I began running when I was twelve. I would watch my sisters braid swinging back and forth and front of me, and I would concentrate on my breathing. I would follow her through the woodsy trails of Westlake, Ohio for miles upon miles until we hit the end of the trail. I began to love the rhythm and the challenge. It was, and still is, an incredible feeling of freedom. I didn’t need anything at all; just the air in my lungs and the motivation to keep quickening my stride. Later in life, I would take on marathon running and would feel an overwhelming pride when finishing 26.2 miles in various cities around the U.S. 

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in adulthood, it was of no surprise to me. I had all of the symptoms a person should have when they are struggling with outrageously high sugars. I couldn’t stay awake for more than a few hours. I was drinking water constantly and always feeling the panic of extreme thirst. I never felt “well” and had constant headaches. When I first tested my sugar in 2011, it was at 485. I would later learn that my A1C was at a 15% (off the charts, literally). Even though I was not surprised by my diagnosis, I was not prepared for the lifestyle change. Being insulin dependent was a challenge. I was having a difficult time not getting “lows” and feeling faint after workouts. I didn’t feel like I had the time, between work and graduate school, to keep a food journal. I was feeling overwhelmed, and found myself in the E.R with drastically low sugars a few times. I didn’t know how to continue running competitively while still maintaining control of my diabetes. I stopped running. I stopped recognizing myself. 

Noticing my struggle, my Mom had me meet with Mary Ellen Grady, a nurse specializing in diabetic instruction at the Cleveland Clinic. After learning about me and having many conversations with me about my life goals, Mary Ellen began to realize I had a lot to overcome. We started with small diet goals. She gave me a chart to show me how many carbohydrates I was to eat depending on the amount of time I was prepared to exercise and what my sugar was at that time. I eventually began to use an insulin pump. It was strange to constantly be attached to something, and I struggled with the feeling that I had lost some of my freedom. However, the pump allowed me to control my sugar much better than I had been able to on shots. I realized, I had in fact gained more freedom. At our last instruction class, Mary Ellen gave me an article about a man who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in adult hood and is now a strong competitor in marathons. I felt it deep inside my heart that I needed to begin this journey as well. 

In these next fourteen weeks, I will be sharing this journey with you and on October 7th, 2012 I will be running the Findlay, OH Red, White and Blue 26.2 Marathon. This page is meant to support any athlete, aspiring marathon runner, family member or friend of a person with Type 1 Diabetes. This page will provide you with advice and inspiration to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. More importantly, this page will help you, and me, to remember that YOU control how you choose to live your life. You and I can overcome any challenge and accomplish great things. 

Ashley
6/19/2012 11:14:56

You are such a beautiful, wonderful woman Krissy!! :) You WILL certainly reach all of your goals!!!

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Jon
6/19/2012 12:29:05

Very inspiring. Prayers for you to keep your spirit and your determination.

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Julie
6/21/2012 15:12:49

go krissy! I support you all of the way!

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    Kris Fergus is training to run Red White and Blue 26.2 in Findlay, Ohio on October 7th, 2012. Though this is not her first marathon, it is the first race in which she will run after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Training began on Monday, June 18th, and Kris will be keeping a blog to bring you with her on her journey and she will be raising money for Lakewood Hospital during the process.

    donate to Lakewood Hospital

    Please click the Give button to help patients at Lakewood Hospital who cannot pay for their insulin.
    Funds will be donated on race day, 10/7/2012.

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