I realized this last week when I needed to go get Clif fuel and went to my favorite running store (and also my closest one) Run with Us. They have shot bloks for 1.99 and clif gels for 1.25 so I go every few months and get all of my fuel so I am always ready to go and don't have to stress at Expos trying to find what I need. It's across the street from Ralph's and so easy to get to that I can't pass up going to the store.
This time however, I needed help as we know my legs cramped bad during my 20 miler at mile 16. I feel like such a novice-cramps seem so ordinary and so easy to fix-and decided to ask for help. The guy that helped me was so nice and also reflected on how I probably had low levels of electrolytes and needed to drink sports drink and/or take salt. I settled on the Margarita flavored shot bloks since they have sodium and electrolyte and I hate to run with a bottle of powerade. He also reminded me that I need to take them every 40-45 minutes and that the Margarita is actually 2 shot bloks so I shouldn't take it as often as I am used to. He suggested alternating it with other types of shot bloks and I definitely have done this before (I did it for the Disneyland half when it was so warm) and it worked well. I plan on having a few margarita flavored ones with me at Tink incase cramps come back. I also plan on alternating on my final marathon training run.
I didn't realize this until I talked to the guy while he was ringing me up and told him my future race schedule (half in a few weeks, 10k and half end of feb, marathon in march, 10k in march) and he said-wow, that's impressive! good luck on your first marathon that I realized that I was more of an athlete than I think. Even though I am not fast, it doesn't mean I am not a runner. The speed will come as I am working on my form.
This is definitely something I plan on working on going forward. It seems it is all in my head.
Anyone else get like this?