On Sunday I did my first bonafide long run of 2011: a series of loops in Hendricks Park -- the hilliest area within city limits of Eugene. It went even better than I expected -- not only was it a terrific workout, but the loop course I did -- up the trails, hammering down the roads -- was very enjoyable and great hill running practice.
I also did my first-ever training run with a water bottle. I've held bottles before -- last time was on the annual PCT/Obsidian Trail loop last summer -- but only out of necessity. On Sunday I carried it, just to get used to carrying and drinking on the run. That went well, too.
The lone speed-bump: those damn S'Caps! The S'Cap is the gold standard for eletrolyte replacement in the ultra world -- a whopping 350mg+ serving of sodium in an easy-to-swallow "cap"sule.
They make me ILL. Literally.
When I first used them last spring, they were fine, but when I trained with them over the summer, I got serious issues: nasty gut rot. So for Twin Cities, I resorted to carrying a piece of buttered toast, with an S-Cap (as well as an "E-cap") dissolved into the butter. While that worked well, that's not going to be feasible to carry a LOAF of buttered bread on a wilderness 100-miler.
Sunday I figured I'd start "training" my way into liking them. I took one about an hour into the run, along with a handful of raisins. I felt fine the rest of the run -- an additional half-hour. But the rest of the day? TERRIBLE.
It's such an odd situation: not only does it give me gut rot, but I get almost flu-like symptoms: including headaches and fatigue, and a "feverish" feeling. Weird.
Could it be simply a "bad lot"? Maybe. I don't seem to have that trouble with E-caps, but I'm gonna need a lot more sodium than those provide. We'll see what I can do to overcome this issue...