Several of my friends have talked about Generation U Can before – using it as fueling during a race. I’ve seen it at expos, but really? The one thing you drill into your head as a runner is “nothing new at races” so I haven’t tried the sample or anything.
But I did some investigation about it and was intrigued between that and my friends’ stories of it. Really? Do a long run on *just* the GenUCan before? And maybe one during the long run if it’s going to be over 4 hours? No breakfast before? No gels or chews during? Really? (And there’s a recovery shake as well for after.)
So…I decided to try it.
Last week’s long run was 8 miles, so I didn’t carry anything with me. I got up, had my shake (pomegranate blueberry), got dressed, and headed out about 30 minutes after drinking the shake. I just had water in my handheld. I did carry money with me in case I needed to stop and get something else – I wasn’t fully trusting the system yet.
And it went well! I didn’t feel the need to refuel at all!
But that was just 8 miles.
This weekend was to be my 20 mile run. It ended up being on Monday because of my work schedule at the store, but that’s ok. The morning started with the same drill. I opted to go with cranberry-raspberry for this one as I had 2 packets of it. I mixed up one packet and put it in the bottle to go in my Nathan waist-pack for about 10 miles in, then mixed up the other and had it before wriggling into my compression 3/4 tights and dressing the rest of the way. Knowing I planned to end in Central Park and had to do some last-minute grocery shopping, I carried a packet of the recovery mix (I picked chocolate) with me. I had money for a bottle of water – and I carried a bit more again for just in case.
I took off from my apartment and headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, then over it and down to Hudson River Park where I ran up to Riverside Park and worked my way up and over to Central Park. Around 10 miles, I stopped and sucked down the bottle I had with me. I didn’t totally need it yet, but I know it’s better to fuel early because if you wait until you feel like you need it, you’re too late. Around Mile 14, my knees started hurting a little, but I kept going, even if I was only walking (briskly) at times. And I finished Mile 20 still not really feeling the need for any more fueling. (I do think that in the marathon I will take advantage of the chocolate as we enter the studios…that’s over 20 miles in, and I do think I will need something by then.) Whee!! I walked over to a bodega and got some water to mix up my recovery drink, downed that, and then did my shopping.
I did get pancakes after shopping because I was hungry, but that’s cool. I went to Lansky’s and ended up at a little table next to another runner. He noticed my RoadID on my ankle, and we started talking about races we’ve done. Very cool.
But bottom line…I’m definitely a believer in GenUCan and definitely plan to use it during the marathon! I’m pumped!! TWO WEEKS!!