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Monday, September 13, 2010

Becoming an energy gel foodie


I just tweeted that I somehow spent $60 on energy gels and bites, and was left wondering what on earth I had become. I remember thinking that GU was the grossest thing EVER back when Michael was running and I wasn't. These days, I rely on the stuff. In response to my tweet, Kate responded back that I was now an official #runnerd, and would soon become an energy gel foodie. I can see it now. I'll be making my own weird concoctions in my blender, or combining various flavors in my mouth for an unexpected treat.

I actually DO have a preference for my GU consumption, especially for my longer runs. I have my big 20-miler (as far as I'll go pre-marathon) this weekend, and keeping my body nourished is vital. I've run long runs before without enough fuel, and it is a terrible, horrible feeling.

Here's how I nourish myself for a long run:

- wake up, have a cup of coffee and a piece of toast with peanut butter (love the coffee, but I HATE eating before a run - I typically don't eat breakfast until I've been up for a few hours, so the toast is torture to me, but it is really helpful)

- run four miles and have a caffeine-free gel. I prefer the Hammer banana, but the Hammer vanilla is OK too (just not as sweet and yummy as the GU-brand vanilla). The Hammer banana (introduced to me by Kate, actually) tastes just like a smushed up banana.

- run another four miles and have a GU vanilla WITH caffeine

- rinse and repeat until run is complete.

Energy gels every four miles keeps me going with enough pep in my step to survive. When I'm bored with gels, I sometimes have GU Chomps or Jelly Belly Sports Beans.

Throughout the entire run, I drink lots of water, out of this pack (recommended to me by Linda). If it's really hot out, I'll fill it with HEED instead of water, but I hate the flavor, so I try to refrain.


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