Saturday, February 6, 2010

Got Poop?

Disclaimer – You may find this topic inappropriate, gross, crude, horrifying but come on, who doesn’t poo?  Actually this is really quite personal and I don’t talk about it with many (but heck I'll talk about it with the entire world on the internet) . But since we are all runners and have probably encountered questions or “situations”, maybe you can comment with hints, tricks or stories.

What do you call a constipated German?  farfrompoopin
(as a German, I find that hilarious)

A while ago I read someone’s blog about how she will pee on herself during a race.  It was quite accepted and normal with her and her friends.  Did you ever read Marathon Man where Dean talks about seeing water lines in the dirt and it ended up being guys peeing while they ran?  Ok, If I had to pee on myself, I think I could do that. 

I’ve heard stories of people poo’ing on themselves during a race and I’ve wondered what I would do in that situation.   I’ve stressed before long runs and before races and have wondered how can I poo on command?  I’ve been on a run where I’ve ducked behind bushes and runs where I’ve barely made it home on time and runs where I have clamped up tight till getting home.  Since I'm going to be running a marathon and want to qualify for Boston, I don't have the time to be visiting the "honey pots" during the race.

Please give me your advice on the following questions:

How do you poo on command?
My boyfriend swears the solution to the question is having hot tea first thing in the morning before a run.   I have tried that and maybe I don't have the right flavor of tea but it hasn't worked for me.  Eating something before a run is supposed to also help get the digestion going.  But for me generally just being awake and moving for an hour or two will produce results but not always.  Being awake requires getting up even earlier to wander aimlessly about the house wondering when it will come and what if it doesn’t before needing to head out the door?  For the marathon I think I'll wake up at 3am so come 7am I am poo free.

Do you suffer from stomach cramps/diarrhea during or after a run or race? What do you do for them?
I’ve become very good friends with the pink pepto bismal tablets.  They fit perfectly in my pouch on my water belt. When I trained for my first marathon and started hitting 18 miles and above, I would lay on the floor next to the bathroom for 3 hours afterwards.  During my 3 hour stints on the floor I started popping the pepto tablets immediately after a run and eventually moved it up to half hour before my run completed.  Now, at first gurgle during a long run I take one of these.  During shorter runs though my stomach still gets upset and sometimes it’s a race to get home. I have also found these pink gems to be quite popular with my team mates during Ragnar Relay.

To poo or not to poo?
As I mentioned, I’ve heard of runners having to poo on themselves during a race.  A story in particular is when my boyfriend saw a female runner qualifying for the Olympic trials in Tucson cross the finish line with brown streaked down the back of her legs.  I know that qualifying for Boston isn’t like qualifying for the Olympic trials but it is really important to me.  I really want to qualify but is it worth pooing on myself?   What is your thoughts on this?  Would you?

When I posted my 5 at 5 story (where I ran 5 miles clenched) a couple people commented with their poo story.  Do you have a poo story you'd like to share?

Last year a fellow runner friend sent me this email. 


Ghost Poo:
You know you've pooed. There's poo on the toilet paper, but not in the toilet. Where is it?

Teflon Poo:
So slick and easy you don't even feel it. No trace of poo on the toilet paper. You have to look in the toilet to be sure you did it.

Goo Poo:
This has the consistency of hot tar. You wipe twelve times and you still don't come clean. You end up putting toilet paper in your underwear so you don't soil it. Permanent skid marks are left in the toilet.

Second Thoughts Poo:
You're all done wiping and about to stand up when you realise... there's more to come.

Pop a Vein in Your Forehead Poo:
This is the kind of poo that killed Elvis. It doesn't want to come out until you're all sweaty, trembling, and purple from straining so hard.

Weight Watchers Poo:
You poo so much you lose several pounds.

Right Now Poo:
You'd better be within thirty seconds of a toilet. You burn rubber to get there and it usually gets its head out before you can get your
pants down.

King Kong Poo:
This one is so big you think it won't go down the toilet unless you break it into smaller chunks. A wire coat hanger usually works well. This kind of poo usually happens when you're at someone else's house.

Cork Poo:
Also known as "floaters." Even after the third flush it's still there, floating in the bowl. My God! How do I get rid of it?

Wet Cheeks Poo:
This poo hits the water sideways and makes a bigger splash than the launching of the QE2, soaking your starfish.

Wish Poo:
You sit there all cramped up and fart a few times, but no poo.

Cement Block Poo:
You wish you'd got a spinal block before you pooed.

Snake Poo:
This poo is fairly soft, about as thick as your thumb and at least three feet long.

Morning After Poo:
Happens the day after the night before. Normally your poo doesn't smell that bad, but THIS one... Usually you're at someone else's house (normally a girl you're trying to impress) and they're waiting outside to use the bathroom.

Mexican Food Poo:
Also called "screamers." You know it's safe to eat again when your bum stops burning.

Boo Hoo Poo:
Makes you cry with pain and wonder whether your should risk the stitches or go for the fuller figure.


Julie said...

Who knew that there were so many types of poo?:)

Allie said...

I don't think I could poo on myself but I also have never run a marathon or tired to BQ (mostly because I know I cannot come anywhere near a BQ). I don't judge people that do poo themselves though, they are highly committed individuals and really, I'm just a slacker.


I don't think I could poo on myself. But I have seen race pics of someone who has. Not pretty.

This post is hysterical!

ESH said...

Hilarious! I agree with your bf, I am so a hot tea gal. It works like a charm. If you read my most recent race report for the Arizona Marathon that is exactly what I did, which helps me avoid any issues later on in the race. And yes, I agree a BQ is no olympic qualifying but when I was going for a BQ in Chicago I told myself I would not stop for ANYTHING, including poo...but that being said, I don't know if I could actually do it. Love the post!

joyRuN said...


I know - I have such a juvenile sense of humor :D


No, I've never been intense enough with this sport to have to poop myself. Ew.

Carol said...

High fiber diet = regularity = no pooping pants. Really, this is a crappy topic (LOL - had to say that!)

Lisa said...

OMG, this is so freakin' hilarious.

How about starting to train your body to go in the morning so that come race day you can do your thing?

I don't know, I got nothin for you.

kilax said...

LOL. I Love talking about poo. You should check out Shut Up and Run, she loves to talk about poo too.

I wish I had a tip on how to go! I have to be up early, like you. Sometimes The 30 Day Shred makes me have to go because of all those jumping jacks ;)

I almost always have to do during a run, and sometimes get cramps after (like today) that give me awful diarrhea. If I was trying to PR, I might go on myself. Ha!

Michelle said...

I have no advice, but thanks for the giggles! :)

ajh said...

Coffee works for me. I always drink coffee before a race and it works like a charm. I can't run clenched. I need to find a bathroom or walk so that wouldn't work for me. My friend that I run with and I know where all the bathrooms are.........churches are great because they usually aren't locked!!! But this is a worry. Hope you get useful info.

lindsay said...

i am very open at discussing my poops. :) haha. not sure if people mind... i just freely discuss anyway.

my bowels are very tempermental. i'll have a period of time where i will have a pre-run movement and be fine. then i'll have a few months (or whatever) where i may or may not have the pre-run movement and have rumbles mid-run. i have scampered to various restrooms (or semi-secluded places along my run when a restroom isn't available). umm one time i had to go on the side of a wide-open road as there weren't any trees/bushes andddd i couldn't make it any further.

it seems i've been in the "moody" mode for quite awhile now, unfortunately. i just never know when they will start acting up!

i def don't think i'd ever poop my pants in a race. not sure about peeing on myself... kinda thinking no right now.

Tara said...

OMG. I am totally laughing my arse off right now! As a runner and blogger, you have every right to discuss this subject!!

I am graced with a very strong stomach and don't normally have stomach issues. The only time that I can remember having them was on a 20 miler last year. I couldn't hold it any longer, so I jetted down to a stream and....ahhhh. You know what they say, you aren't a real runner until you've crapped on a run!

I would totally shat myself if it meant qualifying for Boston. There, I've admitted it.

Anonymous said...

My body somehow knows I am planning a run and just automatically wants to poop.

Gene said...

so...i self premedicate with Imodium before a long run or race, just to be 'sure'. just reading your post made me have to poo. thanks. whew. for those of you wondering....King Kong.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think I could poo on myself during a run/race. I don't think I could ever want something that bad haha.
Apparently a high fiber diet with lead to regularity..I dunno, I haven't achieved it yet.

Anonymous said...

When I first started running--all I ever heard was marathon runners crap themselves during races. I've never witnessed it but maybe my luck with change this weekend? who knows...haha.
When I first started running long distances I used to be SUPER sick after a long run. I realized it had a lot to do with my diet. (I would think I deserved a greesy dinner from Wendy's because I had ran so much!) Once I started eating better then my sickness subsided. Don't get me wrong occasionally I still become one with pepto!
Funny thing about the types of poo: When I first started dating my hubby he was living with another guy and in their half bath on the wall was a poster with these explanations. Always made me laugh!
I always stress about pooing before a race too! If it happens it happens if not it'll be okay (at least that is what I tell myself!)

Ewa said...

Morning coffee = morning poo - at least for me.
I have no problem going behind a tree on my trail runs. I still haven't figured out what to do in residential ares. I often run before sunrise but I would not go on somebody else's lawn.At least I don't think I would. Well either that of pooing on myself - which is better?

Staci Dombroski said...

I love the weight watchers poo!! You are hilarious! I have not had any issues during a run so I guess I should count myself lucky! Have a wonderful week!

Anonymous said...

I love to poo. But not in public.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I get the poos after a race and am fine with it. It's my 'down' time and just keep a pot close by.

And a 1/2 cup coffee does it for me every morning.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Finally, one running problem I don't have! I think my body is used to taking care of business an hour before I run. You can try not going until the same time every morning and maybe that will train your body, too.

Blonde Mom Runs said...

Awesome post-I needed that laugh! I don't think I could poo my pants while running. I do have the post long run stomach issues-no fun.

mheinle said...

Train your body to poo when you want...I am not a public restroom pooer so that means no pooping at work so you hold it until you are ready. Do that for a few days and it will be like an alarm clock 5:30 TIME TO POO! (actually I am over this now I will at work) Seriously though if you can hold it until the morning then go same time everyday it will become normal. This coupled with the immodium idea is rock solid. I took an immodium once and did not poop for a week no joke. KING KONG!

What do you call a vegitarian with diarrhea???

Salad Shooter!

SomerandDan said...

OK. So peppermint tea is the kicker for me, but I've never really had a problem. I had one long run where I had to stop 6 times for poo. I tried to do it in the bushes and got stage fright! and had to run to the nearest gas station! I always take immodium before a race (little tablets) now they have immodium advanced (extra strength!

For race day you could take metamucil the night before (after testing it a few weeks in advance), drink tea in the morning and then after the successful BM immediately take immodium.... Don't know if I could crap on myself for Boston - you could wear an adult diaper, but it would surely slow you down and cause some nasty chafing!

Janet said...

Oh my God! I am laughing so hard I can hardly type. This is hands down the funniest post I've ever read. Especially the last part about the types of poo! I can't remember where I read it, but recently I read a post of a gal who had to go A LOT during a half marathon. She always stopped at the tops of hills to squat on the side so she could sprint as fast as she could down the hill and catch back up. Seemed like a good idea to me! Best of luck to you!!!

JT said...

I have started to take 1 Immodium tablet about 1 hour before a marathon. Although I have never had an issue during a race, mentally it makes me feel better.

Anonymous said...

absolutely: a true runner's post here

Running Through Phoenix said...

Crock Pot of Death Poo: you leave it all in the potty without flushing because you are afraid of waking the 5 month old. Flush after returning from run, if you remember......

Unknown said...

Crock pot of death poo is great! MMMMM do I smell poo stew?

hannah g said...

My friend and I just died laughing at ur diff kinds of poo. Thank you.