Monday, September 15, 2014

CoreFit

Last Tuesday I tried my first CoreFit Class. I had never been to a class like that before. 

I knew it would be hard. 

I knew it would be good for me. 

I knew I would probably curse in my head a few times, perhaps curse out loud once or twice but, at the end of it, I knew I'd probably want to come back again. 

Thankfully I had a friend with me who was a veteran of the class and could show me where to put my equipment and explain why exactly we needed to grab two cloths in addition to the weights and balance balls.

The class started off with a warmup that had me feeling incredibly grateful that my mother and I used to go to step classes together. Being rather uncoordinated and often unable to make my arms and legs follow instructions at the same, those almost forgotten step class moves miraculously reappeared, allowing me to almost keep up with the warmup. 

The warmup ended with squats. Lots and lots of squats. Plain squats. Squats with weights. Squats that you hold while standing on your toes. Squats that have you shaking so badly that when you a finally allowed to stand up again you're not sure if you actually can. 

The squats were followed by planks. And more planks. And side planks. And planks with weights (who knew that was possible??). Planks where you slide backwards and forwards (now I know why we needed those cloths!)

And abs. And more abs. And abs with your legs in the air. Abs while balancing on balls. 

Finally arms. Lots of arms. Arms, as it turns out, were my favourite. Probably because I grabbed weights that were too light which made me feel super strong. Probably also because my arms are much stronger than they used to be thanks to all the swimming and it made me feel kinda badass. 

By the time we were ready to cool down, I was shaking so much I wasn't sure I could stand up for the cool down. I did. And I was grateful to see that most of the other women were looking as exhausted as I was. 

I stumbled home and into bed. I felt great for having done it but I knew I was going to be in for a few days of sore muscles. What I didn't realize was how quickly that soreness would appear and how sore I would be. By Wednesday morning I could not sit up in bed without using my arms and by Wednesday afternoon I could not lower myself down into a chair or stand up from a seated position without a deep steadying breath and some pretty major arm action. 

The first time is always the worst and I was still looking forward to the following Tuesday to do it all over again. 

Problem was that there was another class on Thursday and I wasn't sure I'd be able to climb into my car let alone survive part two. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday it is Then

So I was supposed to have a blog post for this morning talking about the Corefit classes I tried this week.

Problem is that I got back from Thursday night's class and barely had enough energy to wrap myself in a blanket before collapsing on the couch.

Looks like you'll have to wait until Monday for the scoop.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The ?!? Factor

The other day someone posted a link to an article that talked about some of the factors that can affect blood sugar. None of these factors were new to me. I have either already been told about them by medical professionals or I’ve experienced them firsthand enough times to reach my own conclusions.

The list included the usual suspects:

- Carbs make it go up
- Stress makes it go up
- Hormones make it go up, except for all the times when they make it go down
- Exercise makes it go up or down depending on the type of exercise, time of day, length of time spent doing it and how long it's been since you did it
- Alcohol makes it go down unless you’re having sugary drinks in which case it sorta makes it go up and down at the same time

And so on and so forth.

I read this article while sitting on the couch. I had just returned from my first CoreFit class (more on that tomorrow), was sipping red wine and enjoying two chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I had had kinda stressful work day. I had already run that morning.

That paragraph alone shows that there were at least five different factors at play at the same time. All of them pulling my blood sugar in one direction or another. All of them making my best laid plans seem laughable. How much should I bolus for those cookies? When I think about all the things pulling me up and down the answer is to take my best scientific wild ass guess at it.

So of course, after reading the article, I spent the next day playing a game with myself. How many variables are at play at any given time when I am making insulin-dosing decision?

Breakfast

I didn’t swim because, well let’s be honest here, I was too sore from the CoreFit class (more on that tomorrow). So no early morning workout means extra breakfast insulin and slightly higher blood sugars all day. But I did have the CoreFit class the night before which was a) hard, b) an unknown exercise as in I have no idea what it will do to my blood sugar over 24 hours and c) it was my first evening workout in a while which means all the stuff I do for morning workouts probably won’t work. So I took 0.20 more units that I normally do and crossed my fingers.

Lunch

I bring my own lunch to work 99.9% of the time because a) I know what’s in it and b) it’s much less expensive and c) it is usually much healthier. Yesterday, a group at work that I’ve been meeting with for five years decided to bring in Chinese food to celebrate our half decade anniversary. So the lunch variables were a) I hadn’t exercised that morning and b) I was eating unknown food( for the record I tried to compensate a bit by ordering a veggie dish with no rice to at least keep the carbs to a minimum). On top of that I had a massage booked two hours after lunch which typically lowers my blood sugar. Typically. Except when it hurts a lot and then it brings it up instead. And since my muscles really hurt from CoreFit (more on that tomorrow), I was expecting pain. On top of that I was meeting Doug for golf right after the massage which usually drops my blood sugar. 

So four more variables to consider. 

Keep in mind we're not even talking about the internal things going on (hormones, stress, fatigue and other fun things that are harder to identify and account for).

I didn't take much insulin at lunch and was holding steady at 7.0 before my massage. I panicked a bit and ate four candies en route because I was afraid of going low. I spiked up to 14 before the first half hour was done so I bolused two units to tackle that mistake. I was 11.0 when I left the massage and 9.0 by the time I got home. I ate 20 carbs en route to the golf course only to learn that we weren't going to be able to play since there was a huge rain storm coming. We hit balls for 15 minutes and then had to head home. My pre-golf snack had been unnecessary and I was now climbing back up to 11 as a result.

By that point in the day I had completely lost track of how many factors I had to keep in my head and we haven’t even reached dinner yet.
So I stopped counting. It's just easier to manage it all without actually thinking too hard about all the things I have to manage. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now...sort of



When I was a little girl, my father wore glasses. My mother didn’t. Not because of vanity but rather for the simple reason that she did not need to.

Then, about 30 seconds after she turned 40, she needed glasses.

When she got back from the optometrist, she said he told her the 40 is like a magic year when it comes to vision. If you didn’t need glasses before, at 40 you suddenly do. And if you did have glasses before, you suddenly need bifocals.

It didn’t mean much to me, at 15, other than the fact that I had to get used to seeing my mother in glasses. Now I can hardly remember her without them.

I got my own glasses when I was in grade 12. I guess that would put me at about 17 years old. I needed them for distance because I could no longer read what was written on the chalkboard.

I’ve never needed glasses for reading. In fact, I usually read by either taking off my glasses or, typically, simply looking up over or down under the lenses. I hardly notice I’m doing it but I know I do it all the time.  

Actually, I should say that I hardly noticed I did it. Suddenly, I seem to notice. I notice that things I used to be able to see clearly through my glasses are suddenly not quite so clear. Suddenly things I used to be able to read easily without my glasses now take an extra second or two as I find just the right distance at which to hold them to bring things into focus. Heck, last weekend I was editing photos and was horrified because they all looked slightly out of focus. Not a good thing considering it was a family photoshoot. I pulled my laptop a wee bit closer and suddenly everything looked crisp and focused – just as it should have. Thank goodness!

Looks like my mother’s optometrist was correct all those years ago. Forty is the magical age when it comes to vision. I expect my fall optometrist appointment will have me walking out with my first prescription for bifocals.

Sigh. 

I guess the silver lining on this latest discovery is that a new prescription is an excuse for a fun new colourful pair of glasses.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

More Than I Can Chew? Perhaps. But it's Tasty.

Last week I ran three times, cycled once and golfed twice. A nice amount of exercise but also the kind of week that gave me a few days off.

This week, things seem to be cranking up a notch.

Here's the plan:
- I'm still running three times with a 20k run on Saturday.
- The fall masters session at the pool started so I'm aiming to be there twice.
- I have three golf games planned (all 9 holes since they are after work)
- I'll be cycling on Sunday if the weather is good
- I'm starting that new core fit class I mentioned a few weeks ago which runs Tuesday/Thursday evenings for an hour

That's a LOT of activity for one week. Considering I do have other things like work, eat, sleep and perhaps do a chore or two to do.

If I do it all, I'll be trying to fit 11 activities into 7 days. If you look at it in terms of time, I'll be running 4.5 hours, swimming for 3, golfing for 6, cycling 1.5 and core-fitting for 2. That's 17 hours of activity over 7 days, not counting the time spent getting ready and then recovering from these workouts.

That means a) a lot of exercise and b) two days of double workouts (running an hour before work and then doing a core fit class after work).

Being a) not a big fan of evening workouts and b) an complete neophyte when it comes to core fit anything, I'm expecting to be a wee bit tired and sore by Sunday. In fact, I imagining next Sunday afternoon to be one of those glorious couch-filled, tea sipping ones.

This is not a routine I expect to be able to sustain for very long. No days off plus a few days of double workouts makes for quick burnout in my books.

That being said, I'm doing it because a) I can (or I think I can anyway), b) it won't be for long, it's just because golf and cycling season haven't ended yet but the fall activities are ramping up and c) I'm a stubborn lassie who doesn't want to postpone the start of one activity simply because another one hasn't ended yet.

Feel free to make violin noises if I start whining later this week.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Search Topics

Every once in a while I go into the back end of Blogger.

It's not nearly as inappropriate as it sounds - trust me.

I go into my blog by the back door and I get to see all sorts of interesting stats. Like how many people from Russia read my blog last week. And which blog posts were the most popular last month. And how many people accessed my blog using a tablet rather than a mac.

My favourite stats section is the section on searches. It tells me the different search words or phrases people typed in a search engine that resulted in them finding and then clicking on Running on Carbs.

Some search terms make sense. Like 'Running on Carbs' or 'type 1 diabetes'.

Others, not so much.

Last week, the following search terms brought people to Running on Carbs.

- gluing flag on backpack

- I am afraid of penis insertion

- kale chips are gross

- anabel showering naked day 6

- realistic dragons

I can explain the kale chips one since I once wrote a pretty cutting story about how gross they are (they were really gross)

I remember writing a post about how I once had a horribly high blood sugar overnight and was dreaming of very realistic and terrifying dragons.

A few years ago I did write about a book I had just read called Anabel AND and I do write about taking the odd naked shower. I didn't write about those two things in the same story but perhaps Google doesn't care? And I wonder if the Anabel they were searching for showered naked on days 1 to 5 as well?

I assure you that I never once wrote about the first two. At least not in those words. I have written about flags, glue and backpacks as they are all fairly common words. And I have written a lot about insertion sites - but I'm usually talking about insulin pump infusion site insertion which, while difficult to say quickly, is not exactly x-rated.

The best part of all is that by putting all of these search terms into one blog post, I will probably get more hits and ever weirder search term combinations.

It's like a vicious and yet rather entertaining cycle.

Friday, September 5, 2014

In Two Months...

Guess what??

I get to do another presentation! My third diabetes-related presentation.

My phone rang the other day and I chatted with someone I have never met who is helping to organize an event. Ten minutes later I had a date in my calendar and a new audience to start thinking about.

The first two times I was asked to speak, I spoke to a room full of diabetes educators. I talked about life with diabetes. I talked about the fact that I'm a person first and a person with diabetes second. I talked about the things they could do to help people like me.

This time, I'm talking to a group of women, all of whom have Type 1 diabetes. I'm part of a day full of presentations by all sorts of different people from different backgrounds talking about different things.

Instead of talking about what the audience can do to help people like me, I'm going to be talking about what the audience full of people like me can do to help themselves.

It's similar but it's different. I'm trying to imagine what I would want to hear if I were sitting in the audience. I'm trying to imagine what I would be motivated by. I'm trying to imagine what things I have to say that may inspire someone a little bit. That may teach them a little more. That may make their life, diabetes-wise or otherwise, a little easier.

I have two months to gather my thoughts in a coherent order, put them to slides and toss a few photos in for fun.

I'm already excited.