entire thing together. I would have finished by myself, but I wouldn’t have done it before they officially closed the course. At the 7 or 8 mile mark, Suzi sped-the-heck up and went for gold. Matt stayed with one of our group-mates, Ayla, while she slowed down. Emily and I toughed it out together, walking the hills and running the straights with our identical buzz cuts.

I could tell tell Emily started to struggle at mile 10. The only thing that hurt for me was my arms, where the insides were chafing against my sports bra. No side ache, no knee or foot pain, so I couldn’t really complain. I did my best to coach Emily to mile 12 with my brand of running ‘coping methods.’ I had us run to certain signs, count our strides, and provided ample words of encouragement. We walked approximately 1-2 total miles between miles 9 and 12. I really wanted to run the last mile. I didn’t know if I could get Emily there myself, so I asked Matt to talk us through the last 1.1 miles. He did a great job. He extremely encouraging without pushing us to the limit.

Matt, Emily, and I crossed the finish line together. It was a great feeling. My time was 2:47. Here are all of my other stats. Also proof that I finished. It made me a little sad to see that out of 1154 runners, I finished 1121. That’s ahead of a whole 33 runners. It doesn’t count the people that didn’t finish at all (which I estimate at 30-50 people), or the people who finished after the 3:00 hour mark (which was maybe another 10-25). But it’s still a little embarrassing.

Here is the progression of half-marathon goals from January to race day:
1. Finish it by any means possible.
2. Run more than half of it.
3. Finish in under 3 hours and 30 minutes.
4. Finish in under 3 hours (when I found out that the official course was closed at the 3 hour mark).

I achieved goal #4 which means I achieved all of the other goals. This was all after waking up on Friday morning with a sore throat. I consumed my body weight in Emergen-C (which didn’t do anything at all) and hopped myself up on DayQuil, pseudoephedrine, and Vitamin I (a.k.a. ibuprofen) on the morning of race day. I felt fine/normal during the race, but rapidly declined in health afterwards.

I was extremely sore and felt a general sense of malaise for the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday. On Monday I knew something was wrong when, in the evening, I got a major case of the chills. My temperature topped out at 103 degrees on Monday night. I had the flu. I’m glad it didn’t keep me from running the race, but it was the 4th time I’ve been sick this school year (which is how anyone who works at schools counts the number of times they get sick).

I can’t say I ever want to run a half marathon again, but if the cousins would be down, I’d do the same race again next year. We had a Grade A group of cheer-er-on-ers. Mama Linda, Papa Paul, auntie Laura, uncle Frank (also race day photographer) sister Beth, cousins Maggie and NIck, friend Jenny, and wiener dogs Pippa and Nico cheered us on at 4 (or 5?) different points on the course. It was awesome.

I’ve had no knee or back pain, which is common among the runners in my family, but am experiencing some plantar fasciitis type symptoms in my right outer-heel. I feel a bruise-like pain toward the outside of my inner heel in the mornings. It goes away after 5-10 minutes of walking around, but is back the next morning like clockwork. I am also experiencing some bruise-like pain on the top of that same foot, which probably has something to do with the tendons. I’m resting it–hard. I haven’t run or engaged in any strenuous activity since the race on April 17th. I’m going to give it 6 full weeks before I think about taking up running again.

Diabetes wise–here is low down.
I woke up on race day at 179, which was good. I ate greek yogurt with berries and granola. I only bolused for the carbs–not to correct the 179. I completely suspended my insulin for the entire duration of the race (3 hours). 10 minutes after finishing, my blood sugar was 116.

I resumed my regular basal program about 30 minutes after the race’s end, thinking my sugar would continue to drop. I went home and took a 2 hour nap. When I woke up I was at about 389. I corrected, ate lunch and bolused for the carbs. I went back to sleep, and when I woke up the second time, I was at 410. I gave an actual injection of insulin and started consuming lots of water. It eventually came down into the 250s, and by the time I went to bed was back down in the 100s. I think the stress hormones and all the other chemicals in my body had something to do with the major rebound afterward. Next time (if there is one), I will be watching far more closely after the race. I had more fear that I would go low, but I knew there was a good chance I’d end up high.

I’m still alive and kicking, and looking forward to achieving the next goal I set for myself.
Whatever that may be.

Halfway

I’m halfway through my half marathon training. I’m up to 7 miles on my long run days (either Saturday or Sunday). It’s fluctuated between reasonable and very cold here in Minnesota, so I have been training on the treadmill for the last two weeks.

I used to be a fan of treadmill training. No wind resistance. No incline. Climate control and Apple TV. But after training outside, I’ve realized that the treadmill is more difficult. It forces a constant rate, and therefore tires me out faster. For distances longer than 2 miles, I can really only run at a 15 minute pace (3 miles per hour) without taking breaks. Outside, my body paces itself. I slow down a little when I’m tired, and speed up a little when I’m feeling good. I run between 10 and 12 minute paces (5/6 miles per hour) outside. I don’t feel any more tired unless I’m running up a hill (but this is to be expected).

It’s hovering at 23 degrees F today. I think I’ll still train inside today, because even when I ran outside at 27 degrees F, I felt the air’s toll on the lungs afterward. Last Sunday I ran 7 miles inside and the lungs felt fine. If it had been prescribed, I could have ran 8 or 9. It felt that okay. So the training is working.

The first 2 miles have always been the hardest for me. My brain is still adjusting to the fact that I’m running and it’s going to be like that for a while. Now that I recognize that they are the worst part, I just push myself through them and it get’s easier, or a least my body perceives the work as less strenuous.

I’m not looking forward to the 7 miler today, but I’ve got a couple hours worth of podcasts waiting in the queue! I listen to the following while running: Invisibilia, Radiolab, This American Life, and Serial (when it’s current). I’m your basic NPR snob. I’m okay with that.

Ages

Sticking to my new years resolution and training hard for the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN. It’s not imaginary anymore. I have the pleasure of running it with my cousins Christy and Emily. Hopefully Matt joins us, too (but he never signs up for races longer than 2 weeks in advance).

I have been using the Temporary Basal option on the OmniPod during my runs. I started by decreasing my basal (background insulin) by 50% for 2 hours. I ended up low about 3 hours after each session, so I change it to 50% for 3 hours (which is the maximum time period for a temporary basal). The longer I ran, the lower I went 3 hours post workout. Through trial and error, I have my current running temp basal at a 90% (yes that’s ninety percent) decrease for 3 hours. I start it about 20 minutes before I actually start running.

I have also had to decrease my insulin across the board. The regular running has increased my sensitivity for both my insulin to carb ratio (was 1 unit to every 14 grams of carbs, now at 1 unit for every 18 grams of carbs), as well as my correction factor (was 1 unit to lower me 34 points, now is 1 unit to lower me 40 points).

Right now I’m waiting for a call from the nurse line to see if my throat culture grew a streptococcal jungle.

Blues

There is a gentle snow falling across the street light’s beam, and I’ve got a predictable case of the mid-winter blues. In the last days of winter break, I could feel it creeping in, pushing slowly into the space behind my sternum.

It’s there now, occupying each muscle fiber as I tie my running shoes and strike the treadmill, stride by stride, in halftime rhythm with my heartbeat. It’s not washed away by the scalding shower, or soaked out by tepid bathwater. It’s just landed lightly, pulled its feathers over its eyes and gone to sleep. I’ll let it rest there. There’s not much more to do than hope for a sudden migration.

Uptown

Friday was World Diabetes Day.
Saturday I met a guy in uptown who told me I probably wouldn’t have Type 1 Diabetes if I had committed to clean eating. He conceded that I probably can’t cure my diabetes now that I caused myself to get it, but could easily get off of insulin. He also is sure that most people with autism wouldn’t have it if their parents committed to clean eating.

He knows a lot about this stuff because he works out at Lifetime Fitness, got his teaching credentials but only taught for 7 months, and now works at Target Corporate. He also told me that he believes that I will die a conservative. I got pretty excited to exchange contact information so I can let him know my political leanings on my death bed.

He made it clear he didn’t want to ‘push’ his ideologies on me, because he could tell I was a really smart girl. Listening to him talk for 2 hours was just ‘hearing him out.’

At ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and every five minutes thereafter, I explained to him it was Saturday night and it was the time and place to have a fun time. I assured him that when I am dying, which is going be sooner than later if I don’t commit to clean eating, I would shoot him a text as long as I still had the feeling in my fingers.

As the night came to a close, and the snow fluttered down softly from the sky, I was thankful that my whole life could be changed by one guy, in one bar, on one night in November.