Running to Hawaii

Aloha all,

As the rest of the family spares me the trouble of travelling all the way to Hawaii for a tiring vacation, expending copious amounts of energy floating about at sea on donut rings, paddling like there’s no tomorrow and having real difficulty deciding what exact wave to catch, I am fortunate to be home, tactically positioned by parents to guard the fortress, walk the dogs and feed the brother… and go to work!

As I have gone about dutifully fulfilling my daily tasks in hopes that the family is not suffering too much in the tropics, wearing down from the sweltering sun and getting sick of spotting yet another humuhumunukunukuapuaa (national fish of Hawaii), I have found myself with the time to reignite my passion for running.

I used to run quite competitively back in my pre-diabetes days. I ran track in the intense desert heat of Abu Dhabi. I ran in Malta’s annual school’s cross country. I competed in a village circuit in Portugal where I failed to recognise my name being called to the podium because Antonia Martin sounds so much more suave when said by the Portuguese (Anton-eeya Mar-teen). I even participated in a race through paddy fields of Malaysia. Despite having trouble deciding whether to run through the male or female finish because of you guessed it, my poor Malay skills, I still placed respectably and got to shake a Datuk’s hand (individual with a knighthood). What fantastic memories running, although on each occasion I was being yelled at to “push, push, push” in a different language. Perhaps I might make a good globe trotting maternity nurse? Think I’ll stick out my Nutrition degree and see how that goes first.

As study got more serious, I really eased off my running prowess, only finding time for a limited number of things such as tennis… and of course study.

Sadly, I am not the seasoned runner I used to be but I am seasoned type 1 diabetic… and as a type 1, I understand how good running is for blood glucose control; it helps to regulate blood glucose levels.

Running with T1D is much easier said then done and not purely because I’m massively out of breath and only have one survival mode pace. What happens to your blood sugar during a run depends on what your blood glucose is before the run, how much injected insulin you have in your system, how much and what type of carbohydrate-based food you have eaten before and during the run, the duration of your run and so much more. In recent times, there has been and incredulous amount of trial and error.

What I’ve learnt so far is that my blood sugar is the most stable in the morning when I haven’t had a single thing to eat and/or injected any immediate insulin, that I must carry my glucose tablets with me (in case my blood glucose plummets too low) to pick it back up quickly when necessary, to always jog (or sprint like it’s life and death) with my phone in hand/pocket to ensure I’m connected to my blood glucose monitor so that I can keep watch of my blood glucose levels and make sure it’s not going too low/dangerously so, to temporarily reduce the amount of long-acting/background insulin I am getting so that I do not have low blood glucose later on in the day, and finally, to look stylish whilst I’m running because it makes me go faster.

Even though it’s been tricky upping the running, I don’t doubt that my legs have the ability to carry me to Hawaii. Sure it would be a long long long run but I need to make sure the family is doing ok. All that beach lounging sounds terribly exhausting.


Glucose upon publishing: 6.3mmol/L

4 thoughts on “Running to Hawaii

  1. Aloha Antonia! Not sure if this post makes me seem like a bad parent. This reminds me, Mum and I are thinking of extending our stay. Should be back by Christmas (hopefully). Mahalo.

  2. PS did I tell you we bumped into Michelle Obama, former 1st Lady of the United States of America whilst on a walk to the Makapu’u lighthouse? She said hi and will follow your blog.

  3. Hello Antonia, you are such a positive person, and you write so well. Lili says we are living in a runner’s paradise – Shakespear Park is right there. Keep up with the good work. Cheers, Rongie

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