I’ve had some decent runs lately, but it’s been a long time since I came home from a run with an endorphin buzz. Today’s run was simply the best I’ve had in ages. Training called for a 9 mile “pace” run. I decided to try to run it at about a 10 minute pace (my “pie in the sky” pace for the marathon.) The first mile felt good and the run just kept getting better from there.
9: 9:25 (was 9:15 for most of it, but did the last quarter mile as a cool down)
Average pace: 9:32
I felt really strong the whole time and only felt like I was really pushing myself in miles 8 and 9. Even then, I could have definitely gone faster if I’d tried. Three hours later, I’m still feeling amazing. I can only hope I’ll still feel good on tomorrow’s 19 mile run!
Some things that definitely played a factor: it was cool but sunny, so perfect weather. I did lower mileage this weekend and yesterday was a complete rest day. I ate a nicely balanced dinner that included both a decent amount of protein and a whole grain. I wore my “foot numbing” shoes and my feet did not go numb!
Some things that might have been a factor: the running gods. GU Electrolyte Brew.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of nuun. I use it on my shorter runs alone and on my longer runs with GU gels. This combination has worked very well for me in the past. For my last marathon, I relied heavily on Gatorade and GU and that worked very well for me too. Any other combination of items has resulted in GI distress, often to the point of needing to end a run early. Needless to say, I have not been particularly inclined to try new things this time around.
GU’s generosity*, however, has made me step out of my little safety zone. After the success with the chomps a few days ago, I decided to try the electrolyte brew today. I tried the raspberry flavor, mixed with 22 ounces of water. Each packet contains 140 calories, 325 mg of sodium, 50 mg of potassioum and 34 g of carbs. A similar amount of nuun has about 6 calories, 360 mg of sodium, and 100 mg of potassium (no carbs). I would normally combine nuun with at least 100 calories, another 100 mg of sodium, and another 90 mg or so of potassium. Comparing them, I ended up with more carbs, but less sodium and potassium with the brew. Check out the GU Energy site for lots more information.
I really liked the flavor. It was slightly tarter than I expected, but that was a good point for me. I was worried that it would taste like ko.ol aid. It was easy to drink and I found that I liked not having to walk at all during my run (seriously, I slowed for two lights, but ran the entire rest of the 9 miles). I usually get hungry by the end of a longish run, even with gels. Today I didn’t. Also, my stomach did just fine with it.
Verdict? I liked it. I’ll definitely use it again for a mid-length (9-13 mile) run. I wouldn’t want that many calories if I were running shorter and I’m not sure I’d want to combine it with another carb source if I were running longer (although GU Energy says that it’s designed to work with their gels). Also, I was a bit warm because I was overdressed, but this was definitely not a hot sweaty run. I’ll be interested to see if I miss the extra sodium/potassium once I’m running in hotter weather. Overall, I definitely thought it was a good product and will add it to my running nutrition options.
*FCC disclosure: GU sent me this product for the purposes of reviewing and sharing with my readers. The opinions are my own. Trust me, if I have a major FAIL with one of their products, you will hear all about it!