Welcome back. Been a pretty slow week with only a small 3 mile run on Wednesday, but I'm feeling great and ready to race tomorrow. Today though, I wanted to continue along with the This Fat Guy is Running Interview Series. If you missed the last interview, which was also the first, I interviewed Brain Sparks, a good friend of mine about his transition into running and exercising. That interview can be read right HERE. Today, I interviewed Andie Alexander, a friend of mine from K-State, and the girlfriend of one of my other good friends from K-State. Through tailgating a couple of weeks ago, I learned that she was also running in the KC Half Marathon. What I did not know is that she has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for a majority of her life. That really piqued my interest, and I thought it might be a good topic to write about to show readers that anyone can get out and decide to take up running. So, without further ado...
1. TFGIR: Tell me a little bit about your history with Type 1 Diabetes.
Andie: I got diabetes on Superbowl Sunday of my third grade year, so almost 17 years. No one else in my family has it. I was blessed with this wonderfulness.:) I have had my ups and downs with it just like any one else with diabetes. I try extremely hard to keep it under tight control. I had my mom to take great care of me when I lived at home, but going to college brought many challenges. This is only one of the many reasons I am so blessed to have such amazing friends. My problem is more with hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) than hyperglycemia (high blood glucose).
2. TFGIR: You are running the KC Half Marathon. What is your strategy during this race in regards to dealing with your diabetes?
Andie: I actually start out with my blood sugar higher than I normally like it on a day to day basis. I then take jelly belly "sport beans" about 20-30 minutes before I run. I take off my insulin pump, and I start running. While running I have an energy gel that I take. I try to take at least one, but if needed I take more.
3. TFGIR: What challenges has training for the KC Half Marathon presented to you?
Andie: There has been many challenges, actually. I switched to a different insulin when I first started training, which after a month did not end up working at all for me. I thought this had somewhat to do with the training, but since I have switched back I feel about 110% better than before. My second challenge was what foods to eat and eating more carbs because I am running. Also, whether I like it or not, I have to carry some sugar with me to run, and if I get out and run 10 miles I have to make sure I will find the strength to make it back home. I have a wonderful boyfriend who has me tell him where exactly I'm going and will watch the time to make sure I am not passed out somewhere. (Editor's note: Danny is a sweetheart.)
4. TFGIR: Why are you attempting to run the KC Half Marathon?
Andie: This has been a personal goal of mine for a long time. Just because I am diabetic does not mean I cannot do something of this magnitude.
5. TFGIR: When you are not training for a distance run, what type of exercise do you partake in to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Andie: Right now not too much. I like to bike ride and take my dogs for a walk.
6. TFGIR: Do you have any other goals to accomplish or feats to attempt in your life, such as a full marathon?
Andie: I am not fully convinced that I ever want to do a full marathon. I hear there is a "runner's high" that will want to make me do it. I think my next feat is the Dallas Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon with both of my sisters and possibly my mom.
7. TFGIR: What is some advice you would give to someone who is considering distance running while dealing with Type 1 Diabetes?
Andie: Find what works for you, have a strong support system, carry sugar, eat enough, and do what you feel you need to do in life to "live" (such as achieving your personal goals!).
Tomorrow is race day, of course. I've signed up to have my split times posted on my Facebook page, so if you are just dying to know my times, and I know that you are, feel free to check out what they are posting on my Facebook wall. I'll be back with more coverage over the next couple of days, so feel free to check frequently. Also, send this interview to someone you know who might find it interesting. You never know who will find motivation in someone's actions. Until next time...later.