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?
I seriously am toting the awesomeness of HoneyMaxx lately. I hope they come up with a gel form one day. I’ll totally send you some if you can’t find it out there (or order it)
Or I really want to try “Huma” gels (google that shit) but they aren’t available where I am yet and I asked for samples but they wouldn’t send me any
I recently threw out a box of Vega electrolyte things because both Ryan and I noticed that it made the both of us seriously nauseous. I’m not a huge fan of Vega stuff…. most of it doesn’t agree with me for some reason. I’m glad it works for you. That’s strange. I can tolerate most gels but can’t stand the Vega stuff and you can’t tolerate most gels but the Vega works well for you.
Alls well as long as it works!
awesome job on the run. I’m kind of glad I’m not running right now in the heat.
Yeah, I’m still not 100 per cent sure about the Vega gel as I’ve been burned in the past by other gels that seem alright for the first run or two, and then, BAM, doubled over in pain, running to the bushes! So, like I said, we’ll see. But I’ve also recently discovered Pocket Fuel… have you heard of it? Oh. My. Gawd. Seriously, you’re gonna love it… it’s essentially PEANUT BUTTER!!! With a few other additives. It’s super tasty… only thing, despite what the packaging says, I’m just not sure it could get me through a long run. But hey, it tastes great 😀
I’d love to try the pocket fuel.. i’m going to look for that stuff.
Oh and yesterday I found a sample for Skratch Labs drink mix which I’m hearing more and more about. I tried it during my ride and it was like a healthy version of Gatorade. Kind of like my new love for HoneyMaxx but it had more carbs. Honeymaxx is a pain because it’s hard to mix and it stains my bottles. It doesn’t have a ton of carbs but it’s kind of a perfect mix for most rides.
I’m thinking of putting honey in a squeeze bottle. I know my friend makes her own gels and does that.
long reply, sorry!
I’ve never tried HOneyMaxx or Skratch Labs, never even seen them around… and thus begins my challenge of finding them 🙂
I so want to like Vega but I just can’t get over the weird taste. We each have to go with what works though so its great you found one! In regards to your fuel belt, have you tried wearing it higher up? I know it sounds dumb but I wear mine a bit higher, up around the smallest part of my waist. That way, I can cinch it really tight and that sucker can’t move up or down. For me, it feels most natural there because it’s secure and then I barely feel it…
Yep, that’s exactly where I wear the belt… my hips are too wide to comfortably wear it down any lower 😀
I also hate the fuel belt but it’s a total necessity for summer running. I personally prefer the kind with one large bottle in the middle of my back instead of the little ones all around. As for fuel, I have had my share of belly explosions and once I found a gel that works (Gu, as unnatural as it may be), I’m basically afraid to try anything new. Two flavors work fine for both my stomach and my BG.
Ahh, I used to be all about Gu, used it for years, and then BAM, all of sudden it was a no go gel. Silly stomach of mine.
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