Tag Archives: Vega Sport

Running: to infinity and beyond!

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.

130705Vega
Here goes…

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?

Peanut butter…and honey!

Peanut butter and honey! That my friends is the magic elixir for kicking diabetes butt on a 60 km bike ride … at least it was for me 😀

I wasn’t sure how to fuel myself for the Living the Dream Fondo. I’ve never used gels on my recreational rides and I knew I wouldn’t be all out racing (ha!) but I’d been listening to others around me talk about gels, sports bars, jelly beans, etc., and I started thinking, ah crud, should I be doing that for my rides too? I wasn’t too keen on the idea given my past belly revolting issues with gels, and I knew 60 km wasn’t a huge distance, it shouldn’t warrant such a requirement. Still, I threw a couple into my suitcase for just in case.

And then I remembered a local sports radio dude, a couple years ago, talk about his triathlon fueling strategies, gushing about his love for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the bike; how easy they were to eat when in movement, and how easy they were to digest. Super win-win. But the thing is, I’m not really a fan of jam. I love honey though! Why not give it a go.

130522peanutbutter
Yu-um!

I wasn’t sure what kind of bread would be the best. I know that white bread causes an instant shot of sugar into the blood stream and that normally whole wheat is the better option as it’s more fibrous, takes longer to digest, etc., but then, that there could be a problem. What if I couldn’t digest it? What if it caused the same problems the gels have caused me over the years? The last thing I needed was a belly in turmoil when wearing spandex – you can’t get them shorts off fast enough!!!

I opted for my tried and true Dempsters 12-grain, and lathered on a good layer of peanut butter, and a generous dollop of honey. I cut the sandwich into four quarters and put it into a Ziploc bag for safe keeping. I also packed a baggie of raisins and a Clif Zbar into my jersey pockets in case of lows. The gels stayed in the suitcase!

For hydration, I filled a water bottle with lemon-lime Vega electrolytes, which I had never used before (probably not the best time to start!) but which I had become incredibly enamored with when I discovered they were sweetened with Stevia – not sugar, nor other sweeteners that could wreak havoc on my belly. And, well, it just tasted really good 😀

So how did it all work? Fabulous! There were no belly issues; no cringing from the grossness of the taste and or thick texture slithering down my throat; and – HUGE! HUGE! HUGE! – no blood sugar dramas!

At the first rest stop, my BG was sitting at 8.0, down 2.8 mmol from when I started. I ate one quarter of the sandwich, and downed some electrolytes; no bolus. The second stop, they were down to 7.8, so I ate two quarters of the sandwich, as well as a pineapple chunk; no bolus. The pineapple, however, (I should have known) was my downfall. I’ve always struggled with pineapple shooting my blood sugars up, but because my BG had dropped at both stops, I got concerned. (The last thing I wanted was to go low on the road, especially seeing as how I’d forgotten my RoadID and hadn’t written any of my medical info on the back of my bib!) And so, by the third rest stop, after getting lost and doubling back for directions, my BG was up to 10.0. Shoot. I took a slight insulin correction, didn’t eat a thing, and continued on. By the finish, they were down to 7.9!

Diabetes success!

130516FinishGreat ride, great blood sugars. great friends. great family, great Tiffany’s equals ALL SMILES 😀

Hmm… could peanut butter and honey sandwich quarters work as running fuel too?