Sunday Melissa and I completed our longest run ever, 14 miles!!! I’m so proud of us because we have come so far. This was the first time we’ve completed a half marathon (plus some) and still felt as though we could have kept going and I don’t feel half as sore as I have after our past races. We’re definitely on the right track!
Besides keeping up with all our training runs (which we both did this week!) we’ve been really focusing on proper fueling before, during and after our runs. Sunday mornings we eat right after waking hoping to give breakfast an least an hour to settle. We’ve been pretty boring about our breakfast choice, but once you find something that works, it’s a good idea to stick with it. Our breakfast always consists of some form of bread; toast, english muffin, bagel, or a waffle topped with peanut butter and honey. Most of what I’ve read recommends you take in 30-60 grams of carbs every hour during your run. So we’ve made 45g our rough goal. During our half marathons, I would try to get by with the least amount of energy gels as possible, but for a full marathon there’s just no way my body would push that far on it’s own.
If we start later than expected we’ll pop a couple of fig newtons for a little kick start before hitting the road. Then at 2 miles we’ll take down our first energy gel. We’ve tried quite a few but I keep going back to Clif Mocha. It tastes chocolately but has a caffeine kick. Melissa doesn’t like this one because it’s really thick. She’s still playing around with a few different brands and flavors, but she’s a fan of the Hammer and Honey Stinger fruit flavors. They’re a lot thinner and easier to take down while running, I just can’t handle the overwhelming sweetness of the fruit flavors…which is really weird because I’m a total dessert fiend. Around mile 5 or 6 we’ll start up on our Honey Stinger Chews, two at a time every mile until all 10 of these delicious gummies are gone. This is one item we recently found that I couldn’t love any more. These are far easier and faster to eat than other chews I’ve tried. And with chews, it’s nice to be able to spread them out over time instead of downing it all at once like you have to do with a gel (it’s easier on your tummy.) We also carry Gatorade and sip it throughout our run along with our water to help replenish electrolytes. This weekend was the first time we’ve had to add a third energy punch, at 11 miles we took a second gel to get us through those last 3 miles. It worked, we survived and we felt pretty good. We’ll probably add our fourth energy punch when we get to our 17 mile run. I know it seems like a lot, but when you’re body is burning through everything it has, you just have to give it more in order to keep going without feeling like death. Sure, 14 miles can be done without ALL of the energy gels that we took, but we would have been struggling and hurting a lot more at the end.
After our long runs we reward ourselves with a much needed chocolate milk. Within 30 minutes of completing a long/tough workout is your body’s optimum time to absorb nutrients. Since we don’t eat a meal immediately after running we make sure to give our bodies the 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein that best helps your muscles recover quickly. It’s well known that chocolate milk is perfect for this, but I found this one from Rockin’ Refuel at HEB with added protein and I’ve never tasted anything better. We buy it in bulk to chug after every hour plus run. It gives us something to look forward to when we’re tired and near the end of our run!