Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't pants your poop

About a year ago, I saw this video (click here if you don't see a video in the space above). It's about a dude running his first marathon going through all of the usual first timer's experiences, mile by mile. When he gets to the point in the marathon where he is trying to keep from pooping his pants, I laughed but I couldn't really relate. I've peed myself before, but never had to worry about poop, even during training runs.

Until yesterday.

You may recall in my last post I mentioned a little gig I had Saturday night. I suspected bad behavior might overwhelm me if things turned out to be fun, and I was spot on. We played first, then another local band played and finally, a sweet little ensemble out of Oakland came on and stole the show. These guys not only rocked, but they were hilarious. I laughed my ass off and just couldn't bring myself to leave. I did bring myself to purchase multiple adult beverages in an attempt to throughly enjoy the show happening on and off the stage.
Felsen. Confident people frighten them.
I got home at 1:00 a.m. I ate a slice of pizza. I had made plans to meet some friends at 7:30 the next morning for my 17 mile long run. I was not happy about that when my alarm went off at 6:30. I was still drunk, I think, when I woke up. I was still digesting the pizza. I knew, however, if I baled on my friends I would not only be a loser, but I would also hate myself for postponing a run that wasn't going to feel good no matter what time of day I chose to attempt it.

So, I forced a packet of oatmeal down my gullet and sipped coffee on my way to the meet up spot. The girls knew my predicament and were very nice about it. There were a few jokes at my expense, but I felt like I deserved it. The workout wasn't a killer, well, on a normal day. I was so happy to have them with me. I'm not sure I could say the same for them.

Almost immediately, during the warm up, I noticed some independent activity that required the attention of a bathroom stop. One friend suggested a stop in the bushes, and I suggested this would not be appropriate for my situation. The workout was meant to be a continuous run (npi) alternating miles at 6:10-6:20 pace with miles at 7:00-7:30 pace. Not super tough, but still a challenge. It is called the "gentle wave". My body took that very literally.

We started the workout and almost immediately I was struck by another urgent desire to find the loo. We stopped at a portable john after the first hard mile and then the second. I think we got through repeats 3 and 4 without a stop, but during number 5, number 2 came a knockin'. That's when I started reciting to myself, "don't poop your pants. don't poop your pants." About 2/3 of the way through the final mile repeat, I saw a bathroom and I said out loud, "I am not going to shit myself during a stupid workout." I am too proud.

You'll be glad to know that the bathroom breaks were effective. I got through 17 miles, hit all my times without an offensive incident. I even ran 4 more miles that evening. I did, however, take a long nap almost immediately after coming home from that first run. My GI tract was a mess all day long too.

Of course, during my short evening run, I stepped funny on something in the dark and came down on my ankle with the force of a giant panda. I was strapped to the dogs, and their forward momentum took me forward onto my elbows, hands and butt. Scrapes, bruises and a sore ankle later, I live to tell the tale. I cross trained on the Elliptigo today which was a fun change of pace. Also, I stood all day at my computer and was quite surprised that the ankle was much less sore by the end of the day. It's swollen, but not at all sore. I may have found a new treatment for a twisted ankle: stay on the foot.

Soon enough, I'll climb on the wagon and swear off alcohol until after CIM. Even with the unpleasantness during the run, I am happy that I had the night of debauchery. You only live once, after all.                    


  1. i am shocked that up until this point you have never been at risk of pooping your pants before. i have to stop at a bathroom (or bush or forest or deserted alley) AT LEAST three times per week. hell, i had to stop twice today. i lost my gloves to the cause on the side of the road during philly marathon in november (yet still PRed by two minutes!). it is easily the most problematic aspect of my running on a frequent basis. what is your secret?!

  2. I know, right? I think my secret weapon is ferrous sulfate elixir, which I take a tsp. of every day for low iron stores. Backs me right up. So, I suffer from the other extreme, and that's no party either. I'm impressed all the more with your PR now that I know about the pit stop. Well done!

  3. Even the most dedicated athletes deserve a little debauchery now and then. Hey, that's a funny video! Great acting. I like "And... it's a dude." Don't pants your poop is a classic line too. You were right to stop - the only time worth pooping your pants is if you're on schedule for a sub 2:40 marathon PB with 2 miles to go.

    1. Haha. When I am on pace for that sub 2:40, I will more likely poop my pants out of sheer surprise and joy!