Sunday, January 30, 2011

Forget the "shots", I'm happy with my GU

Today's run (treadmill): 5 miles

Such a deal
Somewhat related to Friday's entry, I saw an article this morning on nypost.com that reported that those ubiquitous energy "shots" that you often see on store counters near the register are "nothing more than slightly caffeinated, sour-tasting water."  It surprises me that so many people would pay $4 for 2 oz. of a product that has no FDA approval and (in some cases) doesn't list its active ingredients. It never fails to amaze me how people spend their money and use "herbal" medicines that lack clinically-proved efficacy or safety testing. My experience with Max Muscle Barracuda energy drink that came in a goody bag at one of my races was enough to dissuade me from trying any more products of that type.

I do believe in gels because I know what's in them and why they work. I had a GU "Expresso Love" packet 20 minutes before I started today's treadmill run. The extra caffeine would be a good boost for my planned 50+ minute workout. I started well and held an easy pace. This would be the first run of any distance since last weekend. The best effect of a gel is the way it helps me power through the first few minutes of a run while I transition to aerobic breathing. Before I knew it I had covered a mile and the effort to that point was low.

Five minutes later the treadmill abruptly shut down because I'd inadvertently hit the stop button. I managed to resume my run in less than 30 seconds and I upped my speed for good measure. By the time I reached three miles I'd started weakening due to the heat of the room and the small toe on my left foot was beginning to hurt from the friction of running. I decided that I'd cap my run at 5 miles so I increased the belt speed once more and powered through the next two miles before stopping the Garmin and reducing my speed to a walking pace so I could cool down and lower my heart rate.

This may be the longest run I'll do prior to my 4 mile race next Saturday. The snow has disrupted my access to the roads and trails and, with only the treadmill and elliptical as options, I haven't trained the way I usually do for a race. I'm hoping my conditioning and the short distance will help me get through the Snowflake Run. It will be fun to race for the first time since Thanksgiving week. Hard to know how I'll perform, but no matter what, I'll be glad to be running on something besides the treadmill.

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