Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moving, Forward and Up

Before you start harping on me about my hiatus from blogging, know two things:

1. You can always keep track of my workouts on dailymile.

2. I moved. Yes, I'm still living in Portland. No, that doesn't make the process any less stressful.

Unpacking at the new place. Clothes EVERYWHERE.

To sum up, week 4 of SR training was spent packing up my old place, and week 5 was spent getting settled into my new place. As a result, I scaled back on my mileage for those two weeks (ran 34 miles out of the scheduled 51 for week 4, and 41 of the scheduled 60 for week 2). I also scaled back because it was HOT out here. No joke, it hit 99 degrees one day last week. (I think the last time I was anywhere that hot was when I lived in NYC.) And running in it was HORRENDOUS.

With that being said, my runs just didn't feel good over these last two weeks. Paces that typically feel easy suddenly felt sluggish, and I felt as sluggish as I did when I was struggling with iron deficiency a few months ago.

That could be for several reasons. One obvious explanation would be the heat. According to an article in Runner's World, "Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile." It could be related to sleep, as I haven't done much of that since before I moved. Another potential explanation would be the iron. I just learned the other day that both regular and decaf coffee contain phenols, which inhibit iron absorption, and I have had more of that in recent days (though it hasn't been much). I would also try to blame the 4th of July party where I got glutened, but that would only explain Saturday and Sunday's runs. So who knows. My guess goes toward explanations #1 and 2.

Speaking of hydration/fueling, let me tell you a great lesson I learned Sunday! You ready for this??

Not all sports gels are gluten-free.

I was about to head out for my long run Sunday (18 miles, which ended up being in the 80-something degree heat) when I looked at the label for the chocolate flavored Clif shot, and saw that it contains maltodextrin. Now I remembered from my recent research on soaps and cosmetics that maltodextrin is a gluten-containing ingredient that is sometimes found in soap, shampoos, etc., so I went to Clif's website, and confirmed that both the shots and the shot blocks are not gluten-free. Fortunately, Gu Energy GelsHammer Gels, and Honey Stinger Gels are all gluten-free, so I'm not particularly worried about my long-run fueling. But does anyone know of a flavor that's super-caffeinated and gluten-free? I need to find a fix for my beloved Clif chocolate cherry gel that contains two shots worth of espresso!

Do you have any theories on my sluggish training? And/or any recommendations of caffeinated sports gels?


  1. Moving blows. Glad it's over for you!! And it totally makes sense to me that tour training was affected by all those variables that life threw at you over the past two weeks. It happens, unfortunately :) and hmmm...did you check AG? I'm guessing they also prob have maltodextrin. Minimally, they have whey (boo). Or maybe Vega? I've not tried their stiff though.

    1. I checked out AG since you fangirl those bad boys (yes, I'm aware of how that sounds, but I can't bring myself to edit it out), but the whey is the downside (they are GF, at least). I just looked at Vega. The bars and gels look great (vegan, GF, flavors that sound appealing), though I'm curious if they contain any caffeine. That could be a question for Vega Customer Service though. Thanks for the tips!