Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Test at Bethpage: Gatorade G Series FIT Perform 02

Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 7.35 miles

Nice bottle, but no thanks
I had a mid morning appointment today and that forced me to get out for my run before 7:00 AM. My plan was to get to Bethpage and run the bike trail, covering at least seven miles. I'd rested on Friday because I wasn't feeling great, and I hoped that would give me a performance boost today.

I brought along a bottle of sport drink with a very long name: Gatorade G Series FIT Perform 02. It's an electrolyte mix that's meant to be consumed during a workout. I was testing this mix to see if it's something I should carry during my half marathon. I've learned that satisfaction with performance supplements, like gels and drinks, varies greatly from person to person.

Almost from the start, I could tell that I wouldn't be burning up the trail today. I had none of the energy I usually expect for these long, early morning runs. I thought it would be a good test of the G Series mix, and a good gauge of my ability to cover 7+ miles when starting with an energy deficit. As I started my Garmin, it chirped and showed "Low Battery." Like my watch, I hoped I had enough power to get through today's run.

Considering my low energy, the first couple of miles went by fairly quickly. The temperature was hovering around 30 degrees, but the winds were strong, especially on the way back. I reached the point where I expected to hear a chirp signaling three miles and when I looked at the Garmin the screen was blank. Later, when I recharged the watch, I saw that the battery had given out after 2.61 miles.

Along the way I sipped from the G2 mix, hoping that it would restore my depleted energy levels. The "melon-pear" flavor tasted neither like melon nor pear. In fact it didn't taste like much of anything. Since I didn't have an easy way of knowing how far I'd run or how much time I'd been running, I decided to turn back at a place I could locate on Gmaps so I could measure total distance later.

There were many runners on the trail this morning, mostly running in pairs or in groups. I would have felt lonely except that they were all running faster than me. I wouldn't have been able to keep up with any of them today. I suspect it was the early hour, when competitive club runners go out for long distances before they start their day.

I wasn't hurting, exactly, but I never felt strong as ran along. I started taking sips of the G2 more frequently as I got closer to the end. The last 1.5 miles of the Bethpage bike trail has the most pronounced hills and I needed a boost, even if it turned out to be more psychological than real. As I approached the final long hill, I decided I'd just pace it fast enough so that I could call it running. At that moment, a group of sleek, fit, compression-clad men and women ran by on my left, chatting away as if this hill was a bump. How humiliating.

After I finished my run, I saw that the G2 mix contained nothing to help my energy stores. The whole 16 oz. bottle contained only 5g of carbs  and 4g of sugar. I'd consumed about half the bottle, so all I got was 110mg of sodium and 30mg of potassium. And it also made me a little queasy. So this mix will not be accompanying me on my half marathon in May.

I accomplished a good part of my weekend distance goal this morning. I need to cover almost 6 miles tomorrow to make my "weekend 13". It's not an unreasonable target, but I hope to feel more energized on Sunday.


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