13 Questions with Beyond Type Run Marathoner Mary Lucas
Editor’s Note: Mary was a member of Beyond Type Run‘s 2018 TCS New York City Marathon Team sponsored by Dexcom and Insulet, makers of the tubeless Omnipod Insulin Management System. Learn more about the 2019 Beyond Type Run team here.
Meet Mary—New-ish runner, professional diabadass, French Bulldog Mom, Dexcom G6 user and head of Influencer Engagement at Beyond Type 1.
What inspired you to join the team?
I was on the team last year and had an amazing experience, learning to run and running my first marathon! This year when we were taking applications, I knew I had to do it again. My 20th diaversary is in November, and I wanted to do something special for that. Running the NYC Marathon and raising money for Beyond Type 1 is the perfect way to celebrate and honor my 20 years living with type 1 diabetes (T1D)!
What’s in your diabetes management toolkit?
My Dexcom G6, T:SlimX2 pump, Contour Next meter, Genteel Lancing device, Novolog and Tresiba (for emergencies), ClifBloks + sour patch kids, medical ID, alcohol swabs, apple watch to see Dexcom, cute pump cases + stickers for device decoration, different fun diabetes bags to carry supplies in and my thyroid meds (I don’t have a thyroid, read about it here!) to keep my body functioning. My thyroid levels really affect my insulin sensitivity so I have to be careful!
Keeping my mind healthy in addition to my body is important to me in the management of my T1D. My “Mental” toolkit includes my boyfriend, my therapist, my dog, doing yoga and stretching (sometimes) and attempting to meditate (still working on this). Running is a big stress reliever and makes me feel better all around.
I never go on a run without …
My Dexcom G6, pump, watch, sunscreen, a buff, headphones, sunglasses and my running belt or backpack with all the essentials—iPhone, water, low snacks/ fuel, pepper spray, hand sanitizer, extra tape + bandaids, body glide, medical ID, extra snacks (if its a long run), keys, headphone case. I always turn on location sharing as well, so someone can keep track of me—usually it’s my boyfriend 🙂
What is your favorite low snack on a run?
Strawberry ClifBloks are my go-to, and I carry sour patch kids and HoneyStinger gels with me that I rotate through. I also carry red Gatorade, but that’s more for fuel + electrolyte purposes than low snacks.
What is your pump it up running song?
Ahh, so many to choose from! “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus can literally always get me going, no matter what. Anything from RuPaul gets me pumped up, as well as a few other Drag Queens I love listening to (hey Alaska! hey Shangela!) I just got into a playlist of great lip-sync songs from RuPauls Drag Race (my favorite TV show) and I’m loving a few songs including—”Believe” + “Take Me Home” by Cher, “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Man! I Feel like a Woman” by Shania Twain, “So Emotional” by Whitney Houston and “Greedy” by Ariana Grande. So many more I could name!
What has been your most helpful tool as you’ve trained?
My Dexcom G6! I used the G5 last year during my training as well, and it has been the number one most useful tool in my running journey. Seeing the trends in real time has allowed me to identify patterns in my body, and try various solutions in an effort to keep my blood sugar levels stable. In 2017, I went from never running a mile to running my first marathon in just 10 months. My Dexcom is how I learned to fuel for long runs—I saw that I would start trending lower around mile 4, then again at 8, 12, 16 and based upon that I came up with a plan of what to eat when, when to give insulin and when not to. Even though I have planned for success and I know how my body responds on a run, I still depend on my Dexcom because both diabetes and running don’t always go according to plan, and when you combine the two it’s even truer! My Dexcom has saved me from dangerous lows and extreme highs during the times that my diabetes + running plans don’t work out perfectly, and knowing that my technology has my back gives me such peace of mind.
What has been the biggest training hurdle?
My own brain! Mentally, training for my second marathon has been so much harder than my first. Harder to motivate myself, harder to believe in myself, I was harder on myself and all the runs seemed harder. I couldn’t get out of my own head for so long—I’m terrified of not being able to finish, and that anxiety really affected how I trained. I had a few panic attacks on runs because I was so worried about how far and fast and high I was going, and I felt like I wasn’t up to speed with training, so I freaked out. Luckily, I’ve been able to work through those mental blocks (shoutout to my therapist) so I can continue running and loving it, without all the stress and pressure I put on myself. It helps to have something to run for that is bigger than me as well. I’m not just running for me —I’m running for the community, and most importantly for my mom.
Also, I’ve had a ton of injuries, so that doesn’t help!
What is your most embarrassing running moment?
I fell recently and broke my hand while on a run. No one was around to see it, but it was really embarrassing because it was so non-exciting and so ridiculous. Of course I would slip and break my hand while training for a marathon, only me, haha, ugh.
The injury I’m currently nursing is . . .
The aforementioned broken hand, and ongoing calf problems. My big toe was broken in June, then stepped on with a heel in September (so much blood), so training around that has been a hurdle. Lately, my hamstrings have been bugging me too. Luckily my hip injury hasn’t been hurting for a while, fingers crossed it doesn’t decide to flare up during the race!
If you could go on a run with any T1D hero who would it be?
Robin Arzon! She inspired me to start running.
How do you treat yourself / recover after a long run?
I love taking a bath with Epsom salts and eating something hearty, like a burger or pizza. Also a huge fan of naps and wine.
What are you most nervous about the day of the marathon?
Not finishing! And controlling my blood glucose levels (BGs), and that my pump site will fall out or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) will fail (both happened last year), and that my injuries will flare up, and … basically everything else. I can’t help it, I get nervous about everything!
How are you going to celebrate at the end of the race?
Hopefully not by going to the ER like last year (lol I was fine). No, but seriously I’ll want to take a hot shower (it’s going to be cold that day), eat a burger and fries, have some champagne, hug my family and then sleep a lot 😀 I’m definitely getting a massage that week after too!
Visit Mary’s fundraising page here.
To learn more about the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon Beyond Type Run team click here.