Sunday, October 18, 2009

Agave water: My secret weapon

Since I’m running the 34th Annual Rockville 10K on Nov. 1, (hopefully still with my new blog friend Cat!) I knew today would my last opportunity for a long run before my taper week next week. Since I ran 7 miles last week, I thought I’d kick it up a notch and run 8 this week. Why? Who the heck knows. I’m not following any specific training plan, I’m just running to run.

Before I left I realized that I forgot to pick up coconut water when we went food shopping yesterday. I don’t have any Goo or sport beans or anything like that (nor will I spend my money on them) but I knew that I probably should have something with calories in it to help me along my run. I searched my cupboards for something that I knew would help keep me fueled but without that crazy sugar rush. That’s when I spotted my Agave nectar.

Here’s a little info on agave for people like my mom who doesn’t really know all too much about it. Click HERE for everything you need to know about agave nectar.

I put a tablespoon of agave nectar and mixed it in with my water bottle. I figured, what the heck? It’s a natural sugar with a low glycemic index so I knew I wouldn’t get a crazy sugar rush. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else.

Well, I’ll let the numbers do the talking. Check out these stats:

8 miles 1:14:03

Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 8:44 (!!)
Mile 3: 9:04
Mile 4: 9:26
Mile 5: 9:09
Mile 6: 9:35
Mile 7: 9:30
Mile 8: 8:52 (!!!)

Ok now let me start out by saying that this was a fairly flat route until the last 3 miles, where there were a few good hills, but I was able to make up for the up hills by flying down the down hills. (make sense? where’s my English?)
I was actually feeling like the run was too easy because it was so flat, so I started looking for hills to run after avoiding them in the beginning, knowing I had a few good hills on my way home. But man I felt AWESOME during miles 6-8, and I just tore it up on that last mile. I honestly feel that the agave water helped give me the boost I needed to keep me fueled during the run. Also, it forced me to drink more water. I have the tendency not to drink enough because I don’t feel thirsty when I’m running.

Also, I will have to say that I’ve been doing a lot of speed work too. Last Tuesday I did a 2 mile tempo run with a one mile warm up and one mile cool down, and Thursday I ran 4 miles with a one mile warm up, 2 miles @ 2x800 sprints, and the last mile @ 2x400 sprints. So maybe there’s something to be said by that. Either way, I’m feeling great and I’m really happy to finally see my numbers improve.

Another thing I’m happy about is that I’ve made it through my 7 mile rut. During my long runs and especially during the Boilermaker 15K I ran in July (recap here,) when I reached mile 7 I was completely out of gas. I had such a hard time pushing through those last 2.3 miles and if I hadn’t been running with my buddy Ann, I would have crawled across the finish line.

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Did I mention how awesome that beer tasted? And how much fun we had?

Ann—we’re gonna rock the Boilermaker next year!!

Off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday!!

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