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It’s no secret that I love — nay, adore — food.
In my world, the basic food groups are trail mix, hummus, spinach, pasta, fish, pad thai, Brussels sprouts and 16 Handles. It’s a pretty solid diet. All those foods are great friends with Crohn’s Disease, so it works out quite well for me.
But fueling for a marathon is different than fueling for a regular day.
And I’m terrified of fueling for this marathon.
I’ve never needed additional energy during my half marathons. Adrenaline gets me through the first five miles, determination gets me through the next five and exhaustion brings me to the finish.
I know I can’t survive 26.2 miles without putting additional something into my body.
During my delightful 15.5 mile run — potentially my favorite long run so far during training — I sampled Gu Chomps along the way.
The Chomps were fine.
They definitely helped, and they didn’t taste bad.
But when I used that same energy source during my 20-miler in D.C., I had a different experience.
I got two Chomps down fine early on.
Around mile 10 I took two more.
By the time I hit mile 13 and wanted to take a few more, I couldn’t get them down. The issue wasn’t with my stomach — the issue was that by this point the strawberry Chomps tasted bad, were tough for me to chew and just grossed me out.
Keep in mind I was storing them in the sweaty ass pocket of my shorts, but still. They were safe inside the bag they came in. I don’t think I got sweat on them.
OK maybe I got sweat on them.
My point is that the Gu Chomps aren’t enough to get me through the marathon.
I’ve avoided trying any gel products because the idea of them freaks me out.
The weird gooey consistency? The packet they come in? The totally artificial flavors and ingredients?
Remind me why I want to throw those things down my throat several times as I’m running?
Last night I hit up my beloved local running store to make a purchase: Gu.
I’ve heard good things about the Vanilla Bean and the Mint Chocolate, and the regular chocolate Clif is to sample a different brand.
Tomorrow’s long run plan is 14 manageable miles. I feel like that’s a good, safe time to try out these nasty things and attempt to get over my mental hurdle with fueling fear.
I’ll be in Central Park, so I know where the water fountains are. (Yes, I know to take these with plenty of water.)
I’ll also know where the bathrooms are. You know, just in case.
I want to figure out my pre-marathon breakfast as well. Usually I just eat a granola bar and that’s enough to get me through a lot of miles. Anything larger and I don’t feel well. A big breakfast weighs me down.
Tomorrow I may try something new though. We’ll see.
I’m very indecisive and afraid of food when it comes to running.
I am not afraid of wearing long, bright pink skirts on the streets of NYC.
NOW HELP ME: I know you have tips, tricks and genius plans for marathon fueling. Obviously each food plan is customized for your own needs, but I’d love to hear what you have for breakfast and how you fuel (including how often) throughout your race. Please help me. I’m so excited…I’m so excited…I’m so…so…scared…