13 Questions with Beyond Type Run Marathoner Olivia Polischeck


Editor’s Note: Olivia 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 Olivia—student-athlete at Amherst College, Dodgers lover, country music fan, Omnipod and Dexcom G6 user.

What inspired you to join the team?

I love running and run cross country and track at Amherst College, so when my good friend Marci told me that she was going to run the NYC marathon on the Beyond Type 1 team, I knew I had to try out the next year! And Sam Talbot is my idol and favorite person on the planet (I got the Beyond Type 1 tattoo to match him!) and I wanted to run for him.

What’s in your diabetes management toolkit?

In my medical bag I carry my finger pricker, Omnipod, three hand sanitizers because I change my mind on what smell is my favorite, and my phone to read my blood sugars from my Dexcom G6. For low blood sugars my favorite thing to eat right now is candy corn, especially the big pumpkins! Whenever I go low I like my friends to eat with me so I always carry extra! And I love protein bars, my favorites right now are Quest and ONE bars.

I never go on a run without …

My fanny pack is essential! I carry Gu blocks for my blood sugars and my phone in it at all times! It’s become my seatbelt for runs, I don’t feel safe without it!

What is your favorite low snack on a run?

I love to eat Gu blocks during runs, but after runs if I’m low, many protein bars spike my blood sugars. My favorite post-run food is half of a chocolate chip peanut butter Larabar.

What is your pump it up running song?

I have two right now! I’m a big country music fan and my go-to country song is “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain and “I Don’t Know Why” by Imagine Dragons.

What has been your most helpful tool as you’ve trained?

I thrive off positivity, so going into each run and race I try to have as much fun as possible. On runs that feel less fun because I’m tired or fatigued, I convince myself it is fun. Running every day is a gift our bodies give to us and I’m so grateful. I run with gratitude.

What has been the biggest training hurdle?

On runs I get so excited about the scenery around me, especially with the leaves changing colors, I have the tendency to run way too fast for a few miles on what is supposed to be an easy run! My biggest training hurdle is definitely channeling my energy properly.

What is your most embarrassing running moment?

My senior year in high school my cross country team made it to Nationals and at the meet in Oregon it was pouring rain on the already slippery golf course. My team decided to duct tape their shoes in order to prevent them from falling off, but within the first mile of the race I (of course) managed to lose a shoe, so I ran the rest of the 5k with one shoe. I was the only runner out of 200 girls that lost a shoe, typical me.

The injury I’m currently nursing is . . .

Very sore calves from racing at Connecticut College yesterday! Spikes are a runner’s version of heels, they make you so sore!

If you could go on a run with any type 1 diabetic (T1D) hero who would it be?

Sam Talbot! When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I found his cookbook and then watched his season of Top Chef and was in awe of him. He is everything I aspire to be and is my mentor, idol and friend for life. He is my favorite person on the planet!

How do you treat yourself / recover after a long run?

I love a two hour nap after a long run and love getting brunch with my friends! This isn’t a treat but I love Spirulina with honey, chia seeds and greek yogurt and it’s my favorite thing to eat after long runs!

What are you most nervous about the day of the marathon?

When I get nervous my blood sugars first spike and go high from adrenaline and then spike down all within two hours before I race, so maintaining steady blood sugars and staying calm is always a challenge for me.

How are you going to celebrate at the end of the race?

I really want to try the chocolate chip cookies that look as big as my head from Levain!

To learn more about the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon Beyond Type Run team click here.