Ten years ago I ran the New York Marathon. Because I was in the elite field, my own personal water bottles were placed on a special table at every 5k mark of the race. There were 20 bottles on the table. Each bottle belonging to an athlete. It was customary the day before the race to gather in the elite athlete hospitality suite for a version of World Class Athletes Arts and Crafts 101. The coordinator of the marathon would bring into the suite a huge plastic box filled with markers, colored tape, ribbons, pipe cleaners and all the other goods you would find in a kindergarten classroom.
The top marathoners in the world when then gather around and decorate their water bottles. Not only was it a fun break from the media tension and pre-race nerves, but it served afunctional purpose by making it easier for each runner to identify their uniquely designed bottle the following day when they would be blazing by the water table at 5:35-5:45 mile pace. I don’t know what each person put in their bottle...some electrolyte solution perhaps or even the old standby that legendary marathoner Grete Waitz used, defizzed Coke. I knew I would need more calories than sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium mixed with sugar could offer. Don’t get me wrong, my body would desperately need the firing power of the electrolytes but what would get me through the 26.2 would be fuel. So I wrapped several chewable candies in tinfoil and taped them to the side of my bottle that was draped in bows and blue and black tape (to match the colors of my racing attire of course).
Everyone wondered what in the heck was in the tiny packages. At each five kilometer mark, I would down my drink and then unwrap my candy and chomp away as I whizzed through the five boroughs. I wound up finishing 9th overall. Not so bad. This time I avoided an IV, unlike the year before. My little concoction worked quite well. Everyone wondered why I didn’t just take one of the gels offered along the course. My stomach would not let me. The hard to digest, prepackaged gut killers did not like me and vice versa.
It wasn’t until a few months ago when the CEO of Vitalyte tossed me one of those oh-so-recognizable gel packs. “Oh no I said. We aren’t friends, gel and I.” “This is different,” he said. “Try it on your next run and let me know.” Reluctantly I tucked the pink gel pack in my shorts the next morning and headed out for a run. “I promised him I would try it,” I reluctantly told myself, as my stomach braced itself for the onslaught. First of all I noticed the taste of the Chia Surge Gel was different than any other gel product I had tried. It was lighter. Well the real test would be my stomach. I continued running and to my surprise and delight, I felt great. No gurgling or sloshing or nausea. In fact I felt really good. I had more energy. “I think this Chia Surge has got it going on,” I said to myself. When Evan asked me the next day how I liked it, I told him how surprised I was. I mean we all knew that chia seeds were the superfood of the century and had amazing nutritional benefit. But that paired with the other amazing ingredients in Chia Surge Endurance Gel! Wow, all I could say was, “Where was this ten years ago?” So now my energy levels are awesome on my runs. I take a Chia Surge half way through a 5-6 mile run and on a longer run that is between 10-12 miles, I take one at mile 3 and one at mile 7. Who would’ve known how a little chia could go such a long way.