I have always been super in tune with my body. And now, in the run up to my 34th birthday I am poignantly aware of the feelings and stresses that cause very selective, random pains and bouts of inflammation in acute areas around my body.
There is no strict science that I know of to what I’m about to say but intuitively this is how I know myself to be. How I know my body works.
Friday the 3rd of January 2020, sometime around 08:30
First run of the year, let’s do this! There have been a lot of walks throughout the Christmas period but this is my first run in over a month and both the 30th and 31st of December were particularly boozy! A good sweat is needed and I desperately want to get back to a time when running felt rather easy and tremendously therapeutic.
The farm track that takes you from the main road up to my house is 5km long. The surface is uneven and there are plenty of deep potholes and cattlegrids to navigate around. My intention for the next couple of weeks is to build my running fitness back up by doing this 5km stretch four times a week. I get my track running shoes on and put the most inappropriate running music in my ears. The kind of music that is completely unconducive to inspiring the completion of such a task.
The run is hard and I have a deep headache that feels like it’s in the middle of my head as opposed to the side of my forehead. I am sweating a terrific amount of salty fume and on the route back my bowels start to awaken hard and fast. I need to get to the toilet asap. I know this feeling so well from running as a teenager with IBS. Those of you who’ve suffered with this in the past will know that running makes the cramp worse and makes the poo feel like it could ejaculate at any moment so I slow my pace down to a walk in the hope that the poo will go back up my colon a bit. Having given my cramps a 60 second rest bite and seeing how far I still have to go until I can whip my pants down I begin running again but faster. The cramps are horrendous and I’m now looking for bushes I can hide behind in the event that this poo needs to happen now. Only problem with that is the open spaces of field that are being frequented by my neighbours' sons home from university for Christmas who have taken to walking the family dog off track. The thought of any of them paying witness to an explosion or indeed seeing a turd not of the cow kind encourages me to hold on a little tighter to bowel movement 1. Finally home, I burst through the front and make it to the toilet in time without harming the eyesight of others. My tummy is in an awful way. Sore, cramped, red, raw. The sweat pouring out of my face I know is alcohol detox. An hour later, showered and watered I feel brilliant for having shed the Christmas alcohol out of my body. This was always what Run 1 was going to be about.
Saturday the 4th of January 2020, I know it’s 08:30 cuz I’ve bread in the oven
As I pull on my track runners and get better music into my ears I know today is going to be about sweating out the overindulgence in food. The alcohol sweats have been done. This run is purely about the unwanted gasses leftover from too much meat consumption and not enough fibre. It’s another hard run. I’m not as light as I was when I enjoyed running and there are some fermented foods in my gut that my body desperately wants to get rid of. The scenery all around me is beautiful, the sun is rising and I’m just trying to stay focused on keeping a pace that will effectively detox more shit. Same thing happens on the way back only sooner and with more force this time. I need to get to the toilet asap! I’m sweating, I’m cramping, I’m wishing my boyfriend was home so that I could call for a lift. Alas, I make it home again just in time and sit on the toilet cramping hard. Needless to say bowel movement 2 flies out of me. I go to lie on the bed for 60 seconds to help release said cramping. I want to lie there for 5 minutes but guests are arriving today and I need to get on with my chores. Moisturising my face post shower my skin genuinely feels softer and smoother than it has all Christmas. An hour later I almost feel elated to have now moved masses of booze and food through me and out of me. I’m feeling positive about my relationship with running again and can’t wait for run 3.
Monday the 6th of January, 08:30 a half an hour after I was supposed to run
I wake up a little tired but know that today’s run will be a little stronger. The past 2 runs have been shame runs. Necessary, sweat poo inducing mental marathons to recalibrate a body and mind that yearn for balance and health. I know I won't need the loo desperately halfway through and today’s playlist allows me to focus on some of the wonderful messages found in today’s songs. It’s another hard run but this time it feels like progress. My body hasn’t been in emergency mode with a need to shit every last thing out of me and my mind is clear and thoughtful. I’ve eaten a lot of wholegrain, vegetables, beans and legumes over the weekend with my best friend and cousin and have talked clearly and focusedly about my goals for 2020. I make a mug of filtered coffee, slice and toast some of my walnut and raisin sourdough and top it with butter and marmalade. An hour after the run my body feels cold. This is a good sign. It’s not intoxicated with foods and alcohols it doesn’t want. Now, my body feels intoxicated with focus, clarity, the need to work and a comfort in the everyday rhythm renewed by a new year.
Eating well and poo’ing everyday are instrumental to my work and happiness.
Movement everyday has always been imperative for my head’s sake.
Those SOS poos I had after run 1 and 2 mean the world to me. That may sound ridiculous but they reconfirm why I love my guts so much and why I love my body so much! Both my guts and body know what’s best and evacuation of certain elements was needed. The runs just helped them along.
Now off to get a thermal layer on after shedding the layer of Christmas! Hello 2020 you gorgeous promise!