Running; usually I enjoy it, occasionally I wonder why bother… but most of the times I can get myself off the couch and into the great wide open. Since before I had diabetes I already participated in a track and field team, and ever since I’ve spent more years running than doing other sports. However the last two years before the insulin allergy treatment were tough. I would often want to go running yet often my sugars would be so inconsistent I either wouldn’t go or would need somebody to accompany me. My dad has been my coach for years and my mom my biggest fan. They were there when I would be soaked from the mud after a cross country run, would accompany me if my sugars were bad, cheer me on if I lacked motivation and picked me up if I couldn’t finish my run.

It has been a year since I was in Groningen for my internship. Being on my own there was a big step after just having had the treatment two months prior to going. An even bigger step was going running, on my own, without any people close by who could come pick me up if necessary. The first time felt scary, the second time felt uncomfortable and by the third run it was almost no problem anymore. I felt good, I felt free, I felt I had shown my diabetes off ! Last year I managed to run 270 km, something I am very proud of! This year, my target is to run at least 300km and my aim is to run 30 km / month. Something I will not achieve every month but I need a high target to motivate me to go running in the rain…. In May I will do a 5k run where I hope to finish under 30 minutes and in June I will run my first 10k race. I feel confident I will manage, and even more important, I enjoy running again! Nowadays it rarely happens that my sugars interfere with my running program…

Of course this happened before the last training for a 5k race back in October, luckily my dad was there so I could hop on the back of his bike. It did not feel good to have to finish my training earlier due to a hypo…. But luckily I had no troubles what so ever with the race and was very happy with my time!

 Another diabetes-running feat was last December. I was in Vancouver for the Young Leaders in Diabetes program and the World Diabetes Congress. Every congress a 5k run is held and the last two times I was at the congress I did not dare to run. On the one hand it was the safest place to faint, on the other hand it would have been terribly embarrassing! Yet now was my time, my sugars were good, I had even gone running already twice on my own and I ran the race without too much worries. What a fantastic feeling! Not only because my diabetes was not a limiting factor for me to run, but also because it was an amazing experience to run together with 300 others who all had a link to diabetes! It was a unique event of which I am proud to have participated.

If I will manage to run the 5k under 30 minutes in May? There is a chance it will work, but it will strongly depend on my sugars the 48 hours prior to the run. In the mean time I will keep training for it. And the longer runs in preparation for the 10k, I still happily do together with my coach (because such a long run can become awfully boring) !