Babies, running and poop! Topics inextricably linked, as every BAMR knows.
Perhaps even more acutely for Meghan Kita, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, Theo, and delivered a book called How to Make Yourself Poop: And 999 Other Tips All Runners Should Know.
Meghan ran in high school and college and has completed 17 marathons, most notably one in which she ran in a hot dog costume, earning herself a spot in the Guiness World Record book for fastest marathon dressed as a fast food item (female). (Her record has since been broken, alas.)
It was fun catching up with Meghan, a former colleague from Runner’s World, about some of our favorite topics—the poop on babies and running! She'll be on podcast #322 with Sarah talking even more TMI topics! Meet Meghan!
When was Theo born?
February 16, so he’s 5 months old.
How’s he doing?
He’s a really happy baby. He’s really sweet. He’s gaining weight, and can roll on to his belly and all the way across the room. He has teeth already—two top and two bottom teeth, which makes breast-feeding … interesting. I’m trying to teach him the words, “No biting.” “No biting.”
After you gave birth to Theo, how soon did you return to running?
I started running again 7 to 8 weeks post-partum. I had a 6-week checkup with my OB-gyn and got the okay to run. But I went to Lauren Garges, a pelvic physical therapist to be sure. She did an exam to check my abs for separation. I worked with her for a couple of months to get the abs closed. She gave me the go ahead to do a run-walk method for about a month before I started running.
And how is your running today?
I’m more or less back into it. I haven’t been able to find the perfect time to run. Breast-feeding creates problems with the morning run. I have an hour for lunch at my job, and I can get in a 5K at lunch a few times a week. And I try to go a little longer on the weekend.
How do you handle the sports bra situation as a nursing mom?
When I tried to run before I fed him in the morning, I would take a little out with manual pump so I wouldn’t be too uncomfortable. If I have fed him or pumped within an hour or two, it’s okay. I had to buy new sports bras. I have one that zips up the front, but it still isn’t enough. Sometimes I wear it over another one. This is all new for me. I never really had to think about sports bras before, I could run in cheap ones from Target.
Did you run during your pregnancy?
I ran until 32 weeks, sometime in December, when I switched to walking because I was so uncomfortable. I walked on a treadmill in our garage, until I saw a mouse in the garage, and I wouldn’t do that anymore. A few days would go by, and I would get restless and need to exercise, so I’d go outside and walk around the block. When you’re hugely pregnant, you don’t feel like yourself in so many ways, so you cling to the things you used to do to make you feel like yourself again.
Tell us about the TMI topics in your book.
It covers how to make yourself poop before a run, how to make yourself stop pooping. There’s nutrition stuff about pooping and not pooping. There’s how to pee discretely. How to avoid puking after a run. Stuff about your period. I pretty much got it all covered.
So it isn’t all poop?
My brain was full of tips and facts about training, nutrition, gear, motivation, and racing from my six years of Runner’s World. It’s like an encyclopedia with a splashy eye-catching title.
Do you drink coffee before you run?
Pre-baby, I went back and forth over the years. I did for a long time. Then I stopped because of a health issue. And I discovered that hot liquids worked just as well as coffee to get everything going.
How long did it take to "get everything going" pre-baby?
I was pretty efficient. I could get up and take care of business and be on my way in 15-20 minutes. [Ed. note: Wow, that's fast!]
In writing this book, did you learn anything you DIDN’T already know from your years at RW?
One part of my book that I reported out with independent, brand new content was about running naked. I have tips for running “naked,” by which I mean, without a watch. And tips for running naked—that is, without clothes. I talked to a friend who had done a naked race. They are tips that I will never use, but it’s a fun section that made me laugh. One thing I learned: Bring a towel, because you won’t want to sit down on anything when you are naked; and you won’t want to sit any place where some other naked person has been sitting.
Who is more obsessed with poop: runners or moms?
Runners think about poop more. Like when they are not actively dealing with it. They think about how to make themselves go, and how to make themselves not go while running.
But moms have to actively deal with it more. Especially moms who are cloth diapering like me. It wasn’t so bad when Theo was just nursing. But now that he’s eating solids, it’s like real grownup poop. It’s gross.