5 Types of Tummy Troubles Runners Know All Too Well

I’m a runner who currently can’t run. I’ve been knocked out of the loop for years from torn labrums in both hips and now a herniated disc in my lower back. I am not sure if I will run again.

Which sucks.

I yearn for it. I dream about it. Lately I’ve been chatting it up with some runner pals, reliving the glory days. And I was reminded of this post I started years ago and never finished. Here you go.

The long run is invigorating – it provides a challenge that leaves one exhilarated after completion. It is looked forward to with anticipation in the days leading up to it, and it provides a calm serenity for days after. But it is not without its perils. Here are the common tummy troubles runners understand all too well.

1. The Gassy Gurgler: These are the stomach rumbles that can’t be quelled and lurk throughout the duration of the run like a stalker in the shadows. The level of discomfort can vary depending on just how much gas is swooshing around in there. The good news is you’re able to run away from the source and the swinging of your limbs helps waft, waft, waft.

2. The Leaky Faucet: It is rumored that some marathoners actually choose to urinate mid-stride in order to avoid adding minutes to their overall time. I haven’t met anyone who cared enough about their time to pee on themselves during a race, but I have encountered those who have let out an accidental stream.

3. The Emerging and Submerging Torpedo: These suckers are the silent submarines of the turd world. They are small, swift pellets that creep towards the surface, surprising the runner, who may or may not exclaim, “oh!” then hopes the urge can be quelled. The torpedo stealthly retreats. For now.

4. The Pray to Jesus: This is the most feared type of gastrointestinal distress – and for good reason. Every runner knows to relieve their bowels before going out on a run, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes there is just more that needs to be released. Either way, it’s bad news when your body decides three-quarters of the way through that the time has come. There are very few opportunities for a run to alsoncount as cross training, but crouching in a squat clenching your glutes as tight as you can would be the exception. It doesn’t count as cross training if you fall to your knees in order to hold it in.

5. The Tardy to the Party: Even when you think your stomach is just fine, and you complete a long run feeling as fit as a fiddle, this feeling of euphoria can quickly come to a crashing halt. Sometimes the body has other plans even if you had anticipated enjoying your post-workout reward of Eating All The Things! Instead of savoring a post-run snack it’s possible to find oneself with a sudden massive stomach ache, shortly followed by a mighty bowel release, on par with what great volcanic eruption. The upside to this is that you could ice your knees while sitting and shitting.

Any other stomach issues I missed?

Damn. Even with all of that, I really, really miss running.

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