First Athletics Meet of the Outdoor Season

Although it only seems like a few weeks ago that I was blogging about starting my indoor athletics season, that's long since ended and the start of the outdoor season has arrived. My coach and I decided that we would start the racing season early this year, to make the most of the season ahead. So we planned to make my first event an open meeting, to be held at the Kip Keino track at WISE Bristol. I'd never raced there before, which only added to the excitement of opening up the athletics season, blowing away the cobwebs and getting to race after months of hard training!

Unless they're held on a weekend, open meetings, which are athletics events that anyone can enter- regardless of whether they're affiliated to an athletics club, are often held in the evening. So my team mates and I headed over to Bristol in the early evening. But before we set off, I tested my blood sugars which were a good reading result of 5.7mmol. This allowed me to have some gluten-free jaffa cakes and bananas as a source of both quick and slower releasing carbs, that would provide me with some energy for racing later. The day itself was an incredibly warm one weather wise, even at that time of night so also in my kit arsenal, along with diabetes supplies, were jelly babies and my Protect iT socks. The heat can really have an effect on both my diabetes and my athletic performance, so it's important to prepare for it. My Protect iT socks were fantastic at keeping my feet cool during my warm up, throughout which I was sure to keep testing my blood sugars. Open meetings are notorious for not running quite to time, due to the fact that the organisers in fairness don't know how many athletes will turn up and race. So it was important for me to keep my blood sugars within range, to be ready to race when my age group was called.

The other reason that wearing my Protect iT socks was so important was that, feet tend to swell in the heat and sprint spikes are designed to be incredibly slim fitting and streamlined. So I couldn't afford for my feet to swell, as it would mean that my spikes wouldn't fit. But the socks breathable fabric allowed the heat and moisture to escape by wicking them away and for me to get on with running my 100m race. I came second in the 100m event, out of the eight women who raced. Which wasn't a bad finishing position, considering we raced an hour behind our scheduled time. For someone with diabetes this can prove a bit of a nightmare, especially with the adrenaline release, caused by the anticipation of racing and resulting in elevated blood glucose levels. Little did I know however, that my second race would be an even greater challenge.

The second event of the night for me was the 150m, which I was especially excited about competing in because I've never run that distance in a race before. Usually my events are the 100m and or 200m sprints, 150m is an unusual distance to run, so after 10 years of doing athletics it was great to be presented with a new challenge. Unfortunately due to the amount of participants, my second race ran over an hour late and we went off at 9:45pm. By which point the temperature had dropped drastically, which then meant that the challenge became keeping muscles and tendons warm. As if they were allowed to cool and then forced into explosive positions when sprinting, could have ended in injury. For me especially my achilles needed protection from injury and keeping warm, but thankfully my Protect iT socks worked just as well the other way, keeping my achilles covered and warm and enabling me to get the best out of my performance. I crossed the line first in the 150m and was thrilled by the position. It was a great athletics meet, I managed to keep my blood sugars in check and run a new life time best in the 150m sprint, not bad for an evenings work!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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