Deciding to run a mararthon
Diabetes was a shock for me. I kept thinking, ‘how am I doing to do this now? How am I going to do that?’
Eventually, instead of asking, ‘how?’ I started thinking, ‘I just will.’ It was my way of sticking two fingers up at the condition.
I’ve always wanted to run the London marathon, and as Diabetes UK is the country’s top diabetes charity, so it was a no-brainer that I’d run for them. It was one of those hare-brained ideas, I guess. I had a lot of time on my own with a newborn to reflect and think, ‘what do I want to achieve?’
My daughter was eight months old when I started training. When I applied for my marathon place, I told Diabetes UK that I needed the support of Dan. I couldn’t do it on my own. They were really good and gave us both a place.
I did loads of research about diabetes and running, but I couldn’t run a mile on the first training day. My sugars plummeted within minutes.
It was at that point I started to self-fund the FreeStyle Libre, which is now on prescription for people with type 1 diabetes, because I kept having to stop to prick my fingers. Trying to get going again, especially on a long run, was just unbearable. I was breastfeeding as well. That affects your sugars anyway, never mind running ten hours in between.
For the longer runs, Dan was always with me. The shorter ones I could manage quite happily on my own. I’d always tell people my route, so they could get me on the phone. My blood sugar control when I was training for the marathon was probably the best it had ever been, I think because I was so fit and healthy. My nutrition was really good, I was checking my blood sugars so much. It was definitely a ‘me’ time.
On the morning of the marathon, I thought, ‘what have I done?’ I think 15 miles was my longest training run. I thought, ‘how am I going to get past that limit?’ I’m really strong minded. I thought, if I have to walk, so be it.