Retching and running

Be prepared.

That is one of the number one things on the ultimate running to-do list. Don’t forget this, don’t forget that, make sure to pack this, remember to wash that, oh and you better have a little extra of that too – running fuel, charged Garmin, clean sports bra, TP, don’t leave for a run without any of it. Preparation is key to a solid race, and a solid training run.

So yesterday morning, when I was getting my gear in order for my regular long run Sunday, runners the world over will understand why I was kicking myself. This run was not a spur of the moment, out of the blue run; every Sunday is a planned run that has been a regular staple consistently for the last 6 months at least, and something that has been a part of my life for the last 9 or 10 years. You would think I’d be old hand at it by now, but when I opened my running drawer, normally stocked full of shot blocks and post-run Larabars (chocolate peanut butter, best flavour EVER!) there was nothing but a year-old sample package of Coca-Cola flavoured Power Bar power gel shots. Insert HARD kick here!

I do not drink pop, aside from a diet ginger ale once or twice a year, and if I were to drink pop, it sure as hell would not be cola! I absolutely loathe the flavour, find it one of the most disgustingest tastes on the face of this planet. I do not understand the love for this flavour; even the smell of it makes me want to retch.

This sample pack was given to me last year during the BMO half marathon; I thought for sure the moment it went into my bag, it would never be opened. Honestly, I have no idea why I didn’t just give it back or turf it when I got home… maybe because subconsciously I knew this day would come.

I had nothing. The stores were not open and would not be open before the start of my run. I could not do this run without fuel. So what was I to do? I had to pack them… along with a leftover Halloween package of Swedish Fish, a few dried apricots, the only two shot blocks I had from last week’s run, and two bottles of homemade sports drink. And the whole drive over I begged my belly not to revolt.

I had three dried apricots just before starting the run, and then 35 minutes in I popped the shot blocks. At about 55 minutes I tested my blood sugars and they were 4.9. The time had come to brave the Coke. In my mouth they went. Do you think Power Bar could have made it easy on me? Noooo. These things were hard and chewy as hell, too big to pinch my nose and swallow whole. I was forced to suffer the cola blech taste. As soon as there were two down my throat, I popped a red Swedish Fish and guzzled 400 mL of water in the hopes of washing that nastiness out of my mouth. It didn’t work.

Not even 30 minutes later, it was all coming back up. Yes folks, cola makes me puke in my mouth.

That was, ahem, fun.

A long overdue turfing.
A long overdue turfing.

• 8:50 a.m. BG before: 8.8
• Temp. basal: -70% (for 1 hour of the run, plus a half hour before the run; normal for the rest of the run)
• Carbs: banana 1/2 hour before (no bolus) 2 dried apricots, 2 minutes before (no bolus)
• Workout: 100 minutes alternating 20′ easy with 5′ at half marathon pace
• Distance: 15.99 km
• Average pace: 6:07 min/km
• BG: @50 minutes: 4.9 @80 minutes: 6.4
• 11:15 a.m. BG after: 10.1
• Temp. basal: +80% (2 hours)

Even though I had a few retching issues with this run, I most definitely did not have any issues with the beauty surrounding me; so lucky to live here! These are a few the pics of the day 🙂

Ms. Healthy Beacon running one of my favourite stretches around the lake.
Ms. Healthy Beacon running one of my favourite stretches around the lake.
Always smiling. Always showing off perfect form.
Always smiling. Always showing off beautiful form.

1 thought on “Retching and running”

  1. Once upon a time–let’s call in 1988–both the exercise food market and I were both young. I tried a few PowerBar bars. They were pretty much the only energy food you could buy at the time. If you wanted a beverage, you got Gatorade. If you wanted something solid to eat: PowerBars. And they were awful… kinda like eating crunchy, sticky, wheat-flavored Laffy Taffy. Just sounds delicious, no?

    Years later–let’s call it 2013–I needed an energy gel during my first marathon, so I grabbed a PowerBar gel from a volunteer and instantly regretted it. Clearly, the company had learned nothing about flavoring in the intervening 25 years.

    Fast-forward a year when I went to Berlin and forgot to bring any sports food along with me for the long sightseeing run I planned to do. I eventually found a specialty running store–Yay, shopping malls!–and guess what they had for energy food? Yep. PowerBar gels.

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