A Vow For Refueling

For awhile now I have been an avid reader of the blog Run Eat Repeat, my good friend Katy turned me on to it.  One of my favorite parts of her blog is her enjoyment of food and eating- in addition to running.  🙂

She is an avid runner (and per her blog)- avid enjoyer of food- both of which I can appreciate.  She is on a much more advanced level than I am in terms of running.  This girl runs full on marathons.  (I sound like I know her I am all kinds of fan-girling right now….).

I have genuinely toyed with the notion of committing to do a full Mary, the reason I haven’t done it yet: 1) I have commitment issues, 2) I have only done one half Mary, and I feel like if I do as many half Mary’s this year as I have planned I’ll be in a good place starting 2014 to commit to a full marathon (to sign up for the Chicago Marathon in October you need to sign up in March, and you usually need to sign up the day of or it will sell out.

So I am saving that for my 2014 bucket list, along with doing a Ragnar Relay from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago, currently I have convinced myself, and gently coerced two friends so far….soooo only 9 more people to convince before next June.  This.is.do-able.

In the meantime I have a busy summer with personal plans and races:

-June 8- The All State Chicago Half

-June 16 Chicago Color Run

-July: Big 10 10K


-August: Panda Run Half Marathon (Night run)

-September: Chicago Half Marathon

-October: Monster Dash Half Marathon

-November: Hot Chocolate 15k

-December…. not sure yet

That is A LOT of running, but I want to challenge myself, and see more improvements in my pace, and endurance.  In addition to my runs I am hoping to tone up a little more, so I have been doing workouts from Tone It Up   – they are simple but effective, and I like that.  They aren’t terribly time consuming so I can do them before or after a run (preferable before).

So this race schedule- this is a tall order.  And I also do not enjoy running in the heat because I sweat. A lot. I also dislike running in the heat because it does slow me down at first, and I get discouraged and pissy.  Pissiness aside, anytime I do over 6 miles I take fueling seriously- really seriously.  By this I mean I think about how important it is, and I suck down a Gu pack and go about my way.  During my first half mary I totally bonked around mile 11 1/2- probably because I fueled before the race, but not during.  Not at all.  I got to that point and for the last mile and a half was like running through quicksand.  I don’t wish to repeat this.

To learn how to do this better I have been remembering tips from years of nutrition training, reading Run Eat Repeat, and listening to Clif Cast.  Now my years of nutrition classes go over why carbs and protein and fats are important, but applying it to your actual endeavors can be tricky…. So my friend turned me on Run Eat Repeat, and I recently came across Clif Cast after finding a little promo for it in my virtual goodie bag from my 10 miler.

Here is the condensed version of what I’ve learned.  If you’re going to be active for more than 60-90 minutes you need to fuel before, during, and replete after.  My biggest issue is the during part, but I am getting better, I even fueled “during” during my 10 miler.  It was a big step for me.  Hydration isn’t issue for me, I do this more out of necessity because I know I sweat so much that if I don’t hydrate before-during-after then I will likely passssss out!!!! However when it gets hot I really cannot wait for a hydration/aid stop I need water more frequently.  Last summer I used hydration belts, either 1 large bottle or 4 small bottles.  However sometimes those are bulky and not fun.  I’ve recently been opting for the smaller handheld variety but I don’t know if that will be enough for my half mary- I guess we will see during my training.

Handheld water bottle
Handheld water bottle

Another thing- don’t try new things on race day- practice with your fueling prior to racing to avoid any GI upset.

So here is my vow.  I am going to incorporate fueling into all of my long practice runs, and work out what works best for me.  Right now before a race I will use an energy gel of some type because I have found (by unfortunate trial and error) that caffeine + my body + intense activity = nausea during activity followed by vomiting following activity- even though I drink coffee/caffeine containing beverages daily.

But I can tolerate the gels (I like the Clif Turbo, and Clif Shots), and Gu Gels), and caffeinated shot bloks by Clif.  I am also going to incorporate some electrolyte drink in as well- at my Cinco de Miler expo I picked up some Gu Brew, but I have also heard good things about fueling up with Nuun– so I plan to pick some of that up as well the next time I stop by Running Away Multi Sport 🙂

Some of my favorite things, some are old favorites (Gu Roctane, and Tropical Punch Shot Bloks, & Builders Bars)- I plan to incorporate the handheld more, and the Gu Brew, and the Power Bar Chews.
Some of my favorite things, some are old favorites (Gu Roctane, and Tropical Punch Shot Bloks, & Builders Bars)- I plan to incorporate the handheld more, and the Gu Brew, and the Power Bar Chews.

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