Category Archives: fitness

010. “Hey, look at those shoes!”

Last year I signed up for an inaugural 5k in my hometown an hour before it started. I ran it on an impulse with a couple of friends and no training. And I had a BLAST.

So I decided to do the same race again this year (this time with a little more training).

My training this time wasn’t the same as I’ve done before. I focused on my speedwalking since I’m still nowhere near able to run an entire 5k without walking. By walking but doing so quickly, I was able to maintain a pretty decent pace.

I’ve ran a race with my friend Chris before but this was the first time his wife Katherine ever did a 5k. She’s been training for months and she did AMAZING.

Since it was a night race, I bought these ridiculous light-up shoes on Amazon for like $15 for the heck of it. I had them set to flash super obnoxiously throughout the entire race and I kind of loved it. Although I paid for it later with sore arches, they were worth it.

I was in shock throughout the race at how good my average pace was, but I tried not to get my hopes up that I’d be able to maintain it. At the end I was really feeling my elevated heart rate and struggling to breathe. However, a lady that had been passing me back and forth came up behind me while I was walking, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Come on!” And that was all the motivation I needed to finish strong!

The course was 0.05 miles short. So my official race time shows 37:56, however if I calculate out my average pace on my Apple Watch of 12:29 min/mile to the proper race distance I get a race time of 38:42. I don’t feel like it would take me an extra minute to go 0.05 miles but I feel like the timing was goofy anyway so who knows. Either way I completely obliterated my previous Personal Record of 41:12!

The best part of it all? My blood sugar held steady (for the most part)! I started around 150 and hung out in the 140s until about 2.5 miles in when I started to drop. A few minutes post-race I was in the 90s but I had just eaten a banana so I knew I was good. It even behaved overnight!

I am so happy with my results and so motivated to keep doing races. Yeah, I only got 121 out of 159 people, but in the end, we all went the same distance.

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Pick Stuff Up, Put It Back Down

One of the benefits of Allen and I moving to a new, bigger city is that they have an affordable gym option. He and I have been wanting to go to the gym more regularly for a few years, but the options in our old town were very limited. Shortly after we moved and settled in our new city, we signed up for the gym!

At first my only plan was to use the treadmill. Running outside in my new city isn’t as much of an option as my old city (I knew my old town like the back of my hand since I lived there my entire life, but in my new city there are a lot more murders and gang activity). So I knew getting a membership to use the treadmill would be useful to me.

However, I hung out with my friend Kristina who is starting to go to the gym now too. She talked about her friend showing her how to lift weights and she was also doing Whole30. A couple other friends of mine had also done Whole30 and between that and running they had lost some weight. Kristina showed me how to use a couple of the machines at my gym when she visited. (It was tough.. see photo below) However, my interest was sparked.

While running on the treadmill I would catch myself staring at the people using the free weights. What was stopping me from doing something other that treadmill? Well, for one, I had no idea how to use anything else. I was scared of injury, or screwing up, or a myriad of other things. I wanted to be happy with my body, and I knew that happiness would come through seeing what I was capable of. I’ve always been embarrassingly weak and pathetic. It was finally time to do something about it.

I finally reached out to a wonderful gal named Taja on Instagram. She’s a type 1 diabetic like me, but she’s a fitness coach. We got to chatting and through a couple conversations she agreed to take me on as a client. I was finally read to start my fitness journey!

Taja and I have been working closely on a custom tailored eating and workout plan. I’ve been eating TONS of protein, lots of lean meats and plenty of veggies and even only a couple of weeks in, I’m already seeing differences. I have baby biceps starting to appear! My clothes are already fitting better. I have more energy every day. And I actually look forward to going to the gym. High school Abby would NEVER have been excited for anything close to the word “gym.”

I’m not an athletic person. At all. I am not built for this, not even for running. But with a lot of consistency, hard work and dedication, I’m thrilled to see where this journey takes me!

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009. Run for the Health of it

This past weekend I completed race #9 of my career, and my first for this year. It was the Borgess Run For the Health of It! run in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I trained for about two weeks at the gym on the treadmill, so my goal was to simply FINISH the race.

Of course, I had nothing but issues leading up to the race itself.

One thing I was looking forward to about this race was that the 5k gives you a medal. In years past, they did not do medals for the 5k, so when I saw they added it, I decided to sign up (because we all know that’s the only way I’m ever “winning” a race is with a participation medal) (but I am running the same distance as first place, just slower, so don’t we all win anyway?).

The other thing I was excited about is that this race does customized bibs with your first name on them!

When I went to packet pickup the day before the race, they handed me my bib with the name Tehya on it. Apparently there had been a problem with printing and a lot of the 5k ones were wrong. So I got a new bib.. with no name on it. I guess that’s better than running with the WRONG name.

The night before the race, my Dexcom sensor was being funky. It was 3 weeks old, so I knew it was going to be a little weird, so I let it slide. I did a site change and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up to a 296 blood sugar and a TON of bubbles in the tubing. So at 5am I’m attempting a site change and pushing insulin and fluids to bring it down. Luckily we had a long drive and an even longer wait before my event.

It was a bit colder than I expected, so I ended up running with my jacket that I had planned on leaving with Allen. But I got to see my Twinner (Alli) in the morning, and I knew my coworker Lona was there somewhere too. This race is HUGE so I wasn’t surprised that I couldn’t find her anywhere.

This race boasted their app and the live tracking it offered. Allen normally tracks my location via Apple’s Location Sharing on our iPhones. It normally runs about 1-2 minutes behind real time but is helpful in case I get injured or something happens. But since the race boasted about the tracking that is “the same app Boston uses!” he tracked me on there instead.

At the 1 mike mark, Allen texted me that I was averaging a 9:45 pace and to pace myself. That seemed REALLY fast to me, but I had just gone down a hill, so I shrugged it off. At the 1.5 mike mark, he texted that I only had 1 mile to go! I texted back “WTF, I’m only at 1.5 miles” and we realized then that the app tracking was horribly inaccurate. He switched back to our normal tracking instead.

The race itself was great! It was weird running with SO MANY people and a lot of them didn’t know runners etiquette so I got cut off a lot. The course was a blast. I knew we kept trending downhill and I knew we’d have to come back up eventually, and boy, that hill was a monster. It really helped to see SO MANY people there cheering everyone on, and the funny race signs too.

This was the first race where I actively tried to run based on how I felt rather than what the clock said. And I think it paid off! I finished a little less than 2 minutes slower than my all time record, pacing faster than most of my races last year, even deep into the season. I felt great, my blood sugar behaved, and I did it!

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oo7. Virtual run, real miles

I’m a HUGE Detroit Red Wings hockey fan. I only discovered hockey in 2013 when Allen took me to a game for my birthday, but I was immediately hooked.

Of course, this year the Red Wings are finally getting out of the ghetto Joe Louis and will be playing in their poorly-named new arena, Little Caesars Arena. Last year, the organization held their first annual Hockeytown 5K, to celebrate the final year at the Joe. My friend Morgan did the race and it looked like fun. So when I saw it advertised this year, I decided to sign up.

Unfortunately for me, I misread the dates, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to actually run it in Detroit, so I signed up for the virtual 5K. Turns out I totally could have made it work to do it for real, but it was too late by then.

The actual race was held on a Sunday, but I ran my virtual miles a few days later. My friend Elizabeth signed me up for a 10K the weekend after the Hockeytown race with only 5 days to train, (more on that in a future post), so I linked up with a couple friends to pound out some miles. My friend Michael and I ran 2.3 miles on Tuesday, and my friend Chris and I ran my “Hockeytown 5K” plus a few more on Thursday.

I definitely earned my shirt and medal! We had only planned on doing 4 miles but sometimes life has other plans and next thing I knew, we had done over 5 miles. It was awesome and I felt super prepped for my 10K!

The interesting thing is that I did the runs “blind” – meaning I wasn’t wearing my Dexcom. THAT was weird and kind of nerve wracking. At one point while we were running, Chris mentioned something about diabetes and how you can’t understand it truly unless you have it, and I said “Yep, you’d never know I’ve been spending the last half mile trying to feel what my blood sugar is, since I don’t have the numbers handy right now.” Luckily I tested frequently both during and after the runs and all was good, but that was insightful for him, and also gave me the confidence that I can survive running “blind” since I had never even tried it before then.

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oo5. More like Longest Course Ever

Today’s “Longest Day 5K” was absolutely brutal. 


I knew it would be. Any course going through a nature preserve is going to be tough. Yet somehow I was shocked when I rounded the first corner and started my way up a big hill. 

And somehow I was still shocked when I had to tackle puddles, mud, narrow trails, rickety wooden bridges, stairs, and insane heat. 

It didn’t help when the water station at mile 2.3 was handing out warm koolaid instead of water. Really? Ew. 

However, Allen kept watch on me through me sharing my location via iPhone and continually texted me updates as I ran, which showed on my Apple Watch and kept me motivated. 


I had bought an arm band designed for some obscure MP3 player to carry my Dexcom receiver in, to free up some room in my flipbelt. It did the job, but I hated it, so I’m not sure if I’ll use it again or not. When I got sweaty it started to slide around my arm, and when I tightened it, it pinched my skin. It was nice having my Dex right there though, so I didn’t have to keep trying to flip through Apple Watch screens to get to the Dexcom readings. I’d recommend it if you’re wanting something to wear on your arm for Dex. It’s a tight fit to get the receiver in and it sticks out on the end a little but it was very snug and secure. 


My blood sugar was a steady 115 most of the afternoon. An hour before race time, I did a temp basal rate of 60% insulin for an hour because I knew once I started running, I’d drop. I was drifting down so I had a roll of smarties about half an hour before race time. I started the race at 108 and peaked at 140 around the 2 mile mark. I finished the race back near 110. 

So did I beat my goal time for the race? No. I was almost 6 minutes slower than last week. However this course was ridiculously tough, and I still did pretty well. I was 93rd overall for women and 187th out of everyone, out of 244 people. 


So I didn’t do amazing. But I didn’t quit, even when I really considered it at mile 0.75. I kept going even when i was completely by myself and thought I took a wrong turn at mile 2. Even when I thought I was going to puke at mile 3. 


The course was absolutely gorgeous, and that was awesome in itself. Also, this was my first chip timed course so that was a neat experience!


And I got a free beer at the finish, so that was cool too. 

Thanks Chris for somehow convincing me to do yet another 5k. I don’t know how many more you’re going to be able to talk me into, but so far, I’m having fun. 

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oo4. Training? Who needs training?

This past weekend, I ran a 5k with zero training. In fact, I signed up for it only about two hours before the actual race began.

Crazy, right?

Diabetes limits my impulsivity (Is that a word? It is now, I guess) in so many ways. I don’t get to just grab a cupcake and eat it without a second thought. So much of my life for the past almost 5 years has been planning, provisioning, and preparation.

However, on Saturday when my friends Chris and Chad said they were running a 5K that night and asked if Allen and I were going to be there, I decided on the spot that I wanted to do it. I decided to be impulsive because, you know what, fuck diabetes!

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Apple Watch vs Pebble Time vs …Softball??

I recently joined a softball league that my work is sponsoring. I am NOT sporty/athletic but I had played in middle school on a league and we were really good (we won the city championships both years, the first year as underdogs!) plus my best friend Katie is the one who started assembling the league. 


Of course, things were way different when I played in middle school. I was 12/13 years old – it was literally half my life ago. I was in better shape and I was not diabetic at that time. 

Today is our first game. I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect bg balance during practices. Most times I’m running ultra high even though it’s been 90 degrees and super humid, but one practice I did crash low and had to sit and smash a few rolls of smarties while everyone else kept practicing. That sucked. 


As much as I LOVE my Apple Watch for monitoring my bg during various activities, I have to do what’s best for me out on the field so I can perform at my best. That’s why I made this decision: I will be wearing my Pebble Time while playing softball. Here’s why!


1) Constant display! The Simple CGM Spark watchface updates every time my Dexcom does meaning I have live readings at a glance! 

1a) I have to sidebar and note that the WatchSugar app I have on my Apple Watch is great, but it only updates every 20 minutes or so. This is an issue on Apples side of not updating Complications. It will be changed in WatchOS3 coming out next week where we can have timely Dexcom updates on the watchface. 

1b) Also note, the native Dexcom app gives live updates but it is not ON the watchface. I have to navigate to it. And then wait for it to update. I can’t use that much time staring at my watch while on the ball field!

2) I will be a LOT less devastated if my Pebble gets destroyed by a line drive than if my Apple Watch did. 

2a) The Pebble is pretty rugged. It has a couple scratches on the face, sure, but overall it’s pretty tough! Sadly I feel like my Apple Watch wouldn’t take the abuse as well. 

3) Since I’m only using it for softball, I shut off all the extra stuff on my pebble. I don’t need my calendar, or text message notifications, etc while I’m on the field. That’s a lot easier to do than switching those settings on and off all the time on my Apple Watch!

4) Battery life. The Pebble lasts way longer than the Apple Watch. Plus it charges so fast, I could throw it on the charger 10 minutes before a game and probably have enough juice for the whole game. Not the case with my Apple Watch. 


One of the big Cons to this setup is that my Move goals on the Apple Watch won’t be accurate. Of course I’m gonna be moving during the games and since I’m not wearing my Apple Watch, my “rings” won’t catch that movement and I’ll look super lazy on those days 😉 But it’s a small trade for the benefits of using my Pebble on the field!

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