Wednesday, June 1, 2011

60th Diabetes Blog Post (Yay!)--A1Cs and Running

Apparently this is my 60th blog post since I first started chronicling my journey with diabetes in November last year!  My first D-aversary is a couple of short months away, and I honestly can't believe it's already almost here.  I never in a million years thought diabetes would be such an intimate part of my life, but I've survived the past months and learned a lot--about diabetes and life--in the process.

I (finally) had my appointment with the endocrinologist on May 16th, then got my lab results back a couple of days later...and my A1C was 5.7%!!!(!!!!!)  So, we officially got the green light to start our family, something I've been waiting months for.  My previous A1C was 6.5%, so it would have probably been fine if we had started our family then, but probably just doesn't cut it for me when it comes to my future children's health...I'd never be able to forgive myself if I didn't bring it down and there ended up being something wrong with our baby.  I know that anyone can have a child with birth defects, but I strongly feel that if you have a chronic disease like diabetes, it's your responsibility to get it under control before you even think about having a child.  I think it's just one of the first of many decisions you have to make with your child's best interest in mind, and perhaps one of the most important.  All of the current scientific literature and knowledge (and my CDE) says that you should get it under 6.0% preconception, so the perfectionist in me finally had something to shoot for over the past several months.

Other than that, I don't think I've mentioned that I consigned my Gazelle to the spare bedroom until the weather becomes unbearably hot/cold again in favor of running outside.  I began with alternating walking and running, then gradually (very gradually) progressed to running.  I highly recommend the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance if you're interested in starting a running program.  It has great advice on a wide variety of running-related topics, ranging from beginner to marathon runner-and it's equally friendly to both.

Running has become a lot of different things for me.  First and foremost, I run to stay in the best shape possible--for me, my husband, and our future children--in spite of my diabetes.  I also run, though, because it keeps my life a little less stressful.  On those long runs when it's just me and the road ahead (and behind!), I have a lot of time to think and sort through the things I push to the back of my mind during the day.  I've worked through a lot of issues this way, and running has saved me on the days I want to break down and cry--it's become my go-to stress reliever.  Not only that, it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.  You see, I was never what you would call an athlete during school.  I ran cross country and played basketball and tennis, but so did everyone else because I grew up (and still live in) a very small town.  In other words, athletic ability was not a prerequisite for participating in sports.  I could place in the middle of the pack in cross country, but that was the limit of my athletic prowess.  My junior high and high school coaches would probably faint if they knew how much I run now!  I've worked up to 4 miles at a time on my long runs, and my fastest time to complete that distance is right around 40 minutes.  Not Olympic-worthy, for sure, but not to shabby for someone who spent her junior high days looking for excuses to get out of workouts!


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