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Day 19 of 112-Long Run-#boobsbuttbackandbowels

Hey all y’all….you know I’m gonna be keepin’ it real today based on the hashtag.  FYI…some of this information may be TMI for some of you, but what am I gonna do?  This is a blog bout the realness of being almost 44 and running.  You might be glad to know, however, that Christy P and I have decided to keep, for the most part, R-rated language off the blog.  There are several conversations we’ve had during our runs that people might take offense to.  Here, however, is one of the less offensive ones.  You know the conversation, I’m sure you’ve all had it before.  It’s the age-old question, “What’s worse?  To be called a douche bag or a dick?”

Weather
Despite the fact that it was in the high 70s on Saturday, it was only slated to be in the mid 50s on Sunday; however, once again, warm temps were supposed to bring rain to the run.  UGH!  We were starting at 7 a.m. but rain wasn’t in the forecast until 10 a.m., and we would be done around that time.  At 6:30, on my way to pick up Legs, I saw lightning.  Sent Christy P a text and she checked the radar-nothing seemed to be showing up in our running area.  So in the mid 50s and with no rain in sight, we take off.  And look what we were graced with.  Mother Nature at her best.

And yet despite its beauty, all I could hear was my dad's voice in the back of my head, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morn, sailor's take warn." It was gorgeous though. I love running in the country and along the Huron River.

I LOVE this photo of Christy and Legs. I like the grainy look to it and that you can see the one car headlight in the distance. But boy, it took me a while to catch back up with them.

So after I did catch back up with them, I begged them to NOT allow me to stop to take any more pictures.  It just takes too much time to do it.  That being said, around mile 13 or so, the pack had broken up and I just could NOT resist taking this photo.  It was a sign, a sign from the heaven’s above that we would all survive this run.

While we never ran into any rain, it is pretty clear based on the thunder we heard and this rainbow we saw the some runners, some where, got hit.

Boobs
Any woman who has gotten pregnant, had a baby, breast fed, lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of weight, or just grown old knows that your boobs change over time.  For me, I’m dealing with getting older and a recent weight loss.  And by “change” I mean they get droopy.  Have you ever heard the term before, “rocks in socks?” Well, that is what mine look like when I bend over these days.  Thank God! I got a breast reduction in 1990; otherwise, they’d probably be on the floor by now.  So…what is the point of this?  The point is that as your body changes, you need to make sure, as a runner, that you wear appropriately sized clothing.  In particular, a sports bra.  I wear two bras when I run because I just can’t handle any bouncing around.  Unfortunately, yesterday I wore as my top sports bra, a bra that was way to big.  The problem with this is that as it got wet, it moved all around and it moved with it the bra I had underneath.  You might be thinking, so what?  Well…the so what is that when I apply body glide to my body to prevent chaffing, I tend to only concentrate it in the areas that need it, i.e.  under my sports bra at the bra lines.  If you have a larger sports bra that is moving all around the place, it’s going to hit places that you didn’t glide and despite your best efforts, when you get undressed, this is what you get:

The red blotch in the middle of the photo is my raw, chaffed skin. Its location makes it difficult to wear a bra-even a band aid doesn't help too much. And while my boobs aren't huge, they are of a size that makes it socially advantageous for me to wear a bra in public. And since I had three appointments yesterday, I had to wear a bra. It didn't feel good,let me tell ya.

The worst part of these is that I didn't even know I had these until I got in the shower. I get in, get under the shower, the hot water pounds away at my open flesh wounds, I scream, arch my back away from the shower stream and almost fall. There was no pleasure obtained in yesterday's post-run shower. It was a "get in and get out" type of situation.

Butt and Back
Yesterday’s run was a 2-mile longer version of the week’s previous run.  Last week and yesterday, things started to go south around  mile 10-11.  In terms of my butt…it was tight.  It was tight from my butt down to my toes.  And I realized yesterday, maybe it’s not the wind ripping through my wet clothes that makes me stiff and tight….maybe it’s just me. Maybe I need to stretch more.  That’s a no brainer!  You might think someone who runs marathons isn’t lazy, well you’d be wrong.  I am a lazy runner-that is why I tend to  not like to run fast-cuz it’s hard-and that’s why I tend to not stretch-cuz it takes time.  And when I stop and stretch, man!  The sounds that come out of my mouth-you would think there’s a whole lot of happiness that is going on there-but it’s basically just relief.  Relief that I can still bend over and feel my legs.  So I stretched my legs and my butt yesterday twice during the run.  My plan for Monday night (tonight) is to actually NOT rest (like in the previous rest or x-train days) and to do some yoga or stretching!  (The best laid plans of mice and men…).

In terms of my back….my nerves were on my last nerve!  As I’ve said before, I’ve got back and neck problems sustained during a tragic aerobics accident in 1991 and exacerbated by a skiing/whip lash incident at Boyne Mountain within the past 10 years.  What it boils down to is my back is pretty weak, which causes me to compensate with my neck.  I know, right?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Well, let me give you an example…until the past year or so, when I turned over in bed at night, instead of using my weak ass core and back, I used my neck/head to push off and turn over.  I am my own worse enemy at times. So yesterday during the run, instead of dealing with lower back pain or neck pain (which is good because neck pain is the worse) I dealt with the nerves in my upper back firing from  mile 10-11 on.  It felt like pins and needles.  And while it didn’t hurt, it was an unwelcome distraction because it also caused tingling and some numbness in my right arm-and my arms always feel heavy anyway when I run.  So back and butt combined, made me feel like this:

This is exactly what I looked and felt like at mile 12. This is no exaggeration. I just put the camera up and took a picture. NOT pretty-on several levels. Um...can anyone tell me why my hair on the side of my head is glued down and looks like I'm wearing black ear muffs?

Bowels
I know!  This is what you have been waiting for, yes? I figured if I was going to be honest about my running, I’d have to share this, partly, if for no other reason, than it’s kind of funny.  And also….maybe others deal with the same situation and they don’t know what’s going on and I can help someone! I suffer from a disorder called “Runners Trots.”  Runners trots is a common condition in an estimated 20-50% of distance runners.  Symptoms range from cramping and nausea to bouts of flatulence and diarrhea. This can occur during or after their exercise.  No one knows exactly why this happens, and or why it only happens in certain runners, but one of the main reasons it is believed to happen is that the up and down motion of running stirs the bowels. The flow of blood to the intestines is diverted to your legs (which is very important when running long distances) and which may ‘trigger’ the cramping and/or diarrhea.  So what’s a person to do.  Glad you asked.

  • Try to avoid eating for at least two hours before you exercise – the presence of food in the stomach will make things worse or contribute to the problem.
  • Try to avoid the intake caffeine and warm fluids as it is possible for this to speed up the movement of wastes through the intestines.
  • Make sure to limit your intake of dairy products, particularly if susceptible to diarrhea
  • Limit high-fiber foods in the days before a long race.
  • Avoid the foods that you know produce flatulence or loose stools.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. It is best to drink a full 16 oz. of water an hour before your workout, giving the excess fluid time to pass through, and start off well-hydrated.
  • Be aware of your bowel habits and try to time your workouts for after such movement times.
  • If all other precautions fail, for races or special events where you know toilets will not be readily available, consider the use of an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea product such as Imodium. Studies have shown this has reduced problems related to those prone to exercise-induced diarrhea. It is not recommended to use this on a daily basis.
  • Design your training routes to include a restroom. If you develop the urgency while exercising, you will be able to plan your route accordingly.

I am actually glad I had this situation yesterday, because it forced me to look up the information on the Internet (which is where all that information above came from).  I tend to have a bowl of cereal, with milk, 90 minute before a run.  I won’t be doing that anymore.  I will try the following foods: bananas,  cooked oats (without added sugar),  
toast, and other low fiber carbohydrates. Also, I tried something else yesterday that was helpful….instead of just drinking Gatorade after my run, I drank Gatorade and water AND, and I think this is the most important, I had an apple instead of more magic jelly beans.  I think the natural sugars in the apple were much better on my stomach than the artificial sugars and sweeteners in the magic jelly beans.

So what about the run?
Despite the series of incidences listed previously, the run was pretty great.  Yes, my legs were tired.  Yes, my legs and butt were tight. Yes, the nerves in my back were on my last nerve. But…I can’t really remember ever running a long distance and not dealing with those things.  For me, those are a part of my running life. So my objective is despite them to have a good run, which means having a good time (both in the fun sense and in the speed sense), and I did both yesterday.  It started off fun with Legs being a wisenheimer when I “let” her take a photo of me and Christy P before we ran.  First of all, Legs likes to stay out of the pictures and second of all…I’m a photo snob.  Most people just don’t know how to take a good photo, and so I generally don’t have people take photos of me with groups.  But when my snobbery was met with, “Well, I never!” by Legs, I let her take a picture.  Here is the first one as a means to punish me.

Christy in her kitchen/living room

This is more like it. Oh, and even though we wear matching bathing suits when we swim. We did NOT coordinate the matching color shirts. I think we were just being smart in that we wanted to be seen in the early part of the run on Huron River Drive.

So fun times for sure (always with great conversation) and some good running times!  I averaged a 9:44 pace, which is my marathon goal pace!  I have NEVER run that distance, especially in a training run, at that pace!  And….even though a lot of the last mile was down hill there were two uphills and the last mile was MY FASTEST TIME OF THE DAY with a 9:19!  Woo hoo!

Post Run
In honor of Christy P running her longest distance ever yesterday, we went out to brunch-the three of us.  While it was great to spend more time with Christy and Legs, it was just too close to the run and I was out of it still-especailly since I had to hurry through my shower because they were coming to get me and it was just too physically painful.  I could have fallen asleep at the table.  I was just kind of blah.  So after lunch, I crashed on the couch for a few hours, and then decided to treat myself, which I recommend that ALL runners do at one point:

1) Massage
2) Pedicure
3) Dairy Queen
4) Accupuncture
5) Pizza House for dinner
6) Early bed time

Carry on friends, carry on.

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