A Precarious Balance

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I run. Not far and not fast. But I run.

I love running through the woods, listening to my audiobook, letting Bella frolic. But there is a precarious balance when it comes to running. Food / water vs. intestinal issues.

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Let me explain. Some people eat before they run, so they have energy. Some people don’t like to eat anything before they run, so they don’t cramp up or feel goop jostling around in their stomach while running. Either way, you face the fear of the running-induced intestinal explosion.

Gross, you say? Real life, I say.

When you run on an empty stomach, the acid churns and can cause gas and cramps. When you run on a full stomach, food bounces with you and you want to throw up. A few bites of something is a good compromise.

unhappy tummy

Running jostles your organs. Your organs have to fight against gravity and tighten up to keep you from peeing and pooping all the time. A healthy sphincter = no dribbling. Kegels? Yes.

You may have heard stories of ultimate marathons defeating while running, so as not to stop. This is not a “He should have gone to the bathroom before his run” situation. This is more of a “he has been running for 4 hours and his system cannot contain his innards anymore” situation.

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And while I am not an ultra-marathoner, I often face the troubling gurgle on my 3-5-mile runs and have to make a decision. Run home as fast as possible? Or walk to stop the jostle, but take longer to return home? Sometimes you have few choices and need to call in reinforcements to come pick you up (always run with your cell phone and a loving fiancé at home). When in the woods…. Well, what happens in the woods stays in the woods… and eventually works back into the ecosystem.

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Running… the precarious balance of exercise and bodily functions.

Run on, my friends. But bring your phone.

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