It's a double butt topic day...
First off, let me say that interval runs kick my butt like nothing else, but man they hurt so good. :) I did six half mile intervals today with the first five at a 7:19 pace and the last one at a 7:13 pace, with a quarter-mile recovery jog in between (and a half mile warm up). It was five miles total and I finished in 41 minutes and a couple of seconds. My legs were tired but I felt really good. Tomorrow is a day off and then I have 10 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. The weather has really warmed up so I am fingers crossed it will last and I will be able to get my miles all done outside this weekend. Yay!
Now on to a different "butt-related" topic... I normally am the one begging people in the house to stop with the "potty talk" (not bad language, just literally talk/jokes about anything bathroom related) but today I have a potty topic. Nothing is sacred amongst runners, right? If you aren't in the mood for a TMI topic, feel free to stop reading now.
I have mentioned on here how I think my biggest strength as a runner is my mental toughness and drive... I never quit during a run, I don't struggle with being motivated, I don't back down from challenges (in fact I love them) and I never say "I can't". That said, my biggest challenge as a runner is definitely my GI tract. For crying out loud, my stomach drives me crazy when I run. Most days after 5-6 miles or so I NEED to have a potty stop or there is no more running (without a highly embarrassing accident. Haven't had an accident yet... don't want to). I always carry toilet paper with me, I know where all of the accessible bathrooms are on my runs, and I am the master at ducking behind a bush or into a culvert when needs be on a long run (lucky for me I live in the country). Peeing is not the issue... for some reason my normally-hamster-sized-super-wimpy-bladder turns to steel when I run.
I have played with my fueling, and Hammer gels and drink are the nicest to me and get along with my GI tract the best. (GU and Clifbloks are disasterous).I have experimented with eating before I run, and pretty much I can't. For my marathons I can eat some plain oatmeal, but it has to be a good 3 1/2 hours before race time. For the rest of my runs I just run early and eat when I am done (and fuel with Hammer products for long runs). I stay well hydrated. I have tried cutting out dairy (didn't help). I avoid greens and ruffage and anything with fiber before races and long runs which helps, but doesn't completely stop the problem.
I have tried Immodium and other things, but they haven't helped and I don't like the idea of taking something like that regularly.
Sometimes I get lucky... In my first marathon (Vegas, Dec. 2010) I only had to stop at the porta-potties ONCE during the race. I couldn't believe it. For me, it was a running miracle. But then at Disney, I had to stop THREE times, and lost over 10 minutes in the dang porta-potties. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be able to go out and race and not have to worry about my stomach and potty stops.
I am at the point where I have just accepted it and deal with it (on the flip side I have trained for three marathons so far without injury...knocking on wood....) and figure we all have some kind of "pain in the butt" to deal with, metaphorically speaking of course. :) But I am lying if I say it isn't frustrating.
I know this is common among runners...Anyone else out there have chronic stomach issues when they run? Anyone else ducking behind bushes and into culverts? Anyone have any magical advice?
Don't forget to enter my "Unbroken" giveaway and help spread the word. It is an awesome read and I am excited to send it to someone. :)