Friday, 27 August 2010

Run Success Hurrah!

Cobden-Mousehole-Bitterne

After Sunday’s almost complete fail I decided that the most likely cause of my panic attack symptoms was the increased blood pressure medications I had started taking the night before. In my head, being prevented from running in order to take some pills seems completely wrong, so I decided to go back to the previous dose, which I appear to be able to tolerate. My health is clearly improving anyway, and running can only help that. I have been having to reduce my insulin requirements over the past two weeks – novorapid is now down by about 40% and lantus down by an astonishing 60%. I’m now on such a low dose of lantus that, pretty soon, I’ll be spraying more into the air with my pre-injection airshot than I will actually be injecting!

The strategy appears to have worked. I went for a somewhat tentative run on Tuesday and managed a shortish two and a half miles. I’m still very slow in comparison to ‘the old me’, but you can’t hurry these things, plus I’m older, I broke my leg and I have diabetes! The run was fairly uneventful and pleasant – weather was conducive, being coolish and overcast, with a slight drizzle. I think the Scots describe such weather as ‘dreicht’! Had a couple of days off, then went for a three miler yesterday, again no real dramas!

Today, I decided that I should put Sunday’s demons to rest and tackle those hills again. This time, no sensations of panic (not that I felt panicked before, just the symptoms of such) and I was really surprised at how good my breathing was up the first hill. Given that the hill is at a gradient of over 30% I was pleased to discover that my pace had also improved on this section, now heading towards 11 minutes a mile. My legs were a slightly different matter, as they were still a little tired from yesterday, but a few weeks ago they would have been so tired I would hardly have been able to walk – so certainly progress there! I didn’t run as far as I had intended because I started to get the little twinges in my right calf that have put me out of action in the past, so I cut the route short. Still very challenging though, and very pleased with it!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Wee Dram!


Diabetes is an expensive disease to treat and manage, and costs are increasing all the time with new, more expensive therapies and an ever-increasing number of new diagnoses. How can these costs be reduced? Is there some way that we can take advantage of the natural sweetness of a diabetic’s urine – first observed in ancient times and giving the disease its name – and generate some kind of income from it?

Indeed there is! London designer James Gilpin has proposed using the sugar-heavy urine excreted by diabetics to ferment high-end single whisky! Imagine then, the scenario: diabetics regularly attending at their local distillery in order to supply this valuable resource, gaining credits in return in order to fund their treatment! The resultant spirit can then be sold throughout the world, carrying the renowned imprimatur of the Scottish Government!

(With huge thanks to @CureT1Diabetes for the inspiration!)

Another diabetic? Ah! Please just join the queue
And pick a flagon of your choice from those in front of you.
I hope you’ve been behaving, and kept those levels high!
We have to keep the quality up – it’s hard, but we must try!

What’s that? You’ve never done this? You’re newly-diagnosed?
Then let me tell you what the Scottish Government has proposed!
You’ll know it costs a lot to treat you, now you’re diabetic?
Well here’s a way we’re hoping that you’ll help us to offset it!

You’ll have to come here twice a week to earn your testing strips,
And glug a flagon of this juice – no dainty little sips!
You might try eating salted nuts to sharpen up your thirst,
Then hopefully your bladder will be full up fit to burst!

Then make your way just over there – you’ll see a wooden trough,
Try to hold your breath because the smell might make you cough!
When you’re finished, shake your thing so we don’t lose a drop,
And in return then you will earn a voucher for our shop!

You’ll find a nice selection there of whiskies we’ve produced –
We sell them all around the world, so health costs are reduced!
So, if you’ve ever wondered what’s beneath a Scotsman’s kilt,
It’s a pint or two of liquid gold, and ne’er a drop is spilt!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Go on! Have a pie!


Why is it in this health-conscious age, with government campaigns ringing in our ears, that so many food establishments fail to act and provide good, wholesome and healthy fare? Recently a lady on the forum related a tale of how, in a health and fitness club or all places, she had found it virtually impossible to purchase food that would satisfy her hunger without clogging up her arteries, spiking her blood sugar levels and sending her blood pressure through the roof. She was compelled to bring her own food, but warned by the manager that this was against the rules and she would risk getting her membership cancelled if she persisted. Here’s how I imagine the conversation went…

I’m so sorry madam, you can’t eat that here,
We’ve a rule against bringing in food,
You’ll find what we offer is healthy and fresh,
So don’t eat your own – that’s just rude!

Our menu is here, please read and you’ll see
The wonderful things that we sell!
Both savoury and sweet, vegetarian and meat,
And a wide range of soft drinks as well!

For our sandwiches we use only fine refined bread,
As white as the snows before Spring!
We can fill it with Spam, crispy bacon or jam,
Or sausages fit for a king!

Ah! I see our pork pies have just caught your eye!
They’re served with a big plate of chips!
Come on, don’t deny that you’d love one to try!
I can see that you’re licking your lips!

What’s that? A nice salad? No, I don’t think we do,
There’s never much call for that here…
We’ve some nice battered fish you could have if you wish –
We make all our batter with beer!

Now, to wash it all down, then you could go to town
With a full sugar energy drink!
The cups are so big if you fell in you’d drown,
And there’s no finer tonic – don’t you think?

What’s that? You’ll decline? Well, I feel I must say
That you look like you need a good meal!
For you’re thinner each day, like you’re wasting away,
Just imagine how much better you’d feel!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Run-Fail-Why?

Run - fail :(

I was all set this morning for a good run of around four miles or so up and down some of the local hills – blood sugar was at a good starting point (9.3mmol/l – 167 mg/dl), legs had recovered from Friday’s run, I had food in my belly and the weather appeared good, overcast and a little humid, but dry. However, within half a mile of setting off I felt absolutely awful! For some reason, as soon as I set off I felt a surge of adrenalin course through my body. Adrenalin is fine if you’re a sprinter, but for long distance, aerobic running it’s something that you only really want when you need to pass the runners in rhino costumes at the end of a marathon to save you from humiliation! The effect of this was to make my heart start racing, my breathing to become por and erratic, and the muscles of my legs to fill with lactic acid, making them instantly weak and devoid of energy. Within half a mile, I felt I had no choice but to stop running and try walking for a while whilst I recovered. By now, I was feeling very hot and light-headed. After I had recovered a little I tried running again, but very quickly the sensations came back and I took the decision to turn round and return home.

I absolutely HATE giving up on a run! It’s this stubbornness that has got me to the end of many a race, often miles past the point where something was telling me I ought to stop – most notably in The Hague half marathon in 2008, the year of my diagnosis. I’m sure that, had I known my blood sugar levels during that race I would have been flagging down the ambulance – but I made it! So what happened this morning? It has taken me a good hour or so to feel fully recovered, although I still feel a little light-headed. My blood sugar had remained largely unchanged at 9.6 (173) on my return so it wasn’t a sudden rise or fall in that. Thinking about it, I appear to have suffered all the symptoms of a panic or anxiety attack, but with no discernible cause.

The only thing I can attribute it to is that last night I took the first increased dose of my blood pressure medication, so I’m wondering if the symptoms were a result of a sudden rise then fall in my blood pressure at the start of my run. I’m tempted to go back to the old dose of medication, as I know my blood pressure has been improving and I suspect the slightly high reading the doctor took last Thursday was high partly due to the anxiety of having it checked. Given the huge changes in my blood sugars and insulin requirements over the past couple of weeks, it’s perfectly reasonable (in my head!) that I might also be getting a significant improvement in blood pressure that simply wasn’t indicated in the single test performed by the doctor. However, since I don’t have any equipment to accurately test my BP at home – I have a wrist monitor that invariably shows the same figures! – this can only be speculation. I’ll have to weigh up the options of whether it is worth ignoring the doctor’s advice and not increasing the medication.

So annoyed that I couldn’t complete my run!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

It's behind you! An alternative to injections?

Is there a solution for those poor insulin-dependent diabetics who have needle phobia? A less embarrassing method of delivering insulin when in a club or restaurant than having to get out all that paraphernalia and drawing attention to yourself? Apparently so – a company called Oramed Pharmaceuticals have been working on a different method of delivering insulin, via rectal insertion of a suppository! Imagine how much more socially acceptable this would be than injecting in public – how could anyone possibly object to someone pushing something up their behind before eating? Oh, if only Messrs Banting and Best had put their energies into this method of delivery, then we wouldn’t all be marked out as druggies and junkies by a shocked and disgusted Joe Public!

Ah, welcome Mr Jones, to your annual review!
I hope that you’ve been keeping well?
There’s been an advancement – it’s something quite new,
You can’t wait to hear, I can tell!

I know that, for you, there’s a deep-seated fear
Of each insulin injection you face,
You might even say it’s a pain in the rear,
Well, here’s something I’m sure you’ll embrace!

‘What? Is it a pill I can swallow each night?
Oh, that would be perfect for me!
For, try as I might, needles give me a fright,
And hurt like the sting from a bee!’

Not a pill that you swallow, though you’re on the right lines,
Nor a patch or a gum that you chew…
Now I hope you don’t mind, please expose your behind,
And I’ll just ‘introduce’ it to you!

There now, that didn’t hurt! Did you feel any pain?
It’s quick and so easy to do!
Oh dear, it’s popped out! I’ll just try it again…
Now don’t squeal or fart till I’m through!

You’ll soon get the hang, when you’re out on the town,
Of inserting this handy suppository!
You just need to turn round, pull your trousers right down,
And discreetly fill your rectal depository!

Ups and downs – hills and blood sugar!

Cobden-Glenfield

I’ve managed to get out for 5 runs in the past 8 days, which is a huge improvement over my previous efforts. Not running very far, as yet, but the runs are challenging nonetheless, involving some very steep ascents and descents that test the legs and lungs! I’ve come to the conclusion that I run much better on such varied terrain. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, as most of my early running days were on the big hills of Sheffield and the Peak District, but I think I had started to forget this and have been, until recently, only running through the park where the terrain is only ever so slightly undulating.

Cobden-Mousehole-Peartree

This fact was proven to me in the fourth of my recent runs. For the previous three, I had run a demanding and varied hilly course and had thought that to then run on the flat would be a piece of cake – far from the truth! I found it much harder, not so much on the heart and lungs, but on my legs which quickly tired and left me aching for two days afterwards. It seems I’m much better suited to the effort and challenge of a hill, followed by the relief and recovery of crowning it and running down the other side. I think I also get a bit bored now running through the park as I have done the same route countless times over the past 10 years, so the change is very welcome!

Riverside Park-Mansbridge

My fitness is improving accordingly as is, I hope, my health. I had a visit to my doctor this week and there has been an improvement in my blood pressure, although it is still a little on the high side so my medication has been increased slightly. I also asked about my recent retinopathy scan and the worrying news that I now have ‘moderate diabetic eye disease. The doctor had a letter that provided more detail – apparently, what I have is still the background retinopathy reported last year, but the specialist had observed deposits rather closer to the macula than might be hoped for. Really, it’s the luck of the draw as these deposits can form anywhere on the retina, it just so happens in my case that they are potentially threatening the one area that is chiefly responsible for central vision. I don’t know yet if I will require any treatment for this, so I have an anxious wait until my aapointment at the eye hospital comes through.

Cobden-Midanbury-Woodmill-Riverside Park
There has been another, rather profound effect on me from my increase activity levels – my blood sugar levels have started to drop at such a rate that it has been hard to keep up by lowering my insulin doses. Two nights in a row I was awoken with hypos of 2.1 mmol/l (38 mg/dl) and 2.7 mmol/l (49 mg/dl), despite having snacks before bed. Thanks goodness I woke up! I have been lowering my basal insulin (lantus) as well as lowering my meal boluses (novorapid), but still battling lows so the effect of the exercise is even more profound than I can predict! I seem to be just about getting it right now, having reduced my lantus from 8 units to 5 and being very sparing with my meal bolus. My total daily dose is now around 30 units, with my basal comprising less than 20% of the total – normally, the split should be around 40-50% of TDD! Perhaps I’m nearly cured!

Hoping for another, longer run tomorrow, I’m already feeling a lot healthier and have much more energy, although I’m still a little on edge when going to sleep at night because of those hypos as they were the first night ones I have had for several months.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Silly Sally Sugar Lump

There’s a lot of talk these days about the modern Western diet and how it is contributing to the rising numbers of people being diagnosed with diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Processed foods are often made more palatable by including varying amounts of sugar, salt or fat. Less sugar often means more fat, and vice versa, so it’s hard to keep track of how far off a healthy diet any particular foodstuff will take you. For this reason, I tend to cook my own food from fresh ingredients whenever possible, but it is still difficult to avoid the salt and sugar in so many foods where it might not be expected, certainly in the quantities often used. Manufacturers include these elements because they know that our palate and brains crave them, and without them food may taste bland and uninteresting.

Since my diagnosis I’ve become a lot more careful of the food I buy, checking packets before purchase and comparing products to make sure that I am buying the healthiest of what is available. However, although companies are now obliged to print the quantities of constituents in a standardised format, this standardisation does not apply to the size or clarity of the text – so I can often be found whipping out my spyglass (so to speak) so that I can read the tiny print on packaging. I feel this is wrong, and is effectively hiding that information from me – possibly even discriminating against me because my eyesight does not match that of a hawk in its prime, and making it more difficult for me to make decisions about carbohydrate content that are crucial to my blood sugar control! It’s like any ‘small print’ really, that is a legal obligation to display, but there are no rules on whether it should be actually legible to a person with average vision.

I feel a campaign coming on – writing to food manufacturers asking for an explanation of why they choose to effectively hide this important information away. I think I know the reason, but it would be interesting to see how they wriggle out of their obligation!


Silly Sally Sugar Lump would often take the blame,
For making humans huge as hills just mentioning her name!
She knew that humans fell for her, and longed for her sweet kiss,
So she’d hide away in all their food, the wicked little miss!

She had a friend called Sammy Salt, so similar in name,
And he agreed it would be fun to join in Sally’s game!
And though they tasted different, they hid themselves quite well,
Blending in with savoury and sweetened food as well!

Sally hid in Chinese food, as spicy as could be,
And Sammy hid in puddings which you might think are salt-free!
Then governments decided they would stop their little racket,
By forcing companies making food to name them on the packet!

But governments had missed a trick, so companies were free
To hide the names by writing them as tiny as can be.
So humans often overlooked just what their food contained,
And their pernicious influence on taste buds still remained.

It’s time to make it obvious, for they can harm our health,
Though Sally’s game has made her name, and no doubt fame and wealth!
A little Sally does us good, she cheers our heart and mind,
But too much Sally day-by-day you’ll find is not so kind!

As for Sammy Salt, you’ll find that we need him to live,
Too much of him, however is a certain negative –
So count each gram that you consume, and never more than six,
Eat both in moderation and be wary of their tricks!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Diabetic tamagotchis...

One of the people on the diabetes forum suggested that it would be a good idea if trainee medics were made to carry around and care for a tamagotchi-type thing that was programmed with diabetes. They’d have to check its levels, feed it, ‘inject’ it, cope with activity and illness etc. Then, at the end of the training period the tamagotchi could be checked for its ‘HbA1c’ to see how well they had been looked after.

Of course, the device would be programmed with all the variables that make life as a diabetic so interesting and fun, plus a few random unknowns just to spice things up every now and again! At the review, the medics whose devices had fared badly would be castigated for their poor control – taking no heed of their protestations about inexplicable readings and assurances they had been working as hard as they could…

Welcome to the lecture! Now this may sound prophetic,
But by the time you leave this room , you’ll all be diabetic!
Don’t worry, we’re not going to tie your pancreatic duct,
But take part in some training that is often overlooked!

You’ve read all about diabetes - that’s all well and good,
But that is generalistic, so I think that you all should
Discover how much work’s involved to keep your levels steady,
So take your tamagotchis and start them when you’re ready!

I’m sure from all your reading you’ll know where you should begin?
For every gram of carb you eat, then you must type it in,
And if you’ve done some exercise, like gardening and such.
That might affect your levels, so estimate how much…

And if you get a virus, then your levels might climb high
And sometimes you’ll be really bad, but never find out why!
And maybe in the morning, as you watch the rising Sun,
You’ll be afflicted by the lovely dawn phenomenon!

Those of you on insulin, you’re all allowed to test,
If not, then we won’t let you as you might become obsessed!
I’d like to see you all back here when three months have gone by
Be warned – if you should fail we’ll want to know the reason why!

Three months pass...

Ah Jones! Your tamagotchi isn’t looking very good!
I can’t believe you’ve tried at all, I thought you understood?
Your A1c is dreadful, so can you please explain?
Or must I just repeat myself time and time again?

What’s that? This diabetes lark is harder than you thought?
But you said when you started it was nothing of the sort!
Perhaps you’ll have more empathy when patients come to you,
And acknowledge the complexities they speak about are true!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Pick a cure, any cure…

I’m becoming increasingly disturbed at the deceitful, exploitative charlatans that purport to be offering ‘cures’ for diabetes. Often, their ‘treatments’ or ‘methods’ are potentially life-threatening, playing on the fears of vulnerable people for pecuniary gain. There is currently NO CURE for diabetes. It can be managed, sometimes to the extent that a person can live a full and healthy life without the need for medication – but even then, it is never cured. Should such a person indulge just once on the wrong foods, it will quickly become all too apparent that they are not cured, but still subject to their body’s inability to cope with the resultant glucose in the way that a non-diabetic person could.

Some of the following are actually presented as ‘cures’, offered to millions on a daily basis, and no doubt drawing in a few unsuspecting souls who are convinced by the pseudo-medical mumbo-jumbo that supports their vaunted claims. See if you can guess which ones are being aggressively marketed on the web at this very moment!

Drinking bleach, magnetic water,
The toenails of your first-born daughter,
Wearing tin foil underwear,
Eye of newt and nose of bear,
Whelk infusions, ultrasound,
Keep your earlobes tightly bound,
Drink fresh rat milk every night,
Never eat an egg that’s white,
Spend a weekend with a goat,
Wear some seaweed round your throat.
If a pig is facing West,
Rub some pickles on your chest,
Eat raw carrots by the pound,
Only eat a fruit that’s round,
Bathe each night in fresh manure –
All these guaranteed to cure!

If these don’t work, or you feel funny,
We don’t care – we’ve got your money!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Running the Southampton Alps!

Cobden-Mousehole-Peartree

I’m starting to get into a bit more of a routine now with the running, with three runs in the past four days. I had to take yesterday off as my legs were a little on the sore side from Thursday and Friday’s runs. It seems I may be getting a little addicted to the challenge of big hills at the moment. I could have gone for a relatively fast and flat run through the park alongside the river this morning, but I had a route in my mind that was an extension of last weeks ups and downs, but without the unintended loop back due to the map inaccuracies. This would take me on a wider loop, which turned out (as you can see in the pictures) to be almost heart-shaped!

Why all this determination to get back running again? Well, apart from the fact that I have the Great South Run to run in October, I got a bit of a shock the other day. A week ago I went for my annual diabetic retinal scan. After they’ve taken the pictures you have to wait to see if they will send you a letter. Getting the letter is not good news – at my hospital they only send you one if they have found something of concern. Unfortunately, on Thursday, I got the letter. It said that I have ‘moderate diabetic eye disease’, which is a worsening from the ‘background retinopathy I was told I had last year. My first thoughts were that I was going blind and I’ve only been diagnosed two years – how can this be happening to me? My HbA1c has been practically perfect since I got things under control, with numbers of 11.8, 6.8, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6 and 5.6 (the frist number was diagnosis, the one after about six weeks later). What do these numbers mean? Well, ideally, the HbA1c should be below 6.5 in order to minimise the damage that diabetes can do to the small blood vessels – particularly those in the eyes and kidneys. With my numbers I am well under that figure.

So, why has my retinal scan shown deterioration? The answer is more than likely the high blood pressure I have been suffering for several months now, as this is also a big factor, alongside diabetes, in determining how healthy or otherwise your eyes are. So, it’s a warning to me that I have to get the BP down so no further damage is done. As things stand, it is unlikely that I will need treatment, just more regular eye checks. The problem may even improve if I start looking after myself better. So, that is my aim – I already have very good blood sugar control, now I need to take every possible step to make sure my blood pressure is perfect!

Cobden-Glenfield

A lot of the steps I will be taking currently seem to involve running up huge hills! I’m happy to say, though, that I have seen a rapid improvement already in my pace around these hilly courses. Thursday’s run was 11 min/mile pace, and Friday’s 10 min/mile pace over the same route. Today’s run was slower, but I’m building more distance already, so now up to 3.1 miles (5k). I’m sure I could have managed a much quicker and longer run if I had opted for the flatter route! Main thing is not to get injured. My legs are not as young as they used to be, so can take a little longer to recover – I need to resist the cravings for endorphins and make sure I take rest days. Might not be too difficult, given the weather that is being forecast!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Farts versus Injections

There was a story in Wigan Today recently about a customer in a pub restaurant complaining when a woman with Type 1 diabetes injected at her table just prior to eating her meal. He claimed that she had upset his children and likened the act to the same social unpleasantness as breaking wind in public. Rather than taking the opportunity to educate his children about the unfortunate need for some people to inject in order to stay alive, instead he no doubt instilled in them the same prejudices he himself displayed.

So, are farts in restaurants more acceptable than injections? Let’s see what transpired…

Excuse me, I’m sorry, I must ask you to leave,
For our customers are shocked and distressed,
And there’s been a complaint that you made someone faint,
And the management are far from impressed!

But what did I do? I’m innocent, I say!
I was just sat here eating my meal!
I’m embarrassed and hurt by the things you assert,
Have you no care for how I might feel?

If anyone should leave, then that woman over there
Just frightened my kids by injecting!
So disgusting and crude, alarming and rude,
It is her that you should be ejecting!

So, you claim that a lady who must do that to live,
In a restaurant is far less befitting
Than to lift up one cheek and let out a slow leak
Of the gases that you were emitting?

I admit that I trumped, but it wasn’t so loud,
I don’t see what there is to discuss!
What did I do wrong? It didn’t take long,
I don’t see why you’re making a fuss!

Sir, injections are fine just before you can dine,
But a fart is a toilet-based act!
It is far from discreet and puts folk off their meat,
So in future, remember that fact!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Southampton Forum Meet!

Had a fantastic day meeting up with my fellow DM'ers here in Southampton today! Biggest surprise of the day was when Katie turned up - she's supposed to be in Australia! As usual, when in the company of diabetics, my levels hit double figures for much of the day, but it is always worth it!

Only took a few piccies, so here they are:

Nikki, Tom and Shiv


Duane, Sam and Amy


Fellow Bitterne Parkers!


Katie!


Nosh!


Lots of healthy chips 'n' stuff!




Sunday, 1 August 2010

Thank you Mr Map – not!

I was itching to get out for my run this morning – I had the route running through my head all of yesterday and was looking forward to the challenge. Back on Monday I reconnoitred a route that would involve even more monstrous hills than the ones I ran last Sunday, which now appear positively Lilliputian by comparison!

It’s still fairly early on in my efforts to get back to running decent distances, so I was a little apprehensive about how things might go. The start of the run took me up the same road as last week, but this time instead of turning off I kept running upwards. I had a quick glance at my Garmin as I reached the crest of the hill and saw that it was exactly half a mile. Gradient on this section was 14%, which may not sound much, but go out and find such a hill and you’ll understand that such a hill would not be found in Holland! More was to come. I was happy that my breathing was good - I have a good sense of how to pace my efforts, whatever the terrain, after 30 years of running experience.

The hill was followed by an even steeper descent. Many people might imagine that, slow as the climb might be expected to be, surely you would make up time on the descent, but that’s not quite true. Going up stresses the muscles of course, but the main limiting factor is the heart and lungs – you have to be able to take in enough oxygen to feed those muscles. Going downhill, however, brings a different set of problems. You can recover your oxygen debt as gravity assists your downward trajectory, but the impact stresses on muscles and joints is far more extreme. Over three times your body weight will be the impact force with each footfall, and given that I am currently heavier than I have ever been, this is considerable for me at the moment. I also bear in mind that my leg once snapped due to such stresses and that tends to temper my pace!

I then had a flattish stretch, just a slight incline before coming to what I expected to be my biggest challenge – a huge uphill section that was at an incline of 28%! I was struggling towards the top, I will admit, and thankful for the subsequent flat section before running steeply down again. I had expected that that would be the end of my need to run skywards, but not to be! I had taken a quick glance at a map beforehand, and estimated that I could escape the traffic of the main road over the last section by running down a side road, connecting to another road at the bottom and then having a flat remaining run home. Stupid map! Significant detail had been omitted (as I discovered later when looking online), meaning that I now had little choice but to run back up to the summit of the original hill that I had started from, this time from the opposite side. On this side of the hill the incline was 22%, so a real lung-burster at this stage! A final long descent then brought me home.

I was very pleased with my achievement. Although it again appears slow, the hills involved were huge and yet I still managed to keep going all the way. I’m sure that, as my fitness improves, I will be moving much faster up them so my overall pace will improve considerably. The run has given me great confidence to start extending future runs – just hope I can stay injury free for the duration! Love those endorphins! Hoping my legs won’t suffer quite so much as they did last week! Blood sugar levels weren’t bad – 8.1 mmol/l before (146 mg/dl) and 9.4 mmol/l after (169 mg/dl).

Apologies for no poetry lately – the Muse has deserted me for the time being! I have one or two ideas though, so hope to include a few over the coming week. Please look back through the archives!