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When you gotta go…

by Meghann on March 22, 2012

Want to know a little secret? When I first started running, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Training plans? The Galloway method? Couch to 5k? Specific running shoes? I had no idea any of those things existed. I just ran – figuring out the other stuff came much, much later.

Back then I wasn’t even sure my mid-run stops at random porta potties, gas stations, or even in the woods off the side of the road (don’t judge – we’ve all had those moments!) were normal. At the time, I didn’t have any friends who ran and I was too embarrassed to talk about it. It was months before I met my first running buddy (Hi Caitlin!) and realized I was not alone. Those mid-run stops are completely normal, especially with beginning runners.

Over time, the need for mid-run stops began to fade away. As my body got used to the idea of running, so did my stomach. It was something that happened gradually and I’m not sure if I can pinpoint it to anything besides the fact that my tummy just learned to go before hand or to just hold it. However, not every run is perfect. I still have flare ups and this morning was no exception.

Speedwork was on the plan for this morning. 6×800 @10k pace w/ 400 rests. I’m not going to lie, the run was tougher than I wanted it to be. I haven’t been keeping up with my speed training and I could feel it. Trying to hold a 7:30 pace for half a mile was painful and I kept missing the goals for my intervals. Not good.

With a mile left, my tummy wasn’t doing me any favors. I was suddenly struck with the ‘I need to go NOW!‘ feeling and had to give myself a couple of (un-timed) breaks to take a few deep breaths and to get my tummy under control. I basically ended up waddling the last 1/2 mile and couldn’t get in the door fast enough.

Even if you have a hundred great runs, you never know when tummy disaster can strike. It gets the best of all of us.

Post-run, I felt a lot better and was ready to tackle the day – starting with figuring out what the heck to do with the case of mangos currently on my counter.

First up? Mango Almond Butter Toast


I thought of this on my run. First I slathered a layer of fig butter from the new jar I picked up at Trader Joe’s on Sunday.


The fig butter tasted just like the inside of a Fig Newton – I liked it. πŸ˜‰

Then I added the fresh slices of mango and drizzled them with the (still runny) almond butter and a few walnut pieces.


The combo was pretty decadent and very filling. The perfect post-run breakfast treat.


Don’t forget! You can enter to win your own case of Whole Foods mangos by leaving a comment on THIS post.

I still have more mango ideas up my sleeves. I hope Derek is ready for the mango fiesta that’s about to take over our house. πŸ˜‰

1 Hillary March 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

I actually had to do a few of my training runs for my first half marathon on the treadmill for this very reason. My stomach was super sensitive and unpredictable, and I didn’t want to be stranded on the streets of Baltimore with nowhere to go! Eventually, my stomach and I figured it out and got it under control ; )

2 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe March 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

My husband doesn’t eat mangoes, but I’m pretty sure I’d demolish a case on my own!
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3 Dana March 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks for the post! My stomach is learning to adjust very much and you’re right some days are fine and some days I feel like my stomach just ruined a great run!

4 Dana March 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

Thanks for the post! My stomach is learning to run as much as I’m learning to run. I want to be a good runner but its so difficult. Some days I feel like my stomach ruins my workouts and some days i’m totally fine! Just makes me appreciate the great day runs so much more!
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5 Heather @ Housewife Glamour March 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

All I can say is you’re definitely NOT alone in this category. My last long run before the Gasparilla half left me sprinting to a CVS for a few un-timed minutes myself. Luckily, I didn’t experience this on race day, but I’m hoping this feeling eventually goes away!
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6 Sarah @BlondeBostonian March 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

I just bought a jar of TJ’s fig butter and haven’t opened it yet — can’t wait to try it.
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7 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

That toast looks incredible! I’m having some serious mango almond butter fig butter envy right now!
In my seven years running, I’ve actually NEVER experienced that “I have to go now” feeling! So many of my running friends frequently experience it but I guess my body just doesn’t function that way.
Jamie @ Don’t Forget the Cinnamon recently posted..Picnic lunch, picnic dinner.

8 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

oh gosh, I’ve had some serious tummy troubles. It really ruins a run, especially a speed work run when your stomach is feeling awful and that’s all you can think about!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..If I Can, You Can.

9 Emily March 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

That breakfast looks delish! Yum yum!
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10 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I love the fig jam, it’s my second favorite to pumpkin butter πŸ™‚

Also, I never really had stomach problems when I started running but every so often I’ll randomly have an issue. Like my last 19 mile training run for example, I did everything the same but still had to go to the bathroom. I have no idea what caused it!
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11 Laura March 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Woohoo mangoes!
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12 Katie @ cooklaughmove March 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I’ve frequented the local McDonald’s and Wesco Gas Station more times than I care to count due to stomach troubles! Ugh!!!!
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13 Erin March 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Ugh! I hate it when that happens. And I especially hate that you never know when it’s going to strike.

Some days I like mangoes and other days not so much. Every so often they taste too “pine-y” for some reason.
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14 Biz March 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I am making this for my lunch today with leftover grilled chicken. I did reduce the amount of oil to just 2 tablespoons – and its a lot of dressing so I am making it 4 servings instead of two – which ends up being only 2 WW points (not that you are counting points though!)

I love mango!
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15 Laura March 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

My poor hubby deals with the stomach issue while running, I feel for him!! My stomach seems to do okay- thankfully πŸ™‚ Also, prevention magazine (awesome mag if you haven’t read it!!) has a whole section on mango recipes (I can’t remember if it’s this months or last months, I’ll have to look). So I would have plenty of new recipes to try if I had a case of mangos (or mangoes) πŸ™‚

16 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

My stomach does that every once in a while too… it happens to the best of us!
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17 Allyson March 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Arent mangos a natural laxative?? Maybe that’s why the urgency today? I’ve had these moments all too often.

18 Kelly March 23, 2012 at 1:09 am

My thoughts exactly.

19 Rachel March 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Mangoes are very high in fiber. A whole Atulfo contains 12g of fiber, or nearly 50% of the RDV. Hence the natural laxative effect. So yeah, the caseful of mangoes could definitely be a contributing factor this time! πŸ˜€
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20 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I just had to laugh–b/c yes, when u gotta go, u gotta! hah πŸ˜‰

Lovely looking b-fast!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Exercise Addiction

21 Beka March 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Meghann! I am dying laughing reading this post.
Since I’m still pretty new to running, my belly is pissed off when I push myself hard… a la ‘mile 11.5 during Gasparilla’ was the fastest pit stop I think I’ve ever made; and it seems like my belly hates me all day after a hard run. I hope in time it will get used to it like you mentioned!

I LOVE MANGOES. I will eat them pretty much every way possible, I think I’d mango-smoothie myself to death!

22 Molly P @mollyontherun March 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Ummm your mango breakfast looks amazing! Thanks for the new breakfast idea πŸ™‚
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23 Ali March 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I love making mango salsa and dried mangoes are my favorite dried fruit.
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24 Racheal @ Running with Racheal March 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

My stomach has also adapted with time…with the exception of race days. For some reason, I can’t “get things going” before the race, so afterwards is always a bit of an emergency! πŸ™‚
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25 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My stomach has gotten better the more I run. I call it Runner’s Tummy or the Runner’s Trots! Yes, it happens to everyone and it’s normal! πŸ™‚
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26 Lindy Katherine March 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Since I am not much of a runner, I never knew that when people mentioned “tummy trouble” or “stomach issues” it meant they had a case of the sh*ts. I thought tummy or stomach issues indicated nauseousness…now I have learned the code. Can we just call it what it is, people? EVERYBODY POOPS!!

27 Meghann March 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

hahaha Everybody DOES poop, but no one is more regular than a runner. πŸ˜‰

28 Lacey @ Lake Life March 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

So true about mangoes- they really are a virtous fruit! They’re not at all slutty like those dirty bananas you hate.
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29 Sloane @ My Life in Florida March 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

This happens to my dog when we run together πŸ™‚ He has to stop to use the bathroom like 2-3 times.
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30 Belinda March 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Something that really helps me with my stomach problems is staying hydrated during a run, especially long or fast ones. I also take 1/2 an Immodium AD before half marathons (I know you’re probably not supposed to), but after my first half marathon experience where I had to wait 5 minutes in line for a Port-a-potty at mile 8, I’ve learned to do what I gotta do. Not only did it put a decent dent in my time, but I thought I would cry while I was waiting in line.

31 Army Amy* March 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

My tummy really acts up when I do speed work. It sucks, but at least I know I’m not the only one.*
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32 Erin March 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Nearly pooping your pants, described in TMI detail, followed by a description of your breakfast. Classy.

33 Steph March 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I totally had stomach issues for the first 6 months of getting into jogging. SO glad that part is over with!
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34 Jess-ThatJessGal March 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I’m so jealous you got Fig Butter. I went to the Williamsburg TJ’s yesterday while I was still in VA to stock up on items and they had sold out already. Enjoy it, lucky gal!
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