Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Race Report: Disney World Marathon

Although the temp's were actually warmer in San Francisco over the weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Florida to meet up with friends from Children With Diabetes for the Disney World running weekend. Races included a 5k, half marathon and full marathon. Brian Foster gets the award for running both the half marathon and the full marathon, one day apart. Way to go!

Diabetes-wise, things went well. I managed the taper by boosting my basal by 20% in the couple days leading up to the race. I was having some big oscillations 2 days before, likely related to traveling across 3 time zones, not eating normal meals and getting too little sleep. Things settled down and the day before, my BG's were good. I continued with my regular Symlin dose of 6 U before meals up until race morning. Because the marathon started at 5:50 AM and we needed to be on the shuttle at 3:45 AM (!), I had to get up around 3:15 (that's 12:15 AM Pacific time, mind you). In order to help with breakfast and pre-race adrenalin, I had pre-programmed my basal rate at 0.75 U/hr beginning at 3 AM until one hour before race start. My normal rate at that time is 0.5 U/hr but with the 3-hour time change, who knows what "normal" really was.

There weren't a whole lot of options for breakfast at the Coronado so mine consisted of a container of soy milk for some protein and a banana. Typically I don't eat a whole lot before a marathon anyway. I took 2.5 U (which was unintentionally a little more than I would have normally bolused for my 32-g breakfast) at 3:25 AM for the food and watched as my BG remained close to 90. Sometime around 4, it started to climb. I watched it on the Dexcom, looking to see it plateau, but it was climbing steadily. When I tested at 200 at 4:30, I decided to take 0.5 U to nudge it down a bit. By the race start I was at 132 and felt comfortable starting there, since my basal had been reduced back to 0.65 for an hour. (Normal for that time is 0.7 so it was not a big reduction.)

The blood sugar was holding steady around 160 and I was eating 1 gel every 45 to 50 minutes, as well as sipping some of the sports drink here and there. About 90 minutes into the run, I saw the BG come down to 128 so decided to lower my basal to 0.50. This worked great and I relied mostly on the sports drink, along with 1 or 2 more gels, for the duration of the race. I finished with a BG of 143 (narrowly losing out to Peter's 139!) but promptly started to rise into the 300s. I'm not sure if this post-race spike is because I'm not paying attention to what I'm eating (and bolusing for), or if there are some calories hanging out in my stomach that suddenly get digested, or some other reason. Anyway, I need to remember to increase my basal right after the race.

I increased my basal rates by 30% until I got the BGs down. Interestingly to me, the stiffness in my legs started to feel a lot better once I got the BGs under control.

Thanks to Peter, who ran with me the whole way, even when I was not feeling so speedy. At times, I was probably even not very friendly! (Sorry!) The pacing on the race was a little less than ideal for me. Three weeks ago, I ran 22 miles with no problem, and was able to kick it in the last few miles. But during the race, I was feeling sore by mile 18 and feeling like I would be happy to finish after the 20 mile mark. Against my better judgement, I allowed myself to run at a faster pace the first half of the race. My heart rate was creeping up to the mid-170s by the 3rd mile or so, and it never really dropped below 170 for the rest of the race. My original plan was to keep it closer to 155 or 160 but my average HR ended up being 174 and I actually hit my max at some point. Silly Anne! I think, had I stuck to my plan, my finish time would have been about the same, if not faster, and I would have experienced a lot less pain. The race surface was asphalt but also a lot of concrete, which is also pretty tough on the body. Also, I don't think I tapered too well, unless doing 3 rides of about 50 miles each less than 2 weeks out counts as a taper.

I am satisfied with my time of 4:11. It's 21 minutes slower than my most recent non-IM marathon (Boston in 2006) and 32 minutes slower than my PR, but I knew that I would not be running at that pace for this marathon. It was great meeting up with some old friends and making some new connections with people in the diabetes community. Thanks to those who organized this event!

With the marathon done, I am anxiously recovering, if that is possible, and looking forward to doing a lot of cycling in the next 6 months! I can't wait!


Scott K. Johnson said...

Way to go! I'm loving the picture!

Shane and Becca said...

work it, Anne