Do not eat 3 GU packets during a half marathon

This is not advice I could have used yesterday, it is advice I actually received yesterday. From several people. On several occasions. And they were very clear about it too, telling me that I was planning on taking three GUs too many for the race.

But I was having none of it because the directions on the packaging was very clear: one packet 25 minutes before the start of a workout and another every 45 minutes thereafter.

In the end, they talked me down to two packets – one at the starting line and one that was crammed into a tiny pocket in my running shorts for the midpoint.

That plan worked well enough – until I saw race volunteers giving out free GUs at mile 8. I got so excited that on the way to the table I slipped on the pavement in front of the water stand and nearly slid into another table holding 200 cups of Gatorade. So I earned that GU packet is what I’m saying, and I was planning on enjoying it. In fact, I carried it for the next twenty minutes before I sucked it down at mile 10.

This, of course, proved to be a very bad decision. Immediately. Actually, I was in such sorry shape that I made it to the finish line only to keep on running right to the bathroom.

My friends were not surprised to hear any of this… that I picked up a third packet during the race or that I got sick minutes later. The only one who was surprised was me… that they didn’t say “Told you so!” right away.

But I learned my lesson. Totally. Next time I do a half marathon, I will be so much more careful when approaching the Gatorade table.

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