Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gel-Bot Bottle Review

I stumbled across this somewhere and decided to buy one. It's called the Gel-Bot (or is it GelBot). I wasn't sure what to expect, but know that choking on gels can be an issue for me. I don't run with bottles, but figured it would make gel consumption easier on the bike. I figured I'd be less likely to slow down, or get sticky gel on me, if I had something like this. I ordered the 24oz size, since I'd be on a bike anyway.

I decided to try it out during the Blacksnake Duathlon. I know, don't try new stuff on race day. Since this was a sprint, a gel wasn't going to be necessary, but it would give me a chance to try it out under real conditions.

The loading process is as simple as can be. Simply load the inner chamber with energy gel and fill the bottle with water/fluid. When the nozzle is pulled open, you get water and water only. With the nozzle pushed down, squeeze to get the gel out of the center valve.

About halfway through my ride, I decided to try out the gel function of the GelBot. I had loaded it with Gu, and found it a bit difficult to get a good slug of gel. I squeezed the bottle and sucked at the same time, but I think the viscosity of the gel was a little high. But having the water available without doing anything except pulling the bottle open with my teeth was a welcome change from my usual keeping the gel in my cheek until I can thin it later. I think next time I will simply thin the gel slightly, making the consumption process a little quicker.

Though I have only used it once, I like the product and look forward to another live test.
More information on the Gel Bot can be found at their website:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Race reports

I recently competed in the Geist Mini marathon and the Blacksnake duathlon. It's early season, and I didn't do much to prepare for these.

Geist Mini

This was the third year I ran in this race. I really like the course, as it is my home course and one I regularly run (most of the course, except for the initial 5k). It is well-organized, and though it sells out, isn't too crowded. There are bands along the way, and since it goes through neighborhoods, there are people out watching and encouraging. The past two years, I had run full marathons roughly three weeks prior, but this year I skipped it, as I was at least 100 miles behind in training due to ice and laziness in December/January.

Even with the lack of focused training, I still did okay, finishing in 1:42:12 (7:49 pace), which was good for 225/3191 overall and 35/235 in my age group.

Blacksnake Duathlon

This was the 25th anniversary of the Blacksnake Duathlon. It's a sprint du, with a 2 mile run / 20 mile ride / 2.5 mile run. I really like this race for a few reasons: The course is nice, the middle of the bike course is fast (and the whole course very smooth), the price is an unbeatable $25 (with shirt), and it's small enough I have a chance in my age group. This used to be a three race series, but budget constraints have reduced it to one this year. I ran the first leg at a 6:40 pace and transitioned in just over a minute. The ride went fairly well, considering I hadn't been riding since the Carmel Triathlon in April. There are hills, mostly ascending, for the first five or so miles, but then the course turns north and is a long, fast descent for what must be more than ten miles. Indiana is not hilly, but the elevation does actually change... I came in around 58 minutes, which puts me at around 20.5 mph average. As soon as I put some time into riding, I should be much stronger and faster, given where I was at the end of last season. T2 was about a minute, and the next run I ran a 6:50 average pace, though I am sure the initial 1/2 mile was slower, as it took a little time to get my legs back from the bike.

I finished in 1:30:50, which was slightly better than my goal of 1:31:59, good for 3rd in my age group, and 10/63 overall.