Friday, January 3, 2014

50 Miles

50 Miles. I can't believe I did it.

I had a pretty good rhythm going in the beginning. Donations were coming in, my first video was done and it got the attention of Express Scripts, gaining me a phone call with CMO Steve Miller.

The second week, I was learning about how I needed to make sure I walked without IOB (insulin on board), and learning that, no matter whether I snacked first or didn't, temp basaled or didn't, I would go low or high. I couldn't seem to hit it right on the mark. Always one of the extremes.

Video 2 was a tribute to my husband.

By the middle of week 3, I'd walked 24 miles. I was getting it done and feeling pumped.

Then Icemaggedon 2013 hit Dallas. There were four or five days where I couldn't walk down the sidewalk without slipping. Solid ice. (Though I braved at least the front- and back- yards to record my week 4 video. Every time Dibbs watches the outdoor scenes of this one, he says "Col! Brrrr" and shivers. It slays me.)

Then, and for several more days, it was too cold to take my little ones out in the stroller in good conscience. And with Hubster coming home exceptionally late from the bad traffic, my walking was significantly set back. 5 miles behind schedule in week 3 turned into about 14 miles behind by the end of week 4.

I started week 5 with the daunting task of completing 24 of my 50 miles in the final week.


I was walking between 3 and 6 miles a day. Walking with the stroller in the mornings, having their grandmothers watch the kids while I walked in the afternoons, going out walking at night after my husband was home. I am so sore and exhausted. My calves ached. My plantar fascia cramped.

There were times I went out without glucose tabs. Or gloves. Or my CGM (whoops).

There were times I went out without setting a temp basal beforehand (always low). And times I scaled it back too far (hello, highs).

There was the day at the Purple Park where my almost 4yo made a break for the soccer fields to go try to get in on a game with some high school boys and I look down and I'm 91 double arrows down. I drank the juice boxes and ate 4 glucose tabs and wondered desperately if she would ever stop running.

I walked in the snow. I walked in the rain. I pushed 80 pounds of stroller+kids. I walked alone. I walked with Hubster. There was one day where I walked tight circles around a still-running car full of sleeping children still buckled in their car seats. Anything to get these miles in.

I proved to myself (I was the biggest naysayer on the fundraising committee) that Peer to Peer Fundraising had potential. I brought in over $1,200 for the foundation.

I made some cute little videos, the audio often recorded in the worst of conditions. Two of the songs were recorded in my bedroom closet and, even then, with a child in my lap still. There is no space in my home safe from my children. "Mommy? Where are you, Mommy?" Shhh, I'm recording a song. [hit record] "Mommy, I'm pooping." [stop recording abruptly] Repeat.

What I learned about my body and exercise is this:

I hate exerting my body. I hate the burn, the low blood sugars, the glucose tabs, hitting the "wall," the muscle cramps, and the charley horses. There is nothing I like about exercising.

But I was really proud of myself for doing it anyway.

I know that it will help my body. I know that it lowers stubborn highs faster than insulin can. I know that my children need to think of exercise as something we all do to stay healthy.

But my favorite part?

The knowledge that I could finally take them to and from the park without excuses. We had picnics. We climbed ladders and "spiderwebs" and rocks. We had adventures. We explored "nature."

And we just genuinely enjoyed being out together in the world.

I felt empowered pushing that stroller around our neighborhood (except for the one hill on Bethany Drive that I afterwards decided to avoid for all eternity). I walked to and from the grocery store (walkability score = it's a wonder I was not flattened by maniac Texas flying cars along sidewalks not meant for pedestrian consumption).

I learned that I almost always need to (1) dial a very low temp basal for the duration, starting shortly before I begin, (2) eat an uncovered snack before I leave, (3) have absolutely no IOB in my system, and (4) carry at least 2 rolls of glucose tabs. (<--not medical advice YDMV)

I learned that I'd really like those gloves you can use with a smartphone. (Got them for Christmas!)

I learned that I will ALWAYS forget something and that I will sometimes forget EVERYTHING.

But the most impressive thing I learned is that my friends will step up to support me if I ask and my ask is meaningful.

Of my 41 donors, half were members of the Diabetes Online Community who certainly didn't have to give, but know what it means to have found support online. And half were people in my life who are touched by diabetes primarily just through knowing me...and I was overwhelmed by their support for what I was trying to accomplish.

It was a long trip, but a good road. Thank you, everyone, from the soles of my shoes.

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