Long Training Run: Week 5

Well, I had the shittiest run on Saturday thanks to ongoing gut issues. I sound like a broken record with this nonsense. But it’s really getting in the way of my training. I had to stop THREE times along my run. At one point I stopped at a port-a-john and the scene was grisly.

Ladies and gents: ALWAYS carry a tiny bit of toilet paper with you on long runs. I have heard this bit of advice before, but I haven’t yet done it. That stops today.

What a disaster.

So, yeah. Not a good run. I finally gave up at mile 7 and walked home. I was supposed to do 11. I ended up with about 8 very slow miles. And it nearly ruined my day. I contemplated trying again on Sunday morning but I read that sometimes you simply have bad runs. I decided I should just wait until the following week and shoot for 12.

But I do have to get to the bottom of this problem. I can’t continue running long distances until I fix it. So, after I showered and doused myself off with bleach, I took to Facebook and made a semiprivate post, tagging 15 women runners. I was in search of some camaraderie and/or answers. I got a bit of both.

I have hesitated to write about this at all. It’s personal and gross and I am (what some might consider) a lady. But opening up to a select few on Facebook made me feel worlds better. They were very eager to help. Granted, they are runners as well. To a non-runner, I probably come off as the most disgusting human being alive. And maybe I am.

Almost all of the people I tagged on Facebook decided this was due to diet. Some suggested it was from what I eat morning of, others thought it could be what I ate the night before. I’m thinking the former might be true. So, I am going to start by cutting out all coffee. It wasn’t an issue in the past; I have always consumed coffee before running. But every pregnancy changes your body to some degree. So maybe things have changed since having Walter. Monday’s short run was better. But I won’t know for sure until Saturday.


Left the house at 6:34 AM. Temperature: Upper 60s/Lower 70s. Overcast/Cloudy.

Pre-run fuel: Plain oatmeal. Homemade orange and basil cookie. Coffee with sugar and whole milk. Water.

Route: Down past the Duck Pond into South Orange, sharp right through neighborhood, and up past Mountain Station. Down Valley to Milburn Avenue. Up past Trader Joe’s, sharp right onto Wyoming Avenue (very long hill). Wyoming Avenue down into neighborhood heading home. Gave up. Brutal.

Time and distance: I don’t know. I stopped so many times and paused it so many times. I also forgot to resume at Wyoming Ave after fiddling with my iPod. So, yeah. No idea. It was an awful run.

Post-run recovery meal: Two Morninstar Veggie Chicken Patties.

Personal Stuff: Terrible gut issues. A terrible run overall. Stopped three times, finally gave up entirely at mile 7. I am hoping this is fixable with diet. But I can’t help but wonder if it has to do with my thyroid. I suffered from postpartum thyroiditis with the last two pregnancies, and a side effect is often what I’m dealing with. (Along with other things, like losing my hair; milk supply reduction and weight loss.)

Pros: No injuries to report. Felt pretty solid.

Cons: The obvious.

Upward and onward!


  1. All runners have had, at the very least, close calls if not full on emergency situations. Some people suggest eating bananas since they can be binding. I personally thing bananas are the fruit of the devil, so I don’t suggest that route. I hope dropping the coffee takes care of it for you. But you neglected to take care of the most important part of this log entry! I’m going to need you to post a recipe for homemade orange and basil cookies.


  2. So, I rarely actually have an issue while I am running, but often for the rest of the day after a run as I am building up my mileage. It find it helps a ton if I build in enough time in the AM to “go” before I go running. I also rarely eat any more then a cup of juice, or maybe a piece of toast with PB before a run (and often nothing at all). Maybe you are eating too much? I am no expert, but until you are running well over 10 miles, I would think you could cut back on the food in the AM.


  3. Haha! eep.

    OK, I will post the recipe for you. They are quite yummy! I came up with them for my niece who lost her best friend a few weeks ago and loves those two flavors. So, yes! I will post the recipe.

    I love bananas! I remember there being an awful lot of you on here who loathe them. And you guys are so weird. :] I have tried them many times, they are my pre-run staple. That doesn’t seem to help.

    Rachel: I have had the issue post run as well. But that is easy enough to manage since I am home. And I wake up early just so I CAN go before running. It doesn’t help! Insane, I know. But I think you might be onto something with the toast and peanut butter. Plus, peanut butter is the best stuff on earth. My goodness it’s my favorite. I’m going to try that on one of my shorter runs and see if it helps.

    I wish I could go without any food. I used to, but I found that I just petered out at around 3 miles. My legs became weak. I just didn’t have it in me. So, unfortunately I need to eat at least a little something. Yesterday, I all I had was a peach and it was OK, but at 3 miles I started to feel week. (Granted, the last mile and a half was all up hill so that might be why.)

    You guys rock. Thanks for writing anything at all.


  4. P.S. My squeamish husband looked at the gifs from this post and made a very uncomfortable face, accompanied with a sound I’d never heard from him before. hahahhahah!


  5. My mom taught me a trick for dealing with this. She mashes up a sliced granny smith apple. It’s not pretty, but it does the trick for me and my family. Maybe you could add to oatmeal. Hope you figure out the cause soon. I look forward to reading more.


    1. Nothing could possibly look uglier than the outhouse I used Saturday. I’ll try anything! :]


  6. Maybe the combo of oatmeal and coffee is doing it? Sounds dangerous to me! Toast with pb and apple slices instead? Good luck, hope you find something that works, and hopefully it’s not anything to do with your thyroid!


  7. I know that the ups and downs must be frustrating to you, but from the perspective of a non-runner, you still covered 8 miles. EIGHT!! I’m totally impressed and wanted to point out that 8 is a wonderful accomplishment.


    1. Thank you! You’re right. It’s easy to forget how far I’ve come in such a short time. I should be pleased with this. Thank you.


  8. As someone who recently started running on the weekends to help train for an obstacle course race, I admire the distance you run. I run 5 on the weekends and I have no idea how you run this long so quickly after giving birth.

    I can relate to the gut issues. I started taking a stool softener the day before so I get it all out the morning of. This is a chemical solution that works for me. My sister drinks Kombucha the day before for the same result.

    You might not want to hear it, but I went 90% grain free about 18 months ago and it was one of the best things I ever did. All my digestion issues disappeared (I used to have terrible gas pains). I eat grains when it is “worth it” – really amazing homemade pie, or cookies, dinner with my family for the sake of joining in. For a pastry chef, it would be hard no doubt, but it may be worth a shot for a week.


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