I hate running. So much that I have a Spotify playlist dedicated to my disdain for it. (The songs are quality, though. I posted a link on Twitter to the disastrous tunes that keep me upright for 45 minutes.) But it's a new part of my daily workout regimen, and it's extremely effective at dropping my blood sugar like a rock. I see my numbers tumble from 180 mg/dL to 80 mg/dL regularly during workouts (which is prompting me to start experimenting with temporary basal rates and different kinds of foods to help keep from plummeting - oh the math!).
So yeah. It's a new kind of exercise that's taxing my body in a new, positive way.
But giving running a go when my blood sugar is high? Holy crap, that's a rotten way to start a workout.
There's something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, like I'm wearing a chain mail suit (not one of those "Forward this or a rabid snail will imbed itself in your ear!" kinds of chain mail - I mean the legit, medieval kind). Or that I'm exercising with weighted boots on. Even when ketones aren't present (and I always check for them if I'm over 240 and heading to the gym), high blood sugars make slogging through a workout akin to traipsing through waist-high snow drifts. It's crappy.
What amazes me is when I feel strongest while working out. Every time I feel powerful, or strong, or jacked up on exercise endorphins, I usually click on my Dexcom and see a blood sugar around 100 mg/dL. It's amazing how good I feel when my blood sugar is completely in range. (My favorite workout number is 90 mg/dL, but the trouble is, it doesn't last very long in that range.)
"Is this what normal feels like, all the time, for you?" I've asked Chris, trying to explain how awesome a workout feels for those moments when I'm hovering around 100 mg/dL. He can't answer, because he has no idea what steep blood sugar fluctuations feel like.
I don't often have envy for those who produce their own insulin, but I have be honest: Sometimes I'm downright jealous of people who don't know what it's like to fly so high while working out. I'd love to know how fast, and how far, I could go with 90 mg/dL as my norm.
But those brief moments of envy pass quickly, as I work harder to prove that I can go faster and further, fueled by determination ... even in a chain mail suit.