A Production of Sorts

Backstory: Once upon a time, in another running life, there was a girl who would run seven miles on the weekend.  She didn’t worry about how many drinks she had the night before.  Or what she had eaten.  How much sleep she was going to get.  When she rolled out of bed she might drink a glass of water.  Eat a fruit leather.  Or do neither of those things.  She hopped on the treadmill, she hopped off the treadmill and that was that.

Kittens, I have to say that for all that I love running, with the mileage that I’m doing now?  Long Run days have turned into a totally different kind of commitment.

I never thought I would say this, but 10 miles?  Is starting to seem like a pretty reasonable proposition.

The whole act of running on the weekends has turned into a real production of sorts.  Between behaving myself the afternoon/night before a long run, waking up at 5 AM to start eating and digesting, actually doing the run, showering, eating again and collapsing into bed, it’s very nearly a 24-hour proposition from start to finish.

On the bright side, I finally nailed down a breakfast that doesn’t raise absolute hell in my stomach.

In the mix: Oatmeal with a sliced banana, a drizzle of honey, a drizzle of almond butter and 2 T granola.  2 cups of coffee.  Scene.

This was a major battle for me pre-wedding, so I’m glad that we may have found a True Resolution to the situation.

I was starting to worry that I was doomed to Long Run GI issues forever.

While I was out for a late brunch with the ladies on Sunday, I realized that I was a half-mile away from the running store that I had a Groupon for.  So I read the tea leaves and made a much-needed trip over there.

Even though it was an impromptu trip, I actually did have a mission.

Confession: I’ve made it this far in my training without carrying a water bottle or any sort of “fuel.”

Obviously, as much as I like to consider myself a minimalist as far as putting one foot in front of the other is concerned, it really is getting to the point where it’s outright dangerous if I’m not snacking and sipping.

My haul?  Or as the sales guy phrased it, “It’s kind of like trick or treating.  For runners!”

Yes, there are Two Of Every Kind.  Consider it the Noah’s Ark of Fuel.  Or something like that.

I basically bought anything that I’ve found the internet to be fond of, what runner friends have recommended to me or have mentioned using in conversation.

I also grabbed a Spibelt and a water bottle, because it seems only logical that the three things go together.

I ran with the belt and bottle today as a test and I have to say, it was far less disconcerting than I had anticipated.  I was expecting to absolutely loathe it and accept it as a necessary evil.  But these designers?  Might have actually known what they were doing when they were trying to figure out what people could want to attach to their body while they sweat.

Runners: What type of “fuel” do you like to use on long runs?

What do you eat before a workout?  After?


22 responses to “A Production of Sorts

  1. I use Gatorade and Gu. Have tried the Shot Bloks – loved the flavour and texture, but can’t run and chew and breathe all at the same time. Have also tried Hammer gel and liked it, but I keep going back to the mint chocolate Gu.

    I also have Long Run GI Issues, so I don’t do high fibre the morning of. I seem to be okay with a handful of low-fibre cereal and some Gatorade, but I’ve been wondering if it’s enough cuz my legs don’t seems to have “jam” sometimes. Gah – wish I had a cast-iron stomach.

    After, I’ll often have chocolate milk right away and then aim for a well-balanced meal.

  2. Before a run/workout – an apple on my way home from work. Post workout? I try not to eat myself out of house and home. Eeek.

  3. We have the same pre-run meal: oatmeal and banana! It never fails me 🙂
    Also, during my first half marathon I fell in love with chocolate Gu. I don’t consume caffeine at all, so let’s just say I provided plenty of entertainment for my running partner. Happy Running!

  4. super cute spoon!

  5. I don’t eat before a workout. I never have. I think I worry I will upset my stomach if I do. When I get back, I do go for a good breakfast. Something like scrambled eggs, high fiber cereal, fruit. Oh, and of course coffee!

  6. Love the “Noah’s Ark” snacks. Made me laugh :]

    If I eat anything after a workout, I usually munch on something involving peanut butter–like toast or crackers with a smidgin of PB–after a workout, quick, easy, tasty protien. I don’t usually eat beforehand, as it upsets my stomach a bit.

  7. This whole post was horrifying.

  8. Preparing for actual exercise is also a 24 hour (or even full time, maybe) affair for me as well. I’m impressed that the two cups of coffee doesn’t bother your stomach. I never run long/far enough to need fuel or water. I definitely can’t run hungry though. On another note, I’ve been meaning to ask how the job search is going?

  9. Im not a runner, so I cant help you there!! When I was playing 4 soccer games in a day though I would chug cliff gels. That was years ago though, so I assume they have come out with better things since then!

  10. I swear by the Powerbar Gels. They are runnier than most gels and go down a lot easier. Plus, they have electrolytes!
    I’m also a fan of real food, too. You can easily mash up a banana and keep it in a snack sized baggie and tote that around. Just bite off the corner when it’s time and enjoy! I also go for that first, since it’s the most annoying to carry around.

  11. I think I have/have tried everything in your picture. I used to HATE running with anything (and I mean anything) touching my body, but I finally found a belt I can tolerate. I used to train with Gu, but I’m becoming a bigger fan of the blocks! And I train with both water and Gatorade, since I will drink both during the race. Keep at it!

  12. Kat-
    FYI: I too was/am a sufferer of running GI problems! The GUs shred my stomach up. Sports beans worked the best for me!!
    Good luck!

  13. Haha, I love your ‘Noah’s Ark!’ I never tried Gu’s or gels or anything until I started training for my first marathon this year, because I started getting really hungry during 15+ mile long runs. I also have one of those water belts, but since I gained weight it’s really tight and uncomfortable 😦 I’m not really a fan of gels except for Honey Stinger chocolate ones- they taste like frosting! I have a three month old bag of some kind of balls (hehe) waiting for me on my long run on Thursday morning, and they are delicious 🙂

  14. I can’t eat before working out, it jostles around in my stomach and makes me feel lethargic (even if it’s a light snack). I do like to fuel up after eating though!

  15. krissy loves wine

    Hubby loved the GU Gels packs, I ccouldnt get past the consistancy. Very gooey.

  16. Running stores are so fun! You just want to buy all sorts of things you don’t need. The only part of your haul that I’ve ever tried is the vanilla bean energy gel, which was… okay. Not disgusting, but not amazing.
    What I eat depends on how far I’m running.
    My long run fuel at first was energy gels, but I only had a few of those to last me a few runs. After that I tried fruit snacks. I know, right? But it works for me! Then again, I’ve heard of some people snacking on gummy bears who are serious runners, so maybe it’s not so crazy.

  17. I kind of like chomps, and I limit eating to runs 2+ hours. Most races hand out Gu at mile 10 or so; might be good just to get used to that, if you like free stuff. Oatmeal rocks, i always bring an instant packet to eat before races!! or if mom is around, she’ll make me the real stuff 🙂

  18. Being that I am relatively new to running without being chased, my only strategy is survival. I hate carrying anything with me., but I keep a half frozen bottle of water or propel in the car waiting for my return. (I have to drive to run on flat land–my area has very steep inclines.)

    I’m glad that you employed the Noah’s Ark selection method. I use it often.

  19. When I was marathon training, I got into a groove: oatmeal and one cup of coffee 1 hour prior to run on long run days (Sundays for me). Probably TMI, but the coffee helped me use the restroom prior to my run. 1 Gu every hour on long runs and brought a 4 bottle water belt (you’re welcome to borrow it if you’d like – same brand as the little one you have so bottles will fit). If it was a really hot or humid day, I’d mix 1/2 Gatorade and 1/2 water in each of the bottles. Post run is also important, as I get dehydrated really easily. Chocolate milk immediately after the run and Pedialyte mixed with water over the course of the rest of the day. I made the mistake during the marathon of taking a Starburst that somebody offered (only 1!) – definitely only eat on marathon day what your body is used to – even if the chips people hand out from mile 19 on look really, really tasty!

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