Fueling lesson learned!

I think I figured out what happened with my 22 miler yesterday.  Remember, I said it wasn’t the best feeling long run?  And that the last 6 miles my pace really slowed?  Well after obsessing about what went wrong thinking about it for awhile, I believe that I didn’t fuel properly and definitely didn’t drink enough fluids.

I realized Saturday night that I didn’t have my normal Gu Energy Gel packets.  So I had to make due with: 1 orange flavored hammer gel (I’ve never used this kind; it was in a bag that I won; I HATE orange flavored anything, so the thought of it alone made me gag!); 1 powergel; 1 pack of clif shot blocks.   So this was enough fuel for 4 times during the run.  Ideally I would have liked to take a gu 10 minutes before I ran too, and maybe 1 more.

For fluid I had my handheld Nathan filled with water (20 ounces) and I planted a 20 ounce bottle of gatorade G2, with the intent of picking it up after about 10 miles.  I ended up drinking all the water and running out about 10 miles, but still being 3.5 miles away from my gatorade stash (and no working drinking fountains at this park).   Then I ran out of the gatorade by mile 19.  So miles 10 – 13.5 and miles 19 – 22 were without fluid or fuel.  Not good, particularly since it was almost 60 and partly sunny the whole time (which my body is not used to this early in the season).  This definitely explains my slowdown miles 17 – 22, because my legs and lungs didn’t have any particular issue, they just ran out of energy and felt dehydrated.

So I fueled:

  • Mile 2 – powergel
  • Mile 6.5 – 3 clif shotblocks
  • Mile 11.5 – orange hammer gel (YUCK!!!!)
  • Miles 16.5 – 3 clif shotblocks

And fluids:

  • Mile 1 – 10:  20 ounces water
  • Mile 13.5- 19  20 ounces G2 gatorade

Another sign that I could have used more fuel/fluids/electrolytes:  the edges of my face and my legs (weird, I know!) were white with salt when I was done running.  Too much sweaty salt loss and not enough replacement.

Lesson learned.  I definitely think the run would have gone better if I had planned my gu and fluids better.  Better to realize it now than during the marathon!

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