Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Did Not Deserve That “Thank You”

I am not proud of my behavior today.

Let me set the scene for you. Early on in my 6 mile run I was having major stomach issues. I’m not sure if it was the Chips O’Hoy from last night or the Utz Pub Mix, or a combination of both. In any case, by mile 2.5 I was doing that desperate and sweaty glance to the right and to the left, urgently searching for a bathroom alternative (BA) . Oh, don’t pretend you’ve never done the desperate glance as you use every muscle to hold things in place. It’s a universal experience.

I don’t usually use businesses as my BA because I feel bad for not buying stuff when I am most likely going to stink up the establishment. I also run mostly on trails or back roads, so it’s not like there is a McDonalds on every corner. I used to love this one gas station I would run by on a country road because they had a bathroom tip jar (I wrote about it HERE). If I put a dollar in there, I would feel all was right with the world. An eye for an eye. A dollar for a shit.

That placed closed down (see below), which was a travesty. You can buy it for only $250,000, and then I can leave you big tips ‘n turds.

But, today was an emergency.  So, I broke down and went into a very small breakfast café. It is only two rooms, so there is no way to be not obvious when you enter. The lady/owner was friendly enough when I asked to use the bathroom. She obviously knew I wasn't looking to sit down and eat a short stack with a side of eggs. I tried to act nonchalant about the whole thing, thinking maybe she would buy the fact I was just going for a tinkle. I strolled on in, not rushing, not clenching.

I spent some time in that tiny WC, and what I did in there should be illegal. I still had over two miles before I would be at home and things would have gotten very ugly had I waited. I felt less guilty about the whole thing because there was a nice citrus spray in the bathroom, which I drained. Without getting graphic, I will say I hope the plumbing in that old and tired breakfast café is pretty stellar because voluminous about describes what went down. And, yes, it did go down, thank God.

As I was leaving, I waved, smiled and gave her a huge thank you for letting me use the bathroom. She said, “No, thank YOU!” Damn friendly small-towners. That immediately made me feel guilty. I so did not deserve that thank you. In fact if she would have just said, “You’re welcome a-hole, but don’t ever let that happen again,” I would have been satisfied.

In the end I made it 6 miles in 52 minutes, not counting the voluminous episode at the country breakfast spot. I guess that was better than yesterday when I ran .12 miles on the treadmill, quit and went home.

Ever had an emergency on your run? Where did you go? On the trails it’s an easy solution, but in town it’s trickier. Many times I have wanted to stop at an acquaintance’s house, but that just seems rude. Although, I would SO invite another runner into my house if they were desperate. I’d even give them citrus spray.

SUAR

58 comments:

  1. hahaha this is hilarious. Oh Runner's Issues (literally). I love how you speak out loud (or type) what everyone else is afraid to say. I am guilty of this... I had to make a pit stop at a dunkin donuts.. and I sure did not buy anything after! You are brave though... I snuck in with my head down and did the walk (run) of shame out. I was embarrassed enough without making small talk:)

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  2. Honestly, until July I didn't think it was REALLY possible to poop in your pants. I always thought people were exaggerating when they talked about it. One day, however, I was out for a run and about ten minutes in IT HIT ME. I lived in New York City, mind you, and was running along the water, so there was NOWHERE TO GO. I hightailed it back to work (where I had left off from), and I avoided a complete disaster by mere seconds. It was terrifying.

    Honestly, as long as it all goes down, I don't think it's a huge deal for businesses to let people use their bathroom... I wouldn't say you deserved a thank you, necessarily, but hey, if a nice lady wants to give you one, then great!

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    1. I once worked in a convenient store and, btw, it is a huge deal for businesses to let people use their bathroom. Many people make a disgusting mess...

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  3. yes I had a total assplosion while running in the woods with my GF who took off her old sports bra to let me wipe!
    That's love....I bought her an awesome Prana one in return of course...

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    1. Ha!! That's expensive toilet paper. My husband used a knit cap once.

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    2. This story makes me feel better about some of mine!

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    3. Assplosion. Damn funny!

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  4. Amazingly, I have only had two emergency situations over the years, but considering I basically structure my running route so that I hit a porta-potty every 3 miles or so, maybe I shouldn't be so amazed. The first time I was running through the 'burbs and made it to the public library, and the second time I knew I wasn't feeling well so I ran a 12 miler as three 4 mile loops past my house. I did have to stop every time I passed by and to this day it was one of my most miserable runs ever. Never again will I make coconut cupcakes (e.g. eat lots of coconut cupcake batter) before a long run!

    Sorry to hear your go-to BA stop closed down, but glad the restaurant owner came through for you today!

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  6. On my favorite running path there is what will be forever known as shit corner. Thank goodness it's in the middle of the woods. I had an explosion there one day! Getting back to the care was not an option that day!

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  7. This is totally something I think just about every runner has had to deal with at some point. My most recent emergency situation, I was just doing an easy 3 miler around the block, so I was able to make it back home, but I literally was running all the way into the bathroom.

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  8. I have had to step into the weeds to pee many times while running. That is why I like running in skirts with built in panties better than just with built-in shorts, lol. However the only time I had a #2 issue I luckily saw a house that was getting lots of renovations so there was a port-o-john in the side lawn. I didn't think I was seen and was pretty quick (considering the circumstances) but the next day the port-o-john was locked with a pad lock, lol. Oh well my bad!

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  9. Denny's is my in town emergency pooper :) Open 24 hours and with their food, nothing I can do is any worse that what they have seen before.

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  10. Cornfield emergencies are the normal. I just do not advise using corn leaves as TP!

    In VA there are far fewer corn fields and waaaay too many people. Hopefully, I'll find a creative solution in time, if the need arises.

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  11. Laughed out loud several times!!! When you write about doing a triathlon on day one of a heavy period, I'll share my story ;)

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  12. Ha ha ha ha ha. I"ve had this happen to me once. It has scarred me for life. I literally panicked because I was running in a residential area with no stores or cafes and it was early in the morning - just before 6:00am. I had passed a school and thought about ducking behind the building but...well that would have been disgusting. I figured if I could hold it, I *might* be able to make it to the Starbucks. I had to run / walk and clench like you wouldn't believe. I burst in there like a crazy woman and asked to use the restroom. Oh my god. I barely got my running tights off. It was epic.

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  13. I once had a pee emergency and used a local gas station (I run city streets). I don't think anyone noticed I came in.

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  14. This issues is the biggest pain in the butt. I either run at the Y on the treadmill- so bathrooms are available at all times (but I have to PRAY that any women are IN THE SHOWER so they don't hear me- or I lolly-gag around pretending to do stuff while they dress and leave the locker room then I make a dash to the potty and power poop before the next lady comes in.

    Or- I run outside- and I've had to ditch into the weeds more times than I can count. I've gotten busted once by a farmer on a tractor. I almost died and won't run down that road anymore for fear of seeing him again.

    Ugh!!!!!!!!
    Kelly

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  15. hahaha...u have to HATE those friendly folks who make u feel even worse about ur sh#t disaster. one of my most mortifying episodes happened on this country road, it wasn't one that had tons of traffic and the houses were on lots of acreage and the driveways were super long. it was coming, and i saw this house with a TON of bushes at the front of the driveway and no house in sight. so i squat down, middle of doing my thing and i hear, "hey, are you okay?" CAUGHT! the guy was moving his trashcans and thought i was injured or something. i popped up and stammered, "uhh, yea, sorry.." and run the heck out. not my finest moment.

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  16. I once crapped myself during a run because I honestly had NO place to leave my deposit and couldn't hold it in any longer. A half mile later I came upon a diner similar to the one you described ... small one room country diner. In the bathroom I took off my crap-filled panties and left them in the garbage pail. The entire bathroom reeked. I felt awful about it. Still do. They also thanked me when I left. I've never been able to go back there.

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  17. Damn that was funny.

    My last real emergency happened where I had nowhere to go. I was in a residential area and there were no options other than a very visable ditch. What can you do? It was either wear it or drop it off there. I tried to hide behind some tumbleweed looking bushes. Dropped my britches, exploded, then pulled my shorts up and headed home. Didn't even have any TP and turns out, amazingly enough, I didn't need any! Could't believe it!



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  18. I recently had to stop at a gas station bathroom in a tony part of town. Really had to stop. And then I felt like I should buy something because it wasn't a poo and go kind of place. I was on my long run and I had forgotten any of my power beans, so I grabbed some Starbursts, opened the package and ate one. So now I had to pay for them. And fate smited me for dropping a deuce in the restroom by putting me in line behind a very well dressed elderly woman paying for a carton of cigarettes with a ziploc bag full of change. That took a long time and totally knocked me out of my groove.

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  19. There's nothing quite like pooping on the grounds of one of the revolutionary war battles. It might have been the first explosion there since revolutionary war times, in fact. Leaves had to suffice as TP. It's an experience I'll never forget, and one that I will probably repeat. (This battleground is a mile from my home, and I am prone to these gastrointestinal disturbances.)

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  20. I run with a Team in Training group (go Team!!) out of a shopping center in SoFla - there is a Starbucks in the plaza and they are quite used to us stopping in for out little potty breaks mid-run - but...most of us end up getting our post-run coffee and snacks from them so I guess it evens out!! I otherwise run at the gym or a loop around my neighborhood so there's always somewhere to "go"!!

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  21. so do you have a person local who needs a Christmas gift? Go in and ask for a Gift Certificate, tell her that you really appreciate her kindness.

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  22. Oh Beth, I've had more emergencies than I can count. I now buy my gas at the Speedway as often as possible, since the guys there know me from many early morning pitstops.

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    1. Oh! We nurses would refer to this as a "code brown".

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  23. Based on this post alone I'm following your blog! Been there, done something similar! I also went back a few weeks later and ate there because of my guilt!

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  24. I was once taking my turn as a part of a relay race, in the middle of the night, when I REALLY needed to take my turn. It was along The Great Highway in San Francisco near Ocean Beach. Otherwise a stunning place, if you are not in too much suffering to care. I was the only one around, the support van pushing ahead to where I would hand the baton to our next runner. It was along the beach, a park area, so there were plenty of bathrooms. The trouble was, scary loner men lurking nearby some of them. I had no choice but to do it in a shadow, right there along the road. Maybe someone thought it was from a dog? It was several years ago, but my relay team members still make fun of me. It is funny, now.

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  25. So funny! And I think it's even funnier because I've been there. Not to that cafe obviously because it would take me a mighty long run and some walking on water to get me there. I honestly think she was genuinely thanking you - for not doing what had to be done in the front of her shop or in the gutter. That is truly thank-worthy.

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  26. Pitty that voluminous thing did go down. This post would have been even more funny if it didn't :)

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  27. I just started following your blog... I'm cracking up over here! I seriously experienced this on vacation last week. But at least I was on the treadmill at the hotel gym, but not a bathroom in that gym or even very close to use... I thought I was going to die. Never the less I'm still here!

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  28. I've had a lot of emergencies on the run, and I don't have much time! When it happens it happens fast. Thankfully no disasters. Usually I'm on a country road and can duck into the ditch or something. A couple of times I've had to go into restaurants and ask to use the washroom as well. Even went into the local police station a time or two. The worst time though was when it happened during a race....no where to go, 20,000 runners and me ducking into the one area of bushes on the course. Thankfully their placement was perfect as there would have been nowhere to go once I passed that spot, for quite some time.

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  29. When you get a chance read David Sedaris short story "Big Boy"

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  30. Cannot believe I'm writing about this, but...I once had an emergency. I run very early in the morning, so I honestly thought I was ok squatting in the corner of some bushes in someone's back yard!! All done... leaf to wipe.. I stand up and see some guy smoking on the porch across the street. :0 Nothing to do but pull up the skirt and run on!

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  31. I guess it's just nature's way of telling us not to eat garbage and hit the road! I had it happen once, I thought I would make it to the pot, and darn if I didn't shart. Lovely. Grey running skirt didn't cover it, so I did the run of shame through the rest of the race and headed to my car to change. I was so over it by that point, I opened my car door, grabbed my new shorts, took the old ones off in the parking lot, not even caring that I didn't have undies on. Needless to say, I am glad i had waxed in advance of this race. Everyone within eye shot was glad too. Those were not the race photos to be proud of.

    I have peed a lot after races, I told you about sitting on a hill in Philadelphia after the broad street run with my feet on the downhill so I could sit in the grass and just pee down the slope. The port-o-potty lines were way too long and too far from where I was. I pretended my laces needed to be loosened. Thankfully, that was a black short day.
    Amy P.

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    1. That is awesome and I am totally going to do that one day.

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  32. On a recent 1/2 marathon I had said issues...barely made it to the port-a-potty at mile 3 but was hoping to PR so I did my business as fast as I could. Stomach issues subsided until mile 11 but there was no way I was stopping again. I ended up have a small amount in my underwear by the time I crossed the finish line, but continued racing to the port-a-potty to finish. I did end up with a PR just not quite as good as I was hoping for.

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  33. Oh my, that is hilariuos! I have had one real bad emergency at the Horsetooth Half one year. As soon as I was done running, I knew an explosion was coming, but I drank some beer anyways. I had to sprint twice to the porta potty, not easy to do right after a half. I drove home from Ft. Collins like a bat out of hell since I had the poop sweats so bad I thought would die!

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  34. LOL, my emergency was years ago on a early morning long run! The only place to go was a school playground! I kept thinking about those poor kids that came across it.....

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  35. I pooped my pants on a bicycle once. Never running (knock on wood). I was riding home from a cocktail date with friends when the horrible cramps hit. I panicked and rode toward some portapotties along side a construction area, but hit a major pot-hole and poop went flying everywhere. I cried the whole way home.

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    1. OMG this is why I love my readers: "I pooped my pants on a bicycle once." This had me in hysterics. Not that all of the other comments are any less funny. You guys rock.

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  36. That is some funny Sh**! Even knowing it happens to so many - always mortifying at the time!!!

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  37. I've recently had to squat in the bushes to clear some things out of my system for the first time. I was only about a 1/2 mile from home but there was no way I was making it. I feel kind of like a true runner now! ;) Hahaha!

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  38. You are too hilarious! This happened to me at the gym once. I was on the treadmill and half an hour in I had to go. I "casually" went to the bathroom and while I was on the toilet had to wait for the lollygaggers to put on their gym clothes and get out. Courtesy flushing was not going to work. I got my business done and headed back to my treadmill. I'm sure everyone knew what I was up to.

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  39. I had this happen once on a golf course. Not sure what happened but there was no way to get back to the clubhouse.

    You do realise that most houses along a golf course are rather expensive? I walked up and knocked on the door and asked if I could come in.

    Later I remarked to my golfing partner how embarrassing that had been. Really? he replied. "You weren't the one in there making small talk through the whole episode."

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  40. You are going to LOVE this one. I am a notorious shitter and when I've gotta go, I've gotta go (I'm considering using Immodium for the 15K I'm running this Sunday). A couple years ago the "trots" came upon me along a country road near my house so I stopped behind a pine tree and emptied my bowels. Not wanting to lose a sock as I have many times before, I decided to use a handy and rather large leaf for toilet paper.I finished up and went along my merry way--another 5 miles. Days later I began itching and breaking out in a rash. Turns out I wiped my ass with poison sumac!! To this day I STILL do not know what that looks like. I had to go to the emergency room, endure the laughter of ER docs plus a shot of prednisone in each cheek and remained on steroids for 2 weeks. Seems when poison sumac gets into the mucous membranes all hell breaks loose.

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    1. I had a friend of mine do this not only once but twice. She looked it up after that.

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  41. All I can say is thank God we live in a rural area surounded by lots of cornfields and corn leaves are large. I did feel bad, though. No one deserves that. At detasseling time some have port-o-johnnies. Of course I never have tummy troubles then. After harvest and until the corn grows tall enough, your best bet is a ditch along a gravel road. The only gas station is 1/2 a mile from home, then there's not one for about 12 miles.

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  42. Ha! Ha! I love this post! It is so true! During my first 10K race in about 10 years last April there was no where to go except in my shorts (no porta potties on the course and I wasn't as brave as some others to ask a homeowner to use their bathroom, but it definitely crossed my mind)! Bleeding hemmorhoids and all, I had the runs all the way home and eventually threw out my underwear in a hotel bathroom. If anyone had seen what was in the garbage can, they would have called the police! I've tried talking about it with my friends because somehow it makes the experience less traumatic, but they keep saying, "TMI, TMI!" To which I respond, "Shit happens!"

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  43. I was thinking about you last week when I realized that I keep a toothbrush in my bathroom specifically for scrubbing poop off my shoes. It seems that some mornings I hit the back of the heel and last week I stepped in it. I celebrate the runs when I don't need to stop and poop. Another reason for running in the dark. Yes, I've pooped in my pants many times, had poop all over my thighs other times. Been lucky finding porta johns and Starbucks / McDonalds / 7-11s many a day time run. I had a PR in a 10k with a potty break and was first in my age group in a tri once after stopping on the run to pee. Fortunately, that one was in the woods and only the woman who came in second knew what I'd done.

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  44. 2 words to remember when using an especially small cafe/shop R/R - courtesy flush. I've been told you learn about that procedure early in the Navy aboard smaller ships. As soon as you've completed the bulk of your business "meeting", flush immediately to remove the "bulk" and with it, a lot of the odor.

    Luckily, I've not had any real close calls, hope it stays that way.

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  45. Had an emergency during an 18 mile training run and had no choice but to crash the porta potty at the nearby soccer field only to emerge to find a line of about twelve 9 year olds looking at me aghast. I felt so bad as I ran off, looking back to them opening the porta potty door and exclaiming, "WOO WEE! NO, GO YOU FIRST!!!"

    Poor kids.

    I sure felt better though!

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  46. I love your blog- it really makes me feel so much better about myself. I unfortunately have issues most of my runs. I finished my first marathon with poop running down my leg and all my race pictures have background pointing or staring in disgust.
    I know not only where every bathroom but also which doors to use to be less seen and what time each building is open both during the week and on weekend in my city. I also know the best places in the woods and carry TP with on a good bit of run.
    I recently completed my best marathon because I just ran with a pad (always ultra thins no wings lots to body glide to the butt) just because I didn't stop and didn't worry about it. I think having a plan and not worrying about it really helped the most.

    I also was thinking of you the other day, I was running on a single track trail with lots of down leaves and on the side of a mountain (not like yours but still very down to the left). I was really concentrating on not falling and passed someone. As they passed me, I realized they said hi and I didn't - I think I mumbled it. So maybe the people that don't say hi are just trying not to fall and die.

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