midweek runs and long run fuel thoughts

I went for a run yesterday, and it was AWESOME. It was seriously one of those runs I wish I could bottle up. My legs felt strong, and I just felt glorious. I went to a movie last night so I didn’t have a chance to blog about it right away, but trust me, it was an incredible 3.6 miles.
I went for another run today, also 3.6 miles. Not as good as yesterday’s run, but I had a good time. Today’s run was a clearing-my-head run. I was frustrated with work, fighting writer’s block, and I went for a run since I knew I wouldn’t get anything done otherwise. (Did I mention I had writer’s block?!?!)

I’m still pondering my options for mid-run fuel. Since the fruit snacks didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, I want to choose something different for my next long run. I’m aiming for 15-30 grams of carbs per hour. I’ve narrowed it down to three:

Gummy Bears
14 bears=30g carbs
Pros: Cheap. Sweeter than fruit snacks, so it might be easier to swallow. Easy to carry.
Cons: Still chewy. Still requires swallowing. Might still cause me to gag.
This wins on price and bulk, but I really am worried about the gagging thing. It’s not going to do me any good if I start throwing up mid-run on a regular basis.

Gatorade Prime “gel”
One 4oz packet=25g carbs
Pros: Relatively cheap – I can buy it at the grocery store on sale for $1 per 4-oz tube.
Cons: Messy – no way to close the packet once it’s been opened. Kinda bulky.
For an eight-mile run, I’d need two 4oz packets (approx. one packet per hour). It would be cheap, and I think I could deal with the bulk, but the mess would be a problem. I wonder if I could find a gel flask that was pretty easy to carry. On the other hand, I would still have to carry at least 8oz of gel, which might be awfully heavy.

Energy gel (Gu)
One 1.1oz packet=22g carbs
Pros: Small, easy to carry. Potentially easier to swallow.
Cons: Expensive- $1.50 per packet or more, often sold in boxes of 24 or more. Difficult to find – not sold at grocery stores.
A far-out winner for density of carbs. An eight-mile run would probably require 3-4 packets (1-1.5 per hour). I’m a little concerned by the density of calories – would my body be able to handle that many calories at once? And it’s pricey. Then again, it may not be too bad if only need a couple of packets.

Pureed fruit (BuddyFruits)
One 3.2oz packet=15g carbs
Pros: Resealable lids. Reasonable price- less than $1 per packet.
Cons: Bulky. Very bulky.
I’m guessing I’d need 4 packets for an eight-mile run (two per hour). This stuff is is BULKY – four packets of this would be a lot to carry. And the cost would add up. However, it wouldn’t be messy thanks to those lids. And it might be pretty easy to get down.

All that, and I still haven’t drawn any conclusions. I’m leaning toward the pureed fruits, if only because that’s probably the easiest for me to acquire. Though gummies would be pretty easy too. We’ll see.

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