Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Power gels or chocolate?

When running a marathon, a past pre-race routine has been to drink a lot of gatorade, a can or two of Boost and then down a powergel, shortly before the race starts. Later in the race I take a gel at the 15K and 30K marks and further on, if needed. Through the years, as my body became better at using fat as a fuel, I needed fewer carbohydrates.

Mounds Dark Chocolate - 2 mini-bars

Power gels are the yuckiest, things you can imagine, a sugary, gooey syrup that must be followed with water in order not to gag on the stuff. Years ago, I asked a friend, a PhD in nutrition to analyze the contents to see if there was anything other than glucose in the mix. The answer, NO. Since I sometimes would have a power gel near the end of long run, I decided why pay nearly $2 for this concoction when I could be eating chocolate.

Mocha Clif Shot

In addition to the improved taste, a chocolate bar purchased on the run, also buys you a ticket to a washroom. This is a real bonus in the winter when most of the washrooms in city parks are shut down.

The talk at the high school went well. And the thank-you gift, a box of Lindt chocolates, inspired my blog topic. Chocolate however, does take a bit more effort to ingest so the gels, while racing the marathon will still be required.

Peanut Butter Crunchy Bar

Picking my poison, my preferred gels are Clif Shots with Mocha, my favourite flavour.

The mocha flavour is special because it has caffeine in it. Although this is only available in the U.S. as Canadian Food and drug regulations do not allow caffeine to be present in gels. I don’t normally go for sports bars but while traveling find that they are handy (and economical) items to have on hand in while on-the-go, in transit. My husband and I like the Peanut Butter Crunchy bar.

The best box of chocolates I’ve ever had was a gift from our across-the-street neighbours, who really know “good things”.

Stubbe Chocolate

The chocolates were from Stubbe which has a location at Dupont and Christie. The other day I bought two Stubbe chocolate bars at the LIT Espresso bar for my son and our roommate.  I’ve become a Stubbe devotee.

Stubbe chocolate bars, one with almonds, the other with peppercorns

LIT is the only place in Canada, I’m told, that brews Stumptown coffee. Those of us who are addicted to Starbuck’s, do notice the Stumptown difference.

LIT espresso bar, College just east of Ossington

Stumptown Coffee

Well, I really must go but I hope to continue this discussion of chocolate very soon. Sweet dreams!

p.s.  I ran 7 miles on the treadmill this morning and made edits to my talk, while running.