Mama K (CD5K)

Nothing ruins a run faster than…

The dreaded “Runner’s Stomach”…
bowels

Last night was our first run as our official club and new mamas came out to join us! It was a gorgeous night, the perfect temperature, no humidity, blue skies, and a cushiony track. My secret goal was 5 miles, but I would be satisfied with 4. I was feeling confident.

And then, for the love of all things digestive, it happened…3.25 miles into the my slog with a new mama is when it hit me. You know, that dreadful twist of the stomach quickly followed by…”the drop.” Your spine tingles as goose bumps race up and down your arms. Your pupils dilate to allow all light to shine in, enhancing your vision to find the nearest bathroom. You slow to a walk, it’s all you can do… your intestines are about to unleash their fury in your compression pants. You’re about to be “that girl.”

Holy duodenum, I saw stars trying to quell the bubbling volcano that was my bowels. I couldn’t tell Pretty New Mama about this feeling, it was way too soon, we’re not that far into our running relationship yet. My mind started racing, I checked the time on my iPhone – 8pm. Good, we’d been there an hour. I could easily say it was time to go, gather the kids, and be at the minivan in a flash. I said I needed to use the bathroom and laughed it off as if it was poor bladder control from having 3 kids – all moms understand that. My insides raged on as Mr. I’m 7 took waaaayyyy to long to find and put his sneakers on. I felt the low deep cramping starting to intensify, I fought hard to stay upright. “Get in the car!” I hissed at the kids when we were out of earshot from the other moms. “Not one word, I have to concentrate on driving home!” I did a burn out and started driving with the back van door open. Damn it! Looking like a madwoman, I threw it into park, the van bucked, door closed. Back in drive, I tore out of the parking lot as if…well…as one would do with an impending stomach bomb about to blow up. 3 seconds later, a red light! “FOR THE LOVE!” I shouted. Giggles from the back seat. Green light. Pedal slammed. We were flying, I prayed no police officers were watching. I prayed that my insides could battle it out for two more minutes and my colon could hang on. And hang on it did. I made it. Barely, but I made it. So it got me thinking…why? What is this Runner’s Stomach phenomenon and why doesn’t it happen every time? In my little tiny bit of research, Dr. Google seems to think that proper digestion occurs when the body is calm and still. The body is neither of those two things when running and therefore agitates the process of digestion. Mix that with eating too soon before running (and eating the wrong things for running), the fact that the body is moving blood flow AWAY from the stomach to the muscles that are all moving you forward, add a dash of dehydration, and voila! You’ve got a recipe for “the trots.” Yay, me.

Here are a great blog posts that share tips on how to avoid Runner’s Stomach (by the way, after reading the tips – I didn’t stand a chance for today’s run):
http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/wellbeing/fitness/8-tips-for-avoiding-runners-stomach.php

http://www.marathonguide.com/training/coachmindy/PainBelly.cfm

Good luck to you and your stomach on your next run!
-Mama K

Have you ever suffered from Runner’s Stomach? I know you have. So just spill it, give us all a good laugh today and share your story in the comments section. I’ve got one more story that I remembered after tonight’s incident, but I’ll only share it if you go first. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Nothing ruins a run faster than…”

  1. Oh the dreaded runners stomach… I know the public bathrooms within 3-5 miles of my house. Luckily I have always been able to make it to a bathroom, but there have been times that have been pretty dodgey!

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    1. Of my goodness, I’m going to check out the local bathrooms and have a plan for next time- the high school isn’t always open. That’s a great idea….but then that brings on a whole new anxiety of relieving runner’s stomach in a public bathroom. On the flip side, it’s better than relieving it in your pants. 🙂

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  2. Yikes, unfortunately for me I get Runners tummy more often than not. I know where all the outhouses are. The other morning was a close close call. For some reason the Parks Dept. decided to padlock the port a potty and lock the bathrooms! I was 1/2 mile from home, the outhouse at the school was a bit closer. Barely made it….that reminds me I need to call in and complain about the park.

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