Sunday, April 04, 2010

Review: Chocolate #9 and Drymax Socks

Easter Sunday I spent with my Dad running around Sherman airfield. The weather was great for most of the run but started pouring during the last 1/4th of my 8 miles. I had on an ipod with headphones and worried about electrocution. Can that happen? lol.

The downside to running on Post is that it's a pretty good drive for me. I feel bad about spending the gas on it when I'm also going to Lawrence to run twice a week now. I usually try to double up on my errands when I go there and visit my parents and/or grocery shop at the Commissary, get gas (tax free), etc...

But I love running here for a few reasons. The loop is 4.6 miles which means regular access to your car amost every 5 miles. I also love it because it's perfectly flat. The elevation gain and loss is about 40 feet. :) Watching planes come in over your head also makes for something new to look at.

On the front side of the loop there is almost always soldiers or their families out there. The 2 mile strip is the Army Physical Fitness Test 2 miler course so a lot of military guys and gals are out there training or doing their test.

I walked a little too much with my Dad on the first loop. He doesn't sustain a pace for long because he's not trained up but naturally, he's way faster than me and feels pretty uncomfortable running my slower pace. He's going to start biking it along side me in the future. This is what we did a couple times last year and it works out perfectly. We both get a good workout in that way. So although we walked, time wasn't really wasted because we get to catch up and spend time together. The 2nd loop he went back to the car and I really booked it. I finished the last half of my 8+ miles in 45 minutes. I just felt like I really knocked it out!

Two things I got to try during this run that were successful:
1. Chocolate #9 Agave Energy Gel

Taste: Like chocolate ganache. Amazing... sweet but not overly sweet like GU.

Ingredients: Agave and swiss chocolate. So I was able to eat it with my allergies and not have problems. This makes me so happy. This is the ONLY gel I've found that I can eat.

Packaging: I was carrying around agave sticks which would work but they are as long as straws and not easy to carry with me. I'm so happy to have a normal, rip off packet now, easily stored in my pocket.

I did get a little stomach nausea for 10 minutes about 10 minutes after eating it. I am used to agave as I use it in place of honey and maple syurp for my coffee or pancakes, etc. But, I still felt a slight queasiness so next time I'm going to try half a packet, eating the other half later.
Also, I never felt a jolt of energy. This was to be expected though, as agave is a slow burner and that's the whole point vs other sugars that spike and then crash. I only ate it on an 8 mile run so it's not a great test anyway as far as energy. I'd normally not eat an energy gel until running something like a 10 or 12+ miler. But I will say that at the end of my run, I still felt like I could do more. So overall, I'm very happy with the product and have 3 more to try out.

2. The other thing I tried out were my new Drymax socks. I wanted and looked for the trail socks but couldn't find them in stores in my area. I settled on picking up the Running Lite-Mesh version. They felt a little thin and weren't even the thinnest one they make! As soon as I put them on however, they felt comfy and gripped my feet in all the right places. No slippage or sliding. I wore them on this run even though my normal Target running socks would have probably worked fine. I still had 2 blisters from my mud run last Sunday so I didn't want to take chances on interrupting the healing process. So, for my 8 miler the Drymax socks seemed to have worked - no additonal blisters. My current blisters didn't lose their new skin and my feet felt great.
I still would like to try their trail socks though. The lite-mesh version are white and trail running turns all my socks brown. And I hate to use bleach as it damages some fibers. I also wonder if the trail version is more sturdy - especially with how much twisting and turning your feet do on a trail versus on the road... Anyway, I should be logging most my miles on trails this year and my big goal race is out on the Ice Age Trail! Can you guess which race I've set my sights on???

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