Rotating Blogroll: Chicago Edition

Heya.  I pretty much spent my Sunday running and working. So how about another installment of the Rotating Blogroll?  Check out these awesome peeps, all of whom happen to be training for the Chicago Marathon as well:

  • Steph ( had a great debut marathon last year in 3:46 and is shooting for Boston this year too!  We are in the same corral at Chicago; I’m hoping we can be pace buddies!
  • Brie ( is hilarious and not afraid to talk candidly about her blisters.  I can’t wait to meet her!  Plus, she’s a newlywed who has some amazing wedding pictures – check them out!
  • NYFlyGirl (, who I was thrilled to finally meet in person at yesterday’s Club Champs, is also going for a BQ!  Plus she likes to drink boxed wine in the park, which always gets a thumbs-up from me.
  • Mozzer Confessionals ( is a relatively new addition to CPTC and although he’ll be miles ahead of me during the race, I’m thrilled that a teammate will be out there with me on October 10!  Go orange!
  • FlyRunner ( is such an inspiration to those that are hoping to improve their speed!  I’ve followed her blog for a little while now and it’s been amazing to see her go from a nearly-4:00 marathoner to a 3:25-er in less than a year.  I’m excited to see what she can do at Chicago, especially with a flat course and (hopefully) favorable weather – I’m sure she’ll kick ass!

May we all beat blisters and crush PRs on October 10!

Today’s EAT: Between my long run (more on that in a minute) and a full day of work, tonight was destined to be a delivery night.  Everything sounded kinda meh until I realized there was one cuisine we hadn’t had in quite a while: Indian.

Chicken Tikki Masala with brown rice and garlic naan hit the spot.  I always forget how good Indian food is! And I love that there are always lots of little spicy dips to play with:

The greenish one was minty and delicious – my favorite.  The brown one was sort of sweet and also amazing.

Today’s DRINK: We have a new wine toy to play with, folks!

An aerator!  Thank, mom and J, for the great birthday present!  Hmm, will this make our $7 bottles taste like $30 bottles?  I think so!

Today’s RUN: Today started bright an early with a running date with Megan.  After running about 3 miles up to the park, we met up and cranked out a another 12 with a combo of the bridle path, big park loop, and a fun little finish up to the 125th Street subway station, where I proceeded to drip sweat all over a Dunkin’ Donuts (sorry, Dunkin’) and the A train (sorry, fellow MTA riders).

Pace was surprisingly decent throughout, averaging around 8:30.  Everything was well under 9:00, and even pulled off a few 8-flats near the end!  A feat for me, considering that I almost upchucked several times in the middle of the run after eating a Mint Chocolate Gu.  Ugh.  Not a good flavor for me.  Actually, I’m thinking of switching away from Gu altogether and trying ShotBlocks or dried fruit or something else.  The last few times I’ve taken Gu during a long run, I’ve ended up with some mean nausea. 😦

Anyway.  Gu issues aside, it was a great run!  We saw amarathoner and ran with him for a bit before he headed out to the west side, and also spotted Jess and and Kath on the road at CP.  There was a whole lotta blog running in the park this morning. 🙂

Today’s QUESTION: Do you use Gu/gels/etc when you run?  What’s your favorite type and flavor?


25 responses to “Rotating Blogroll: Chicago Edition

  1. What?!? My favourite flavour is mint chocolate. Guess that’s why they make lots of different flavours and there are lots of different brands, not to mention everything from blocks to jelly beans to bars…Good luck finding something that doesn’t make you hurl! 🙂

  2. All Gu gives me indigestion. I use Hammer Gel and sometimes Cliff ShotBlocks if I feel like chewing. Anything chocolate, mint, or espresso makes me gag.

  3. I need to do something really spectacular to get on your blogroll. Nice long run! Did I see somewhere you got a Garmin? Did it change your life?

    I really seldom eat during long runs, although I’ve never topped 17 miles. I like ShotBlocks a lot, but they are no good for races. My one experience with trying to eat them in motion involved the block getting stuck on one of my back molars, as I tried to suck the carbohydrates off of it for a mile. Weird, gross, and ineffectual. But if you can slow down to chew, they are pretty good.

  4. I use the Clif Shot Gel in mocha because it has caffeine and tastes like chocolate frosting.

    If I’m doing the Clif Shot Bloks I prefer the margarita, black cherry and cola flavors. I also have started using Sharkies and really like those (especially the watermelon flavor – not phony watermelon at all).

    I’m not a big fan of the Gu Chomps though. They stick to my back teeth and are kind of gross because they are so big.

    I’m also running Chicago and just found your blog recently so hi! 🙂

  5. Aw, shucks. Thanks!

    I am a Chocolate Gu devotee. Eating anything that requires chewing during runs doesn’t sit well with me.

  6. My favorite for taste and consistency are Sharkies – small, gummy, electrolyte-laden sharks. I guess they’re all natural, but that’s secondary to me to the fact that they work, they’re easy to carry, and they go down with no problems. I like shot blocks in theory (MUCH prefer the gummy stuff over the gels!) but the packages are big and lumpy. Hard to carry and in race photos, very awkward looking. (Yeah, that’s superficial of me!)

    The only problem I have with the gummy stuff is that I need to take water while I ingest them, so it’s tricky to get the timing right (the gu I just down at a water stop and move on). Sports beans are the worst for me – they are SO sweet.

  7. I do not like Gu’s. The texture is so strange to me! I like sport beans the best. But I have to drink alot of water with the beans or else my stomach turns to mush.

  8. The rotating blogroll is such a great idea with those mini-bios. I’ve never used Gu or gels. In my one and only marathon, I ate a clif z-bar. Well, half of it… sort of. Need to do a better job of figuring that stuff out next time…

  9. Thanks so much for the shout-out!! 🙂

    I prefer PowerGel-I used to use the Plain Energy flavor (which just tastes sweet-kinda like rock candy) but now I use Tangerine with double caffeine. I just find the consistency of PowerGel to be much, much better than GU (GU I find to be too thick.) That said, I find that flavors I absolutely love-vanilla and lattes-do NOT translate to gels 🙂

  10. I actually just bought a whole bunch of Gu at the NYC Running Co on Wednesday, and got overly excited about it in front of 2 store employees!
    That aside, I love the Espresso flavor, Chocolate Mint, and plain old Chocolate. I can’t do the fruit flavored ones.
    I’ve tried Shot Blocks, but they just don’t seem to do as much for me as I’d like.
    This all, of course, being taken with a grain of salt, as I’ve been running for a grand total of 10 months and am 4 weeks into training for my first marathon. I might be sick of everything by the time November 8th finally arrives and I’m not training anymore.

  11. Absolutely can we be pace buddies! That is, if I can keep up with you! You are much stronger and faster than I am.

    If I use a gel, its always Hammer brand. Right now I have a big bottle of the raspberry flavor that I put into my fuel belt flask w/ a little bit of water so it’s more of a drinkable consistancy.

    I am also a big fan of Hammer HEED. It’s easier for me to get down while running. I prefer the heed over the gel, but my dad bought me the bottle of raspberry gel so I have to use it. :0)

  12. I’ve just started testing gels, etc. on long runs. I’ve found I’m not so graceful with the gels 🙂

    I used to take some dried fruit on a long run, but it was a bit cumbersome to unpackage. I am now using Clif Shot Bloks (does it bother anyone else they don’t have a ‘c’ in bloks?) – strawberry. I tried to find the most ‘natural’ in the energy supplements and this is the closest I can find so far.

    My uncle has used Skittles and really likes those… 🙂 Hey, whatever works!

  13. The Aerator is my superhero name… we bought one of those for my sis in law last Xmas- did you do a taste test? Notice any difference?

    “mmm this wine tastes all aerated-y now.”

    I like the Gu chomps – they don’t seem to stick to my teeth like the shotbloks do. And, I hate the gels…no matter what flavor, they remind me too much of the consistency of…well, you know.

  14. I use GU on long bike rides. So far I haven’t used them on runs but I’m participating in the Hood to Coast Relay race this month and plan on using them for that!

  15. I use sport beans mostly – I’ve had major GI issues with the gels/gus:-/ I’m not particular to a flavor – figure it makes it easier if I end up not having a choice:)

  16. Ugh sorry the chocolate mint was no good. My coach used to mix it with a little bit of water and claimed it tastes like chocolate milk.??
    I am personally loyal to the Sharkies (hey, they’re vegan!) but will also go for the Carb Boom chews.

    Love the wine aerator. I got a portable one in my stocking this Christmas. My wine pal calls it the wine bong!

  17. SHOT BLOCKS. Pleaaaaaase switch to shot blocks, or whatever comparable gummy product you can find. I also have a terrible history with Gu and gastro issues. Also also alsooo I want to hear your review of the wine aerator after you’ve tried it on a few bottles 🙂 My mom has one that I could easily take….

  18. Yo!!! In your pic you look so happy near the booze. Funny how we don’t see that joy on Thursday night tempos. 🙂

    I used 2 GUs for Sunday’s 18 – Tri-Berry.

  19. Nice running! I have yet to try Gu during long runs – I’m afraid my stomach will revolt, but I have to bite the bullet soon and give ’em a whirl. Thus far, a Gatorade/water mix has done the trick!

  20. I believe you already know my thoughts on gus/gels…bad experience during the Boston Marathon 2009. Oy.

    Clif z bars, all the way!

  21. my weapon of choice: GUs – 2X caffeine (either tangerine OR espresso)

    Btw- i even tested out the honey stinger gels during my ultra this summer. Not bad at all!

  22. hey–saw the link to your blog on flygirl’s blog. it’s always fun find other nyc runners 😉 nice job @ club champs. i missed it this year but have always thought it was fun. re: gu’s/gels.. i choke ’em down when necessary (long runs, marathons, etc). usually they taste gross and lead to a cramp for me.

  23. Ohh I LOVE indian food. That’s making me want some RIGHT NOW! I don’t eat it often, but mostly because I can’t be trusted when naan is on the table!

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