Figuring out the right way to fuel along the way during your races can be tough. For my first few marathons, I honestly had no clue and no plan. I just drank the water and Gatorade along the course, and well, there was that Kit Kat Bar I basically stole from some guy at mile 18 of my first marathon!
Eventually, I smartened up and got a better understanding of how important it was to give yourself some fuel along the way. What a difference! My stomach is usually pretty strong, but I still had a tough time figuring out what to eat since I can be a bit picky. I remember just taste testing a Gu once that came in a bag of post-race goodies and thinking it was the grossest thing ever. That was probably in 2003, but I wasn’t about to give it a second chance so I started looking elsewhere.
I tried breaking a peanut butter Powerbar into pieces, but it could be really dry and tough to get down, especially later in the race. When various gummy type energy bites started to come out I got very excited. I used the Gu Chomps at first, but they could also be tough to chew through. PowerBar blasts were my savior. They were a lot easier to take since they are juicy in the center.
In my last two marathons though I haven’t taken my last set of planned bites around mile 21. The first time I felt sick to my stomach and the second time I just couldn’t stomach the idea of eating more of them. My plan this time is to have some variety so I’m not eating the same thing. That means trying something new though.
I’ve been practicing with things during my long runs and I noticed Gu has flavors like chocolate and peanut butter, so I thought it might be time to drop my decade long grudge against them. I’ve tested out the chocolate Gu twice now, and not only does it taste alright, but my stomach handles it well and it’s actually easier to down the Gu then fumble with 5 or so PowerBar blasts. I have some Honey Stinger gummies to try out soon too, and I’m going to keep experimenting till I’ve found just the right combinations.
How do you fuel your long runs and races?
Just be sure to take your Gu with water, not Gatorade!
Last weekend my parents came down to D.C. to go to the Syracuse vs. Georgetown game with Ian and me. This was the last regular season Big East matchup ever between these two teams. It truly marked the end of an era and a legendary rivalry. While they say they’ll continue to play each other, right now it just doesn’t feel like it’s going to be the same.
I was so excited for this game and really hoping the Orange would get revenge for their loss at the Dome a couple weeks ago. I figured at the very least it would have to be a great game. I was up early for a sunrise 11 miler. The sun was shining, it was beautiful out and I felt great. Today was going to be a great day and I was sure this had to be a sign that Syracuse would rock it. Boy was I wrong.
I’ve been going to these rivalry games at the Verizon Center every year Syracuse has played down here since I moved to D.C. about seven years ago. There are always so many Syracuse fans that we jokingly refer to it as the Carrier Dome South. The school has taken measures in the last two years to limit the number of ‘Cuse fans that get their hands on tickets mostly I would guess because they were embarrassed when announcers would say it sounded more like a home game for the Orange. This year they stepped up their efforts even more, and for the Syracuse game only, required a minimum $50 donation to purchase up to eight tickets for the game. I’m not proud, but I did what I had to do and made that donation to Georgetown so we could get our tickets. Some of my cousins and a handful of friends made it to the game as well.
We were not alone. There was yet again a whole lot of Orange in the Verizon Center. I absolutely could not believe that the top half of the spillover student section in the upper deck was empty. That would never, ever happen in Syracuse. There was barely room to breathe in the Dome with the record setting crowd a couple weeks ago, and many fans were in seats so far away I don’t know if they could even really see the court. (Picture below) How embarrassing.
Turns out the joke was on us though as Syracuse got pretty embarrassed. They didn’t even break 40 points. It was hard to watch. It definitely wasn’t the way I saw this historic rivalry coming to an end. It is what it is though and there was nothing we could do about it, so we headed down the street to RFD after the game to drown our sorrows. I enjoyed a few Magners and some of the best fried mac and cheese bites I’ve ever had. We still managed to have a pretty good afternoon there.
We’ll be back at it cheering for the Orange in NYC today as they take on Pitt in the Big East Tourney. Here’s hoping a different team than the one we saw in D.C. shows up to play! Go ‘Cuse!