Flashback Post: The Flaming Pins

There was once a time, long before I was happily set up with my Freestyle Libre, when I wouldn’t leave the house without a glucometer, finger pricker, lancets and test strips. And there was once a time I locked all that in my car just as I was about to embark on a 32 km training run – and my keys were locked in a building of which I had no access to.

Today is a flashback post brought to you by the adventures of my first marathon training nine years ago.

Pretty sure there’s a good chuckle in here for you 😉

The Flaming Pins:

Thank goodness yesterday’s 32 km run was by far a much better run than the last 32 km run, (probably mostly because I had no feelings of having to puke) but that being said, it didn’t come without its own set of drama.

Lots of drama.

I was doing a pretty good job owning my relaxation the night before. I wasn’t stressing, I wasn’t worrying, I wasn’t over-thinking. The second ’32 km’ found its way into my brain, my mantras came out strong:

I’m gonna kick that run’s butt!

That run’s going to be shaking in its concrete!

I’m gonna smoke that run like it’s never been smoked before!

It helped that I also had Mario next to me saying things like “The run called; it’s scared” 😀

But Sunday morning, just before heading out for the run, I threw my keys through the mail slot at the Running Room (we leave an hour before the store opens and I hate to carry my keys with me while running) and normally I’m really good about making sure I’ve got everything I need with me before finalizing the transaction.

But not yesterday.

After I threw my keys in, I went to test my blood sugars one last time, and realized that my finger pricker wasn’t in my fuel belt – it was somewhere in my car!

Oh freaking crud!

I knew that my blood sugars were on the downward slope; they’d already come down like 5 mmols in the hour and half since I’d had breakfast. I couldn’t possible go 32 km without testing them.

Cue the panic.

But, leave it to my resourceful running chicks to find a solution. Lori had a Variety Club brooch pinned through her fuel belt, and Tonya suggested if push came to shove I could use that.

They’re moms, they know these things 😉

And so, for the first 4 km of the run, the only thing going through my brain was ‘Oh crap, I’m gonna get hepatitis – another freaking itis!

Good thing for me,  my running chicks know me pretty well. When we stopped at the gas station to use the washroom, Carol got a pack a matches:

Hello sterilization!

It was a full-team effort with the wind all around us!

Now, for those of you who don’t have type-1 diabetes, the lancets inside the pokers, are pretty sharp, and 90 per cent of the time draw blood on first click of the poker. Whereas, in comparison, this pin was like the thickest sized sewing needle you could get and trying to jab that into your finger, without the ease of a clicking device, wasn’t exactly the easiest, or pain-free, task at hand.

I kept poking it into my finger, thinking that because I’d been running, the blood would squirt out no problem.


One poke, two pokes, three pokes, four, I was getting nowhere.

“Nurse Carol” grabbed the pin out of my hand and without hesitation stuck that sucker right into my finger and would not let up no matter how much I squeezed my eyes shut, no matter how much I scrunched up my face, no matter how much I winced, no matter how awful the thoughts going through my head were.

She only let up when she saw blood.

Me unsuccessfully trying to draw blood.
Nurse Carol to the rescue.

Crisis averted!


  • 7 a.m. BG before: 9.4
  • Temp basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 32.20 km
  • Average pace: 6:55 min per km (long slow distance)
  • Average heart rate: 1:59 bpm
  • Time: 3:49:14
  • Fuel: @45: GU gel (BG: 4.7 (4 Sharkies and 2 DEX sugar tabs (I did not want to have to test again!)) @90: GU gel. @2:15: pancake. @3:00: GU gel.
  • 11:30 a.m. BG after: 10.4

For 29 km of yesterday’s run , we were on the trails, along the Sumas River Dyke and the Vedder River Dyke, and as beautiful as the scenery around us was, that run was all sorts of hellish!

We were dodging puddles, and skirting through mud, and dealing with big rocks and small rocks and humps in the trail. And not to mention the constant call of the poo: dog poo, cow poo, horse poo, deer poo, bear poo, ostrich poo, every kind of poo!

Dear trail runners, you are core!

Ahh beautiful, seemingly never-ending scenery …
that comes at a price with feet-torturing gravel 🙁

I was so thankful to get off those trails as my feet were aching, my calves were fatigued, and my hips were screaming.

But when we arrived at our destination, all those thoughts had dissipated, in favour of one:

I did it!

Less than three weeks until the marathon = Eek!!!

This post (edited) was first published on Sept. 20, 2010 on my former blog Princess of Pavement.

Leave a Reply