Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sun, wind, hills and homemade gel

While not terribly warm, it was a beautiful day to be alive. I'd picked up a new saddle to try out in the morning, hit up the market for fresh veggies and delicious local meats, had a great brunch, set up and tested the new seat on the trainer for a little over a half hour. Now almost 3pm, I headed out for a little over 10 miles of hills, the first half of which would be climbing into the wind. This was going to be some major hay in the barn for Around the Bay, now just over 2 weeks away (eek!).

Blue skies and sunshine!

Beaver meadow along Roseville Rd.

I needed to be sure that could process nutrition on the run, but I have very little gel left - obvious choice is to make my own and save the good stuff for the upcoming race (though don't technically have enough for the whole thing; best get on that). I literally just ran 3oz of warm water, 1oz of local, raw honey, 1oz of molasses (Christmas gingerbread leftovers) & a dash or two of sea salt into a gel flask and shook it. It foamed quite a bit, and looked somewhat like stout (I shoud've got a photo - next time), but a quick taste confirmed it would probably work. Grabbed my hydration pack as I hadn't drunk enough water through the morning (mmm, coffee) and buggered off.

Langdon Drive

It took quite awhile to get into the run, particularly as a gust of wind nearly stopped me dead about 10mins in. The whole front half was tough slogging, even watching over a dozen birds (from finches and sparrows to Canada geese) get tossed around by the capricious wind. I started with the gel about a half hour in, not hugely keen on the strong molasses flavour but tolerating it well throughout. A 1/2oz sip every 10mins or so, chased with water, was just fine. I don't think I'll make it terribly often and I'm not sure how good it would be for long distance, since it doesn't deliver as many calories as regular gel (but I wouldn't be able to stand it any sweeter), but it did the job for today.

Only 3 months until the Tour de Grand!
Fall and brook opposite Langdon Hall
Stone bridge and rapids by Blair Rd traffic circle.

I actually ended up with near perfect conditions; sunshine, wind and hills for training adaptation, plenty of water, no GI issues, not so much as a blister or chafe. It being the longest I'd run since before Christmas and culminating in a category 5 climb I was certainly hurting a bit toward the end, but it was exactly the kind of run you hope to get back to when you're injured. The hills were hard bloody work, but that was the price of admission for this ride.

Ducks and geese on the Grand River
Always seems to be one step ahead..

I made it through without incident, surprised both by the strength I've managed to keep for running hills and by my pace. Not fast, but quicker than I'd expected given the route. Even better, I managed to bang out 10 x 200m at the pool (after a quick stop at home for a snack and my gear) at my best pace yet. To top it all off, my sweetheart took me out for a walk to our local cafe for the best hot chocolate you'll ever have.

Tanker's caramel latte and my cup of heaven.

Wishing you all can have a thoroughly satisfying day of your own - we're looking forward to the springlike weather tomorrow to take my mountain bike out for a ride with its new pedals!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go on, have at me!