What is your favorite running “thing”? Something that you either HAVE to have for every run or race, or something you don’t always have or use, but look forward to eating/using/wearing before, during or after a run. Maybe it completely changed your running, or is something you just really like. It can be something you wear, something you eat, something you use (in reality or digitally), etc, but it has to be a thing.
I debated back and forth on this one because I have so many favorite things in running (although, I guess in theory you can only have one true favorite). Contenders included running shoes, online running stores, my Garmin (at least until yesterday), my training log, and post-run refueling food/beverage (most notably diluted orange juice and bananas). However, I would have to say that my favorite running thing is GU.
Prior to last October, I never took in any kind of fueling during long runs. I even ran two half marathons where my only mid-race fueling was a cup or two of Gatorade. As you might imagine, I didn't feel very good during the latter portions of those runs/races, and I finished completely and utterly spent.
I started using GU last October. It has changed my running career. Using GU makes my runs infinitely more enjoyable. It makes me feel so much more energized, it makes my recovery faster, and my legs feel lighter. For a long time, it was incomprehensible for me to ever run a negative split in any situation - but GU has enabled me to do it regularly.
The GU flavors are really good, too. So far I've only tried Chocolate Outrage, Vanilla Bean, and Mint Chocolate, but they taste like frosting and are all delicious. I am looking forward to trying more of the existing flavors in the future.
On that note, I would love if they someday came out with savory GU flavors (Cheddar cheese? Ranch? Honey Mustard?) I've mentioned before that I have both a sweet tooth and a salt tooth, but when it comes to running my salt tooth definitely takes precedence. If anyone from GU Energy Labs ever reads this and is in need of focus group participants/taste testers for savory GU, please pick me!!! =D