April 2020 marked change for a vast amount of people globally and for me more so than most. I’m in the small category of Type 1 diabetics to be diagnosed post 25, and I’d been living with juggling that pesky little ball since October 2018, aged 36.
To say I lived in utter denial was an understatement. I mean, not that I didn’t believe I had Type 1 diabetes, that would be stupid given that my body had wasted away and left me skin and bone as well as the constant trips to the loo.
My daughter and I laid on the sofa eating biscuits and enjoying The Twilight Saga movies in a marathon, only I had failed to deliver the insulin for the tasty treats I was happily ramming in my mouth. The following day I felt like hell on earth. Realising I could barely catch my breath, I checked my blood sugars, which the poor blood monitor had no hope of reading my treacle blood and simply said, HI. This wasn’t a polite greeting. The ketone test however delivered an eye watering 7 and panic set in. April 2020 was not a time to visit a hospital unless you really couldn’t deal with something yourself. I was lucky and fixed my stupid mistake fairly quickly. Sometimes you need for things to get very scary, very quickly for your eyes to promptly open to the reality of how dangerous living with diabetes can be, that’s what happened that day and I knew unequivocally, something had to change.
I started looking after myself better which wasn’t easy with finger pricking, my fingertips were black and blue. So, at the end of June 2020 when I received the Freestyle Libre system, it was a welcome relief. I did a lot of research and found many people looking to dodge post prandial spikes had switched to a low-carb diet. I joined a Facebook Group called Diabetes and The Low Carb Life (DATLCL.)
It may come as a shock to you that this article isn’t about a switch in diet though. Sarah, the founder of DATLCL inspired me in so many ways with fitness that I leapt into action. It started with a fitness game which I can tell you is extremely addictive, Nintendo RingFit. It’s so much fun you barely realise you’re working out…until the next day that is!
I then discovered the blood sugar lowering benefits of walking and forced the household off the sofa and out into the countryside surrounding our home. Or I’d go by myself.
When winter was on its way, I got nervous about missing my walks and got a treadmill instead. In my early twenties I’d unceremoniously fallen off a treadmill and suffered injuries that took almost a year to heal, so it was with trepidation I walked on the thing, vowing I’d never run on it. By this point Sarah had been posting pictures and videos of herself following her Couch to 5K sessions. My replies were also along the lines of, ‘I only run if I’m being chased.’ You get the picture.
In an epic ‘U’ turn, in December 2020 I decided to give it a bash. Not even I could believe what I was doing! I’d seen a spark of something in Sarah’s eyes. I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly it was, but I knew I wanted it, too.
In February 2021, I graduated C25k. If you’re waiting for me to tell you how much I love every footfall of running, you’ll be waiting a long time. What I will tell you is that I am rapturously, head over heels, in love with the feeling post run. So, I needed another challenge and signed up to do a 10k run in aid of Roy Castle’s Lung Cancer Foundation Trust on Easter Sunday 2021. I raised £90 when I’d set out to raise £50, so I was nervous come the day that I wouldn’t make it. My training had only taken me to 5 miles, and that was on a treadmill! But, I did it and it felt absolutely amazing!
After that, I wanted more. I couldn’t sleep or concentrate without another goal to work toward. One very early and panicked morning I woke up and signed up to complete the Great North Run in aid of Diabetes UK. If I thought I was in a panic for something to do before signing up, you should have seen me afterward!
Ideas flooded my mind. As a result of all the training I was putting in, my love for writing had fallen to the wayside. I’ve been a writer since I could pick up a pen, but I published my first novel in 2013, with 4 more titles to follow and too many more sitting impatiently on my hard drive. I had to find a way to do both. Thus, with help from my friend, Sarah, The Sugar Rush Runner was born!
Since 14th April 2021 I’ve clocked up almost 100 miles of training and raised £400 of my £500 fundraising goal for Diabetes UK. Alongside this I’ve produced a weekly blog talking about running, health, wellbeing, other forms of exercise and diabetes which I hope will help inspire people to move. I’m far from being fast, but what I am is motivated and I take my hat off to anyone with the drive and determination to improve and reach goals. The only person I compare myself to is me. That’s a great attitude to have from the beginning.
The Great North Run 2021 is my current goal, but this won’t mark the end of The Sugar Rush Runner…she has many, many more miles to go!
I’d be absolutely thrilled if you’d follow me on my journey. No, really, ecstatic…
Thanks for reading 🙂
L.T. Kelly (Lucy) is a 39-year-old girlfriend, mother of two children, romantic novelist, Mental Health Paralegal and Type 1 Diabetic living in a tiny hamlet in the Lincolnshire countryside.