The first step

On April 16, 2013, I weighed 198 pounds at my endocrinologist appointment. I don't remember necessarily crying about it, but I do remember being pretty depressed the rest of the day. It had been five months since Rich's surgery and while he was trying to put back on weight, I apparently was playing along for moral support. I was the heaviest I had been in my adult life and I decided to do something about it. I started using MyFitnessPal on my phone to track food. I used a BodyMedia armband to track all my exercise. It was incredibly slow going. Today I weigh approximately 176 pounds. Given the adjustment for clothing, I have lost exactly 20 pounds in one year. Fascinatingly, I am still basically in the same clothes but they fit differently (not necessarily better). I've gone down one jeans size, depending on the brand, and one cup size. Apparently boobs are heavy.

Over the last few months I've stopped tracking food. I've been coasting for a bit (thank you, F U February) and relaxing. I don't weigh myself that often and I don't put a ton of value in the number I read.

My goals have shifted. I have been going to the gym and lifting weights. Who would have thought that counting to 10, resting 30 seconds and then counting to 10 again could be so fun? I'm learning the difference in an incline press (which is my nemesis) and a reverse fly (which should be called the "how to hold a rapier for 15 minutes straight machine"). I'm having fun. But it hasn't been quite the challenge I wanted.

We walked 8K in March and I was pleased that it didn't wear me out at all. I can barely run a 5K, but I am miserably slow. Running is harder for me because of the cardio. I get scared that I'm going to go low. All the symptoms for low blood sugar are too similar to the same symptoms of just exercising in general (shortness of breath, sweating, rapid heart rate, feeling woozy). I tried running at the gym a few weeks ago but I had to stop because my blood sugar was 40. It's frustrating on so many levels because my muscles could have kept going and my heart could have kept going but my everything else was falling apart.

I want to figure out how to run. I understand the mechanics. I have a training schedule. More specifically, I want to figure out how to run with diabetes, and that is a bit more complicated. Peer pressure and whimsy made me sign up for the Crawlin' Crab 5K in October. Several of my friends are running in it and I can easily cover that much ground.

But today I signed up for the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon. I'm actually signed up for both, so technically I'm taking the "Shell Yeah Challenge" over two days. As I told my parents the other night, I signed up for a three hour math problem. The running is not concerning me nearly as much as the blood sugar management. Even the training part is intimidating.

I'd rather not run on the treadmill because wow boring. But there's something to be said for being 20 feet from a fridge full of juice if I go low versus miles from home. I think my plan is to map out my run, let Rich track me via Find My Friends (AKA stalk my spouse), and be able to call home if I get stuck. I wish I could just throw on shoes and a high impact sports bra and hit the road, but my life takes a bit more preparation.

For those curious or interested in following along, I'm using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Training Program. Since I have 25 weeks until the race, I'm doubling up each week to give me time to adjust and not freak out. I'm using MapMyRun on my phone to pick out routes and track my progress.

Yesterday was my first day and I worked on stretching. I chose the Injury Prevention session on and it was perfect. Today is my first three mile run and I am a little nervous. I am even more nervous about my four mile run on Sunday, as that will be the furthest I have ever run in my life. I also will be doing it in Richmond for Easter which is not nearly as flat as Ocean View.

I'm worried that I will suck at this. I'm worried that it will be too hard. Not the running, mind you. The math. How many raisins do I need to eat and how often on each run to keep my blood sugar stable? What should my sugar be when I start and when I stop?

This may be the only thing in my life so far that I've felt like diabetes made harder. Pregnancy was annoying but not that bad. Traveling, working, and every day issues don't bother me. But this is the first time I've paused before trying something. Which is why I'm writing today. If I write it down it has to happen. I am equal parts nervous and excited. Wish me luck!

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