This was my second time running the Blackmores half, which I am quite sure is one of the prettiest races in the world.
Every race plan starts with the carbs. Well actually there is the training beforehand etc but the carb loading is pretty important.
My go to carb loading dinner in Sydney is Il Baretto. Their pasta as enormous and only $14. The places opens at 6pm which is perfect when your race is 6.15am the next morning. The pesto spaghetti this time was wonderful, though I do feel sorry for the other diners watching me shovel in my spaghetti.
6.15am race means breakfast at 3.30 am for me – went to my old faithful of an English muffin with honey and a sliced banana. Lots of good carbs in there. Then nap till 4.30 before hearing down to grab the train to Milsons Point. Transport thankfully included with race entry. Cold runners at the train station.
The view at the start is pretty spectacular. Obligatory pre-race photos all around.
Was perfect weather for running, nice and sunny but with a cool breeze. Was glad to have a throwaway jumper at the start too, very breezy early in the day. I couldn’t find a 1:45 pacer so ran with the Sydney Striders 100 minute pacers who were both very nice – kept nice steady pace, provided lots of encouragement and reminded all their runners to drink at the drink stations.
Hadn’t done too many long training runs so started to feel a bit heavy around 15-16km but my homemade energy gel perked me up soon enough. Still, definitely doing more long runs before the next one.
Was so excited to break 100 minutes that I forgot to stop my Garmin in time, d’oh!
Thankfully race times went up on their website relatively quickly.
Pretty stoked with evenness of my splits (though the pacers are mainly responsible for this) and for getting 32nd in my category – woo!
After the race had a banana and lots of water at the recovery village, then a very welcome outdoor yoga class from the lovely folks at Lululemon which ironed out the kinks in my hips and glutes. Thanks so much guys!
In anticipation of running the Blackmores half marathon tomorrow i’ve made a batch of my homemade gel – might be of interest to other hippie runners.
I’m a whole foods lover, and try stick as close as possible to things that are not in packets, or have labels with only a couple of ingredients.
When I started training for my first marathon I tried a couple of Gu gels because it seemed the thing to do. A few things were apparent:
1. They were expensive. At $3-4 a pop fueling for a long run became a real cost.
2. They generate annoying sticky rubbish to either carry with you or try find a bin for.
3. They taste gross. I tried a few and frankly eww.
4. The list of ingredients has things whose identity was
5. My stomach did not like them. At all.
So I did what any sensible person does: I asked google for alternatives. There are quite a few sites with complicated recipes involving powdered this and that – but I wanted something as close to a real food as possible.
I came up with the following:
– 5-10% blackstrap molasses
– 45% brown rice syrup
– 45-50% honey
– generous pinch of salt
I carry this in a little squeezy tube that I got from Paddy Pallin. In a half marathon this is sufficient with a generous squeeze into my mouth every half hour.
In a full I use homemade energy drink for the first half, then water & homemade gel the second half.
The three ingredient jars cost less than $20 from the health food store & make tons & tons of gel.