Root beer. It actually tasted like root beer.
I was standing outside the bathrooms at Kreager Park sucking on a Gu foil packet as my running partners did the same. We were about 7 miles into the Saturday morning run. They were halfway into a long run of 14 miles as they build for a fall marathon. I was nearly finished, with a mile or two to go.
In a past life, the one before baby No. 2, I am not sure that I would have taken in a gel for a 9-mile run. I am slower now, though, and still nursing. My calorie and hydration needs are different, and I have to be diligent – even if it seems silly. So I ate my gel, and it was amazing.
It was the first run in a while that I've required fuel and thus haven't given it much thought. But, alas, with a month till Fort4Fitness, it might be time to start thinking about how I'll handle the day of the races.
Let's just take a look at race day:
6:30 a.m.: Head toward downtown to secure good parking and get to the starting area on time.
7:30 a.m.: 10K starts.
8:27 a.m.: Cross the finish line, hopefully.
10:30 a.m.: 4-mile event begins.
11:10 a.m.: Finish running for the day.
I'll be downtown for nearly five hours and, in a normal day, I'd eat breakfast and a morning snack in that time. On days that I run, I might have two snacks.
I wondered whether I needed a strategy so I consulted Fort Wayne Track Club board member and IPFW Wellness/Fitness Coordinator Judy Tillapaugh.
Her advice? Eat breakfast before the 10K, a snack after the race and a small snack before the 4-mile, with a focus on drinking enough water the day before and the entire morning.
Fort4Fitness will have refreshments available to runners after finishing so I just need to worry about breakfast and, really, there's no worry. I eat one of two things pre-race: toast or oatmeal, either with peanut butter, banana and honey.