Tuesday 6 March 2012

Running & Low Blood Sugar

Currently I am training to run a half marathon in early May; well, that is the goal anyway. Over the past few days I have started to accept the fact that it just might not happen because I may not be ready in time. I HATE HATE HATE the idea of putting it off, but I ran a half last year totally unprepared, and promised myself I would never do that again.

Why is there a chance I won't be ready by May? It's not for lack of trying, or because of missing motivation. It's not even due to fact that I've been super busy lately. It's in part because of injury (I strained my lower back about 2 weeks ago and it has been a slow recovery), but mostly because of crappy blood sugar.

Running has become scary for me lately. It seems that on almost every run, my blood sugar bonks about 20-30 minutes in. I've tried adjusting my pre-run meal, but have seen little improvement. I've tried downing masses of juice immediately before going out, and while I'm sure my blood glucose rises pretty quick, it plummets even faster. The result? Shorter runs, and too many runs on the treadmill, where I can keep a bottle of dex tabs beside me at all times. Too bad that all the 30 minute treadmill runs in the world aren't going to help me run 21.2 kilometers on the road.

Frustration is mounting. I love running, but these lows come from out of nowhere. One minute I feel great, and the next I am shaking, dizzy, and unable to put one foot in front of the other. It sucks. So I am testing out a new (to me, not new to the market) nutritional supplement/protein powder that claims to do wonders for balancing blood sugar levels. It's low calorie, high protein, and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. I officially start taking it next week, when I get back from my mini spring break vacation, and will take it every day prior to training. But out of curiosity, I took some this afternoon and jumped onto the treadmill for 30 minutes. 15 minutes came and went, no low symptoms. 20 minutes, 25, and 30. Not only did I not feel even slightly low, I felt fabulous. I ran 0.2 miles per hour faster than I have been lately (not much, but hey, it's something) and I finished the half hour knowing I could have run another one. This supplement is looking good so far. The real test will start next week when I begin taking it daily.

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