As promised, for the dedicated type 1 runners out there, here is my PowerPoint presentation from HypoActive’s AcT1vate 2013, at which I had the great pleasure to present a talk on the thrilling adventure of running ultramarathon with type 1 diabetes.
Anybody opening this and asking, “what does this guy know?” has a point. Every single person pushing any limits with type 1 is learning different things about their own body for that very reason – it is their own body, and type 1 diabetes is full of surprises. It can behave differently under identical circumstances for different people.
I know at least that much.
Managing the tricky balance of the body’s energy needs, enhanced effects of insulin, unpredictable advent of nausea, and other basic biochemistry under several hours of exertion is never completely simple, but it does get easier with practice.
And that’s the biggest hurdle – without the encouragement and sometimes without even the support of your diabetic clinicians and educators, the first steps toward many thousands of steps can be extraordinarily difficult to take.
Here is the presentation and I welcome any questions which any type 1 diabetic starting along this brilliantly coloured and exciting path may have. Thank you to exT1D‘s Allan Bolton, my most frequent and reliable source of insight on this journey. Allan’s considerate enough to have made a bunch of mistakes so we don’t have to. Big thanks also to Marcus Grimm and Missy Elvin Foy for their expert insight and inspiration. And of course to Born to Run Foundation. Our Atacama adventure in 2012 caused me to cancel last year’s presentation, but more than made up for it with a slew of photos and stories for this year’s.
Thanks also to the whole HypoActive crew for a great weekend, and especially Gary Scheiner, excellent company in any depancreatised situation. Despite all the other great little situations we had over the weekend, I remember going for a short run with Gary, in search of koalas and Skippy. With no signs of wildlife, we returned to the conference. After getting our sweat off and prepping for the next stage of the day, Gary turned to me and simply said, “It just feels better, doesn’t it?”
Yes. Yes it does.