Well, finally everything went right and fell into place for my long run this weekend. Ill recap and review:
On Friday I wanted to get my mileage up for the week since I was too busy to put a few miles in. I decided to go on an easy 6 mile run at roughly a 9:30/mile pace. It felt great! I actually had to stop myself from continuing on, which is an awesome feeling. Since I was planning a 12 miler the next day, I made sure to eat a Builder's Bar (Peanut Butter) and a salad for dinner to supplement my protein. Somehow I think I run better if I don't carbo load, or at least not through pasta or grains. Protein and veggies work me (or at least at half marathon mileage, Ive never gone for more than that).
Image from here
On Saturday I woke up to an AMAZING sunny 60 degree day in Seattle. Is it summer yet?? I had another Builder Bar and waited about 2 hours before setting out on my long run. I felt fine for the first 3 miles and was really excited when I didn't want to die at mile 3. At this point I considered the run a success already! At this point I saw 2 interesting things: a Cadillac that was raised higher than a pickup truck and painted bright red and yellow, and a guy on a Segway. These things absolutely crack me up. I tried to get a picture but it was horribly blurry. If any of you have seen Arrested Development, you'll know what I mean!
Other interesting things was a group of guys yelling out the window of their SUV videotaping everyone (still not sure why) and half of a starfish that I almost stepped on THREE TIMES during my run (I passed one part of the run multiple times, and I'll spare you the visual...)
Just passing mile 6 I was still feeling strong, but I decided to try out the Clif Shots Gel in Razz. I cant stand the idea of running with a fuel belt (or fanny pack type thing around my waist) so I held the gel in my hot little hands while running. Aside from the temperature, here is my review:
- Handy "litter leash" keeps the top part of the package together so you don't rip it off and leave the top on the ground. The litter leash has a perforated part that easily allows you to fold the top part back so you can get at the gel on the run.
- Different flavor, but not too bad. Didn't especially taste like raspberry
- It didn't make me gag while taking it
- Consistency was okay, and easy to slurp while mid-run
Overall, the gel wasn't that bad. The litter leash was a handy feature and kept the packaging together until I ran past a garbage can. Consistency was fine, but it was pretty salty for a berry flavor. Maybe I'm not used to the energy gel, but it was really salty! Not unbearable, and I was able to continue running without feeling sick. I think Ill try another flavor, but I wouldn't write off Clif Gel altogether.
Miles 6-9 were strong and consistent. I had no problem keeping up my 10:00/mile pace, but I didn't feel like I could make my legs move faster. I was hoping to pick it up a bit, but it just wasn't in the cards. I have a feeling my 6 miler from the night before made my pace slower. The good thing was that I kept moving and didn't feel sick from the energy gel! I didn't feel like I had a "burst" of energy, but it did keep me going without feeling depleted.
At mile 9 I took my PowerBar Gel Vanilla:
- Decent vanilla, but not too bad.
- It didn't make me gag while taking it
- Consistency was thinner than the Clif Razz, and still easy to slurp while mid-run
- Also salty!
- There was no litter leash on this product, so when you rip the top off, you are left with two pieces of packaging to carry while running. Annoying if you don't want to litter (and I didn't!)
This gel really wasn't too bad. I didn't necessarily NEED to take a second one, but I thought I would try it anyways. The vanilla was a bit thinner than the Razz, but it was still easy to take while running. Even though I haven't had GU in years, I remember it having a better vanilla flavor than PowerBar Gel. I still would buy this product again though! I can see why the recommend drinking a few gulps of water after taking the gel though, they are salty!!
The last 3.4 miles were not so bad, but I still felt that I could not pick up the pace. I have to note that I wasn't dragging and I didn't feel sick from the 2 gels. After I finished the run I was able to walk a bit, stretch and not feel like I needed to lay down and pass out. Later that night my legs felt pretty good, and I was not nearly as sore as the Seattle Half (lets just say I couldn't walk normally for DAYS!)
All in all, it was really successful! I will probably follow this regimen for the Mercer Half in 2 weeks (aside from the 6 miler the night before). I cant decide if I will run with the gel during that race, or just take the flavors that are available during the run at water-stops. I will probably take a gel around mile 7 and 10 in the real race, not mile 6 and 9 as I did for this run. I'm pretty excited that this run finally was successful and my longest non-race run to date!!! :)
Happy running :)