I knew it was probably going to be a rough day by 8 am, after making several trips to the bathroom. I came to the conclusion that one of two things happened:
- I ate something in the last 24 hours that had declared war on my intestines.
- I swallowed so much pool water that the chlorine killed off all the good bacteria in my gut and declared war on my intestines.
My GI tract was not settling down as the day went on. I ate some Greek yogurt about 10 am, hoping that would help to reset my system. I ate lunch earlier than normal, hoping to give myself at least 3 hours before I had to run. My stomach was unsettled after lunch so I took an antacid. That didn't help. So an hour before I left work, I took two Pepto-Bismol. Then 30 min later, I took two more and prayed.
I started my run about 4 and the beginning wasn't too bad. My schedule said 12 miles, 10 at 8:15 pace. It was really windy, so the miles into the wind were awful. But I made it through the first 4 on pace and feeling not too bad. My stomach didn't feel great, but it wasn't horrible either.
Somewhere around mile 5, the abdominal cramps started. Every time my stomach would cramp, I'd grimace and hope that it was just gas and nothing more. I'm sure everyone who drove by must have thought I was torturing myself. It's impossible to keep good form when your butt cheeks are clenched. Still, I kept on pace. Even into that sonofabitch Kansas wind, nothing slower than an 8:16.
I tried positive thinking "Each mile is a gift." That was crap. That wasn't helping me at all. I felt terrible. So I add a few words "Each mile I don't shit myself is a gift." That at least made me laugh a little (when my stomach wasn't cramping). After four or five of these stomach cramps, I decided I was pushing my luck and I should throw in the towel. I finished the mile I was on at pace and then did a cool down for 9 total. The entire last mile was a debate: do I run faster and try to finish faster or do I run slower and hope to avoid certain disaster? I slowed down to an 8:45.
For a run with GI distress, I supposed 7 miles at pace isn't bad. I didn't crap myself but I did spend some quality time in the bathroom when I got home. And I'm glad I called it when I did. If I had tried to finish out that run, I'm pretty sure I'd be looking for a new seat cover today. The moral of the story? Don't try to run with the runs.