This past Friday I ran 70 minutes, which a year and a half ago wouldn’t have been a huge deal, but now, it’s a milestone – not because of the time, but because of the distance. After what has seemed like eons, I have finally reached that point in my training where I am once again surpassing the 10 km marker. Wahoo!
But the fact I was running longer than an hour, in temperatures way hotter than previous long runs, presented a few new challenges. I couldn’t just rely on a swig of water and a couple shot bloks; sufficient fuel and hydration were required. That meant the ol’ fuel belt came out of storage.
Now, I don’t remember having a huge problem running with the fuel belt in the past, yeah it gave me elbow bruises, but I was able to live with that. Well, Friday, I was none to pleased with that sucker. Right off the hop, it felt like it was weighing me down, like I was carrying an extra 20 pounds! Ugh 🙁
The other issue was fuel. Some of you may recall my troubles with endurance gels in the past; the goopy glop slithering down my throat turning my stomach into a flip-flopping gaseous – or worse! – mess within seconds. It didn’t seem to matter the brand, and believe me I’d tried countless ones, they all had the same nasty effect.
And so, way back in May, when talking to the Vega girls at the BMO Expo, I was skeptical with their promises of a good-tasting, non-belly-turmoiling gel. I tried samples of the pre-workout energizer, and their lemon lime electrolyte hydrator – which I loved! – but when they moved over to the gels, my hands were already up in protest. They spouted off the benefits, told me their gels wouldn’t mess with my blood sugars given their use of Stevia and natural fruit sugars, nor would they mess with my belly given that they’re gluten- and dairy-free.
But even as I was smiling, nodding my head at their proclamations, and appearing to be full-on listening, I kept thinking, no way. When they stuffed a few samples in my hands, I thought for sure those suckers would be stored in my fuel drawer, never to see the light of day.
But then, Friday. I needed fuel.
It wasn’t that bad! The texture wasn’t a thick, slimy mess like the others, there were actual chunks, I could actually taste the fruit in it. It didn’t slither down my throat, I didn’t have to try to gulp it down in one go, I didn’t have to pinch my nose to try to ward off the nasty taste, there was no holding my breath, no gagging. I could actually swallow it in portions! And…
THERE WERE NO BELLY EXPLOSIONS!!!
Oh my freaking shock! Could this possibly be an endurance gel that doesn’t instantly send me to the bushes, that doesn’t have me sniveling my nose at first tear, that I don’t fear the entire run, that I may actually possibly semi enjoy??? I guess only time will tell… I’ve got plenty of long runs to keep trying 😀
FRIDAY’S LONG RUN:
- 11:15 a.m. BG before: 9.4
- Temp. basal: none
- Carbs: granola bar (15g) 1 hour prior – no bolus
- Time: 1:10:41 – run 20’/walk 1′
- Distance: 12.12 km
- Average pace: 5:48 min/km
- Fuel: @45 minutes BG: 6.4 Vega gel (22g)
- 1 p.m. BG after: 7.3
For this run, my pace should have been between 5:30-5:45 min/km, which I didn’t quite do. I think because I start out so slow, I end up playing catch up for the rest of the run. My pace progressively got faster with each 5 km segment, and then the last 2.5 km. I’m thinking maybe I should add 5-10 minutes of a warmup run prior to my actual run, then maybe I’d make the average pace I’m supposed to. Thoughts?