My name is Gillian Forsyth. At the age of 30 I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I wasn’t much of a runner or an athlete although I had just started doing some running races prior to being diagnosed. I attributed my weight loss/constant sugar cravings and thirst to this recently found sport of running. Finally, experiencing some dizziness, I actually went to the doctor who promptly told me to go to emergency as I apparently had diabetes for several months and my blood was dangerously high in sugar and had been for quite sometime. My pancreas had stopped producing insulin. I was close to going into a diabetic coma. I started to use endurance sports as a way of staying healthy. Competing in marathons, adventure races, mountain biking and ironman races.
I have completed 22 marathons, 3 ironmen, 1 leadman, and the leadville 100 mtb race. I have also qualified for the Boston marathon 4 times. Over the years I have grown to learn how each sport impacts diabetes and visa versa and I am still learning. Having diabetes is like having another job.. that job is to keep your blood sugars within a certain range at all times. I shoot for between 70-200. It doesn’t always happen. Essentially diabetes as self treated there is no single dosage that is good for all people and there certainly isn’t 1 dose that works every day and in every situation. It can be frustrating. Blood sugar and insulin combination can have different reactions depending on the time day, stress at work, the time of the month, the amount of exercise, the intensity of the exercise.. the list goes on. However, it also makes me more aware of nutrition and what I eat and drink during races than someone without it.
I have a full-time career and also coach marathon training and computrainer classes at fitness formula clubs in Chicago. I love to encourage and motivate other athletes and to see them achieve their individual goals whatever that may be.
I hope you enjoy my posts and can use them in some way to motivate yourself.
Hey there…..I have been recently searching the web for more detailed info regarding triathlon training and diabetes. In a nutshell, many of your experiences resemble mine. I was laughing so hard at the dentist story…..I may have said…..”what was your last ironman finish like”? I just finished Syracuse 70.3…..wow tough course! It made me realize even more my passion is the oly length and I am looking forward to Vermont AG nationals. I feel I have a more experienced handle on my bg readings at this level. I am 37 years old and have been diagnosed for nearly 16 years. I have the minimed pump and use the cgm…..couldn’t live without the sensor! I plan on looking into more resources…..too bad I don’t live closer…..I am in temperance,mi. Well, take care and thanks for the dentist story”) Julie
Glad you liked it! Stay in touch. Let me know how nationals go! That is awesome. I’ve never been good a short course anything, I prefer marathons over 5k’s and ironmen over olympics… I like slow and steady. Its certainly not easy. I plan on doing more Ironmen and hopefully I’ll learn a bit each time :).
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Hi Gillian, excellent blog. Inspiring stuff 🙂