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The day I beat a famous ultrarunner in a race and then got diabetes.



So this morning there’s this race, the last race I’ll ever run in Juneau before moving back east, and I don’t feel like running it because it is absolutely dumping rain again and I’ve had a nasty head cold for two weeks and am in a furiously awful mood wishing I could have one simple day of clear skies and sinuses.

I show up anyway and run it. It’s five miles, including a giant hill up which I must hand-to-quad power-walk because it is simply too long and steep to run.

(Awkward tense-switching sidenote: Our local record-setting-Western-States ultramarathoner also jogged this race, but he was taking it easy. That means I “beat” him in a race, which makes me an elite ultrarunner by default… right? I’ll keep deluding myself with this thought until tomorrow morning when I am in the midst of getting my ass kicked by whatever mountain run is on tap for the day’s group run.)

Anyway — switching tenses again — I manage to complete the course.

The race is hosted by the local public health place so they’re giving free blood pressure and blood sugar checks and things. I swagger over in my post-race glow and sit my soaking wet and shivering self down to be tested, confident I’m about to be applauded for my fabulous “you must be a runner” health stats… until my pricked finger yields a blood glucose level of 256 mg/dl.


That’s apparently not very good… at all. And the doctor folk are concerned.

I am completely flippant about this. “Well, I just had lemonade after the race,” I say. They shake their heads no. They are still concerned. Lemonade aside, my glucose apparently shouldn’t be that high. I make them test it again about twenty minutes later because I hope it is a fluke. The second test is 219.

Basically everyone is freaked out and I get whisked away to talk to another doctor and they send me off with a monitor and lancets and test strips with instructions to test my sugars fasting and after meals and it essentially appears that I am to believe I have damn diabetes so I go home and panic and weep and call my 4000-miles-away-mom and ugly-cry over the phone because now I can’t overeat bags of tortilla chips and candy and FUN foods and she calls my aunt who is also a doctor who finally defuses my panic with the news that testing blood sugar after an athletic event with no baseline fasting blood glucose tells me pretty much absolutely nothing and this doesn’t necessarily mean I have diabetes.


So now I am faceplanting into a whale-sized bowl of cherries.

Curiosity tells me I should test my sugar again after the cherries but I won’t because my finger is already aching and bruised from messing up so many times and I have exhausted myself from my theatrics earlier in the day so I would probably only manage to wreck and waste even more test strips which would make me throw the monitor across the room in yet another childish fit of frustrated rage and that would all be bad because I want to be able to save some strips for fasting tests in the next few days.

My Grandma had type 1 diabetes, so I’ve always had that possibility on my radar, which is why I panicked instead of being more reasonable. Thank goodness for sensible family members. While I’m not exactly in the clear, I’m not necessarily damned to a life of insulin pumps and high glycemic food avoidance yet. Let’s hope it was all just a big weird mistake.

My next post will have more commas and fewer run-on sentences. And hopefully no diabetes, even though growing up I always thought diabetes was cool because of Stacy McGill and the Babysitter’s Club.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/17/2012 07:25

    YES for a great trail-race!!
    and eeek for the diabetes scare, I hope you are in the clear and feeling 100%…did you feel any differently than normal post-race? have you had your blood-sugar consistently checked?
    I hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday!

  2. Errign permalink
    06/17/2012 13:02

    No buneo about the diabetes thing, but you get 1,000 cool points for just mentioning Stacy & the BSC…just sayin’

  3. Ewen permalink
    06/18/2012 02:20

    Ah, think 5 miles is like a 100m sprint for the Ultra star and your crouch start was far superior.
    Hope you do get the all-clear but if not, all’s not lost. A bloke in our club has diabetes, manages it and races very well. There are new management methods coming out too which reduce the ‘pain’ — heard about one on the news only last week.

  4. 06/19/2012 17:21

    Cool on the race beating but I sure hope it’s not diabetes. Sending healthy thoughts your way…

  5. 06/21/2012 05:02

    You poor gal! Now, I’m not super medically savy, but it seems absurd to me to test any vital or bodily measure right after an intense physical race if you want an accurate measure. I really hope things are ok. Congratulations on “beating” the pro! 🙂

    P.S. So glad I’m not the only babysitter’s club fan in blog land.

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