Monday, March 21, 2011

Runner's Trots

It's a well know secret within the runner's world, which I never even closely considered as a hindrance to long distance running until I became victim to it several times myself.  When you think about what you're doing to your body for one, two, three or four plus hours during these races, it makes it understandable. Approaching mile 5 or 6, you suddenly become acutely aware of your stomach, more specifically, your clenched colon. Welcome to the world of Runner's Trots.

To spare you the time of Google-ing the definition of this phrase and to make it sound nicer than it actually is, let's just say that this is when your stomach is dying to expel your last meal. The violent up-and-down motion rocking your digestive organs for an extended period of time, catalyzes the natural process. It can range from mild cramping to the 'oh-my-god-i-need-a-toilet-now!' It brings me back to the similar exercise of ... dancing. I'm sure that my friend Olga can count on two hands, the number of times we've been racing home from a night of dancing our feet off to reach the medicine cabinet for Katie's dose of Pepto Bismal.  The same jarring, up-and-down motion would upset my stomach. Ah, good times, eh, Olga? Maybe I'm alone in this in the dancing world, but I'm definitely not alone in the runner's world. My comrades can be found under Google search terms such as "running and upset stomach", "running and digestion", etc. Hello, friends.

Runner's trots are usually related to a diet that's incompatible with running therefore a simple adjustment of such can remedy the predicament. For example, I've stopped eating hummus before I run after I learned my lesson the hard way. Sabra's delectable Pine-Nut flavor used to be a favorite post-work, pre-run favorite, but hummus contains a very high fiber content. We all know that fiber, well let's just say, encourages a healthy urge to 'go'. Experts recommend the following:
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause diarrhea. Pre-run fluid intake shouldn't include sugary fruit drinks or those concentrated energy drinks.
  • Avoid high-fiber foods (yes... thank you) and stick with naturally constipating foods like bananas and bagels.
  • Avoid eating 2-3 hours prior to running
  • Avoid caffeine.
I've only fallen victim to Runner's Trots three times. Once in the middle of my run in South Beach (thank God for some public event going on at the time supplying plenty of public toilets - whew), another time I barely made it up the front stairs, only to find out that I was locked out of the house (don't ask what I did) and finally just yesterday, on my 6-miler at the gym (I left everything and jumped on the elevator back upstairs!). Yes, the situation is hilarious. I mean, how many people can say that they almost crapped their pants at age 26, ...repeatedly?

Olga's coming into town this Wednesday for 6 days (yay!!!!!!!). Guess what my medicine cabinet is stocked with?


PS - Want to see pics of my gym?

What do you MEAN that bouncing up and down on them isn't really an 'exercise'???

Bring it on!!!

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