It’s great connecting with past podcast guests (see episode 19). I got word that Amy McKinnon was traveling the world again, motivating me to get in touch. Amy was kind enough to give us insight into her recent completion of the Boston Marathon (no small feat).
Q: What adjustments in your game plan did you make for this marathon, compared to past races?
A: Leading up to Boston I had a couple of injuries that took me off my feet completely for a few months, so I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my fitness level prior to a race. Because of this, my pace would be a lot slower, so I changed my race plan completely. I decided to focus on keeping my BGLs in range the entire race while enjoying the atmosphere of the crowds and running the prestigious Boston Marathon. I went into the marathon with a very light-hearted approach, compared to my usual competitive self.
Type 1 diabetes is one of the few diseases that needs to be micromanaged on a daily basis, 24 hours, 7 days a week. There is no holiday, time away, or opportunity to hand over control to someone else for a while.
When you have a personality like mine, this means becoming almost obsessed with the daily management tasks of living with type 1 diabetes. This has many benefits, no doubt: great control, predictable BGLs, and a HbA1c below 6%. (more…)
I began running when I was around 24 years old (12 years after my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes). I had always been reasonably fit, participating in sports during high school, but during my three years at university and a couple after I let my fitness slide. At the time I didn’t ponder its impact on my diabetes until I started back.
My best friend signed up for a 14km race in Sydney, Australia and got me to sign up–now I had no choice but to train. He had a head start on me, and was naturally a lot faster. I struggled to keep up in general, consistently worrying about lows during runs which would make me tired and slow me down while I scarfed down a snack. I was embarrassed when these things happened, which was pretty often at first. I was still on injections at the time, not managing my diabetes at the best of my ability, and just getting use to exercise’s effects. Improvement was my only way forward. (more…)
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, in Sydney, Australia, where I called home growing up. The diagnosis was a blur; dropping 20 pounds off my already tall, slim frame and was super thirsty and lethargic. I was sent to the emergency room of the children’s hospital and immediately diagnosed with type 1. No DKA, fortunately, and I only stayed in the hospital for a couple of days, learning how to give shots and test my blood sugar.
I was already growing into a quiet, awkward teenager and having diabetes made me more uncomfortable in social situations. I didn’t test my blood or inject in front of others, but still managed to have decent control, as my parents were quite strict on my management – my A1c was always in the 7’s. (more…)