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From Abby: Robot Runner.

Abby is the runner of this team, mostly because I just despise running.  (I'll go hiking for hours, or walking, or shopping [shopping is a sport, no?] ... but running?  Not for me.)  Today she's talking about being part cheetah, part robot while exercising.

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Sometimes I feel like a robot. Okay, all the time I feel like a robot, but sometimes more than others. Sometimes I'm pretty sure people are on the verge of stopping to ask if I need help, mostly in part because of all my robot things.  I don't exactly pack light.

For example, when I go running outside by myself, I am carrying a ton of stuff. I live in a very populated area. Nothing bad has ever happened during a run (knock on virtual wood). I have had lows, but I've always been prepared for them, because I always take way more crap than I need with me.  It's probably the nurse in me.  Or growing up with a nurse for a mother.  Or I'm well on my way to Mary Poppins Mom Purse status. [Note from Kerri:  It happens to the best of us.]  Whatever the reason, I bring the following things with me while running by myself:

  • Pump
  • Dexcom
  • Glucose Gel
  • Glucose Tabs
  • Keys
  • iPod

And this is why I have achieved robot runner status. I hold my keys and iPod in my hands. In my tallygear is my pump and Dexcom. Around my ankle is an iPod case with glucose tabs and gel in it (this is my newest idea and it's great, until you get home and it's soaked with sweat and your ankles are swollen and that thing is practically glued to your skin).

But the point is, I make it home safely.  I'm prepared for lows or highs.  I plan for the weird circumstances, like when I decide to stick to a route that's closer to home because I don't want to bring my phone. (Droids are great phones but freeking ginormous).  Regardless of the route,  get some good exercise and head clearing time.

So robot I will be, because the alternative is dangerous. And unlike Simba, I do not laugh in the face of danger. I run away.  With my robot parts flapping in the wind.

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This is one of the things that makes outside exercise challenging for me, because I wish I was part kangaroo and could just shove stuff in my (icky?) pouch.  Melissa, who let me share her tricks here, travels smart but light.  Abby travels mostly-robot.  How do you manage your diabetes crap while on the move?


Running has been the biggest challenge for me since diagnosis. It is one of my very favorite things to do, but I am still a bit too timid to go for longer than a 5K distance. Waiting on that confidence...

I'm an over packer. When I go bike riding, I've got the iPod and helmet and all those necessary things...and a BACKPACK. Inside this backpack lives my meter, juice boxes galore, a protein bar or two (or crackers, but something to keep my blood sugar up if I need it, because juice won't hold me that long), gauze, tape, and the like (I'm a klutz), my usual crap (EpiPens, Benadryl, Aleve, etc), my phone, a water bottle or two...the list just goes on and on!

Forget bike riding. Let's say I'm going for a walk. Or I'm going shopping. My sister made me this BIG boat of a really cute bag because even the more spacious Kiplings are on the small side for me. I don't leave the house without any of my medical gear because I'm not stupid, nor do I leave without snacks because there's no guarantee I'll be near a place I can get food, let alone food I can eat. Plus water. Plus medical crap. My kindle usually comes with, too. And tissues, and...I give up! There's too much stuff! A girl in one of my classes last semester once asked me for something and finished it off with "I KNEW you'd have it!" because my backpack? I beat Mary Poppins by a landslide!

I've been running outside while in Finland. My answer? Sugar packets in a ziploc, stuck in my sports bra under one arm. Keys under the other.

My only concern is that when I run out of sugar packets I brought from the US, I will have to use sugar cubes, since sugar doesn't seem to come in packets here. A little bit bulkier, a little bit... meltier.

Shopping is most definitely a sport!

As for jogging, I rarely do it. But when I do, I'm on my college campus at the track and I feel perfectly comfortable leaving my junk on the bleachers where I can keep an eye on it but not have to haul it. (I suddenly feel like an internet meme.)

I'm much more likely to take a long walk or hike, in which case I carry a small messenger bag with glucose tabs and my meter. I have a pair of cargo pants that I'll stick my stuff in sometimes too. They have amazingly deep pockets absolutely everywhere. Looove those pants.

This is a great article! It's exactly how I feel when I go out jogging or for a long walk! I'm sure people look at me crazy forbeing covered in wiresand packs and stuffed to the max but like you said, I make it home safe everytime! Thanks for the article!

I use a SPI belt for my insulin pump. I use a Nathan's ID pack for my test kit and i-phone. If I am going over 5 miles, I carry water in a fuel belt and more GU. I look like I am going into combat, bucause I have 3 belts. I also carry money incase of a real problem so I can stop at a store for soda or something else. I have only cut one run short because of low blood sugar of 31. I ate and walked home. I Have a GU every six to seven miles.

I've often thought that a mesh fishing vest with all those velcro and zip pockets would be handy for all the stuff I carry for a hike. Think I'd even label each pocket's contents with a marker. Might not be stylin', but I'd be ready.

Here's what I do - I keep my iPhone in a little Golla pouch. In the pouch, I put my house key and a Gu gel. I stuff another 2 Gu gels and some jelly beans down my bra. My pump is in a Spi belt. If I'm going for a long run, I'll sport a little running belt in which I will stash a meter, test strips, and pricker. I used to use the CGM that is integrated into my pump (A minimed), but no longer use that so just check the old fashioned way if I can't tell where I am. Been doing this for a long time quite successfully.

Whenever anyone references Mary Poppins to me I say "and I'm practically perfect, just like her!" You should say the same :)

I discovered last year that lululemon's leggings - which includes its shorts - contain a "stash pocket" around the waist that is just the perfect size for a pump and a half-empty packet of glucose tabs. Then I just zip my keys into my meter case, and off I go - with only one thing in my hand!

SRSLY tho, the stash-pocket was a godsend all winter long, where I could wear leggings with cute dresses and not have to bother clipping my pump anywhere bulky or unfashionable.

I haven't gone running since Reagan's first term, it's just too hard on my knees and shins. I do a lot of walking, though, and I carry ALMOST everything I need in my REI Travel Day Bag: Insulin pens, alcohol swabs, needles, hard candy, BG meter, earplugs, housekeys, nail clipper, Balance Bars, nutritional pamphlets from restaurants, two days worth of pills and often my wallet and phone.

The only thing I haven't been able to figure how to pack is six to twelve whole wheat crackers (which I like to munch on with my Balance Bars) without crushing them to dust. I just sling the bag over a shoulder and I'm good to go.

After running for 13 years, I fell as though I have tried a lot. For short runs, the dexie and pump get clipped on my waistband and the glucose tabs or Gu get stuffed in the sports bra or in a pocket in the running shorts. (If Dexcom made a decent carry case or had a built in clip like my pump I would cry with joy, cause that thing has almost taken a header into the asphalt/toilet/lake/etc. many times) I have an iPhone, so the iPod and the phone are one in the same and I usually have it in a iPhone waist belt or carry it.
For the longer runs, fanny pack made specifically for running is needed because the meter and extra glucose needs to go with me. However, I ditch the bulky Ping in favor of a little mini.
The athletic gels are far easier to carry, but they're expensive and if you only want a few carbs at a time (I like to eat a starburst or two every mile when on long runs) they're pretty useless. However, they're great to tuck in a pocket in case of (low) emergency.
Frankly, the treadmill is appealing only because it's got a shelf to put all my diabetes swag on.

About the crackers, you know those little plastic containers you get by the deli? You know the ones that come in three sizes? The really tiny ones work perfectly for crackers.

I was seriously thinking about this JUST this morning while I was on a short run. I even came home and googled some things to use while running long distance. This post was perfect! And all of the comments were perfect too.

My son works out and runs and bikes quite a lot. He uses a "camel pack" that he took the water bladder out of. Slim cut, light weight, just enough room for "everything", from a 100mile bike ride to a long hike or run.

I use a fanny pack where I carry my monitor, a banana, water and some essential oils that help regulate my blood sugars--bring up mostly when I am running, and my phone. I don't like the glucose tabs--they don't work long enough or provide enough energy to get me back up.
I also check my glucose before running and I lower my basal rate a couple hours before. If my sugars are higher than 150 I take into account what I ate, when and how much insulin I have on board. If I have no insulin on board besides my basal I take 0.1 units via pump and head out. My usual dosage is 1:60.
I also like the Aussie Licorice and only have to carry about 10 pieces if I go low.

I totally over-pack too. I think it is the diabetes in us. We HAVE to be prepared for the worst possible situation, right?

I use a wrist wallet on runs (walks, hikes, etc). It is a stretchy wrist band with zipper pocket made by Sprigs (they make a bigger one that fits electronics). I can fit 1 package of shot bloks cut in half (6 x 8 grams carb), 1 gel (24 grams quicker carbs), id, cash, lip screen. I wear RoadID ankle (or wrist) that links to a full medical record. And I wear my Dexcom clipped to my waist. Keys are zipped in the back zipper pocket that comes on most running shorts.

I too run with a fanny pack (it's super ugly from American Apparel). I hold my ID, honey packets or fruit snacks, mace (because "ya never know"), keys, meter, test strips and lancet. I don't carry insulin with me because I know that my blood sugar will always drop. When I was diagnosed 2.5 years ago, I was afraid to run outside and would only run on the treadmill. Now I am confident that nothing will happen to me while I'm out there.

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

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