Sunday, August 8, 2010

GI runner issues: vol1 (possible TMI)

I have been both cryptic and explicit about how hard long runs are on my poor GI tract.

So I am going to start chronicling my attempts to not feel like an alien is about to push it's way through my abdominal wall after 6miles.
 It was a constant struggle when I first started getting to 5-6miles, it was my main complaint when I finished the half-marathon and it was what almost took me down during the marathon.

Topic of the day: Imodium

I always thought this would be the grand solution. But I had never tried it because I've read lots of things that say it dehydrates you or can cause drowsiness or (fill in blank).

But enough is enough with my bowels trying to run faster than I do.

Test #1: 1/2 tablet, immediately before run.
run length: 7mi

Results: FAIL. Like clockwork, at mile 6 my intestines started complaining and when I got back to my mom's place I had to hit the head a few times before settling down.

Future directions: Maybe dose too low, maybe not enough time between pill and run.

Test #2: 1 tablet, 2hrs before run
run length: 10miles

Results: Possible fail. Like clockwork, at mile 6 my gut started wrenching. I tried using the potty on the trail (the route I run has a bathroom every 2mi for any out and back run up to 12miles) but it wasn't happening. It took about a quarter mile of walking to let my stomach settle down enough to get back to running. Once home my stomach ached but I didn't need to use the bathroom. I can't decide what i think of this.

Future directions: The dose was probably more right but now I am worried that the mode of action isn't what I'm going for. I also think I wouldn't have tried this while the Cap was out of town; if things had gone really wrong I would have been many miles from home and no one to call to rescue me.

Truthfully, I don;t know what the future directions are.

Stay tuned for vol. 2


Esther said...

well, given enough time, you'll eventually figure it out (hopefully!). luckily, i've never had GI problems while running, so I can't offer any advice. =(

My runs now are no more than 2-3 miles, so it is really weird/daunting to think about running double digits again.

The Devil's Starchy Fingers said...

Sorry you have these issues. They sound miserable. I assume you have looked at all the dietary stuff and have cut down on your fiber near a run, backed off dairy products and fried foods near a run?
Also, worst case scenario: you pull over to the side of the trail and, depending on the trail, have potentially embarassing blow-out and some uncomfortable chafing on the way home. You aren't going to hurt yourself so go out and do what you have to do regardless of if El Capitan is around. You are woman! Hear you roar (and gurgle and churn and get the picture). Unless of course it is an actual alien in which case having someone around might come in handy.:-)

aeep said...

I may be woman and all but that is definitely a scenario I would choose to be rescued from. My main thought about yesterday was running out 5miles after taking an unfamiliar medication could have resulted in some unfortunate circumstances.

And if what you described happened to me I would never run another step. That would absolutely end it for running and me.