By Christina Rice

DebHullRunsDeb Hull, Quitman, ran 33.9 miles, more than a marathon at 26, while managing her Type I Diabetes.

Hull, who has had Type I Diabetes for 40 years, works at SSM Health St. Francis Hospital where she has taught diabetes education for 14 years. She said when a person is diagnosed with diabetes, doctors prescribe exercise because it uses the body’s excess glucose and keeps levels lowered for up to 24 hours.

To prevent complications from diabetes, Hull began high intensity interval training and started running from Quitman to Maryville and back for a total of 26 miles.

Then she decided to run from Farm Credit, Maryville, to Jessie’s Last Stop, St. Joseph, – eight more miles. She said that because her husband did not want her to run on the interstate, she ran the same number of miles along the Iowa Wabash Trace Nature Trail.

Hull runs with medical supplies including insulin, a glucometer, glucose, a lancing device and a syringe. She also has to time her meals.

“After 30 miles, it became difficult. I am glad I had trained so much or I don’t think I would have made it. I don’t advise someone to run that far without proper training first, but I do advise everyone to be active and exercise daily,” Hull said.

Hull explained the phenomenon she calls the “magic of exercise.” As you exercise, the body uses oxygen and glucose to produce more mitochondria, the organisms that create energy. Hull said this is why the more you exercise, the more energy you have. In order to receive the amount of oxygen necessary to create the mitochondria, you must be working hard enough to be breathing heavily with profuse perspiring, 30 minutes a day, three days a week.

“If you are working out and you can still sing or talk in a normal voice, it doesn’t count. You need to be breathing harder to breathe in the needed amounts of oxygen. Also, as you breathe harder, you burn more glucose,” Hull said.

Regular exercise benefits the heart, joints and circulation. It also increases energy, lowers depression, keeps weight stable and builds muscle tone.

“If you have a TV or a computer, you have time to exercise. You have to act, not just think about it. Once you act, it will take 21 days to form a new habit,” Hull said.