You see there is one thing that I use on a somewhat frequent basis that I can not get at Meijers and that is gu. Gu is my choice of electrolyte replacement during my runs, well at least my long runs. It comes in a convenient little package in nine thousand different flavors (or maybe a half dozen or so, but really who's counting?). And I LOVE this stuff. Really I do. It tastes so good I swear for the love of all that's Holy one night in the heat of a desperate sweet tooth attack I almost ripped one of those puppies open and sucked it down. I swear it. The only thing stopping me was the sheer fear of what door that would open if I did. Can't you just see me now sitting on the couch with a box of vanilla gu packs watching tv? ("What? I'm gonna go run I swear. Just give me one more...") So I resisted. But it's a sweet little treat, that I look forward to about every 4 miles or so on my long runs.
But no, Meijers doesn't carry gu. So I have to drive all the way to Novi which is a 45 minute hike from my house to the nearest running store (on a very very good traffic day and anyone who's ever been in the I-275 & I-96 area knows you can get stuck there for a LOOOOOONG time for no apparent reason). Now let's pause here for just a sec so I can address all the Michiganders who are reading this and about to point out to me that there is a much closer running store. (Should you happen to know me and know the area that I live in) I don't like it. I would prefer the traffic gamble to that running store which shall remain nameless because EVERY time I walk into that store I feel like I've interrupted that lone employee's, oh I don't know, let's go with brain surgery that he happens to be performing in the back or some other very very serious task that I OF COURSE should have known better than to open the door and set foot in the store during. Seriously, every time I walk in there, though I am THE only person in the entire store (which makes me wonder how on earth it has survived for so long) I feel like I've done something wrong. So rather than patronize this store with quite possibly the worst customer service on the face of the earth, I would prefer to pack up the kiddos and head out for Running Fit where they seem to get it. Running is supposed to be fun dangit. At least when your prepping anyway, you know, before the actual running begins.
Ok so back to Meijers, it's not JUST that don't carry gu. If Meijers were void of all electrolyte replacement type products or perhaps ONLY carried electrolyte replacement beverages...well...ok then. I'd deal with it. But no, Meijers DOES carry other forms of electrolyte replacement products, cliff shot (too bulky, needs to fit in a pocket), those bean things (sorry can't chew when I run, tried it. I am not that coordinated plus I don't want to choke, knowing me I'd be the first person to ever have to have the Heimlich done while running), but the one that gets me is this: POWER GEL. GAG! I HATE THIS STUFF. Ugh, I've used it during races when I've been forced to, but now if I know that's what a race is handing out, I'll be sure to carry my own stuff. Power gel (to me at least, sorry if you're a fan, we just have very very different taste buds) has two major problems. First, it's too runny. Runny when sticky is no good. The only thing worse than power gel on a run is being sticky from power gel on a run. Second is the funky after taste. No matter which flavor you buy, it's only a cover for funk. Chocolate funk. Green Apple Funk. Strawberry Banana Funk. Tangerine Funk. Vanilla Funk. Really, I swear to you. It doesn't matter which kind of Power Gel you buy. I promise they all taste like funk. And running, at least in my book, is not the best time to be sucking down funk.
To further add injury to insult, every time I go to Meijers to get groceries I've got to walk down the funk aisle. There's no avoiding it. Right down the way from it is my favorite recovery drink (and morning meal replacement drink...slimfast optima chocolate, if anybody cares). So I've got to look at that funk and be reminded that I am forced to drive 45 minutes away because Meijers refuses to carry the good stuff, the oh so good stuff. (I growl under my breath every time, one day in a fit of rage, or rather a protest for runners everywhere I just might knock that junk off the shelf or NO even better I'm going to mix those little boxes of flavors all up! Because if all you people everywhere would just stop buying that garbage, they would be forced to find another product to stick on their shelf which could happily be my precious gu. So if you ever happen upon a disaster scene in the power gel aisle you'll know who to blame or thank if you are by chance a fellow gu supporter.)
Which leads me to the
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Are there people who LIKE Power Gel?
PS. Gonna need a do over on my long run tonight. Only got 4 of 14 miles in :-( I am now faced with an almost 9 month old who sits up and is working on pulling herself up. Not such a good thing in the crib, she gets up but can't quite get down without smacking her head. After taking two flights of stairs up from the basement multiple times during the first 4 miles, I figure tonight it's just not happening. Next option tomorrow AM with a backup last chance option of tomorrow PM although the chances are I'll be facing the same fiasco tomorrow night so looks like I ought to get to bed eh?