Tag Archives: GU

Good Morning, No to Shoes, Yes to GU

Good morning or good afternoon from this side of the world.

 
Good Morning

 
Yes, that’s me first thing in the morning.
But I have my coffee, that might be why I’m smiling.

 
I didn’t buy new shoes yesterday, I was able to resist the temptation.

 
But look what I found:

 
Salted Caramel GU

 
Salted caramel GU.
I’ve read so much about this new flavor (great marketing GU, congrats on that), but wondered if I’d ever see it here in Israel.

 
Well, I did!  Bought me a few.

 
GU Etc

 
I can’t even believe that finding a particular GU flavor at the store is making me this happy.  I almost sat in my car right then and there and tried it, but decided against it.  It would have been a waste of sugar consumption.

 
Also GU chomps which I’ve been meaning to try.
You wouldn’t believe how expensive this stuff is around here…

 
I still have a box of 24 assorted flavors GU gels from when I was in the US last month, but you can never have too many.

 
That little packet on the right is an Israeli gel, they gave me a sample.  I haven’t tried it yet but I will.  I love that it’s local, what I don’t like already is that it’s smaller than a regular GU (or other brands), 60 calories instead of 100.  And the consistency seems too liquidy, which I’m not sure I will like.

 

 
Easy run this morning, 15 minutes warm up (walking and light jogging), and 35 minutes of tempo running at a relatively comfortable pace, 05:00 Min/KM (08:03 Min/Mile).

 
I did this on the treadmill and it got boring.  That pace would have been easier to run outside.

 
Plus 20 minutes of abs.
Not the most enjoyable workout but you gotta do what you gotta do.

 

If you use gels, what’s your favorite flavor?

Mine so far is the GU Espresso Love and GU Chocolate Outrage.  They both have caffeine in them (40mg and 20mg respectively) so that’s a bonus for me.

 

 

What I Take When I Go Running, and I’m a Gear Addict

 
I admit I’m one of those people that if I’m uncomfortable, I just can’t function. When I go running, I have to have as little on me as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, because I am a little obsessed with running gear, and own way more than I need… I just don’t want it all on me at the same time.

 
CAR KEYS:
Don’t you love running bottoms with zipper pockets on them? I don’t buy them without them, learned my lesson.
Because I usually don’t run straight from my house, but either drive to the boardwalk or drive closer to the gym to run around that area so I can do some strength/swimming/shower afterwards, I have to have my car keys with me. That’s when that zipper pocket comes in handy. Put the key in there, and forget about it.

 

 Those pockets are a life saver

Those pockets are a life saver


 
MUSIC:
I don’t think I ever ran without listening to music, I bet if I did I would run so much slower.. The rhythm of the music helps me move, and keeps me entertained.. how do people run without it, I would be so bored…
But then I would never consider swimming with musi, and some people love it, to each their own, of course.

 
So my IPod Shuffle is always with me, I have a pink one I bought I think 3 years ago, and it still works perfectly. I thought of buying a new one but there’s no point until this one stops working, since I would get the same exact model anyway. I love how small and light it is, and the back clip that I just attach to the waist of my shorts/pants and don’t feel for the whole run (the IPod doesn’t move or fall). I wish they had a screen to display the songs I’m listening to, but I guess they can’t fit one in such a small device, and really, size is everything in this model.

 
IPod Shuffle

 
HAIR TIE:
I know this sounds obvious, it is to me, but I’ve seen girls running with untied hair and I just don’t get it. I always run with a pony tail and pray that my hair tie doesn’t break.

 
 Simple and strong

Simple and strong


 
RUNNING WATCH:
I started running with my phone to record my time and my distance (although GPS on a smart phone is not that reliable in my personal experience), eventually moved on to a regular timer watch, which was a few hundred steps backwards in terms of technology, but at least I could wear it on my wrist and didn’t have to carry it in my pocket like I had to with my phone.
The timer watch worked fine, I measured the distance of my usual routes with Google Maps so by knowing what time it took me to run the route, I could calculate my speed.
And recently I got a Garmin so now I’m back in the 21st century.

 
 Same thing, right?

Same thing, right?


 
WEATHER RELATED GEAR:
I run early in the morning so in winter it is usually cold. Depending on the temperature, I wear gloves and/or a hat. I’d rather wear gloves than the hat because the hat sometimes makes me too hot mid run. The gloves I can usually stand until the end of the run.
If I’m running later than 08:00 AM, I take running sunglasses because the sun is strong here, even in winter.
I’ve never ran with a sun hat or visor, not even in the summer, I guess I would if I were to run closer to noon.

 
 I'd rather just pick one

I’d rather just pick one


 
NUTRITION:
I don’t take fluids and I cannot imagine myself carrying any kind of bottle or water belt. Maybe someday if I’m training for a marathon? I think I would just do routes with water fountains in them, seriously.
I also don’t take fuel on regular runs or long easy runs. The only time I take a GU gel is when I’m doing a long run with a fast finish, since I’ll be making a hard effort from the half point on, and I eat it a few minutes before I start to run faster.

 
Gu Gel

I get the variety pack but my favorite is Espresso Love


 
I like to see other people running by me with all their cool stuff (hair bands, arm sleeves, calf sleeves, water/running belts, phone arm bands), but I can’t do it.

 

 

Race Recap – Half Marathon Airport City

Half Marathon Airport City was my first half marathon and 2nd race overall. It was on December 7th.

 

 Airport City Half Marathon

Airport City Half Marathon


 
Airport City is basically a small business center built close to the airport, with some companies (mostly high tech I think) and an outside mall.
I work on airport grounds so the area of the race was very familiar to me.

 
 That's basically the whole thing

That’s basically the whole thing


 
I’d been toying with the idea of running a half marathon for a while (well actually I thought about a marathon but that seemed a bit unrealistic), but the actual distance scared me. Eventually as I slowly upped my weekly running distance and my long run distance, I started feeling more comfortable with the idea of racing a half marathon, and decided to go for it. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing, I only registered for the race 2 weeks before.

 
I woke up early, as usual, had coffee and an oatmeal bar, and was out the door by 6:10 I think. The race started at 08:00 and I was planning on getting there by 07:00, although leaving the house so early put me there at about 06:30, which was fine, I couldn’t sit at home anymore.

 
It was actually nice to get there early because the parking lot was almost empty, and picking up my race bib took about 10 seconds, although they had a weird system going in which first you had to go look your name up in a list, remember the number next to your name (bib number I think), and then go pick up your bib by telling the volunteers the number, hoping you remember it? Really, next time just do it by name, please.

 
 My bib

My bib


 
The starting line was right by the outside mall, all the stores and restaurants were closed except a coffee place, but the food court building was open so it was nice to wait inside, it was cold that day, and to be able to use their restrooms instead of port a potties. That was actually really nice.

 
I had about an hour to kill before going for a warm up run, so I looked around the race expo (there were only a few vendors), sat for a bit, and tried to relax.
At 07:30 I went to my car, took off all the extra layers I was wearing and put on my compression socks and running shoes, I had been wearing flip flops until that point. I was cold in a tank top and shorts, but that translates into perfect race weather. Chilly at first, not too hot by the end of the race.

 
I warmed up walking for 5 minutes and running for about 10, very slow run, I really didn’t want to tire my legs at all before the race. To me the half marathon distance is still no joke. Then I had a GU.

 
The race started almost on time, I think about 5 minutes late, which I saw no reason for but maybe they were delayed closing the roads or something? My plan was to stay with the 01:50 pacer for the first few KMs, then try to catch the 01:45 pacer over the next few KMs and get to him at about the half point. After that I would decide either to stay with him or go a bit faster. I knew there was no way I would catch the 01:40 pacer, so it was kind of stay in between.

 
 100m after the start line.  You can see my pony tail at the far left of the picture.. and those orange balloons are the 1:50 pacers.

100m after the start line. You can see my pony tail at the far left of the picture. 


 
I did stay with the 01:50 pacer but only for I think the first KM or so, and then decided I could run a bit faster, and get on with a 05:00 Min/KM (08:03 Min/Mile) pace. I didn’t have a GPS watch at the time, so I was just looking at my regular timer watch every KM marker and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could actually keep a pretty even pace. Each KM that went by, I saw almost exactly another 05:00 minutes to my time. A bit before the half point I started picking up the pace a bit, caught the 01:45 pacer about half way, and picked up the pace some more.

 
 Yeah, 3 hours of waiting, that can't be fun

Yeah, 3 hours of waiting, that can’t be fun


 
This is when things didn’t go as well as I had hoped for. I had thought that if I had the energy to run faster after the half point, it would be at an average pace of 04:40 Min/KM (07:33 Min/Mile) up until the end. What happened, not surprisingly, is that I started the 2nd half too fast, and was feeling it badly after 5 KM (3 miles) with still 5 KM (3 miles) to go…

 
So the last 5 KM (3 miles) were slower than I had intended.. about 04:50 Min/KM (07:47 Min/Mile). If anything I wish it had been the other way around and run slower at first and finish faster and stronger. Instead of finishing thinking that I never want to run again in my life. At all.

 
It got a little lonely the last few KMs, there were about 1000 people in the race but only about 400 were running the half marathon (there were also a 5K and a 10K), and we were spread out by now.

 
There were 3 water/gatorade stations along the course but since it was a turnaround at the half point, we went by each station twice, so 6 opportunities to drink. I’m not used to drinking while running, this was the first time I drank and I only had a few sips of water, I think twice. Not enough. Gotta master drinking and running at the same time. I did have a GU a bit before the half point.

 
airport-2013_2661

 
Official finish time was 01:41:32.

 
 It's over, I can smile now

It’s over, I can smile now. (The banner below is an advertisement for another race)


 
After the race I stretched for a few minutes, and bought some coffee to warm up because it felt cold when not running. Someone told me my lips were blue. Nice.
The post race snacks were really lacking, they had big bottles of water, which was fine, but why not smaller bottles which are easier to hold/drink? And to eat they had some fruit, I think apples and pears…. Sorry but that’s not enough for me.. Give me at least a banana, an energy bar maybe? Yogurt? I need Food!

 
Overall I thought it was a good race, small, well organized, friendly staff, nice route (although hilly), easy parking, and start/finish right by the mall and parking lot. The negatives were the bib pickup system and post race snacks, nothing major.