Written By: Leslie Barker, senior writer, health, and fitness
After running 339 miles across Iowa in seven days, 17 hours and eight minutes, Don Muchow is ready to take on Texas.
“I’m planning to start across Texas on March 22, 2019,” says Muchow, whose doctor refers to him as “a diabetic superhero” because, after all, he does have Type 1 diabetes. “The best route I have, if all dirt roads are in good condition, is 870 miles. Alternate routes are 880.”
He already ran across part of Texas in October — a mere 223 miles in the Capital to Coast Relay, which he ran solo. But this one isn’t a race: no medals, no competition, just him.
In anticipation of this much longer route, “we did a scouting trip a week ago,” he says recently, the “we” being himself and Leslie Nolen, his wife and one-person crew. “We’re targeting 35 miles a day. I anticipate 23 days of running. We’ve given ourselves an extra five days in case I sprain an ankle or need to wait out a thunderstorm.”
The Iowa run was no picnic. His blisters popped at mile 300. He needed to stop twice for lightning, once for hail and once for a tornado. After he finally finished, he had to deal with post-race edema, twitchy legs and nightmares.
Yet he never considered making that jaunt his swan song. He is, he says, “really boneheaded” when it comes to his workouts. But he has to be, because he is bound and determined to spread the word that being diabetic is a poor excuse for not exercising.
“It is harder,” says Muchow, who was diagnosed at age 10, but didn’t start exercising until 2004. “The disease makes it harder. But it’s worse if you don’t take the risk and do something.”
Follow Muchow’s adventures on his blog, t1determined.org And if the mere idea of what he’s proposing gives you heart palpitations, we’ll keep you in the loop.