I'm getting ready to run my first half marathon
this Saturday at DisneyWorld! It sounds like you're already on the
right track by lowering your basal during your runs; I usually lower
mine at least an hour before I go running. I also eat something with
both fiber and sugar, like some apple with peanut butter, to help keep
my blood sugar up for a longer amount of time. I take Gu gels with me
in case I get low (just a little bit from one helps; you don't have to
eat the whole thing) during a run. My frustration comes when I am
running in races as the excitement causes my blood sugar to go up; I
started a Thanksgiving 5k at 121, did my usual basal decrease, and
ended the race at 356! So I will keep you posted on how the half goes
as the race can be different from a normal run. I would also recommend
eating a little differently on the day you're running 8 miles or more;
do you usually run in the morning or afternoon? If it's afternoon, try
something more substantial for breakfast; that's helped me. I look
forward to hearing from you!
Good luck on your run this weekend!! Let me know how it goes! Thanks for the tips. I think I need to start lowering my basal earlier (I was lowering it about 10 minutes before my run)- so that's a great tip. I'll definitely try the Gu gels too for longer ones. I know a lot of this is trial and error, but I appreciate the tips.
I'm doing my shorter runs at night, after work and before dinner. The longer runs will likely be in the mornings- mostly so I can get used to mornig runs, since the half is in the morning. I'll have to experiment a little with early morning basal rates, etc. over the next couple months.
Thanks, Katie; I'll let you know how it goes! What half-marathon are you running? We're also in the same boat in that I usually run after work and before dinner; my endocrinologist recommended eating a snack pre-run even if my blood sugar is in the normal range but I haven't followed that advice. I do my longer runs in the morning and they definitely keep my blood sugar lower all day so be ready for that! Active.com is a great website; the other person I follow is Missy Foy; she's an elite distance runner with Type 1. Her website is missyfoy.com; she has a blog that's fun to read. Try a little of the Gu before you run because I've heard it upsets some people's stomachs. Keep me posted on how everything goes for you.
My most important tips for running with T1 are: have your test kit with you at all times (get some shorts with pockets or some sort of belt system if necessary), carry a bunch of sugar with you, test at least every half hour (or less, if you are more comfortable), exercise with someone or tell someone that you are exercising and make sure they know what to do in an emergency, and carry a phone + med alert information.
My system is (just a personal experience):
I run 6 days a week, 6 to 12 miles a day. I run during the afternoon (2:45-5 pm). At lunch (12:30) I bolus 1/2 my insulin. I check my sugar at 1:45 and then again at 2:40, this establishes a pattern so I know if I need something to eat or not. I am usually between 180 - 230 just before running I turn my pump down to 0% basal rate. I test every 25 minutes and eat glucose tabs if I am dropping. When I am done running I bolus for the tabs I ate while running and 1/3 of my basal I missed. I am usually around 160 mg/dl at 5:45 when I eat dinner, but drop slowly until bed time. I also check my sugar at 2:30 am every night so I can catch my lows.
This system is not perfect and there are days when my control is way off. I make sure to have my test kit, 3 glucose tab tubes of 10 tabs each and two frostings for emergencies with me at all times.
I did not get this system to a degree of control I like until I ran every day for about 7 months, by then my body had adjusted and was somewhat predictable.
Get the book, DIabetic Athlete's Handbook, by Sheri Colberg. Read it.