Tag Archives: running fuel

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.



For Diabetics By Diabetics

People, take note: the quickest way to get a sneer from me – AND my belly – is to present a product advertising low-carb and/or diabetes friendly.

I’m pretty sceptical of anything (aside from insulin of course) that is marketed specifically for diabetics. I’ve been burned far too many times. I practically broke my teeth on the diabetic candies given to me as a child, and diabetic chocolate, oh man, can you say Norwalk!

And don’t even get me started on low-carb. I know there’s a large faction of diabetics, and regular people for that matter too, who believe carbs are the devil incarnate. Yes, I understand that carbs are a huge challenge for us given that that’s where insulin dosages come in, but I do not, do not, DO NOT believe in scrapping carbs from my diet. Good, whole carbs are so freaking beneficial to overall health, they should NOT, in any way, be eliminated. And if you try and tell me that certain fruits are bad for me, I’ll pretty much punch you in the face!

Yet, it’s really quite, hmm, funny, how today I am going to sing the praises for a product that boasts both low-carb and diabetic-friendly. What???

Recently, when I received an email from Ethan Lewis, founder of Level Life Foods, asking if I’d be interested in trying his product, I’m not gonna lie, my nose did turn up, and I almost deleted the email. But there was something about it that had me clicking on the company website. I wasn’t sold, but I was intrigued.

What??? Why the change?

Simple: Ethan is a diabetic. Level Life is like FUBU for diabetics!

I was sent a large box of products – an assortment of protein drinks and granola bars. All low-carb, low sugar, high protein.

FROM THE WEBSITE: The Level Life Program and Products are designed for people who refuse to let diabetes get in their way. It’s designed to help lose weight, help level blood sugars, and help keep you moving forward.

Now, there are a lot of things about the website I don’t agree with and it’s probably because of my history with low-carb diets (I did a major one about 12 years ago, pretty much stopped eating anything with carbs, including fruit, lost an insane amount of weight, only to gain it all and then some back as soon as I stopped the diet… not cool!) but if I looked at these products as easy snacks, post-run protein shakes, and blood sugar elevators, then hells yeah, it’s a pretty darn good product.

The granola bars also made for quick and easy, on-the-road, post-run snacks.

The granola bars made for quick and easy, on-the-road, post-run snacks.

I LOVED the milk chocolate protein drink – it was like dessert in my mouth! I kid you not, it tasted just as good, if not better than chocolate Muscle Milk! The caramel protein drink was also a lovely post-run sweet drink that not only quenched my thirst, but given its 19 grams of protein, likely also helped repair my exhausted muscles.

And the best part: there was NO holding my bum, running to the washroom episodes. For a diabetic product, that’s pretty freaking amazing!

5 p.m. BG before: 8.5
Temp. basal: none
Carbs: 1/2c applesauce and 1/4c pecans (no bolus)
Time: 30 minutes, 5′ warmup, 25′ tempo
Distance: 5.44 km
Average tempo pace: 5:26 min/km (bit slower than I’d like)
6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.2

YOUR TURN: Level Life Foods is sponsoring a giveaway on this here blog. So, if you’re interested in the product for whatever reason (they’re also gluten free if you care about that!) check out the Level Life website at www.levelfoods.com, and then come back here and leave a comment as to what product you’d most like to try and why – what can I say, I’m nosy 😉 The winner will receive a premier bundle pack of bars and shakes worth $60.

A winner will be selected on Sunday, Aug. 17.

(Note: As always, while the product was sent to me free of charge, all views are my own; I was not paid in any way, shape or form to write this post.)

Assumption kills the race

After years months of negotiation, reviewing routes, location, timing, and swag for various organized runs, Big Brother and I finally put our hats in the ring for the Vancouver BMO 8 km route to be our second annual sibling rivalry run.

By all accounts, this run had everything. The timing was perfect for both of us, it wasn’t during the height of the summer heat or summer travel, it features a beautiful scenic route around Stanley Park, and it’s for the most part a flat run, which Big Brother emphasized was important (you will recall the hill that broke him in our last run). The distance was also a compromise for both of us. It wasn’t 5 km, which Big Brother wanted, nor was it 10 km, which I wanted – a happy medium. And the technical shirts, they’re kind of, totally awesome!

From the BMO site.

But today, I regret to inform you the second annual sibling rivalry run has been postponed 😦

The competitive ribbing was only just beginning when the whole arrangement came to a crashing halt Monday evening when I was informed of the start time –  6:30 a.m.!!! Are you kidding me? Most marathons don’t even start at that time! I had NO idea, I thought for sure it would be like other 5 and 10 km runs that start around 8 a.m. – not 6:30 a.m.!!!

Future note: do not assume, never assume!

I fired off a text to Big Brother notifying him of the horror, and not surprisingly this is the response I received:


Now, normally I’d call him out on it, tell him it was a convenient excuse, that he was just wimping out, but here’s the thing, I’m not much of a morning person myself, but Big Brother is like death that early in the morning. And because he lives more than an hour away from the start, he’d have to be leaving his house at like 4 a.m.!!!

So no, this run will not be the second installment of the sibling rivalry run; that must wait for another day. And until then, I’ll just have to keep gloating over the photos of my first victory. Hehe 😀



They never get old 😀

And so, while Big Brother is snoozing away in bed, I will be lined up at the start all by my lonesome at that ungodly hour! Seriously, who the hell starts a short run that early in the bloody morning? Public transit isn’t even operating that early, which is a major issue for us as we too live a distance from the site. I’m also trying to figure out what the heck to eat beforehand because unless I wake up at like 2, I won’t have enough time for a proper breakfast, just something quick, easy to digest that doesn’t attack my blood sugars. And another issue…

Take note guys, the following sentence contains info that some of you may find TMI. You have been warned.

… I am going to have the heaviest, leakiest breasts on the planet! The start of the run is a half hour before I typically feed Little Ring, and I’m pretty sure there won’t be enough time to pump – so that’s like 1,000 pounds of milk ready to burst free. Yeah that’s not going to be comfortable at all!


  • 2:30 p.m. BG before: 4.1
  • Temp. basal: -30 per cent
  • Carbs: Honey Stinger bar; 17 grams, no bolus
  • Distance: 5.12 km – 5′ warmup/20′ tempo/5′ cool down
  • Average pace: 5:49 min/km
  • Average tempo pace: 5:36 min/km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • 3:30 p.m. BG after: 3.5 😦

Any suggestions on a 5-10 km run in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area that could be designated the next sibling rivalry run?

Not the boss of me

When power gels and energy drinks fail you, there’s really only one thing left to do: Dig into your chocolate drawer 😀

Four months ago I gave up on gels as a source of fuel for my runs, not letting one drop of that nasty goop pass through my lips ever since my last marathon. Those suckers were evil, torturing my insides, cramping my stomach up so bad, I spent the majority of my runs with a vomit-filled feeling creeping all the way up into the back of my throat. Not cool.

I then tried the Hammer Perpetuem drink as a fuel replacement. It started out promising, not wreaking havoc on my belly, not wreaking havoc on my blood sugars. However, once my mileage started increasing beyond 13 km, so did my blood sugars. My last long run ended with an 18.something BG. Not cool.

So yesterday, my first long run in a month, I did a little experiment. Seeing as how the GU tasted like poo and the Perpetuem had a bit of a chalky grit to it,  and neither of which worked for me, I figured why not try something I actually like. Hello chocolate!

So here’s the deal, dark chocolate decreases inflammation, increases blood flow, prevents blood clots, it’s heart healthy, has stimulating caffeine, is chock-a-block full of antioxidants, and my god is it ever tasty. How could it not be the perfect fuel? Add quinoa to the dark chocolate mix, and seriously, it’s like running magic… with perfect mid BG and end BG results. Wahoo!

9:15 a.m. BG before: 10.5
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
Distance: 11.75 km
Average pace: 6:41 min/km
Time: 1:15:36
@30 minutes BG: 6.4 (Fuel: 1 strip dark chocolate)
@60 minutes BG: 6.2
11 a.m. BG after: 6.3
Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1/2 hour)

When I set out yesterday, I wasn’t sure how long I’d be on the road for, as I had no idea how long my knee would hold out. So, I just ran. I had my Garmin, but no music. My feet took me over the Queensborough Bridge, where I ran into a stark raving mad cyclist, and then along the Queensborough Quay, out to the only “beach” in New West, and then back home again.

If this isn’t stark raving mad, I don’t know what is 😉

Hidden treasures.

At 6 km, when I had reached the beach, I really had to go to the washroom, like really had to go, but there were no public washrooms around, and while there were bushes, I’m not the kind of girl who can just drop trough anywhere, not unless I got a crew on the lookout that is. Given that the beach was directly across the river from home, I wondered how long it would take to swim the river. It didn’t look that far, surely it couldn’t take the 38 minutes it had for me to run the distance out. Hmm…

Contemplating the swim.

But then I remembered I don’t swim, and aqua jogging is more like aqua walking which would likely take way longer than 38 minutes. Dammit. Back on the road I went.

About 8 or 9 km into the run, I started to feel pressure, not pain, just a slight pressure around the knee and behind the knee. I’m not sure if I’m being hypersensitive or what, but I figured I’d listen to Dear Physio, and everyone else I asked, and not overdo it. I stopped just shy of 12 km, but not before powering up one last hill. My knee is NOT the boss of me!

Today, no pain, no pressure, just a happy, happy knee 😀