Oo-Er! What to do? Free place on the Great South Run 5k

Received an email today to say I have been given a free place on the Great South Run 5k on 26 October. I applied some weeks ago.

My problem is that I have only run 5k twice since graduating in July, due to my ongoing bowel contents retention problem. I can currently only occasionally run for more than 20 minutes before having to stop and (carefully) walk home. :(

OK, so I could take imodium on the day to get me through the race (as I did for the Race for Life), but my problem is that it is difficult to train properly - I have a distinct lack of stamina for runs longer than 20 minutes, so its going to take me at least 45 minutes to finish the race AND I will probably have to walk a couple of times.

What do you wonderful forum people think:

1) Should I give up my place in the race?

2) Should I give it a go even though I will probably come in last?

3) Should I stop worrying about it and just get on with it?



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16 Replies

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  • Weeeelll - without wishing to get to personal in the bottom dept. I too had similar problems a few years ago and it really interfered with my training and undermined my confidence - to the point I threw my running shoes in the corner and didn't retrieve them for 3 years - by which time i was 3 stone heavier and felt pretty miserable. I heaved myself into C25k this year and it has been a revalation in terms of restoring my self esteem and learning not to be to concerned about body problems. (Although I do allow a bit of time pre- run for my body to decide what it wants to do!!)

    So my best advice is - if you worry about it - it will be worse - so get on with it and enjoy it -whatever your time it is the taking part that counts and you should be proud of what you have achieved. But you know yourself -whatever you decide to do - it is your decision .....be positive one way or the other :-)

    Happy running:-)

  • Thanks Suzybenj. My confidence has taken a bashing with this. Allowing time for my body to 'decide what it wants to do' is not working for me.

    However, I am quite a determined person, and as I am enjoying the running so much otherwise, I am hopeful that it will settle down in time. In the meantime I just plod on, even if it is often for no longer than 20 minutes.

  • Do the run and im sure you will feel so good when you cross the finishing line ! And on the day we can all cyber cheer you on !!!! Good luck kate x

  • Thanks Kate. I do want to take part!

  • Just googled run looks lovely and a nice flat route ! I love portsmouth but for the shopping ! Good luck bet it will be a great day x

  • I've not even looked at the route properly, I did notice the mention about it being a nice flat route though - sounds good to me.

  • I, too, suffer with GI problems sometimes, but I usually manage at least 50 mins before it becomes a problem. I try to manage it by watching my diet. I have (tried to) eliminate diary from my diet as milk intolerance can be a problem for many runners. Plus I'm mindful of what I eat the evening berfore my long runs. The only other 'solution' I consider is to run off road with the option to stop in the woods if necessary.

  • Thanks Swanscot. I have researched this problem on the internet, it is very common, but usually with longer distance runners. Food intolerance or something similar may be the problem, it just takes so long to ascertain which foods!

  • I can't advise on the bowel problems, however I would say go for it!

    I got a free place on the Great North 5K and it was fantastic! They're were plenty of people who has to stop to walk, and there were even a group of girls who walked the whole way! So if you did have to walk after 20 mins, then you don't need to worry too much.

    The atmosphere is amazing, the crowd and volunteers really motivate you and you get a lovely medal at the end!

    Good luck, and I hope you feel back to normal soon

  • So, perhaps I am worrying unnecessarily (at least about finishing last)! That is rather encouraging if other people have to walk.

  • My husband is a marathon runner and has an annoying habit as we drive along of pointing out to me places en route that he has "christened" when out training... I also get sheepish text messages while at work to pre-warn me of soiled running gear that needs to go in the washing machine ASAP when I get in. You're not alone :)

    I vote go for it!

  • I haven't christened anywhere yet, too frightened of being caught in the act.

    It is a common problem though.

  • Runsandknits, you mean you've not trained him to use the washing machine himself?!?!?

    Markee, I suggest 2&3 on your list! I've not suffered from this problem myself, though did get the urge about 1k from home a few weeks ago, I stopped and 'squeezed' hard for about 10 seconds which stopped the urge and was then able to run home (no not squeezing in the way r&k's hubby squeezes, the opposite).

  • Ha, Ha! Sounds like my hubby - anything domestic is beyond him!

    I've done plenty of squeezing over the last few months, it does help for a while as long as I don't start running again!

  • I can empathise, having been caught out with runners trot on three occasions during my short running career - each one etched in horror in my memory. As for the 5k, go for it - take Imodium and just enjoy the experience. There will be many people walking the whole distance so you most certainly won't finish last X

  • Thanks Saruma (and everyone else) I now feel a lot more confident about entering the race.

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