Stephanie Tomko: Running with Diabetes

by IBD Medical on March 10, 2021

Daring runner

Today, we would like to talk about inspirational women and spread awareness about these women in our community who are motivating others to live life to the fullest with diabetes. Stephanie Tomko was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was only four years old. Today, she is a mother of two, a distance runner, and the creator of the blog Type 1 and Running. Although Stephanie has been living with diabetes for 35 years she still has days where she doesn’t feel in control. She has learnt that the disease is a commitment, and even the strongest commitment can sometimes fall short. She says that it is important to remind yourself that just because you are having a bad day it doesn’t mean you weren’t trying and that you may need to regain focus tomorrow. 

Stephanie started running in her early 30s as she has always been motivated by challenges. Anything that Stephanie has accomplished physically has always been at least partially motivated by the concept of beating diabetes and proving to herself that she can control it. Whether you are running, walking, riding or any other physically demanding activity a person living with Type 1 diabetes has to train harder as there is more details, planning and more failure than the average athlete. Any person with Type 1 diabetes who accomplishes a physical challenge (no matter how big) should be extremely proud of themselves. 

A lot of equipment is needed when going on a long run: CGM, phone, glucose gel, insulin, syringes and pump. For Stephanie the goal is not speed but to finish with stable blood sugar, with her ultimate goal to be fit enough to run with her Dexcom CGM and pump ports showing to spread awareness to others what a diabetic runner needs to do to finish. Here are a few tips Stephanie has for running long distance races:

  1. When training try to run at the same time that the race will be. This is because blood sugar behaves differently in the morning due to the dawn effect (release of certain hormones through the night) than it does in the afternoon. 
  2. Cut your basal a few hours before your run so that it doesn’t start falling into the second mile. 
  3. If your stomach can handle food, try and eat as close to the beginning of the race as you can. If you eat too long before, your basal may already be lowered, causing blood-sugar to increase quickly. Waiting until before the race, the activity will have balanced out the carbs. 
  4. Learn a protocol for your CGM and don’t panic. Remember you can always stop if your blood sugar is off - and there is always another race if this one doesn’t work out, use it as a learning experience. 
  5. Be proud of yourself no matter what happens, it isn’t easy to manage long-distance while also managing diabetes. Check out our Glucology store to find great products such as our Insulin Pump Belt or Copper Socks to aid on your long distance journey.

pump belt banner

Along with long-distance running Stephanie writes a blog called “Type 1 and Running” to stop feeling as though she was managing diabetes by herself. Blogging immediately opened up an entire community of people who thought and felt the same way, understanding the struggles of living with diabetes. The main aim of the blog is to connect with people and educate people on the struggles of managing diabetes everyday. At Glucology we support the importance of reaching out to someone and a community of people who are going through a similar situation.

 

Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information. 

glucology brand story

Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.

 

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