A while back I did some testing of convenient fueling options for before and during my runs. My mileage wasn’t that high yet, but the idea was that I would be prepared for when I did start requiring mid-run energy boosts. Everything seemed to work out fine, so I stocked up on a few things, put them on a shelf and forgot about them for a bit.
Then last weekend during my 8-mile run I took a Powerbar gel for the first time in almost two months. It was also the first time I EVER took one during a run that long. Within five minutes my stomach cramped up HARD. Thankfully, it was literally only 10-15 seconds but it freaked me out. I did some more research, spoke with a friend and all roads pointed to GU. I found a huge selection of them over the weekend (all of which marked ‘gluten-free’ on the pouch) and picked out a few different flavors.
I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m an official GU convert. It was great. Not only did it taste WAY better than the Powerbar variety, but there was NO cramping at all. That GU was the best part of yesterday’s run…
I headed out for my first 9-mile run ever yesterday morning. I was joining two of the guys from our relay team. This was the second time I’ve joined them. The first time went really well. Unfortunately, yesterday couldn’t have gone any more differently.
We started out fast. Too fast (for me) for a 9-mile run. I managed to hold onto my 5k pace for just over 4.5 miles. And that’s when I pretty much tanked. There was really no catching up for me at that point. I had to take 3 (short) walk breaks during the second half. I never take walk breaks. I also had the additional pressure of knowing that I was slowing down two other people. One of them refused to leave my side, very sweet but it made me feel even worse! So, I would try to push harder. Which, of course, just reinforced the wall I was chipping away at.
In the end we finished with an average pace of 9:30-35. Not horrible. (we started out around 8:40-ish) The worst part about it was that I felt terrible trying to get through it. I always feel strong during a long run, but yesterday I felt like garbage for most of it. My legs were like lead. I felt weak and tired.
In an effort to quit beating myself up about it, I said to my husband afterwards that I should be happy for several reasons:
- I ran NINE MILES!!!
- The final average pace was only about 15-30 seconds slower than my typical long run pace.
- I finished those nine miles doing a solid run. I may have taken a few extra breaks, but I didn’t give up entirely.
- I ran nine miles and later on I felt absolutely no pain, fatigue or soreness. Nothing. Not that I wanted to, but if I had to I could have gone out later that afternoon and cracked out a few more miles.
All of those things are true and cause for celebration, but I’m still obsessing over how big of a disappointment that run was yesterday. I feel like I’m going to have to carry that crummy run around with me until I can finally get out for another one on Wednesday. I really need to get over this.
So, I’ve been spending the last day rehydrating and refueling. I even tossed in a few ‘treats’ to help me get over all the moping around I’m doing. A half a loaf of my husband’s homemade gluten-free banana bread and my favorite Odwalla Mango Smoothie…
They didn’t really help, but they sure were tasty!