Anyway, with my weekly long run with the American Cancer Society group coming up tomorrow morning, I started giving some thought to fueling during the run. As dorky as I felt at times, my shiny new fuel belt worked perfectly last week, and while I was worried I would feel stuff sloshing around the whole time, I never did, which was nice.
Tomorrow's run is nine miles, and we will go 11 and then 13 in the subsequent two weeks. At my pace, we are beginning to push two hours on the road, meaning hydration isn't the only thing I have to worry about. As the miles increase, getting nourishment will be important too.
So today it was back to RoadRunner sports again today to get a few different things to try over the next couple of weeks. I'm part of their VIP club, but with the amount of gear I've been getting there lately I should be getting my platinum card in the mail soon.
Five years ago, the last time I trained for a marathon, I had some pretty good luck with the PowerGel and GU gels, which I really liked, but the guy at the store threw in the Chomps and said I'd like them because judging by my selections I seem to like fruity flavors.
PowerGel: Orange Dream
Clif Shot Gel: Razz (as in berry, I'm guessing...or hoping)
Extreme Sports Beans: Watermelon
GU: Lemon Sublime
Yeah, it looks like he had me pegged.
When I was last running long distances, my stomach seemed to handle pretty much anything, mixed with my usual water stop combo/ratio of two Gatorades and one water. So I'll probably go with that mixture in my fuel belt too, in order to better simulate race day.
I'm just a little concerned because it's been five years and I can tell my stomach handles food differently, so it might handle this stuff in a different way too. But that is what doing this during training runs is for, to get it nailed down before race day.
I found out how important that was when I ran Grandma's Marathon in 2005. They served something different from Gatorade (can't remember what it was, but it sucked) and I didn't use it in training. At one point in the race my blood sugar dropped and I became dizzy. Fortunately I was able to get some Gatorade and cookies from a person who had them set out on a table outside their home along the course, and the disaster was averted.
But it was a lesson learned. Don't go into these things blind, as it can come back and bite you.
I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow's run, although fortunately I'm still in familiar territory as I ran 9.6 miles (15K) at the Hot Chocolate Run in November. And I ran it at about the same pace as I will this time. But after that, when the double-digit miles start to pile up, that have me a bit worried.
Hopefully it will be like riding a bike and I will get comfortable with it soon. Because nine miles may be a long way, but we still have a long way to go.