Do or Don’t: Gu, Blocks, Eating While Running

It’s three and a half weeks away, people.  That’s right.  The half-marathon that I signed up for in January?  It’s just 32 days away.   This weekend I will run my longest distance prior to the 13.1-mile race– 12 miles Easter morning.   Sure, I’m already sweating just thinking about it.  But in the long run (ha! pun!), I’m just excited that the end is near.

In preparation for a potentially 2-hours on the move, I’ve been thinking a lot about nutrition, hydration, and trends in the running world.    Did you know that when  people run really long races, they eat while they are running?

Apparently, on the race course, the Country Music Marathon will have Gatorade “GU” at a few of the mile-marker stations.  This stuff is full of electrolytes and the right ratio of carbohydrates to re-energize your body after you’ve depleted anything you had stored up from breakfast.  But “goo,” while I’m running?  It makes me queasy just thinking about it.

As a new runner, it seems strange to be eating while running–but after struggling through my first 10-miler, I knew I needed to give it a try on  my longer runs.  So I will try again this coming Sunday on the 12-miler.   Since the word and texture of “GU” gives me the heebie-jeebies,  I think I’m going to use shot blocks like these, that are easy to chew and wash down with water.

What do you think?  Have any of you used nutrition while running long races?  What is the best combination?  What should I try this Sunday?