Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bathroom Emergency

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. 

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