Yep Heilan Coo - I usually have something other than gels. At the moment, my preferred is fruit bread, or a waffle biscuit, but I can imagine Ritz would be a good idea as the sweet stuff gets pretty vile.
Oh Eggy - really sorry to hear that. I hope things are OK.
RR - I forgot to mention - I'm so pleased to hear there's a "simple" solution for you to get to the bottom of the problem AND that you can carry on training. How's Comrades training going?
Heather - I didn't use a footpod for my Garmin and it didn't really affect my watch stats. My watch measured long both times I've used Garmins without footpads for this marathon. If you're serious about your time goal, you'll be wanting to have another method for calculating your pace than just relying on the distance measured by your watch (using distance markers across the course and a pace band).
I can't remember what type of sports drink, perhaps Powerade? But I hate the stuff, so don't rely on it.
I've carried a 600ml bottle in a pouch on my back, with no problems, so yours sounds fine.
I was in hospital this morning for a "stick-a-camera-in-a-private-place-for-a-look-see-and-follow-it-with-a-sharp-thing-to-take-a-biopsy-test". It was really very unpleasant. I'm used to these kinds of tests being done under sedation and I'd have given anything for that today. The only good thing about it is that they didn't find what they were worried they might find. Phew.
No problem Nodster - we're all really happy to hear from you.
Also very sorry to hear this Orbutt. I'll take an IOU for that hug!
Heidi - A personal experience - plenty of science you've already found. I hit the wall (or maybe just came very close to it, as Danni says) in 2012.
I didn't get any "warning" per se. I'd seen my support crew at Trocadeor, around 30km, seen the big tower of tin, and felt pretty strong. Within 1km, all my energy went. And then I was just overwhelmed by this sense that I wanted to lie down on the side of the road and die. Unconsciousness seemed to be the sweetest and most tempting relief imaginable. The 3 or 400 cells that weren't were screaming in agony.
I remember stopping shuffling and resuming shuffling but I don't remember how long there was in between. It seemed an eternity, but in reality it probably wasn't more than 500 - 750 m. I remember the (albeit monosyllabic) internal monologue. Something like, "Stop then. Go on. Stop. Go on. Stop. But marathon. 9km left. Stop then. Go on. Stop then."
I tried to take on board extra fuel, but it was no use. It wasn't helped by the fact that after about 5 or 6 gels, my stomach stages a protest and I feel nauseated.
I managed to resume shuffling to the end. But it wasn't pretty. It took about 5km to feel like I didn't want to lie down and die (well over 30 mins), and I snivelled in agony for the last 3 or 4km.
The lesson I learned was that I do well with a little amount of "real" food in my stomach. Some sultanas really helped, but I think ultimately, it was just lack of experience at the distance.