Thursday, August 21, 2008

Droppin' the "E"

Wherein I disgust you with a discussion of my bowels before getting to the real reason for this post – presenting you with a new phrase to use in public. Oh, and referencing MC Hammer.

One of the common questions I’m often asked by friends, family, and random strangers is ‘Nitmos, how do you keep such a clean and regular colon?’

It’s funny because I’m not really regular nor – judging my Mrs. Nitmos’s reaction to my laundry – very clean. They must be confused by my generally relaxed, clog-free countenance. It can be intestinally deceptive.

The truth of the matter is I’m full of shit quite a bit. While I complain about Cube Farter here at work, my odorous sounds are legendary around the Nitmos home. I feel it’s my duty being the man of the house. Like Simba rising to replace the slain Mufasa, I have taken up the position of Chief Butt Burper. (And, yes, when my son was born I stood on the roof and held him aloft under his arm pits – amidst shrieks of terror from Mrs. Nitmos, neighbors, and various law enforcement officers - and proclaimed him Junior Butt Burper. He has much to learn.)

While I’m proud of the symphony of dulcet tones I compose for my family, it does lead to a little tension and binding come Race Day. No one likes to carry extra baggage on a run. Especially a 26.2 miler. Even a 5k can turn potentially humiliating – though hilarious – if the colon isn’t cleansed prior to the race.

I’ve wrestled with this one a lot. Ideally, I need to expel prior to the morning of the race. I’ve experienced the 5k Run for the Port-a-Potty in 2003 and it didn’t end pretty. I made it. But just barely. I believe they imploded the unit afterwards. Nothing could be done to save it. Sorry.

I’ve gotten into the habit of dropping acid* the night before the night before a marathon. This way, I can spend the day before the big race touring the city’s restrooms. (In Chicago, I recommend the Borders Books near the old Water Tower on Michigan Ave. for it’s out of the way location, lighting, atmosphere, and abundance of toilet paper) Come race day – viola! – fresh, clean, light and ready to run!

I can think of nothing worse than frittering away valuable seconds, nay, minutes unclogging the pipes at mile 6 while hundreds of marathoners stampede by. You are losing irretrievable time. You have no magazine or newspaper to read. Inevitably, you’ll pinch under the pressure before you get to the roots and find yourself a few miles down the road with, ahem, shifting half cargo.

Nightmare.

I’ve read accounts and I don’t envy those of you who have had to stop mid race. So far, I have not had this issue.

In the 48 hours leading into a race, my bowels tend to be the main topic of conversation between Mrs. Nitmos and I (whether she likes it or not). Normally, I let them go about their business in peace and at their own schedule. You need a few extra minutes? Sure, I can let the legs go numb. No Problem.

All deals with my colon are off when a race approaches though. The lower g.i. needs to snap back into shape. My bowel full must become a bowl full. It’s a little something I call Droppin’ the “E”. See? It’s catchy. (Bow-e-l full becomes bowl full minus the ‘e’. Get it? Its been dropped.)

Feel free to use this new term I just invented for you in public. Children can hear (and use it) and no one will slap their mouths or even care. I’m like the MC Hammer of bowel movements with my wacky colloquialisms and all.

Before your next big race, do what you need to in order to Drop the E. Your PR may depend on it.

It might be hard to pass sometimes but, trust me, you’re Too Legit to Quit. And as far as quality race time saving tips, U Can’t Touch This one.

If the pre-race cleansing doesn’t work? Well, then Pray.

That's it. I'm tired.

Happy trails.

* And by acid, I mean Ex Lax.
_________________________________

Congratulations to Ovens2Betsy for her stealth BQ.
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Last night:
9.0 miles
1:03:17 time
7:02 pace

=Legs are still sore from Sunday. Somewhere from 16-18 miles for this weekend's LR depending on Saturday night's festivities.

33 comments:

Melanie said...

I have so totally used that Borders bathroom before... it wasn't before a race - just a girls' weekend in Chicago. But still - I know the women's version of the bathroom of which you speak. Random.

John at Hella Sound said...

The Deuce is Loose!

A delicate subject, to be sure. You've handled it with much class and dignity.

Although I can't help but wonder if the "acid" method might not cause unnecessary pre-race dehydration.

Melissa said...

My husband would really love this blog. I think I'll push it on him.

Vanilla said...

Did Melissa just admit that she hates her husband? I can think of no other reason to push this blog on someone.

As to the topic at hand, you could always race in MC Hammer pants and then just fill them up, no one would be the wiser.

Jess said...

Hahah I've gotta say, I like the phrase "Droppin' the E" I will try to make it the hip thing to say around this parts.

tfh said...

I'm so glad I was born female and thus possess none of the bodily functions discussed in this post.

Ha, ha, ha.

No, seriously, my husband deserves a medal and a cute girlfriend on the side for the times he's stood guard as I duck behind the bushes on our runs together. (Get it? Runs?) Thanks for the advice on preventing that kind of thing on race day. Sounds...healthy.

Xenia said...

I too have been in that Borders. Now I'll never be able to walk through its doors again without thinking of this post and your colonic activity.

Thanks.

Marcy said...

So far so good for me, except one pinch back during a race. I really need to look into some colonics the day before marathon day, eh?

Roisin said...

That's a quality Borders, and infinitely preferable to the one on State. Those bathrooms are usually no good because the homeless guys beat you to them. And the lawyers.

Big said...

Been at that Borders, done that at that Borders. And all I would do is pound some Taco Bell.

runjess said...

Seriously, is it possible to do the 26.2 without a pit stop? I can never go before!
http://seejessrun.wordpress.com

David Drinkard said...

I just consider it getting rid of any bad "omens" before my run...

The Mandapants said...

That is a disturbingly catchy phrase. What about long runs? What is there for us to do to avoid these problems? I guess it's nothing to freak out about (having to stop on a long run), but it's still annoying.

Michelle J said...

Droppin the E!!!

Love it!!

M

Colin said...

I remember my ex's joy upon discovering her own personal manna fallen from heaven, crappatwill seeds (psyllium husk). The trouble was in part that -- maybe it was just our plumbing at the time -- the products tended to be "returners".. when she was on the husk, the toilet was haunted. You'd walk in, and friggin' Cthulhu would be floating there. And she wasn't even a runner, just thrilled to death to poop like one, apparently. So I'm just saying.. psyllium husk if you ever decide to go all-natural.. and if the wife doesn't scare easy.

Merry said...

Sheesh... this is simple mathematics:
Nothing in = nothing out

ergo, cognito, ingesteth thou not before a race and thou wilt not be troubled by any pit stops along the way.

Any stops you make will be permanent, at least so far as the race is concerned.

Well, that was simple! Off to tackle global warming...

Kristin said...

I'm expecting Half-Fast's Weekend Splits to say that the blogs this week were full of sh*t - because this is the third one I've seen that has addressed that topic! I love it - I have many stories of my own (on that topic) but I hesitate to publish them on the world wide web. Even if they're only read by two or three people!

theloosemoose said...

I am all too familiar with this topic. I've never tried Ex Lax, but Immodium is an essential component of my race prep.

Vava said...

Funniest thing I ever saw was back when I was about 12 and my Dad entered his first 10k. He wasn't among the leaders, but of the first three competitors sprinting to the finish line, the one who would be third lost control of his bowels just as he crossed the finish line. His little blue shorts were no match for the flood and containment was impossible. I wonder if he beat himself up more for the embarrasment this so obviously caused or the fact that he never stopped running and headed straight for a port-a-potty, thereby proving that he did NOT leave it ALL out there (if you know what I mean)... The race organizers were still busy trying to clean the residue off the road when the next batch of runners came around the bend. I still laugh, as I'm sure he still cries...

Awesome post!

Molly said...

Dropping the E, very clever, me likey!

running (even short ones) always gives me the runs no matter the precautions I take to prevent it. I guess I should look at the bright side, at least it makes me finish hard as I am always in a hurry to get done and find the bathroom!

Marathon Me said...

This used to happen to me on a lot of my marathons. I found that when I ran under 7:00/M pace that I'd need to make a "pit stop".

I may have to try your E method, but I've had a lot of success lately by eating Chinese food the night before. The rice acts as a magic buffer to help bind everything together and if you put a lot of soy sauce on your food, you get the extra sodium which is also great come race day.

I prefer Chicken Fried Rice doused in soy.

Viper said...

Ah, thanks for another turd of wisdom.

Kristina said...

there are no words...
so...good luck on the long run this weekend :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

I love coming to this blog and finding ever more reasons to be glad I am not a marathon runner.

You have fun with your acid and your Borders pit stops, kids!

Little 3 and 4 mile recreational runs don't seem to come with any attendant bowel issues, thank goodness.

KC Stine said...

Sometimes we call it "Dropping the kids off at the pool"

I'll give you extra points for creativity.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

No pit stops for me at a race or training run so far. I'm obsessed about dropping the E before I leave the house.

The Laminator said...

I'm about to drop an E after reading this post! Has a nice ring to it, I think.

Cindy said...

I've been voyeuristically(?) enjoying your blog and its ensuing comments, but what can i say--on a topic like this, i can't hold it in.ha. i admit, i've gotta drop the e before any run, much less a race. thanks for the new lingo!

Laura said...

After my little pitstop in the Seafair Marathon, this topic has been in my mind every time I race. I've been thinking of getting an actual professional colonic, but it seems so scary! Have you looked into it at all?

Lily on the Road said...

Holy SH"E"T,

Good job on getting all of this out of your system....LOL...

Ms. V. said...

Um, already using your newly coined term. Everyone who runs around here knows the best fields, park bathrooms, Starbucks and gas stations.

Droppin' the e. Just stupid enough to work. :)

P.O.M. said...

When we used to drop E, it meant something different. I'm afraid if I used your term, my friends might send me to PROMISES.

Viv said...

I get weak when I drop the E. I do however fear what happens on those race days that I don't take care of shiz. Turtle head poppin out city