Couch to 5K Challenge Days 5 and 6: Science Experiments


Since I was diagnosed only a year ago, people frequently ask me, “Is your blood sugar regulated yet?” I’m not sure how to answer them: I’m always regulating my blood sugar. In fact, each day I perform a string of science experiments on myself in order to keep my blood sugar in range as much as possible.

Take Tuesday, for example. I spent my first full day at my assigned high school for Practicum: I taught all three of my mentor teacher’s English II classes. When I teach, I get a surge of energy that seeps out through my toes and into the carpet as soon as the period ends. I also get a surge in my blood sugar. But I only checked my blood sugar twice during the course of the school day: once before the school day started and once right before it ended. Between the adrenaline and the lack of an early correction dose, my blood sugar climbed to 375 mg/dl, which I believe may be the highest number I have on record.

Experiment #1: Correction dose, water, and a nap, followed by a low carb supper and another correction dose.

The result: A crash about 3 hours later, resulting in a blood sugar in the 50’s.

Experiment #2: 12 grams of Nerds followed by a 50% reduction in my basal rate in order to keep my blood sugar steady during my jog in an hour.

The result: Beautifully steady blood sugar numbers during the jog, followed by an annoying 200-something right before bed. Grrr.

Today, I decided I was tired of simply accepting that stress was going to through my blood sugar out of whack every Tuesday and Thursday morning I spend at Practicum, and I decided to do something to keep my numbers more even

Experiment #3: 20% increase in basal rate throughout the morning

The result: 160 mg/dl after breakfast and 129 mg/dl before lunch. A little high, maybe, but much much better than the 200-somethings I’ve seen every Tuesday and Thursday morning since I started my Practicum.

As I got ready for my evening jog, I checked my blood sugar and wasn’t exactly happy with the number: 256. Time for another experiment.

Experiment #4: Reduce basal by 50% an hour prior anyway. Check for ketones. Drink water. DO NOT TAKE INSULIN, as having active insulin in my system would cause me to drop much too quickly.

The result: Despite the reduction in insulin intake, I still dropped 121 points in 45 minutes.

So, no. My blood sugar isn’t regulated.

[Tuesday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 118 mg/dl

The workout: 5-minute warm-up. 5-minute warm-up. Alternate 1:30 minutes jogging with 2 minutes walking. 4 minutes cool down. 31 minutes total.

Post-workout blood sugar: 107 md/dl

Today’s Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 256 mg/dl

The workout: Same as Tuesday

Post-workout blood sugar: 135 mg/dl

Time for a new goal!

I’ve made it through two weeks! My new goal is to stay on target for two more weeks.

The carrot: Some new exercise pants would be nice.



About Nel

As a graduate education student, I've come to the conclusion that teaching requires an addiction to caffeine. My favorite caffeinated beverages are coffee, tea, and diet Coke. And when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January 2012, I also came to the conclusion that living requires insulin. I blog about my busy life juggling graduate education courses, a teaching assistantship in my University's English department, and my recent type 1 diabetes diagnosis the The Clumsy Juggler. I do not live in New York City.

4 responses »

  1. This all looks so familiar to me. I am also experimenting on the best way tot start running. How long and how much food before running. How are my blood sugars doing and what are the values afterwards… At first I thought, this is not for me. It gets beter eventually. I can run 10k in one go by now, in about 75 minutes 😉

    • Good for you, Smile! I’m working on getting there eventually, although I know it will take me some time. Running and jogging certainly takes a lot of work!

    • I think many people think of blood sugar as a static number because they only ever have fasting blood sugar tests and so only see one number, if they get their blood sugar tested at all. People usually seem to get it once I explain it to them, but diabetes takes a lot to explain, especially since I usually have to explain both types. Yay for educating people!

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