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Jelly Bellies and Yassos

Posted Sep 02 2011 8:23pm
Since my scarring run on Monday, I have been doing some research about what I could possibly substitute my gels and blocks with in order to remain fueled on my long runs. I think I'm going to give Fig Newtons a try for Sunday's long run. Wednesday night, however, when Mike and I were in City Sports, I spotted Jelly Belly Sport Beans. While they are not as "normal" a food as pretzels or Fig Newtons per say, they are a heck of a lot more familiar to my stomach than vanilla flavored GU, so I decided to give them a go.

I devoured them about twenty minutes before my 8 miler on Thursday. Normally I wouldn't fuel for a run of that distance, but I thought it would be better to get sick during an 8 mile run rather than a 20 mile run!

So, how did the Sports Beans and I get along? Just fine actually! They tasted like regular jelly beans and my stomach was not scared of them at all! Does that mean I had a good run? I'm sure I would have had a good run, but unfortunately I forgot about two keys things
1. I sort of forgot to eat on Thursday. Or, rather, I forgot to eat that little extra amount that I would need to get me through 8 miles.

2. I forgot that I ran Thursday morning. While I probably should have been taking in even more calories than normal on account of my already boosted metabolism from the morning run, I took in way less. Oops!

So, while the Sports Beans didn't upset my stomach, that extra 100 calories didn't get me that far either, as overall I didn't really have that much in my stomach to begin with. But even though I was out of energy by mile 3, I persevered and stuck it out through the whole thing (albeit very slowly)! 

Friday morning I was planning to wake up at 5:30 am for a 4 miler. When my alarm went off, however, my body immediately rejected that idea and decided to sleep for an extra hour and a half. No fear though! I was more than willing to push my 4 miles to the afternoon after work. Luckily, since it is Labor Day weekend and I work for the best university ever, we got a 2 pm early dismissal, so I was able to head out for my run earlier than normal. Another reason I was okay with pushing my run to the afternoon? I have been really eager to start using the Penn track, but the timing never works out. The track doesn't open until 8 am (is a 5 am opening so much to ask for!?) and the Penn track team uses it weekdays between 3-6 pm, which is not convenient at all for after-work workouts. Since I had early dismissal on Friday, however, it was the perfect time to get in there and see what it's all about!

I've been wanting to try out Yasso 800s for quite some time. As I approach my first marathon I've been trying to figure out what my goal time is. Earlier this week I decided that I would aim for a sub 4 hour marathon, meaning I have to hold a 9:09 minute mile or less for the entire distance. Frankly, I'm skeptical that I can even pull this number. Looking to build my confidence a little bit, I hope Yasso 800s will do exactly that. If you are unfamiliar with this workout let me explain:
The point of all of this is that if you can complete this workout, then you can supposedly hit your target marathon time. 

My first Yasso 800 workout had splits of 3:48, 3:53, 3:44, 3:47, and 3:42.

As you can see, I started out with 5 repeats instead of 4. I admit, I didn't think this workout would be very challenging, but I was dying by the time I got to the fifth repeat and even considered throwing in the towel. Frankly I don't know how the heck repeat 5 ended up being my fastest. It must be because I knew it was almost over!

As you can also see, I had a little bit of trouble landing 4 minute repeats, and ended up overcompensating quite a bit. This is fine, but the repeats really need to stay consistent. So if I'm going to hit repeats at a 3:45ish pace, I need to hit ALL of them at that pace, not a few of them at that pace and the others at 4 minutes. And who knows, maybe that will land me a marathon time of closer to 3:45 (Ha, yea right!).

And lastly, I'll just mention that I did not take 4:00 minutes (or even 3:45 minute) jogs between repeats. Instead, I decided to go by distance and just lightly jogged 400 meters between each set of 800. These rest periods ended up only being around 2:28 minutes, which might explain why I was so darn tired by repeat 5! The reason I did this, however, is because I get really OCD about logging my distances correctly. Since my Garmin sometime has trouble latching onto the satellites in the city, I decided that for sanity's sake it would be better if I just picked a distance, instead of focusing on time.

Looking ahead, I'm off to DC for the long weekend. On schedule is an easy 3 miles Saturday and my first 20 miler on Sunday (woohoo!) plus lots of friends and family in between!

Happy Running!

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