Sticky Pockets: Long Run UpDATE

Happy Date Running | Also, forgive the gif.. I'm sick and this is all I can muster! 

Happy Date Running | Also, forgive the gif.. I'm sick and this is all I can muster! 

Hi Guys! Where have I been, right? Well, sick. Super sick, actually. A virus hit me hard and knocked me around, leaving me in the hospital on fluids and on the couch for a solid week. But now, I am slowly ramping up to normal. My stoke is back, I didn't lose much fitness, and I am ready to rock and roll. Let's go!

Running with Dates

Let's go back- before I got this crazy virus, before catastrophe, to my long runs. After burning out repeatedly, I started to look at my run nutrition. I don't love experimenting with long run nutrition, because things can go very wrong very fast. Try the wrong thing, and you could have a very uncomfortable workout.

The flip side? Try the right thing and you've got yourself a food for life.

That food for me seems to be dates. Yeah, I'm shocked too. Zero stomach cramps, no sprints to the bathroom, and no need to nap after. I'm basically in love. Here is the breakdown:

The Day Before
Because no run is an island, I cut out dairy for the full day prior to my long run. Lactose irritates my system in general, and running hard/long seems to kick this irritation into high gear. Best to stay clear.

The Morning Of
Two massive glasses of water. I have yet to really nail down the timing of this (leading to some untimely bathroom breaks) but I think this is key. I am starting to feel that my GI issues on long runs are half nutrition based and half dehydration. This makes sure I start my long run hydrated.

I grab some spoonfuls of overnight oats, swig some coffee, and I'm out the door.

Date Me
I feel best when I fuel early. If I fuel at the advised 45min mark, I'm already behind. So far, this is what works:

30-40min in: 2 dates
60 min in: 2 dates
Every 15-20min after: check in and fuel by feel, 0-2 dates.

For liquids, I've been using only water. One thing to note is that dates are incomplete, lacking the sodium you need on a run. For longer long runs, I've been supplementing with salt pills.

Eat. Right. Away. Like, literally anything. Right now. 

And so far- I feel great! Going forward, I'm a bit worried about, well, all the dates. For a two hour run, I tend to take in 6 dates. That means, if my marathon runs 5 hours, I could be looking at 15 dates. That's a lot of dates. To carry, to consume, to digest. As my runs get longer, I may look at alternating with honey sticks, a fuel that served me well during the North Face Bear Mountain Trail Half. I'll be sure to keep you updated with how it goes!

Philly Marathon Training

Up until these past two weeks, I was cruising in at 4-5 runs a week, and feeling strong. All of that stopped entirely with my virus. 

Now that I'm getting my post-illness energy back, I plan on starting slow. I'll be focusing a lot more on sleep, and trimming back my mileage until I feel back to normal. The virus hit my kidneys hard, so for the next couple of weeks I need to be very careful with hydration. All the electrolytes, please!

Thank you again to everyone who has donated to my fundraiser this season! The positive feedback has been overwhelming, and I'm so excited to help make a difference. You guys rock!