How I Began Operating with Type 1 Diabetes (After Saying “I Don’t Run” for Years)

Jennifer Christensen lives with sort 1 diabetes and lately accomplished her first half marathon – although she at all times used to say, “I don’t run!” 

She shares how she discovered the motivation to run (from her finest buddy), the psychological boundaries she overcame, how she skilled, and what she did to handle her blood sugar throughout and after runs.

It is a lengthy put up, but it surely’s an excellent one!

How I Began Operating with Type 1 Diabetes (After Saying “I Don’t Run” for Years)

We’ve all heard the saying “By no means Say By no means” and thought that it was moderately ridiculous to contradict your self in the identical sentence, or perhaps that’s simply me. Nevertheless, I’ve even stated it myself. In actual fact, I stated it only in the near past once I accomplished a Half Marathon in L.A. with my finest buddy.

Let’s again as much as June…

Higher but, let’s again as much as March.

To get this put up, you need to know that I’m in an train competitors with my finest buddy, Jenna, and I like how we stick with it. We’ve been doing this for 3 years now, and to say we’re aggressive could be the understatement of the 12 months/decade.


So, beginning in March of this 12 months I stepped up my sport to a complete new stage. I had set a private aim of dropping some weight and received myself a gymnasium membership. Issues had been progressing properly, and I used to be happy to see outcomes. A buddy had even prompt that I ought to run a marathon, or half marathon and I stated, “I don’t run. I’ll by no means do a marathon or perhaps a half marathon.”

In June, Jenna and I went on considered one of our semi-annual “Laverne and Shirley” journeys. It was a weekend of climbing, swimming, exploring underground lava tubes, yoga, and zip lining. The zip lining occasion will come again to chunk me… or be the perfect factor to occur.

There have been greater than 30 zip traces suspended 15 to 80 toes within the pine bushes. Now, an important reality to know is that Jenna has a worry of heights. And never only a slight worry both. At one level we had been on a platform 80 toes within the air, the tree was swaying, and there was a storm constructing on the horizon. Jenna was terrified! She was actually shaking and doubting her survival.

You will notice how this suits into my story in a bit bit…

How I Began Operating with Type 1 Diabetes (After Saying “I Don’t Run” for Years)

A month later as I used to be ending up on the gymnasium, Jenna texted me about presumably becoming a member of her within the half marathon she was registered for the tip of October in L.A. I used to be already going to be touring together with her as her help and encouragement workforce. She was keen to stroll/jog/run with me, or no matter I wanted. I had been working a bit on the treadmill and the thought had crossed my thoughts if I used to be bodily in a position of doing one.

I used to be scared.

Terrified of shin splints. Terrified of failing. Terrified of problems. Scared of injuring myself.

Jenna lived as much as her finest buddy and largest ally title. She instructed me that she doesn’t run half marathons to win so doing one with me would simply make it extra fulfilling, and serving to me to push myself to a brand new stage is simply icing on the cake.

She even identified that we already span that many miles, plus stairs, in most of our earlier weekend journeys.

I used to be involved with a time restrict, however after trying it up, I found that I at the moment walked quick sufficient to finish inside the vital time. Jenna was even keen to sluggish her tempo and have a worse end time to stick with me and encourage me alongside the best way.


I had time to consider it because the registration was nonetheless open for a pair months. I promised to consider it however wasn’t certain I may do it. In actual fact, I used to be about 70% certain that I wasn’t going to do it.

I thought of it for just a few days however didn’t say something to anybody at first. I weighed all the professionals and cons and virtually had myself totally talked out of it.

That’s once I talked about it to a woman on the gymnasium.

Ladies in locker rooms could be a few of the most encouraging folks round. I instructed her about it and she or he stated, “You would completely do it!” I nonetheless wasn’t certain although. That’s when she stated, “She went zip-lining for you.”

Discuss getting hit within the intestine!

I couldn’t argue towards that in any method, form, or type. Gymnasium Woman was proper. Jenna confronted her worry for me, how may I not face mine for her? So, I registered that afternoon and despatched Jenna the screenshot of my registration. I’m nonetheless satisfied I heard her scream with pleasure.

I wanted to start out coaching. I had three months to be higher than I at the moment was in order that I wouldn’t let her down.


I talked with my physician, and she or he inspired me and had confidence I might do nice. I additionally reached out to others that I knew who had accomplished marathons, each with and with out Type 1 diabetes, for suggestions and tips. I knew having Type 1 wasn’t going to cease me from this, however I additionally knew that it was going to take a bit bit of additional work.

For probably the most half, I stored up with my different gymnasium actions. I did again off on legwork in order that they wouldn’t get overworked and be extra fatigued. I knew that I ought to analysis meals selections, however I additionally knew that altering issues on that entrance wouldn’t essentially assist me.

I had spent the final many months engaged on enhancing my A1C and my time in vary and had made big progress and I didn’t need to mess that up with altering what I had found was working.

For my first few coaching runs, I diminished the basal on my pump in order that I wouldn’t crash low whereas away from the home. That proved to be the fallacious factor for me to do, as I ended up a complete lot increased afterwards.

The following few runs I left my basal alone and was capable of keep a spread that I used to be comfy with.

I knew that timing my meals round my runs was additionally essential. Meals is at all times a difficult factor. After I began on the gymnasium, I might have the worst highs throughout any exercise. I had tried consuming after the exercise, however that was worse.

So, I attempted having a protein shake each morning and when it was prompt to dump these and discover one thing completely different I scoffed. How may a protein shake be so dangerous?  However I used to be keen to strive absolutely anything so I ended the shakes and moved to a distinct protein supply.  One hard-boiled egg and a small glass of milk is now my go-to pre-workout meal.

Does it work each single time? No, however does something? I’m nonetheless tweaking just a few issues and hopefully my post-workout excessive shall be a factor of the previous on a constant foundation.


My first actually long term, and by lengthy I imply over 7 miles, proved to be a distinct animal fully. I left my basals alone and did simply high quality, however fought going low for the following 24 hours.

It appeared that I used to be treating a low each hour or so and I had a really tough time staying above 70. I knew that train may have a chronic impact on blood sugars, however I had by no means skilled it to that diploma earlier than.

The largest check was once I did my longest coaching run. I headed out for 11 miles. Blood sugars stayed comparatively stage, a little bit of a climb at first and a fall midway by way of. I handled with the snacks that I introduced with me and stored going. I returned house increased than I wished to be, however nonetheless ended up combating lows for the following 24 hours.

One among my greatest issues with working was my toes. I’ve had a complete of 5 foot surgical procedures over time and am actually cautious of injuring them extra. Nevertheless, my toes had been doing properly.

I had gone to the working retailer to get an excellent pair of footwear and was very happy with how they had been working. I can’t say my toes didn’t harm in any respect, however I can say they weren’t stopping me.


I used to be having one minor ache that wasn’t going away, and I wasn’t certain what it was. I made a decision it was in my finest curiosity to have my podiatrist verify over my toes to verify I wasn’t doing one thing fallacious, and that any injury I did do he may repair once I received again.

The ache I used to be having turned out to be a joint pressure with no indicators of stress fracture. I used to be relieved!  A superb tape job and I used to be again within the sport.

To ensure that the tape itself wouldn’t trigger points through the race I did a 5 mile run.  No issues in any respect. No blisters. No irritations. In actual fact, my foot hadn’t felt that good in months!

Race day weekend was lastly upon me. I used to be nervous. I used to be excited. I used to be assured. I used to be doubting myself.

My blood sugars determined that midnight the night time earlier than was an ideal time to climb and keep there. I used to be caught round 220 and no quantity of insulin was making it budge.

I didn’t need to over bolus and plummet midway by way of the race so I attempted to calm my nerves and breathe.

How I Began Operating with Type 1 Diabetes (After Saying “I Don’t Run” for Years)

Thirty minutes into the race I used to be even increased. I didn’t know what to do. I had carried out all that I knew and I used to be at a loss. I stored reminding myself that the insulin would hit, that I might come down, that I’d be okay.

Operating felt horrible. I used to be extra winded, and my legs felt like they had been crammed with lead, however I stored going. I centered on the songs on my playlist. I distracted myself with conversations, each with mates and with myself. By the point I checked my ranges once more I used to be in a way more comfy vary. I used to be feeling higher, working higher, and respiratory higher.


The ultimate mile was forward of me and I might like to inform you that I didn’t actually doubt myself, that I noticed the end line and pushed tougher, however I didn’t…not with out my finest buddy at my aspect. She got here up beside me, made certain I used to be okay, and stated, “Let’s do that!” We sprinted the final 100 yards and crossed the end line on the similar second.

We did it. We accomplished a half marathon collectively. I accomplished in beneath the time I wished to.

How I Began Operating with Type 1 Diabetes (After Saying “I Don’t Run” for Years)

Earlier this 12 months I stated I might by no means run. I instructed many individuals that I might by no means run. I stated it again and again. But, I ran and I succeeded.

I spotted that I succeeded with one thing that I had sworn I might by no means do. I laughed to myself with my “By no means Say By no means” and instructed myself that I might by no means say ‘by no means say by no means’ once more.

It jogged my memory how in life we must always actually by no means say by no means as a result of sometime we simply would possibly do what we thought we may by no means do.

I need to thank those that by no means gave up on me. Jenna and others closest to me who inspired me, believed in me, and pushed me to do what they knew I may do even once I wasn’t so certain myself.

Thanks for that!!

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