Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's all Gu'd


I love writing blog posts like this. I hit the pavement at 7 a.m. and ended my walk just before 2 p.m. I was toasty, tired and thrilled.

When I started on the 11th mile, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I was hot and sweaty and realized it was noon - and the heat was just going to get worse. But instead of giving up, I sat in the shade for about 10 minutes and drank a lot of water. I happened to be at a park at the time so I slowly walked to a water fountain and refilled my hydrating backpack. Then, still walking slow, I hit the restrooms.

When you know you have several hours to walk and a laundry list of chores waiting on you when you finish, it can be easy to feel rushed and stressed about how long the walk might take. But that just makes it harder!

So, I gave myself permission to amble for a bit. Then I took a shot of Gu (wow!) and found a second wind. My pace returned to normal and I finished the planned route.

Gu is something my boyfriend showed me. He is a marathon runner and has been a GREAT asset to my training plans. I've heard they have it at the pit stops for us - but if you're new to this long-distance world, like me, that doesn't mean anything to you, right?

Well, Gu is flavored energy in a little packet - with pudding-like consistency. After you've been sweating and walking for hours it can be the tastiest stuff ever. I've tried strawberry banana, chocolate and lemon lime so far. Not a fan of the lemon-lime, but the rest are yummy! I started taking Gu with me as an emergency energy jolt, but now I take a packet or two for every long walk!

I wore my new socks, but still had the same redness at the end of the walk. Hours later, it's faded a bit, but still has be baffled.

I didn't apply enough sunscreen so I'm nice and toasted - bad, Natalie! But besides those ailments, I feel fantastic. It really is hard to believe how far I walked by myself!


  1. That is Awesome...Great job!!!!!

  2. Great job! I walked an 18/18 this weekend and I have the same funny, blotchy redness. I used the power of the interwebs to diagnose myself with Golfer's Vasculitis (basically a rash due to overheating during exercise).

    I've never seen Gu at the pits, but I didn't walk last year so they may have added it.

    ~ Kristen

  3. That is really awesome!! WTG! I'm only up to 5 miles at a time and those feel like a feat, I can't wait to be able to do 17.

  4. Go Girl! I have been on vacation and my training has lagged. I got up this morning and walked 5 miles. I feel great!

    Will def. start packing Gu!

  5. Way to go, Natalie. Very impressive! Congratulations and thanks for the Gu tip! I'm not due to hit double digit walks for a few weeks yet, but I think that'll be handy to have when I do. Thanks for sharing your triumph! I can't wait to follow in your footsteps! :)

  6. Great job! You'll be ready and keep using what is working for you, be it GU, Sport Beans, Accel Gels, etc. I completed all my training walks last year and did the DFW 3 Day. My feet weren't quite the same, but I survived it. The redness fades & the sign that stayed with me through my 3 Day was "Blisters Don't Need CHEMO!"

  7. Thanks for the tip on Gu and good luck with your training!

  8. Great job with your training!
    I've never seen Gu on a 3-day event,unless brought in by a walker. If it's working for you, be sure to bring it with you.
    The red splotchiness that you're describing sounds like heat rash - which is caused by blocked sweat glands. You can apply topical ointment if you;re uncomfortable. On the longer days when it is hot, I see at least half the walkers come on with heat rash.

  9. Thanks for the support everyone!!! Since the rash goes away after a day or two I'm thinking it's just heat rash.

    As far as Gu goes, you can buy it at most sporting goods stores - like Dick's.

  10. Amazing! Like mommy23monkeys, I'm still walking just about 5 miles and am excited and aprehensive of those longer walks. Thanks for sharing your experiences!