I think it is important to take the time to recap on the cause that we are donating to on race day.
Lakewood Hospital holds a special place in my heart, because their nurses have given me a lot of support since my diagnosis. They are both encouraging and motivating. When the opportunity came up to donate money on behalf of Lakewood hospital to patients who have a difficult time paying for their diabetic treatment, I was happy to help. I try to imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have the means to control my diabetes. My life would certainly be shortened due to the medical issues that occur with uncontrolled blood sugars. I also think of Lakewood Hospital, and how different my life would be without their continued guidance and support. If this cause means something to you as well, I encourage you to donate.
Thank you for reading and for being a part of this journey.
I found a running path along the canal in Notting Hill. It is really fantastic when I can find a path that is so beautiful. It makes the run go by pretty fast. I think running in a new place is the best way to get to know an area. I've learned all the street names and have even come across little cafes and boutiques that are hidden away from the highly trafficked central area of the city. I found someone to run with so that I'm never alone in case I get lost or have an issue with my diabetes. I told her all about my diagnosis, and she was completely understanding. I've realized that people are a lot more understanding than I ever thought they would be- you just have to give them the chance. Anyway, when running gets boring- trying finding a new path! The change up might help to ease the monotony that you may occasionally feel when running long distances.
What I realized today is that you have to allow yourself to change into the person to want to be. This doesn't mean you aren't a good person already, but if you want to become a marathon runner, you have to start seeing yourself that way. If I always allowed myself to feel like I was an outsider to that lifestyle, I would never fully commit to it. I'm beginning to allow it to be a part of who I am and a defining part of my personality. If I want to change, then I have to actively take part in that transformation.
Thanks for reading!
They are different for everyone. Today was a very long day for me. Getting around London isn't exactly easy. To get to work everyday, I have to switch underground lines twice and take two different buses. I also have quite a bit of walking to do in between as well. I love looking around and seeing new places, but the commute can take a lot out of me. When I got back tonight all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep until the morning. I had to get my mind right, and think back to the things that motivate me to run even when I can think of a million excuses of why I shouldn't have to. Motivators are those things that keep us going, give you a second wind, inspire you to move and take action. It could be something very deep or even something a bit surfaced. It doesn't matter, it's what keeps you focused. I wish I could tell you that I'm always motivated by staying healthy due to my diabetes. The truth is, that doesn't get me out of bed at 6am for a workout. What does motivate me though, is comfortably fitting into all the amazing clothes in the London stores on my commute to work. It might seem stupid to some people, but it's one of many things that inspire me to get up and run. When you know what your motivators are, it becomes easier to concentrate on those things and fight against the excuses.
I was recently reading up on Type 1 Diabetes in order to get a better understanding of my diagnosis. I came across some interesting facts that I thought might interest you as well. The first diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes was in the 1970s. That is a fairly recent discovery. Even though researchers have made huge strides to improving the lifestyle of diabetics through insulin pumps in this relatively short period of time, I believe there is still a lot more research that can be done in the future. The disease was first known to only occur in children. However, recent discoveries have shown that adults can also be diagnosed later on in life.
Bushra Kafeel, from the Onlymyhealth.com
Editorial Team wrote an article in June of 2011 stating, "According to some studies, the maximum number of type 1 diagnoses is from the colder northern climates. Researchers consider viral infections due to cold climate as a triggering factor for the disease". I found this particularly interesting for two reasons. First, because no studies I have read thus far can find a definite
cause for the disease (Only strong correlations). Also, I am from the North.
According to the American Diabetes Association, only 5 percent of the diabetic population have Type 1. This is a very small percentage of Americans. This fact has motivated me to bring more awareness to this group of people that I am a part of. I have often been asked what the difference is between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. A simple explanation is that people with Type 1 Diabetes do not produce insulin in order to control their blood sugars and they are insulin dependent. People with Type 2 Diabetes cannot efficiently use the insulin that is produced in their bodies. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis, although rare, these people can also become insulin dependent.
The risks associated with uncontrolled type 1 Diabetes are; loss of eyesight, heart problems, liver and kidney problems, susceptibility to infections and amputations due to disease. This fact is an amazing motivator for keeping myself healthy and following my nutritional plan. Thankfully, I have been diagnosed with a disease that only requires effort in order to control it. I must continue to eat properly and keep a food journal, exercise regularly, check my blood sugars consistently, and always take my insulin. When I think about it, I am almost fortunate for my diagnosis. Staying active and healthy is important regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. Now I have a reason to stay consistently focused.
I am excited to continue to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes and to help support the research and development of devices that will continue to enhance the lifestyle of individuals who have it.
I look forward to writing to you again, soon!
Greetings from Notting Hill! I am happy that you were able to hear from some of my siblings during my travel to Europe!
I have learned to most important lesson when training, traveling abroad and controlling my diabetes. Get into a routine! Immediately upon arrival, I scoped out running paths and went grocery shopping for healthy food. I looked at my work schedule and wrote down what time I would be eating meals and what time I would set aside for my workouts. Without a schedule and planned routine, managing training and diabetes can be very overwhelming. I look forward to sharing more with you soon!
Hey everyone, my name is Jon Fergus and I am Kris's younger brother. I would like to take an opportunity to share some of my experiences as an avid weight lifter (over 10 years) and a part time high school football and weight training coach. Marathon running takes a form of training very different than that of football or body building but in my experience the difficulty for most people is where to begin and how to distinguish progression in their training.
My suggestion to a new person in training is to take the first week and focus on dieting. An interesting thing my athletes experience is the obvious effects their diet from as recent as the night before to as long as a few months on their ability to engage and keep stamina with all exercises. Some easy to avoid foods that will cause fatigue, drowsiness, cramps and bloating while training are soda products, chips, fried foods (fries, fried chicken, fast foods, etc.), too much white breads and pure white sugar. Of course, if a person has diabetes I or II they should already be on a plan with a personal nutritionist and can scan through this section. So for the first week, without lifting a weight, I would suggest to take these foods out of a new person in training's diet completely. I would strongly suggest that the person drinks large amounts of water (which helps lean out the body, drinks carrying sodium and sugar do the opposite), eat lean meats and many different colored fruits and vegetables (the more colors the wider variety of vitamins!). Bananas are great but are known to cause constipation with consistent over use. When training begins sports drinks are only to be used during or immediately after exercise, otherwise only water. When coming off of eating processed and sugar based foods, a person may get several fits of cravings, this is OKAY, they will PASS. A weird phenomenon is that once sugar is out of a persons diet, all foods start to taste significantly better (due to several reasons, a basic reason would be the coming down from endorphins created by sugar based foods that make our cravings seek more sugar for more pleasure) and it forces a person to try new foods and cooking styles. For stamina and protein, I encourage reading up on Super Foods (Chia seeds, avocado, kale, etc.).
So why lift weight? Well, if you are thinking of running a marathon but have never trained or have not trained in a long time, there are a few basic reasons to consider starting your journey in the weight room. Consider this: muscle weighs more than fat, muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle a person has, the more they naturally burn and the 'easier' it is to keep a lean body type. Something to remember: low weight/high repetitions yield lean muscles, high weight/low repetitions yield bulky muscles. Running is the best workout you can do for your core muscles (abdominals, hip flexor, quadriceps). Also, your abdominals and calf muscle tissue fibers are different from your other muscles such as your chest or biceps, so in order to improve these muscles you must do very high repetitions on a consistent schedule. On lifting only days moderate amounts of caffeine may help keep focus in the weight room but for many reasons should not be used for long distance running days (if your heart is beating too fast, WALK!). And make sure you sweat, sounds gross, but its one of the best ways to clear out your system.
My final two pieces of advice are to stretch and to periodically take pictures of yourself. It sounds weird, but keeping a log of pictures lets you know how you are progressing in a very productive way. I suggest once a week and to keep it to yourself. Stretching-wise I will suggest to stretch every night, training or not, grab a medicine ball (or basketball) and a smaller hard ball (golf ball, baseball, field hockey ball) and engage in deep tissue stretching. Here is an explanation of what that is by Chris Gizzi, a former NFL player and Air Force Reserve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLxD-G-MfMI&feature=plcp
Having a close member of the family being diagnosed with type I diabetes could have been devastating news. But because Krissy has been so open, honest and charismatic about her diagnosis, it has become, for me, an opportunity to learn. The information involved with diabetes is extensive and takes a lot of time, dedication and humility to fully understand. Above all, as a family member and a fellow athlete, I find new dimensions of support I can offer on a daily basis. Most of the time, I feel, my greatest support for Krissy is my ability to shut up, listen, and believe. When someone gets a diagnosis of diabetes everyone else becomes a doctor and feels they can pick apart where a person has 'gone wrong' and I guess no one can understand how offensive it sounds until someone picks them apart. Krissy was born with Type I diabetes but I don't feel bad about that, it happens, its random, but what I do feel bad about is that we ate, drank, exercised and lived nearly the exact same way growing up and she ended up being the one with the ailment. What makes me feel productive about the situation is that Krissy allows me to be a part of it, and she allows me so because I approach her with respect, dignity and questions (not answers). To all with friends or family with diabetes, I suggest no grand gestures, no drastic changes in the environment but instead an adaptation. When the changes become a part of everyday life for all, then no one will feel outcasted. And above all, be a friend... they already have doctors.
Hello, world. My name is Cait Fergus and I am Kris's older sister. Kris is pretty much on her way to London right now for a summer job and once she gets settled, she will be writing to you about training for the marathon and managing her diabetes while abroad. She asked me to write to you while she's in transit.
I was a long-distance runner in high school and I have kept it up ever since. I don't run marathons like my sister, but I am a runner who considers two miles a warm up and a cool down. But recently, my foot hurts. It hurts a lot.
I was in grad school when the pain increased. I have always had a little pain in my foot because of a hereditary angle to my toes, but maybe city-living in Boston and New York for three years--walking everywhere and all that cement made the pain more noticeable. I saw a weird bump at the base of my left big toe. I went in to the student clinic at BU. They told me I had some cysts--typical for a toe with a bunion that large...
BUNION!? Gross! Really? I thought that was a kind of wart--not a bone and tissue thing. "Will it get better if I ice it or something?" I asked. Nope. I had two choices. Live with the pain or get surgery.
Right now I'm living with the pain. I have moved again to Chicago (yet another big city), and I have had to be creative to keep fit while not running my feet to excruciating pain. Kris asked me to share some of these things with you. As a general tip, if you have a bunion and are not in a time or place in your life to have surgery, keep active by doing things you can do barefoot:
1. In-home (or back yard or beach), barefoot work-outs. I have been doing a 30-day at-home Crossfit workout by Clean Eats in the Zoo (cleaneatisinthezoo.com). For some of the outdoor running, you can jog in place barefoot as long as you keep it challenging.
2. DANCE! Be totally ridiculous. Learn dancing from music videos (Beyonce is a fave) or make up dances to songs. Rock out in the privacy of your own home or back yard. Unless you're an exhibitionist--then go ahead and bust a move at the beach. I have made a really challenging ab-workout laying-down-dance to Adelle's 'Rumor Has It". It's hilarious. I'm not quite brave enough to make a YouTube channel of these things, but maybe soon.
*I typically like to use songs with really peppy beats and workout in time with them. You want a dancer's body? Move to music. Focus on your form.
3. Swim and do water aerobics. Or just play in a pool. Pick any sport you like and make it work in the water.
4. Get ankle-weights and lay on the floor. Imitate running, biking, slow walking, dancing. Depending on how you are laying, these are also ab workouts.
Other than that, just play. Kris and I are lucky to have two crazypants nephews (and a niece on the way) to play with. Chasing them in the sprinklers, kicking a ball in the yard, picking them up and swinging them over and over and over and over (etc) again is fun and a great, wholesome way to stay active too. Also, my fiance and I bought a soccer ball recently and we make up "Kick the ball" games in the park. If I'm playing, I don't notice my foot hurts. Or I'm in the grass or sand so it's easier.
I still run on days when I can work from home and ice my foot for a few hours after, but I miss how I used to be able to lace up my running shoes and run on just about any surface. For now, I just have to make do with what is going on with me and my big ugly bunion. I have managed to stay fit and even become more fit with my alternatives to distance running.
I have learned many things from my sister Kris. One is that life can present you with several bricks on your journey. You can let the bricks form a wall in front of you, you can chain the brick to your ankle and let it sink you, or you can look life right in the eye and say, "Go ahead. Give me the brick," and you take it, and you learn how to walk with the brick. It doesn't get easier; you just get stronger.
Every runner knows what this feels like. It is a time in your run where you feel mentally and physically exhausted and unable to continue, and you know you must get past it and keep going. When my older sister first took me running she said to be prepared to hit a wall. She told me that she didn't know how many I would hit or how long they would last but that eventually the feeling would fade and I would overcome it. She could not have been more right. I remember hitting these walls before, and I wish I could say they get easier to get through, but they don't. I used to say that my worst "wall" was in the sixteenth mile of the Chicago Marathon. I got through it. Today, I hit a wall that lasted quite awhile. I couldn't believe how difficult my run was. I only had to complete three miles and it felt like I was in that sixteenth mile again, praying myself to the finish line. I just kept telling myself, "you will get through this and you will finish strong". Overcoming a wall is an exhilarating, wonderful feeling so I kept that in mind. I wanted to feel the relief of the "second wind". In the last .5 mile of my run today, I started to feel myself overcoming it. When I was struggling to get through those last few steps, I increased my speed and ran another mile. I suppose I wanted to prove to myself what my Mom always tells me, "You are stronger than you give yourself credit for". I also made a promise to myself that I would concentrate on getting myself to a healthy weight. I felt heavy on my legs and I had to be honest with myself about the reason. When I told my Dad about this, he asked me to blog it. My first reaction was, "yeah right- I am NOT going to talk about my weight". Then I had a change of heart. This is all apart of the journey and I don't want to leave anything out.
Today is day two of training! I’ll be doing a four mile run later this evening and my goal is to finish it in 40 minutes. I’ll be spending the day with my Mom preparing for my summer in London where I have been placed for an internship. When my Mom and I spend the day together, it usually includes going out to lunch (and shopping and nails). This made me think of a segment of the Today Show that my oldest sister showed me the other day. David Zinczenko, Editor and Chief of Men’s Health Magazine, gives you healthy alternatives when you decide to go out to eat. The most helpful part of this show is that he shows you the equivalent of what you are eating to something you would probably never sit down and eat in one sitting. It is actually really funny! I’ve included a video. Enjoy :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su05j3sWZS0