With the upcoming race, the subject of eating has come up.
While my race isn’t all that long compared to an Iron Man, it’s long enough. It’s been suggested that it wouldn’t hurt to have something between the bicycle portion and the running race (only a dork eats in the pool).
The problem is: I can’t eat and run.
I’ve tried, but even a piece of toast is too heavy for my stomach. It becomes something that restricts my breathing and makes running longer than 200 yards next to impossible.
So, I don’t eat, but with the swimming, biking and running, there’s a good chance I could “bonk,” become light-headed and groggy, which isn’t good either.
Probably, if I was a lighter American and not wildly overweight, I could handle a short sprint triathlon with nothing more than a mineral water and a stick of gum, but I’m an ox.
So, I began looking into things I could take along –and discovered GU.
GU is basically a flavored sugar gel that also contains amino acids and probably caffeine.
I hit up the Cycle Shop in Kanawha City and bought three different types to try out. The idea was that I could give them each a shot and then hopefully have one or two to choose from on race day.
First, the good news: They’re all vegan, including the maple bacon.
Second, the bad news: There’s a reason they come in opaque packages. You don’t want to look at this stuff.
On the charitable side, it looks a little like shampoo. On the uncharitable side, just don’t look at it.
Of the three, the peanut butter tasted the best. It tasted a little like some kind of peanut candy, but it contains no caffeine.
Also, I couldn’t tell if it improved or assisted my performance since I wasn’t actually training, but typing in the newsroom. I did like the flavor, however. It was yummy.
The maple bacon was a novelty. I haven’t actually tasted bacon since December, and Andrew at the bicycle shop sort of warned me about this one. He said, “If you can think of it as like wine tasting. It’s very up front with the maple and then the bacon is at the end.”
I didn’t taste a lot of bacon.
And after a short while, I felt vaguely angry. That could have been the 20 mg of caffeine talking, but that’s barely half a cup of coffee.
I wasn’t overly impressed.
The Tri-Berry was highly recommended. My triathlon mentors seemed to like it, but it tasted like candy with a vague chemical aftertaste –sort of like Runts, maybe.
Unlike the maple bacon, it didn’t fill me with hate.
That was a bonus.
So, I figure I’ll bring along the peanut butter and the Tri-Berry, in case I need a bigger pick me up than just some sugar and peanut goodness.
If I do something like this again, I’ll look into some of the other flavors –you know, after I get a better bike.