Running Fuel

I did almost 19km on Monday!  Yay!  My longest run before the half marathon is finished!  It actually ended up being a pretty good run.  I was still a little unsure about my stomach but it wasn’t bad at all.  It rained the whole time but it wasn’t pouring and I was able to avoid the puddles.  I don’t mind the rain too much once I’m out there.  There are two things that I dislike most about running in the rain.  The first is when I absolutely cannot avoid puddles and my feet get soaked and I can feel the water sloshing around in my shoes.  The second is when my shirt gets so soaked that it ends up plastered to my stomach.  It’s just a gross feeling and it always makes me feel fat.  Luckily Monday’s run didn’t include either of these things.  The puddles were small enough to jump over or go around and I wore a hand-me-down running jacket that I friend recently gave me so my shirt underneath stayed somewhat dry.

These pictures are not from my recent runs as can be seen from the lovely sunshine.

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I tried a Honey Stinger gel for the first time on Monday.  I have tried their energy chews in the past but I thought that maybe I’d find it quicker to use a gel instead of having to chew so much.  I didn’t find that it was much quicker.  It still took me a while to get the gel down.  I like the idea of the honey stingers because they are a little more natural than some of the alternative running fuels that are out there on the market.  While training for my last half marathon in October I tried using raisins for my running fuel.  I actually really liked them.  They tasted great while running, they didn’t bother my stomach at all and I wasn’t consuming any highly processed ingredients.  The only reason that I decided to try the stingers this time is because I found that during the half marathon I didn’t want to lose any time to stop and eat my raisins.  I knew that my time was going to be a lot faster than I had anticipated and I was feeling great.  I didn’t want to slow down my time by stopping.  I ate some raisins while running but it was difficult.  I thought that maybe the gels would be easier to ‘eat’ while still running.  On Monday I took a walk break to ‘eat’ the gel but I don’t think that it would have been much easier than eating raisins while running.  I also found it to be extremely sweet.  I didn’t love it.  I found that I kept burping it up for the rest of my run as well.  I think that I’m going to go back to the raisins.  They are also way cheaper.  Here are some other facts about raisins compared to gels/chews.  Raisins have more fiber, potassium and iron but no caffeine or sodium.  If you feel that you need the caffeine or sodium then maybe you’ll want to use something else.  I think that I’m okay without.  I’m definitely okay without the caffeine since I don’t normally use gels with caffeine.  I also don’t tend to sweat a lot so hopefully that means that I don’t need as much sodium.  I’ll have to pay close attention to how I feel when I start training for the full marathon.  I still have two more gels left, one Honey Stinger and one Carb Boom, so maybe I’ll use them during a couple of my marathon training runs to compare.  Raisins also have no added sugar, flavour or colour.  To be fair neither does Carb Boom.  Honey Stingers don’t appear to have any added sugar or colour but they do have flavour.  Another reason that I’m thinking that maybe I should stay away from the gels is because I’m concerned that they’ll make me crave sugar more.  I realize that raisins are also very sweet and have a lot of sugar but I don’t think that they will make me crave sugar in quite the same way.  I have been struggling a little bit more the past couple of days with cravings.  It could be just that I’ve been hungrier after running over 18k on Monday.  I feel like all I want to do today and yesterday is eat .  If I’ve already eaten my meal then I tend to crave sweet things.  Maybe I just need to let myself eat larger meals.  I’ve been trying to do that but I’m having trouble differentiating between actual hunger and cravings.  Maybe I need to make something new.  I have a healthy-ish fudge recipe that I’ve been wanting to try.  It has dates in it as a sweetener.

A couple of days ago I made roasted chickpeas for the first time.  They didn’t turn out great at first.  I didn’t bake them long enough so they weren’t as crunchy as I think that they are supposed to be.  I also forgot to add the salt with the other spices and I just guessed on the ratios of the spices that I used.  I used cumin, cinnamon and paprika.  It was supposed to be smoked paprika but I don’t have any so I just used the regular stuff.  They turned out just ok.  I decided that they needed something more so I put them in a frying pan with a little agave syrup.  Agave is not exactly unprocessed or healthy but it’s better than some options and I have two containers of it to use up at some point.  I added more spices, including salt, and cooked them on a medium low heat.  I kept tasting them but still wasn’t impressed.  I added a little honey and even more spices.  They are better now but I think that I’ll try a spicy version if I make them again.  If I find a good one that I like I’ll post the recipe.

I’m not feeling very motivated today.  I should have gotten up this morning and gone to the gym and done a kickboxing class but I slept in instead.  I’ve been doing that way too much lately.  Since I didn’t go to the gym I should still at least be going out for a run but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen either.  Hopefully I’ll still convince myself to do something.  Yesterday I did yoga.  My muscles are quite sore from the long run but they feel good.  It’s not bad muscle pain.  I’m actually pretty excited about that.  I think that my legs are getting close to being back to normal again.  It feels so good to be able to run regularly and do long runs and mostly just have normal muscle pain as a result.  Hopefully I’ll be able to start adding more gym classes back into my routine again.  I’m also optimistic that I’ll actually be able to do the marathon training as planned.  I had been worried that since my legs were struggling with the half marathon training this time that they wouldn’t be able to do more to train for the full.  I didn’t want to have to attempt to train for a full twice in my life just because my legs weren’t doing well.  I’m still kind of dreading the training though.  I know that it’s going to be tough mentally and physically.

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