GU Salted Caramel: LOVE
I've been running (legitimately) awhile now but had never mastered the 'during race' nutrition. I would pregame with Clif Shotblocks but would have to eat the entire pack before the race started so by about Mile 9 or 10 I was out of energy and besides the package states to take 3 before and 3 during. Obviously I was failing at this. So in my training for Avengers I thought let's give GU a try, having heard good things about the pretty immediate burst of energy from the little packets.
And holy cow what a difference it makes. The exhaustion that I normally feel never happens. I did many long runs with GU and my new waist belt water bottle (review to come later!) to get used to the running and "eating." It's definitely a weird sensation to be slurping gooey stuff out of a tiny packet while maintaining pace.
My first GUs were Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel. I went for flavors that I thought the gooey consistency would be correct for. There's something about trying to slurp down a berry flavor that just doesn't sound appealing to me - but caramel or peanut butter? Now we're getting somewhere. Ripping the tops of with your teeth also takes a few tries but then you get the hang of where you need to bite and rip. I thought the Peanut Butter flavor was pretty good but felt a little heavy. Salted Caramel however was awesome! I would almost eat them without running. The taste is spot on to caramel and the GU consistency is just right.
So now I'm a convert. I can handle the GU during a race but tend to pack my own since you never know what you'll be handed out on a course. I ran both the Bridge Run and the Avengers Half on GU and felt good during both races. I had the energy I needed (which was definitely helpful during the crazy wind storm that was Avengers), and didn't bonk during the runs. I'll be using GU Salted Caramel going forward as it looks like I've already got a couple of half marathons on the schedule next year. Here's to hoping the GU will get me closer to my goal of finishing one under 2 hours!