Working Ahead...

One of the few people who "knows" me offline told me this week that my blog comes across as "cocky" or "know-it-ally." In a way, that bothers me, because nobody likes to like like a jerk. Then again, this blog is pretty much only about me and if you don't know yourself, well, that's not a great place to be, is it? Anywho...

So today was supposed to be a 12 mile run, which I planned on doing with the Lancaster Road Runners Club on the trails... however, there were a few "issues" with doing this...

1) Time - the LRRC is a social group. It starts a little late and has water stops. Coupled with the 15 minute drive to and fro the park plus the inherent slower time of trail running, time was gonna be a problem.

2) What about next week? This week is the official start of my 16 week Harrisburg marathon plan. Trouble is, next Sunday calls for a 14 miler and next weekend's activities could make that effort tricky. And while I'm not such a schedule freak that I'd mind breaking a run, it seems a little wimpy to miss the first long run of a marathon plan, doesn't it?

3) How fast are you, really? I've been spending a lot of time on the trails lately... While I love these workouts, it's hard to know how well I'm doing -- it's kind of like Rocky IV, where Stallone trains by splitting wood and throwing rocks. With the soundtrack, viewers know Sly's getting pumped. Devoid of any soundtrack, for all I know, I've been getting slower.

4) The diabetes thing... The marathon plan will have a lot of runs in it that are more than 1 hour. In my experience, 60 minutes of exercise without the pump is nothing -- beyond, that, though, blood sugars do funny things, and- quite frankly - I'm going to need a better hold on my blood sugars if I'm going to "go long."

So with all that headtrash going on, I opted for a 14.5 mile road run. Three times around a 4.8ish mile loop that went right by my house. In my mailbox, I stored a water bottle with Ultima, a PowerGel, my insulin pump and my blood sugar meter.

The goal for the run was to do it 20-50 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace of 7:27. My secondary goal was to keep the HR below 150.

Starting blood sugar: 160
First loop: The first mile was relatively slow - 8:22ish, but that didn't bother me. It was 7:30am and the first mile of my morning runs is always waaaay slow. The rest of the loop picked up and I finished it with an ave. pace of 8:08.

First break blood sugar: 89
Now, this surprised me. Usually, my blood sugars run higher on morning runs. At the same time, 1/3 into the run seemed a bit early for a Gel. So I carried it with me on the second loop, drank 8 ounces of Ultima and took off. I had a hunch the second loop would be the easiest and it was. The Gel 2 miles into it pepped me up and I did the second loop at a pace of 7:57.

Second break blood sugar: 92
Again, I'm not expecting this. The PowerGel had been in me for 3 miles (37g. of carbs!) and I don't have my pump on. So I ran inside the house, gobbled a trusty Kudos (19g.), drank 10 ounces of Ultima and took off again.

I expected the third loop to be funky and it was -- for the first half, my HR was fine, but my legs were starting to not enjoy the pounding of the roads. I popped up on grass shoulders when I could, but it wasn't often. I went through the half marathon (13.1 mark), averaging 8:03 pace for the whole run, so basically my third loop was in between the first two.

It really stopped being fun about the 12 mile mark -- and the 13th and 14th miles were around 8:15 pace. My heart rate also popped up. It had been hanging at 152 for miles upon miles, but drifted up to 155-158 at this point.

No drama, though -- it was over soon enough. I averaged 8:03 for the whole run with an average HR of 149. My blood sugar at the end was 120. Still not sure why my body was doing such a good job of processing the carbs - could be the Ultima (no sugar electrolyte drink).

Afterwords, I soaked 20 minutes in a cold tub and am hopeful my legs aren't too sore tomorrow. As further proof that my marathon plan is off to a bad start, tomorrow calls for a cross training day but a. it's supposed to rain and b.I just discovered the part I picked up from the bike shop (which I really need) is wrong. Sooo, I'll also be substituting tomorrow's workout for a 5 mile run, at a very easy pace. (If you're counting, I'm screwing up at least 2 of the days in the first week of my plan!)

Tuesday is the day that scares me this week -- something about 1000m intervals??? Ugh. But all in all, a good workout -- longest run ever. EVER! We didn't even go 14 in college.. and at a decent pace, too.

Concerned the HR climbed after 12 miles... an HR of 152 is my happy place and I think the key to a good marathon will be staying at 152 for as long as possible.... or else getting comfortable with a different number, like 156... but still, 16 weeks is at least some time to work on it.

Other numbers:
Dogs that barked at me/chased me: 6
Number of which were dobermans and caused me to fear for my safety: 1
Number of which that were on electric fences and fortunately didn't chase me far: all of them
Number of runners I passed: 1
Number of runners I saw on different routes: 2
Number of walkers: 3 or was it 4? I always only kind of notice them.
Bikers: Ditto.
Number of my family members awake when I finished: 0 - those guys were missing a beautiful day!


  1. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Hi Marcus,

    I hope you don't mind me posting this, I came across your blog via TuDiabetes.
    I'm working in association with the interactive website which aims to raise awareness of the global impact of chronic disease such as diabetes.
    At you can meet people with different experiences and areas of expertise from around the world. We'd really love to have contributions from those like yourself in the way of blogs, photos, videos and stories. We can link to existing material, or you can post stuff right up there yourself!

    Take a look - your contribution and feedback would be much appreciated. Hope to see you there soon!

    With best wishes,

    Debra O'Sullivan.

  2. In about 8 weeks your HR will be around 70 during those long runs... OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it will be very interesting to see how your numbers change the more you get into the training. So far you are definitely on the correct path.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The gun in my basement.

Sh*t Diabetics Say

First Love