I sense you are a little frustrated. I will offer advice, anecdote, suggestions where I can.
Forget the 'man up' advice. That is lazy bullshit advice
Learn to Walk before you can run
Fun runs called To Hell and Back doesn't sound like fun
Have keeping fit as your goal for 12 to 18 months. Don't put pressure on yourself to have running as the main activity.
I tried on and off over several years to get into running, mainly to help shift some weight. Anytime I tried I injured myself. So I walked, and I walked a lot, and by walking I mean a reasonably decent pace but not like those mincey walks they do at the Olympics.
Over the course of a couple of years I wore out plenty of shoes, lost plenty of weight, and then decided to just start running. Everything felt easy and natural. Bloody marvellous.
Now whilst you build up the walking you can do some higher intensity stuff in the pool, on your bike, rowing or whatever you fancy.
Perhaps in my own case, I let running become the dominant activity for the next couple of years and my well hench highly tuned running machine of a body is now an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams
Don't expect a 'hit', a 'high', or a 'buzz'. It is just a bit of sugar. Go for amphetamines if you want that kind of high.
PeterM is talking about LSD's. That would make for a hair raising run and I'm not sure I am game for an acid inspired long run.
Gels were designed as an easily digestible energy source for endurance sports.I am convinced that most gels are consumed by people undertaking non endurance based activities. There are a whole load of dependent users, and a big dealers network.
Jason, first question to ask yourself is should you need gels on a longish run?