Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I forgot my insulin and it didn't matter

Monday night I was in Camberley at a B&B. It was a normal night, work late then head to the B&B. Quick snack and out for a run. I wasn't sure when I set out how far I wanted to run but with my legs a little heavy from the weekend I was thinking 7-8miles at an easy pace of around 8mins per mile. Also I wanted to head into Bracknell Forrest to get some trails under my feet, again with the aim of preserving my legs a bit.
As I headed out my legs felt great, after around 1.5 miles on the road I was in the forrest, following the trails.
Bracknell Forrest is an amazing place, trails run off in all directions and there looks to be some great mountain biking in there. First thing that struck me was the recovery of the place. At the beginning of the summer the forrest was more or less closed as there were bush fires running wild and destroying huge areas. I ran through there shortly after this and the air was heavy with the smell of burnt and burning bush. Now there is lavender everywhere. What was once black and dead is now alive with purple.
I did a couple of miles on the trails my legs recovered and finding the pace easily. As it got duskier there were deer that I could see, one of which jumped right out in front of me. He stopped on the path about 10ft from me. Looked at me and then skipped off back into the forrest. A stunning encounter and what struck me was how silent and graceful they are. This large animal jumped into the undergrowth, barely made a sound and was out of view in a matter of seconds. OK so it was getting darker, the trees were thick, he was camouflaged and I am (amongst others) red/green/brown colour blind!

Emerging from the forrest and, like i said with my legs feeling great, I decided to add a bit extra to the run. 7-8 miles became just short of 11 at the 8min mile pace I wanted. 

I got back to the B&B had a drink and a shower then ate my food. I finished eating and then could not find my novorapid insulin pen. I checked, double and triple checked my bag - not there. Mentally retracing my steps I could picture it safely on my desk in work. I had my glargine (slow acting) but no fast acting. I calculated the carb content of my dinner and estimated about 40-50g of carbs. Thinking that I would have only given myself 1-2 units of novorapid as I had done a long run I decided not to panic and not use any. I gave myself the normal dose of glargine insulin and settled down to watch the match.
Next morning I woke up early and did a blood test. I was little nervous as whilst I wasn't expecting the reading to be that high I really wasnt sure what ot would be.
The reading was 7.2mmol.
I was really pleased with myself for that! Then thinking back realised that had I given myself insulin I may have actually caused myself some problems with a hypo. Once agan the impact of exercise on diabetes astounds me and proves its worth beyond doubt. My insulin control is largely very good and I put it down to this fact beyond anything else. That and a balanced diet with lots of whole foods.
For a flash it was like not having diabetes anymore!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Between a fence and a hard face...

I was in Camberley earlier this week staying at a local B&B. I do this normally once a week to alleviate the travel effort. When I stay over I keep it simple, I have either my bike or my running shoes (or both) in the boot and that's how I use the time. A session and then food, TV, book and sleep.
Last night I stayed in a different B&B to normal and while not that far from the normal place it gave me an opportunity to run somewhere different. So at about 7pm I headed out on a different route. Within a couple of miles I found some nice off road stuff by a river, it was a lovely evening and there were a lot of dog walkers on the trail. I followed the trail and had to do a couple of switch backs as there were dead ends or in a couple of cases roads that just led into housing estates.
 Following the river path I eventually popped out onto a main road with signs welcoming me to Hampshire. This was a first as I don't think I have ever run across a county border before. Heading up the road I started to head in the vague direction of Camberley. I ran past Sandhurst Park which was full of activity, there was a running club/group that looked like they had just finished their run and four or five football teams doing their training. Around the park and onto the road I could see Camberley closer than I was hoping. so I took a detour through an estate, having asked a dog walker for directions. At the end of the estate was a makeshift path into the woods.
I have run the woods in Camberley before with Bracknell Forest an excellent place to run off road. I thought that this was where I was.
 I followed a path through the woods, there was thick scrub to my right and then the backs of houses. On my left a 6ft fence topped with razor wire. This was the perimeter of Sandhurst. Following the trail down through the woods it started to narrow. I thought this would be ok as it was a trail. An actual trail not just me hacking through. As I progressed the path narrowed in from the right with the trees getting denser. I was being pushed closer and closer to the Sandhurst perimeter fence.
Then I stopped. In front of me solid trees with thick branches spread out. I wasn't going to turn back so now squashed up against the fence I pushed my way through the trees to find some more trail.  I made may way at walking pace half expecting someone from Sandhurst to approach me at any moment asking me what I was doing. Eventually I ran out of trail, there was nowhere else to go. I had fence on one side and thick trees on the other. Looking through the trees there were the backs of houses. I pushed through and could see back gardens. I thought about hopping through but quickly ruled this out as did not think it right to intrude to that extent. Looking further down there was a gap that I could see a drive way through. That was it!
I pushed through the trees, a quick look and yes it was a drive way, a couple of parked cars and then open road! I forced my way through as discreetly as possible and as I emerged a car pulled onto the driveway. I held up my hands and smiled wandering over to the lady driver I explained quickly that I had gotten lost and that this was my only way out. The driver then said to me, "oh, that's OK, it's not my house. I've come to collect my friend."

As I turned towards the house the owner was in the doorway. Arms crossed she had a face like thunder. I went through the same routine, hands up, broad smile and apologetic. I got nothing. She was clearly unhappy and couldn't see the funny side of the story. I said my piece and then just ran off.

I hope that she relaxed about it as she now has a story about a really sweaty man popping out of her hedge onto her driveway story that she can use. Either that or she fences her side of the pathway so it cannot happen again.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cyprus almost Barefoot

This evening (Saturday 6th August) I went for a run, I've been here a
week and run 6 times. Tonight was different as I ran in my vibram
fivefingers. I did a route that I ran yesterday and thought it would
be good as there was a lot of trail which would be softer underfoot.

I've read a lot about barefoot running, the benefits the negatives the
folklore. Those that love it live it and those that don't just don't

My experience tonight is one that is far from unique in barefoot
circles but was new to me.

I set out and frankly was mincing. I was struggling for a rhythm. As I
relaxed my stride settled and I felt light and supple. Although on
trails there was a lot of shingle. After a couple of sweary moments
where I landed plum on a piece I noticed that my feet relaxed and that
my forefoot was landing more supple. By that I mean I was using my
whole forefoot not just the ball of my foot.

On the softer trails I felt great. Feet were skimming the surface and
I was barely making a sound. On Tarmac it was a little different.

The temperature outside today was in the region of 38c. The road was
hot and as I ran on the Tarmac I could feel my feet getting hotter.
This resulted in a blister in the middle of the ball of my left foot.
Nothing too major but certainly something that will see me back in
conventional running shoes for tomorrow.

What was good though was that I found a comfortable pace in the heat.
I cannot run as fast in vibrams as I can in shoes so I didn't. Running
slower felt comfortable, relaxed feet and breathing. It's still hot as
hell but not once was i struggling.

I love my vibrams, I've worn them to walk the dog, on hikes in woods
with family and on the school run. Today wearing them on a run I
finally got them, they make sense and feel good. The sensations you
get in your feet feel brand new yet they shouldn't.

A responsive ride, excellent shock absorption and cushioning that
changes with every step. No arch support required, no torsion control
necessary, no air bubbles, no waffles, no zig-zag.

Ladies and gentlemen you just met your feet. The best running shoe ever made.