This post is not for the weak of heart or stomach for that matter. Runners will know well of what I write about here. Few things are worse than being out on a run when nature calls. It's the worst, especially if you're out in the middle of the country.
This last week I've had a couple of "issues" while out on runs. It had been a long, long time, at least three or four years since this problem had presented itself to me. Last week I was 3 miles into a 6 mile run when I knew I needed a bathroom. No problem, I had a Hess station just a quarter mile away. I get to the door at 6 p.m. and the door is locked. The attendant is mopping the floor and no intention of letting this poor soul in to use the facilities. I ducked around back and found a tree and let loose. It wasn't fun running the last 3 miles home.
Tonight I was about 1.5 miles into a 6 mile run when I felt the urge again, but this time I was just a half mile from the house. I made it home with nary a problem. But it got me to thinking about my history with bathroom incidents.
I think the first time "it" happened was out on a 13 mile run back in the early 80's. I was about 1.5 miles west of Wells Overlook south of Lawrence when I realized I had to go and go right now. I was out on a lonely gravel road so privacy wasn't a problem. I desperately ran along looking for some paper. I think I found a scrap before I had to stop.
There was another late night run in Roeland Park also in the early 80's where I ended up in some hedges. But "it" really didn't become a problem until I was well into my 40's. I've jumped behind a dirt pile or behind some bushes on 3 or 4 occasions.
But the worst are the too late bathroom pit stops. On at least 3 I didn't make it to the toilet. Thank God the bathroom floor is tile!
"It" has only twice once during a race. The first time was my junior year in high school where I could swear I was going to crap my shorts during the 2 mile at Regional. I was squeezing my butt checks the last 5 laps and finished 4th missing State by one place. It was a heartbreaking disappointment, although I had qualified earlier in the mile.
The other time "it" happened was just before mile 10 at the 1989 St. George Marathon I could feel a problem coming on. I spotted a lone porta-potty right at 10 and thank goodness it was empty. I spent a full minute in there taking care of my problem and much to my surprise I flew out the door and right back into a good pace. In fact I felt rather refreshed after the short break and went on to run an unexpected PR. The experience was enough t encourage me to train harder and come back the next year to break my PR by another 8 minutes.