Monday, July 9, 2012

Marathon Monday: Snack on this

I am training for the Columbus Marathon and following the "Train Like A Mother" finish it plan. These posts document my training.

This week in running:

Tuesday: 4 miles, easy with strides at end

Wednesday: 4.03 miles, with 3 at goal pace (sort of)

Thursday: 3.5 miles, easy

Friday: 6 miles, negative split

Sunday: 12 miles

Total miles: 29.5

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I could talk about how much I hate this weather.

I could talk about how much I hate running in this insane weather.

I could tell you about how much my body hates running in this insanely hot and humid weather.

But I'm not.

I am going to tell you about my new fueling strategy.

I've always been sort of a Gu girl. I've tried almost every flavor and can use most of the flavors with no problem though I'm not a fan of the Roctane varieties. My most recent favorites have been the Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors (whodathunk it) but I recently found myself buying the Strawberry Banana.

For two weeks, I have carried a Strawberry Banana Gu on my long runs. And for two weeks I have failed to take it. Why? The thought of something sweet when it is 80 degrees out makes my stomach churn.

Instead, I want something salty. Something salty like cheese crackers.

I first got the idea - or craving, I should say - when I was running with Jess in Colorado.  For some reason, I had stuffed a bag of Cheese Nips that I had gotten on the plane in with my stuff for the run. When we stopped just after 6 miles for fuel, the Gu sounded gross and the Cheese Nips good. Jess encouraged me to go "rogue," and I didn't look back. They were salty and easy on the stomach though they do require stopping to chew.

This week on my long run, I faced similar circumstances (albeit with far less exciting company - sorry, Mark!) and again went for the Cheese Nips (yes another bag from the plane - I accept free food of all varieties). I carried the bag with me, munching at crosswalks.

And while it seems crazy, it's not entirely unfounded. The Cheese Nips offer the same amount of calories (100) as Gu and 250 milligrams of sodium (compared to 50 grams in Gu). The only place where the fall short is in the carbohydrates - Cheese Nips have just 15 grams as compared to 25 grams. And while it can't be said for most things in life, in running and fueling, carbs is where it's at.

It might be easily concluded that the feeling of death at the end of both my recent long runs could be because I haven't had enough carbs during the middle and not any of the right kind. But what's a girl to do? Choke down a sickening sweet gel or go with her gut?

If only Gu made a pretzel flavor ...

What's your fuel of choice? Do you find your tastes change with weather?


  1. Nice job on the long run in this nasty, humid weather. I cringe whenever I have been looking at the forecast this past week. Ick, not friendly for us runners. (I am actually making a "i'm disgusted with this weather" face as I type this). I use GU to fuel but it has to be warm (gross, I know) and can only be chocolate or vanilla. I did eat Oreos during the Philly Half and those worked wonders. Pretzels might be good...

  2. I have read lots of marathon blogs where they fuel with goldfish crackers or pretzels. In case you want the pretzels u

  3. Cont- the pretzels inside of the m&m pretzel then I can get them in bulk for Cheap. Made here in btown.
    Cliff shot chocolate is my super favorite flavor. It's what was served during cbus half last year. Yum!

  4. maybe if you paired your cheese crackers with a full sugar sports drink (even if you watered it down) you could get your carbs up enough?

    I am a gu girl. Chocolate. That's it. I don't even think about it, I just down it.

  5. My mother took a page from the ultramarathoners and eats salted boiled potatoes on long runs. Cook them the night before, cut into bite sized pieces and salt liberally. Carry in a Ziploc bag.

    My only caveat: Don't leave one in your fuelbelt pouch for a week after a long run. The results are... colorful. (Don't ask how I know this).

    1. You always have the best ideas! I am going to have to try this.