On Sunday, I ran Tough Mudder, and it was rough (although, technically I did finish, it wasn’t how I wanted). I wanted to do it because a lot of people kept saying “You’re a Type 1 Diabetic, you can’t do it, it’ll be dangerous” or something along those lines. I wanted to prove them wrong; just because I’m T1D doesn’t mean I should let it stop me from doing something. It just makes it harder for me to do it, but not impossible. Anyway, long story short: Around the half-way point I had a wonderful case of low blood sugar and took a two hour detour to the med tent and then met my team after the last obstacle and ran through the finish with them. Not exactly what I had in mind. But now, it’s time to look at it and figure out what went wrong and what went right and what I can do to finish the next one.
What I Got Right
First, to get the obvious one out of the way: I survived. Now, to look at everything else.
- I ate a good high-carb, high-protein breakfast and drank a lot of water before and during the event.
- I wore my trusty Osprey Manta 30 hydration backpack and made sure it was filled with water so I could drink it.
- I also packed my insulin pump control / blood sugar tester along with a glucagon emergency kit if something really bad happened to me.
- I was running it with three (and right before the race, added a fourth) great people.
Around the 5th mile when I was asked how I was feeling and I realized I couldn’t answer that question quickly enough, I knew immediately to check my blood sugar and work on correcting the blood sugar reading. I also knew that I should basically call it quits when my blood sugar didn’t raise up near as nicely as I would have liked. I felt I was in decent enough shape (not excellent, but it was better than a lot of people out there). And that is what I think I got right. Now, onto the what I got wrong.
What I Got Wrong
Now, the part where I get to be critical about myself and what I didn’t do
- I said I was in decent shape, which was true, but after going through it, I wasn’t in great enough shape and probably in the worst shape of anyone on my team.
- I shouldn’t wear my trusty Osprey Manta 30 Hydration Pack; it just gets in the way on some of the obstacles and becomes more weight to lug around. Not to mention the spigot thing causes wonderful bruises on your chest… 🙂
- I need to figure out how to handle the blood sugar lows from the expense of energy in the running and obstacles. I felt like I could have jogged / walked the course and done none of the obstacles and come out on the other end fine; but that isn’t the point. It’s to do the obstacles and conquer them.
- Wearing the right clothing. Running pants over running shorts and a wicking shirt under another t-shirt doesn’t really cut it; and you get mud everywhere!
What I Need to Do for the Next Tough Mudder
And, now, how do I make this better? Well, glad you asked, cause I’ve got about six months until the next Tough Mudder in April of 2013 to correct this.
- Get into better health. I’ll use this and this in addition to biking more often (since the weather is finally biking friendly again) to start getting into better shape.
- I’ll need to start wearing my Dexcom 7+ again to figure out the amount of exertion I can do before my blood sugar begins to plummet and work on a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen.
- Find the right sort of foods / glucose tablets to help correct my blood sugar quickly when it begins to fall.
- Dress correctly for the event:
- Have fun!
It looks like I’m gonna have to keep staying healthy high on my list for the foreseeable future. 🙂