Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been regularly going to the gym again. I would hardly call it going often, but I’ve consistently gone 3 days a week this month, which is more regular than where I was at earlier this year. Earlier this year I’d go three days a week, and then once, and then twice, and then maybe back to once. Most of this is because I was going in the evening and my evening schedule is so unpredictable, what with diabetes support group meetings, dinners with friends, running errands and seeing my fiance.
Because of my hectic evening schedule, I decided to start going to the gym in the morning. But I’m also finding that difficult as well. Because the time I test my blood sugar level before going to the gym is also the first test of the day, I don’t have much recourse if my blood sugar is low, or too low for going to the gym. This morning I woke up at my blood sugar was 130 mg/dl, which is a perfectly respectable fasting number, but it’s too low for a hardcore exercise session. On the flipside, on Monday I woke up at 230 mg/dl, which was a perfect reading to go for a run.
When I am able to run in the morning, it’s perfect. I get it out of the way, it makes me feel more awake and alert during the day, and in general I just feel better about myself. But it’s irritating to no end to have my plans interrupted by diabetes. I just want to go to the gym. I want to exercise and be healthy like everyone else, and yet again and again, diabetes throws a wrench in my plans. And I’m not sure what I should do about it, because it never seems to stay the same.
Despite the constant interruptions, I am on track to becoming a runner (hopefully). I decided that C25K was not the plan for me for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t like their set up. The first few weeks of the run have you run for a very short period of time, and then rest for a short period of time, and since I work out on a treadmill at my gym, constantly ramping up and turning down my MPH speed was annoying. I also found that I did better when I was able to run for exactly as long as I was comfortable, and then slow down and walk for however long I was comfortable. At this point, I’m running at about 4.5 MPH for 2-3 minutes, and then I walk at 3.5 MPH for about a minute or two. Sometimes I’ll switch up my metrics, and I’ll run for .2 miles and then walk for .1 miles, and just do that for a mile. I’m using a training schedule I snagged from SELF magazine to help me, and it also incorporates other things like strength training and cross training in addition to running.
My only problem with keeping up with any kind of schedule is my diabetes. If my fasting blood sugar is 115 mg/dl, there is no way that I’m going anywhere fast. I am at the whim, I feel, of where my fasting blood sugar happens to land me. When I went back on Metformin, my blood sugars reacted strongly, and I was waking up with hypoglycemia several days in a row. Now that I’ve scaled down my basal rate, I’m facing a more unpredictable problem, where my blood sugar might be perfectly suitable for exercise, but it might also not be.
If you have diabetes and work out in the morning, what’s your management style? When do you test? How do you treat? Is there anything I can do to make my morning workouts more consistent?