A Season, Interrupted....

The bad news: I've officially postponed plans for a Spring '09 marathon. While my shin has made dramatic improvements in the past three days, I missed more than a week of training, including two critical long runs. May 31 is a long time from now and there's no doubt I could run a decent marathon then, but I'm just not interested in running a "decent" marathon. I need to be fit, trained and tapered to have a shot at 3:15, and I just wouldn't be.

The good news: is plenty enough to offset the bad news

1) My shin is mostly better. I've gotten many recommendations about pursuing ART treatments and massage and I'm not ruling it out at some point, but I'm also not doing it right now. I have a strong aversion to most medical things (aside from my diabetes I haven't seen a doctor in years). Moreover, I believe in the concepts of things like Chi running and believe that the answer isn't in repairing wrong running, but in running right. At least, that's how I feel today.

2) That being said, I continue to learn that my 38 year old body requires a bit more coddling than I give it. Ten mile runs require stretches afterwards. Ice belongs in more places than my bourbon glass. Shoes should be rotated. I have broken all of these rules and - once again - have had to pay the price.

3) Even with my longest layoff in two years, I AM pretty fit right now. On Saturday, I ran the local YWCA Race Against Racism, the largest 5k I do most years (though a lot of the participants are walkers). I finished in 20:07, 8th out of 116 in my AG, and 54th out of 1200ish overall. While that's 20 seconds slower than my PR, it's not an easy course, and I was 33 seconds faster than I did it two years ago. It wasn't however, a flawless execution: a 5:57 first mile gave way to a 6:21 second which wilted into a 6:44 third. The endurance is definitely gone. Sunday, Dave and I went out for an easy 10 @ 8:30 pace, after which I knew for sure that I'd lost the fitness to be able to pop out a twenty miler. Today, I'm sore and resting, though it's a good sore. Not an injured sore.

4) I went to the local diabetes fair later in the weekend and met w/ all the CGM suppliers and learned that the insurance I carry should cover the CGM. So now I need to decide which supplier to pursue. My current thinking:
* I'd really like to have an integrated device like the Minimed for distance running
* People tend to think the Minimed is more painful and less accurate
* The Dexcom receiver is separate and big, but the Dex will talk to the next generation Animas pump, which will likely be out in a year or so, about the time my pump goes off warranty.
* I saw the Freestyle Navigator, but the sensor looks too big to me and I've got no interest in the Omnipod, which it talks to. I got a sample Omnipod in the mail and have no interest in sticking it to me. I like the concept but it just looks.... lumpy... to me.

Sooo.. at this point, I'm leaning Dex, though that's subject to change (and comments and opinions welcome).


  1. Marcus, I use the Minimed, and haven't really looked at anything else. I can say that mine is VERY accurate, and it is a NECESSITY for me to be connected in any race longer than 10k. I will give the Flying Pig Marathon a go this weekend, shooting for a 3:20:00 with my eyes on a 3:10:00 (BQ) at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I would not be attempting any of this without the use of the CGMS.

    As for the pain, it's just the insertion needle and it last about 2 seconds. As with anything else it's more the anticipation of the pain than anything.

    One final note, with all of my research, I don't think anyone comes close to Medtronic. Just my opinion.

  2. Good feedback, tks... While I've heard more positive Dex comments, I give more credibility to those like you doing what I'm doing.

  3. I heard from DiabetesMine an unsubstatiated rumor that the Navigator is going away.

    I use the Dexcom because of the transmitter size. The software is not as good as Minimed's on the Dexcom7 although they are now releasing a much better version, which would probably be available to new customers. I have not used the Minimed in the past couple years, but would expect that the accuracy is fairly comparable between the two. I wasn't impressed when I used it in 2006 but I would hope it is better now. Regarding Dexcom, sometimes it is right on and others, not so much. It has improved a lot over the past 2 years, though. The receiver is bigger than it needs to be, in my opinion. But, the bottom line for me was how small the transmitter is and that it sticks on me well (given approximately equal accuracy which I am just assuming to be the case). I have not had problems with it peeling off early even with a lot of exercise, including lots of swimming. I just thought the Minimed was too big and had heard of the transmitters falling off early/easily. Maybe it has improved.

    I think part of the accuracy issue is the user learning where it works best on his/her body. I've found some sites that always work great, so I stick with them. I haven't noticed much tissue buildup at the sites, compared to pump infusion sites. They don't seem to get irritated, even after over a week.

  4. I'm wearing the Medtronic MiniLink CGMS right now. Accuracy depends on several things. As Anne said, location is important, but calibration is something a lot of people have trouble with.
    I went to a CGM support group meeting last week. There's one every month, and I plan to go next month, too. The needle is large. It's definitely painful on insertion, but you can solve that problem just by icing the site for a couple of minutes before insertion.
    Having used Medtronic's sensor and seen the Dexcom, I'd prefer the Dexcom based on size, but I would miss the integration with the pump.

  5. I also use the Minimed CGM and have found it extremely helpful. Having my pump and CGM connected has been wonderful. I attribute the success of my last half marathon to my CGM, as it gave me valuable data throughout the race. It has greatly helped my running.

    The pain is minimal, too. I have only put the CGM on my side and it stings for a little bit but it is worth it for me since it provides such good data. Good luck on your chioce. I am sure you will like having one.

  6. MG - I've had the Minimed CGM for like 2 years now. Over the past year I've really put it to use with running. Yes, the insertion needle is large (about a 22 guage), but I've found that the readings are pretty darned accurate. Especialy when you use abdominal sites. If I have a big event coming up I actually time things weeks in advance, with site rotations, so by the time the race event comes around I've got two abdominal sites for ease and optimal accuracy during the event. That was the big lessen I learned in February on my first marathon. the trending data is invaluable to me when all I have to do is look at the pump.
    The one thing I would tell you about the CGMS is, it only has a one year warranty. Apparently Minimed has found that too many people treat that little $650 piece of plastic all too carelessly, so they will only warranty it for a year. The good news is, if you take care of it, it will last far longer then that. You'll make the right choice for yourself. Good luck with it.

  7. I'm also 38 and also slowly learning to take better care of myself. Good luck!


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