Sunday, April 10, 2011

The longest long run (yet)

Yesterday I headed out and completed a 15K long run. You'd think that after successfully completing a 10, then a 12.5, that this would be a breeze, but I was nervous and unmotivated to tackle the distance. It was actually the first time on a long run that I even thought about just turning around and packing it in!
Nevertheless, I overcame those negative impulses and went on to finish strong, even running continuously through the last kilometre at a 7:05K pace!
It was a week of many firsts for me, the first time I've topped 30Ks in a week, first 15K distance, and the first run long enough to require me to carry water and fuel.
I wore my new hydration pack, I made a bit of a killing on it at kathmandu and ended up with a 2L hydration pack for the bargain price of $65 all up, including bladder. It's small and quite lightweight, and bothers me far less than I thought it would. I like handhelds and things like that, but with a dog leash in one hand and a handheld in the other life gets complicated fast! I became adept fairly quickly at filling, packing and slurping fluid out of it, and overall I think it'll be a very handy addition to my gear arsenal.

I also carried fuel for the first time, and this was something I'll need to work at. I carried a gel, and a packet of GU chomps.
The gel was a berry flavoured Winners brand gel. Winners is a natural brand that's available in the supermarket. It had some caffeine in it, was thick and reasonably tasty, but I found it difficult to get all the gel out. I also really hate to litter, so I rolled the empty packet up and popped it in my pocket, which led to a sticky mess. I like the taste and convenience of gels but I always seem to end up all sticky and gross from them. I did, however, feel better after taking it at around the 45 minute point.

I probably had too much fuel with me, as later when I moved to the GU chomps I realised the packet was designed to be used over a period of 1.5-2 hours. Still, probably better to have too much than too little. I thought, given that gels are sticky and kinda icky, that I'd really like the chomps. WRONG!
The packet was difficult to open, and I had to wrestle with it for several frustrating minutes. And if the packet fuels two hours, how many chomps do I take, and when? I also didn't like the texture or flavour of them very much, they were sort of icky and chemically tasting. I didn't finish the packet, and I am typically a fiend for anything sugary, so they must have been bad! So, for fuels we go back to the drawing board!

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