What Really Happend After My Race

Do you all want to know the truth about what really went down after I ran the Chicago Half Marathon?  It ain’t pretty, so click away now if you’re easily grossed out.

At about mile 10 my stomach started to concern me.  I ignored the worrisome discomfort and pushed through my last 3.1 miles.  After crossing the finish line I found my friend and we made our way through the crowds to collect our medals and gather all the freebies we could hold.  When we finally reached a point where we weren’t caged in by fences any longer I knew I had to quickly find a washroom.  Once I saw the rows of blue potty boxes I threw my arm full of freebies and my fuel belt on the grass for my friend to watch and then rushed to the row of port-a-potties.  There were no lines, which made me wonder am I the only one who needs an emergency trip to the bathroom after running long and hard?

I thought I was all good at this point, but minutes later I was struck with that uncomfortable cramping that warranted another trip to the john.  Now two emergency trips to the bathroom after triumphantly crossing the finish line was not what I had expected.  I envisioned hanging out with my friend, eating some snacks, pizza maybe a beer while basking in the glory of our finished race.

I decided that I was ok to walk back to the car, but I soon found out that the more mobile I became the more the painful cramping emerged.  I saw some porta-potties in the distance so we quickly walked in their direction.  Once we got in close range we noticed that they were in a roped off VIP area.  Come on people!  Really?  Oh. My. God.  I needed to use the washroom, like now.   So my friend suggested we walk along the path of the race until we reached some bathrooms that were placed there for the runners.  I was praising the gods when I finally reached another row of potties along the course.  The after emerging from that washroom a city worker in a golf cart asked if I was ok and if I needed assistance.  Man did I feel like an idiot at that point.  Yes sir, my ass is exploding.  Can you help?   Instead I told him all was well.  Big. Fat. Lie.

We continued on our journey back to the car.  Once we got there I told my friend that she was going to have to drive.  I then reclined the passenger seat and curled up in the fetal position.  We were about five minutes into our thirty-minute drive home and I was begging for my friend find a place where I could stop and use the bathroom.  When a McDonalds appeared my friend dropped me off at the door.  I got inside and pulled on the bathroom door only to find out that it was locked.  Really?  Lord please help me now!  I had to go ask the cashier to buzz me in before I could have access to the facilities.

That’s four emergency freaking trips to the bathroom, in one hour.  Kill me now.  I suffered through the rest of the car ride home while experiencing painful waves of cramps.  I warned my friend that she would have to drive to my house so that I could immediately run inside and find refuge in my own bathroom. She would have to walk home.  She only lives two doors away so it wasn’t that cruel of a request. After arriving home I was either lying on my bathroom floor or you know where for the next three hours.  My children and husband were hoping to greet me and shower me with congratulatory hugs and kisses.  Instead I had to run past them to take my place on the bathroom floor.

After two does of anti-diarrheal pills I began to feel better late that afternoon. Finally, I was ready to accept my congratulations and debrief with my running partner and family about my amazing accomplishment.  This was not what I expected.

Do you have stomach problems after running long and hard?  How do avoid it from happening?

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9 Responses to What Really Happend After My Race

  1. Mary says:

    Yes and yes! We call them code browns. Welcome to the club. Now you know why we have kept this from you. Nuttin purdy about long distance. BUT I bet you will run another one.

  2. Angela H. says:

    I have to take SGI’s right before I run. I have stomach issues anyway. But always air on the side of caution on what you eat for at least 2 days before a long distance race. Once your body gets used to the abuse of the race, you will be good to go. But now I am going to give you some words my children always tell me(I must have said this once or twice to them lol) when I come home from a race or long run with something that happened to me. Whether it be a bathroom issue(yes all runners have them) or wiping out(yes all runners have them or at least us uncoordinated ones lol) ok here are the words of wisdom “at least you have a story to tell, anyone can say I went out for a long run but your story is way more cooler and more fun to tell and listen to” I was told this after I came back from a trail race covered in blood. I was hoping for sympathy but I got words of wisdom instead hahaha.. Love the story!!! Glad you are better! Now, let me ask. When is your next race lol

  3. Lena says:

    Thank you for being so candid. People never tell you the negative things, they only really talk about the feeling of accomplishment and brush off any pain or discomfort they may have experienced during the race. Maybe it’s all the endorphins that have helped to erase the negative thoughts/memories from during.
    I’m glad that you are feeling better and I’m sorry you had to endure all that pain. Thank you again for sharing, it’s something I’ll keep in mind when I go for my first half!

  4. Maggie says:

    I’ve definitely had “OH MY GOD NEED A BATHROOM RIGHT NOW” moments while running, but usually once I made it to the bathroom, and did my business, I was fine. I try to stick to foods that are easy to digest the day before a race – between the spiciness of the buffalo chicken, and the complex carbs of the sweet potatoes, no wonder your stomach was protesting. Usually the day before a race, I stick to all of those “bad carbs” that we’re supposed to avoid – white bread, white pasta, etc. Also use your long runs as a rehearsal – what you eat before your long runs (the day before and the morning of), you should eat before races. Eventually you will get an idea for what works and what doesn’t for your body.

  5. I ran my first half in January and got really sick, not bathroom sick but felt like nausea and light headedness for mile 10 on. The crazier thing is when I went on a 6 miler (my first long run since trying to get back into running), and had the exact thing happen to me that you’re describing. I was up until 2 a.m. making desperate trips to the bathroom. I’m so glad that didn’t happen at the race. Sorry it turned out that way for you but congrats on finishing your half. 🙂

  6. “My ass is exploding!” LOL!! 🙂 I’m sorry you had to endure this torture. For what it’s worth, congrats on your accomplishment.

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