Skip to main content

Three 4 Letter Words + My New Gu Recipe

"Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down. And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air learned from a very bad run."

This is the story about my long run that became not as long and all the brilliant lessons learned on the way. These lessons are outlined in the 4 Letter words.

"aid station 1"
1. HEAT. This means over 87F with the sun blazing on me and heat radiating on the asphalt (Yes, asphalt, which I ran on to connect trails. It's a hard black surface and it feels like a hammer to your knee caps after running on soft dirt for more than an hour). HEAT makes your tummy churn and makes those thoughts of 200M runs fly out the window while you chug water. Some people like the heat. For others it turns them into glossy-skinned cry babies out to find the nearest creek. I'm the latter. I also sweat more than those weirdos at the gym in sweats on the stair master and a pool of sweat under the machine. Yeah, that's right stair master men. I could put you to SHAME. (Which is a 5 letter word, FYI).

2. DETH. This is not to be confused with DEATH, which is dying. DETH just means you want to die because your legs are filled with lead, the creek is far away, and you're a whiney baby (see HEAT above).

3. KIDS: See, when the thunder starts and you run out of water and you're still 10 miles from home your fantastical husband comes to the rescue with a truck full of kids and water. The truck is dry and away from another other 4 letter word (LTN'N, must be said in a Podunk, ID accent). My boys begged me to come home with them in the truck, so I gave in. I went back out to at least get to 20 miles, and then the rain cleared and my body started to cooperate, but I had already promised them I'd be home in 1/2 hour to tuck them into bed, so home I went.

Well I'm No One. I regretted that run. You know Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day? Yeah, like that. Ha. No really it was ok. Kind of like running 50 miles and thinking, that was difficult and stupid, and a couple hours later, hmmm, maybe I should do it again. Except I didn't run 50 miles, I ran 20. Body, what's up with you?

On another side, I made gel. I used it for 3 hours today, and it went well. I was surprised how full I felt, and no GI issues other than a couple burps after taking it here and there. It could be from the maltodextrin (organic! woohoo) or the baking soda, both can cause gas. I'm surprised since my body isn't used to either of those substances, especially on the run, and everything seemed to hold up well.

J-Lyn's Ultra Gel:

1/2 c water + 2 tbsp
2 tbsp chia seeds
6 dates

whisk with fork in blender (don't blend), let sit for 10 min

1/4 tsp pink himalayan sea salt, dulse flakes, baking soda
1/2 c maltodextrin
1 tbsp + 1 tsp raw cacoa powder

Mix, add to blender.

1 tbsp walnuts
3 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp honey


I filled my Hydrapak Soft Flask (8oz) 2/3s with the gel and topped it off with water. I consumed approx 1 oz every 30min, so one flask is good for 4 hours (yippee!). Shorter distance runners could use a 4oz flask and have enough for 2 hours. Each oz is roughly 75-100 calories. This makes enough for 16 oz.

So I'm an ingredient junkie. Why these ingredients? I want to know what each ingredient does, why it should be in my gel, and how it will affect athletic performance. The reason I get so irritated with most sports products is because they lack anything that actually feeds/fuels/supports the body other than providing an absorbable form of sugar... but that rant is for another day. In case you're curious on why these ingredients "made the cut" into my *almost* (maltodextrin darn you) whole foods gel, see below:

pink salt: electrolytes, salt, minerals, feeds the body on a micronutrient level
dulse (seaweed): electrolytes, salt, TONS of micronutrients +vitamins+ minerals, helps with digestive system, helps with liver
baking soda: electrolytes, removes lactic acid build-up
chia seeds: provides antioxidants, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids (which prevents hypoglycemia attacks and improves fatty acid oxidation)
dates: slow digesting sugar
maltodextrin: improves athletic performance (yes, various reasons, I won't bore you with the details, google it if you want to), also gives immediate absorption. GET IT GMO-FREE (organic)- no sense encouraging the Monsanto monster and risking GMO effects when you're body is trashed
cacao: taste, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, oleic acid, neutralizes free radicals--which we produce tons of while running
walnuts: good for the tummy (one of the easiest of nuts), high calories, has alpha-linolenic acids which reduce acute cardiac stress, phytonutrients which reduce inflammation
agave nectar: high in fructose, but doesn't spike insulin like most forms of sugar (again for hypoglycemia, and also helps prevent a sugar crash)
honey: it's my favorite substance on earth. oh, good for tummies, coughs, and pretty much everything. we call it nature's candy.


  1. Sometimes those long runs are just crap like that. Some short runs too. :-)

    You have really done your homework on the food products. I'm curious to know where you got some of those, like the maltodextrin, pink salt, dulce, and cacao. So cool that it all worked for you on the first try!

    1. I used a combo of a few different gel recipes so I had high hopes. :)I got all of the ingredients from local health food stores, although the raw cacao I got from The maltodextrin was a new find from Good Earth Natural foods in the bulk dept, I was so excited (so much cheaper than buying it pre-packaged.)

      ..all last week was crap runs. I was hoping this week would be better.

  2. Do you have an alternative for the maltodextrin? My stomach can't handle it. I use Honey Stinger products because they either make use of tapioca sugar or honey. send me a FB message on what you think I could use as a substitute for the maltodextrin. FYI-- I found the insulator sleeve for the Nathan pack. Now I just have to figure out how to get it to you. I'll probably see Craig at the OR show, so I can give it to him then and he can get it to you.

    1. In the USA, people use honey (which can cause GI issues late in a race if you have too much) or brown rice syrup. I'd use half brown rice syrup and half tapioca starch.

      That said, as much as I hate corn, it's the traditional running fuel of choice. Tarahumara use pinole, the Kenyans use ugali, and other countries use a highly processed version as maltodextrin. Does your body do okay with corn that's less processed? You could use ugali...

      I'll be at OR all day Wednesday. You can also drop it by the Liberty Mountain booth and ask them to give it to Ben Eaton.

  3. Sorry we didn't get out on a run Saturday! I'm interested in trying something like this. I also need to remind myself to get some smaller flasks to stick in my Ultraspire Quantum...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

a new year; a wasatch akitu

“Think now history has many cunning passages, contrived corridors, and issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, guides us by vanities. …The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours.”
another new year startled us today. somewhere between the late night meandering into a warm bed, after the clock already struck a replayed chime marking the change of calendar (for, we can DVR the change of year and play it in every time zone,) and after the morning coffee, sunrise, prayers, or routines—the time has changed, and so have we.
the Wasatch is a flurry, the new recreational pursuits settling into it as the heavy snow settles onto it. it has been a dense year of both snow and increased use of the snow.
although this mountain range sits above a major metropolitan area, it retains pockets of wild refuge still hidden from its’ own mountain refugees. these pockets of frozen time are still filled with change. no man steps into the same Wasatch twice, for it is not the same Wasatch, nor is it the…

that WEIGHTY issue

It's been said to us climbers that what we do is dangerous, and irresponsible. How could we risk our lives like this? And distance trail running, if it compromises our health why do it? How dare we take that time away from our families? And yet, to even make mention about a different lifestyle, one of weight, obesity, and all of the very dangerous and risky components it involves is socially disgraceful, insensitive, and cruel. I bring this up only to show how much weight, in general, is not "ok" to talk about. It's a sensitive subject, even, no, especially, for those of us already at a healthy weight who use our bodies to their fullest daily...

Now, this blog is about running, ain't it? Yep. So while there's a lot of "weight" we could cover in this "weighty" area, we'll just go over one. Running.
Running and weight are intertwined. I'd like to say that this post is primarily for the ladies, because we typically store more weight t…

standhope 60k

it seems like the last few years I've aged, and I've grown. I lost my identity as a runner. if I didn't run frequently, if I wasn't in the mountains, if I wasn't pushing my own limits, what was I? 
I'd retained the identity as a mother, daughter, sibling, friend, student of literature and wilderness. this was a shift - less time, less comments, less messages with the running community that I didn't know well, a deepening of friendships and relationships with those closest to me.
it felt odd, going into standhope. I didn't have goals, I wasn't sure where I was at with running, I wasn't in shape for racing. I had this idealism, that if I raced hard, I could inspire others, not to run, but to pursue life with passion. but, what about when I can't race hard? when life is racing too hard for me to train?
earlier this year my Dad was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. visits to the hunstman increased, my mileage decreased. when looking at anoth…