From the start, we spoke about my past struggles and also my future goals. With the marathon in mind, she has amazing knowledge of sports nutrition. So rather than focusing on the number on the scale, we agreed to focus on overall feelings. This is also to help me from getting too focused on the wrong thing again since BMI is a guide and not a set-in-stone health rating.
When she asked me what I ate while running, I told her I didn't. I had seen lots of runners using those gel packs in the past but when I tried it just to see, I didn't feel any different. She used the analogy of a car to explain how the right fuel (gel pack) worked. Just like your car, as the fuel tank empties the car will continue on until the tank is empty. Then it might push a little further before just stopping altogether. Your body is the same. When you have a little fuel, you'll keep going but once your tank is empty you'll just stop. In your body, this is when you start cramping, find yourself struggling to focus, and possibly pass out. While you might not notice the difference between 1/4 tank and a full tank, your body will. This is why fueling while running is important.
|Honey Stinger Gel|
The recommendation (for me) was to take in 100 calories (one pack) every forty-five minutes. She recommended I speak with the specialists at running stores to see about the different brands and then try a few. She said that most brands have similar nutrition but can differ in flavor, texture, and more so the recommendation is to try a few different ones and see what works best for me. So far, I've determined I am not a fan of the gels but the chews are alright. I can't get past the texture. I did notice that one ingredient has made a huge difference and that's caffeine. Two different products I've tried so far that had caffeine made me feel a second wave of energy during the run. I asked about this and what I was told is that it can be helpful but I don't want to only use caffeinated products.
Something else I learned is that Honey Stinger is the gel that I'll find at hydration stations during the New York Marathon because of their sponsorship of the event. Since they say to train with what you'll use on race day, I decided to try a few different Honey Stinger flavors and options. The caffeine gel that I really liked was GU Energy Roctane but Honey Stinger makes some varieties I need to try.
Next came hydration. I was told to weigh myself before and after a run because the weigh change would help judge my hydration. Real weight loss wouldn't show that quickly so any changes would be hydration. If you lose more than a pound, you're sweating more than you're drinking which isn't good. I tried it once so far and lost 1.1 pounds so I need to try to be aware of my water intake and have more during the run.
The last part of this blog post is my fundraising. I had the opportunity to host some raffles over the weekend at a community event in the park. I gave away three prizes: two gift cards and a 50/50, which led to a total collection of $114 for American Cancer Society. I'm getting closer to my goal.