Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm Your Candy Man

Sunday was a packed day, full of family-get-together plans, and my training schedule called for a 14-miler, which meant getting out the door early-ish, say 8:30 a.m.

I may have mentioned in the past that I'm not a morning person, so waking up was already a chore. And if I wanted to eat something before my run, I had to get up even earlier. I tried, honest I did. Instead of awaking at 7:30 as planned, I pulled myself from the warm confines of bed a little after 8:00.

If I ate something like a bagel as I had planned, I'd probably find the Puke Threshold in the first couple miles. Or at the very least, I'd be suppressing an angry food baby the whole way. I opted to skip breakfast, but I figured I'd need some sort of caloric intake for the nearly two and a half hours I'd be running.

That's when I remembered the Jolly Ranchers in the candy bowl.

I loaded up the tiny pouch on my handheld water bottle with seven pieces of sugary goodness (one for every two miles), and I hit the Towpath. I unzipped the pouch and pulled out my first candy at the second mile marker I passed, and it lasted a good while longer than I expected. All told, I consumed only four pieces.

I am unashamedly a cheapskate. I have purchased various electrolyte products like gels and sports drinks in the past, but I find them pricier than they are helpful. Why do I have to pay so much for a serving of carbohydrates, potassium and sodium? And then I have to suck one down every hour? I don't think so.

The candy provided me with a long-lasting trickle of moisture and carbs, and I felt strong the entire run. I don't have a cost-benefit analysis prepared yet, but I assure you that you'll get more for your dollar's rapidly declining value with a bag of Jolly Ranchers than you will with a box of Gu. However, I cannot guarantee that your face won't break out with zits.

[Drunkard's note: Comparing the nutritional information for Jolly Ranchers and Gu, I consumed one and a third servings of Jolly Ranchers instead of four recommended servings of Gu. Though Jolly Ranchers contain far fewer calories, carbohydrates, potassium (none) and sodium than Gu, my run didn't suffer for it. And neither did my wallet.]

11 comments:

Vanilla said...

I once followed someone's suggestion of snickers on a run. It wasn't a good suggestion. Maybe I'll give the Jolly Ranchers a chance.

Roisin said...

I've seen people hand out jolly ranchers at races. I have yet to partake because I worry about the choking potential. Then I'd reach the puke threshold pretty darn quickly.

Sun Runner said...

Chocolate-covered coffee beans are my insta-pep snack of choice. You've got sugar and caffeine in one tasty package...what more does one need?

Nitmos said...

Don't try tacos. Trust me. They are messy to carry.

Jeri said...

I "did" Jolly Ranchers in a high school basketball game once, granted it was for a sore throat and I HATE cough drops. But I did have my best game ever. Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence. :)

S said...

I like to use either gummy bears or fruit flavored tootsie rolls on mine. But i never thought of jolly ranchers...I'll have to try that on my next long run.

Funnyrunner said...

how funny. they hand out skittles, jolly ranchers, m&ms, all that s*&t at marathons... I've never tried them. I eat a half bagel before long runs, but I have better luck with the puke threshold than you, which i've pushed to the limit because I don't do mornings very well either.

With all that said, I could have used a jolly rancher around mile 14 of my 16 last Sunday - I really conked in the humidity....

not that you care, but I've switched to Accel Gel rather than Gu because it has this patented 4:1 carbs to protein ratio... it's supposed to reduce muscle damage on speedwork and long runs and IT WORKS.

Mike said...

I load up on sugar before my run, but I use GU because it's easy to digest. I don't want to eat while I'm trying so hard to breathe. I don't know how to self-Heimlich at an 8 minute pace.

Anyway it was a good post that managed to divert us from the fact that you couldn't drag your sorry ass out of bed.

By the way, belated congrats on the huge 10k PR. Was it a nooner?

Al's CL Reviews said...

At the bike shop, right next to the Gu, they sell Jelly Belly's.
And not sports ones, just regular...

I've not gone far enough where I need "energy" but when I do, I'll keep Jolly Ranchers in mind.

Carolina John said...

that's a good idea Viper! i'm always sucking gu, i'll have to give the jolly ranchers a try.

Spike said...

I would insist on avoiding the lemon flavor, I want to run not hate everything. I'm also all for gummy bears.

but I'm a morning runner, I love to hit the road by 7am at the latest.