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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. It's amazing what a good workout can do for your attitude about running. Obviously this is not rocket science, but it is something I had forgotten during the last few months as I slogged through workouts not knowing that anemia was to blame for my total lack of energy. I've now been taking iron supplements for five weeks and last Friday I returned to my first CAR workout since the Frederick Half at the beginning of May. During the first mile of the tempo I felt sluggish and dropped off the back of my normal pack. I felt just like I'd felt in March/April/May. But then I started the second mile and something just clicked. My legs felt great and I was just cruising along. I ended up passing a few people and felt great finishing out the 5k. I was so happy about how the last part of the tempo felt and it was an added bonus that it ended up being my fastest 5k tempo ever! I haven't done that many 5ks on the track so it's not quite as impressive as it sounds, but it's still a great sign that the iron is starting to kick in and I'm on the way to turning things around. I then spent the rest of Friday and the weekend thinking happy thoughts about running and looking forward to, instead of dreading, my next trip to the track.

2. On Monday night I went to talk on marathon nutrition. I left thinking that I probably need to spend the summer and fall experimenting with my fueling routine. The nutritionist who spoke was a big proponent of sports drinks serving as the key component of a fueling plan. She talked about then adding in gels or chews to get to the hourly requirements for carbs and sodium. Unfortunately, I've always had a problem combining sports drinks and gels/chews. I seem to end up with a sugar overload and my stomach revolts. I feel like I've had relative success drinking water and taking an electrolyte pill to make up for what I'm not getting by skipping a sports drink. I've been using Hammer Endurolytes, but she mentioned that these only have 40mg of sodium and you need 400mg of sodium every hour after the first one. Since most gels have 40-60mg of sodium, these means that I would need to eat a ridiculous number of pills and gels each hour to get enough sodium. I can only imagine what kind of stomach problems I'd have with that combo! I may test out using something like Gu Brew or Nuun while running, but that then commits me to carrying my own water bottle for the entirety of a marathon. I like starting out with a water bottle, but one that I can toss by about halfway through the race. I did a little online research of other electrolyte pill options and discovered that SaltStick caps have 215 mg of sodium. Just one of these will get me halfway to the hourly goal and sounds a lot more appealing that downing five gels. I've ordered a bottle so that I can start testing them out on runs soon.


3. On Saturday I'm running the Lawyers Have Heart 10k. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this race. I love it because my office has a team and there's a special category for law librarians (last year I got third) and I hate it because it's always ridiculously hot and humid and the course has almost no shade. Last year it was downgraded to a 5k on race morning because of the heat. I'm hopeful that this year it will stay as a 10k since I haven't run one since February 2011. My goal for this race is to PR (under 52:44). I think this is a realistic expectation since the average pace of my current 10k PR is the same as the average pace I ran at the Frederick Half a month ago. My A+ goal is to finish with a time that starts with a 4. I think I SHOULD be able to shatter this goal, but a lack of recent speedwork and the heat and humidity mean that Saturday is probably not the day for that. That last thing I want is a major blowup at 5k. I always say that I plan to start conservatively, but I know that I actually need to do it in this race when heat will certainly be a factor.


14 comments:

Jon said...

Well that settles it, time to do an IRONMAN. See what I did there?

Have a great 10k!

Beth said...

400mg of sodium per HOUR??? That seems like a lot! Then again, I have no idea how much sodium is in the food I eat. Maybe that's normal?

Jessica Karazsia (@irun26at8) said...

Good luck this weekend! LHH is always a fun race. You will do great!

LoveOfShoes said...

1 nuun tab has ~350mg of sodium. Sadly, I can handle Nuun on the bike, but my tummy doesn't like the slight fizz on the run.

Want to hear how the salt stick tabs work!

Dash said...

On my long runs last year I was taking 3 roctane (1 @ start and one every 4-5 miles after that) and 2 Gu Brews (plus another when I finished). I'd carry a tablet with me, so when I refilled, I could pop the tablet in too.
Each GuBrew tablet has 320g of sodium and each Roctane 125g. That's 1015g in two hours. I never felt as good as I did last year doing that and never felt as though I was retaining water or had too much salt.

(which I did with Nuun, but Cris' blog now has me thinking Nuun's double the amount of potassium may have been part of it)

Congrats on your 5k tempo PR!! Yay!

Liz said...

I've heard nuun can give people stomach problems too because some of the ingredients.
Good luck at the race! I hope it isn't too hot and humid.

Victoria (The District Chocoholic) said...

Yeah, I'm with Beth here - 400 mg is how much you'll LOSE in an hour, but in no way should you try to replace it all. I mean Hammer wouldn't make capsules with so little sodium that you need to take like 10 an hour.

Glad to hear the iron situation is better, have fun at the 10k!

AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

I dunno - so much of what that nutritionist said didn't ring true to me, and differs from what I've heard from a lot of other sources, including other nutritionists.

With regard to fueling, my understanding is that you always want to take gels with plain water, not sports drink -- the gels are formulated with the idea that they'll be diluted with water in your stomach. Mix gels with sports drink, and you've got the wrong concentration, and you'll be sick.

Again,I'm not a nutritionist at all, but I'm basing this on what I've read and been told by many other people, including other nutritionists.

But maybe she just lost me at "fuel belt". It also seemed like her fueling recommendations were based in an assumption that we'd all be out there for 4:30+ hours. Which none of us are, unless we take roller coaster rides in the middle...

Sarah said...

I have the salt stick pills sitting in my kitchen, but have yet to try them.

Elizabeth said...

Hmmm. Didn't know that about Endurolytes-- that you still need more electrolytes. Interesting. I hope to run into you tomorrow at LHH. I have a love/hate with that one too. Looks like we'll catch a break on the humidity, but not the heat.

Katie said...

GOOD WORKOUT IS ALL HAPPY YAYYYYYY

Caroline said...

The salt stick tabs changed my racing. Seriously. Nutrition is different for everyone and starting at Placid last year I would take a salt tab every 30 minutes on the bike. The salt aids in the absorption of fluids, and you need fluids to aid in the digestion of the gels. In previous races when I didn't take salt tabs but still drank enough to stay hydrated, the fluid sloshed around everywhere and it was a mess. My stomach was much happier with the added salt/electrolytes for sure. I hope they work out well for you!

Rachel said...

glad you're feeling better! i've upped my iron intake as well and am starting to feel a slight improvement,

i don't do sports drinks on my runs. i do a Gu every 45 or so, and an s cap pill each hour for electrolytes. sports drink would be sugar overload for me, too, plus i don't want to carry a bottle in a race. and i agree with what was said about endurolytes being enough (i.e. you shouldn't have to take 10!)

hope the 10k went well! i've never raced one as i despise that distance!

amyreinink.com said...

Oh, boy. The sodium discussion here just about blew my mind. I am a total sweat-monster when I run, so I'm sure I could do a better job of replacing sodium during the summer ... keep me posted about what ends up working for you!