Saturday, June 17, 2006

G Is for Gross (not for General Audiences)

STOP READING NOW, unless you have a strong stomach.

This morning was my weekly long run with the DC Road Runners, 12.5 miles, starting at Iwo Jima Memorial, running thru scenic downtown D.C., past all the momuments, up past the Capitol Building, all the way to RFK stadium and back. My marathon "group" joins the DCRR weekly Saturday long runs for our long runs. For me, there's no real group. I started the run with the woman I was the Good Egg to last week, but I had already decided I was running my own pace this week. (She ended up dropping out.) We were both last for the first 2 miles, and then she fell behind me. I could see one other woman ahead of me, who was walk/running, so I caught up with her every 10 minutes or so.

Other than that gal, who soon lost me, too, I was on my own. (Well, me and 10 million tourists.)

So, right around mile 3, I noticed a certain urge.

No portapotties anywhere that I could see, and the Smithsonian wouldn't open for several hours.

Suck it up, I told myself. Distract self.

So, I did. I ran up Capitol Hill, to RFK Stadium, the turnaround, guzzling water along the way. At six miles I took 3 Clif Blocks (fatal error? jury still out).

Things were getting serious. I ran past the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Capitol. Not the kind of places to welcome a sweaty runner with an urgent need with open arms. They're funny that way.

I was now consumed with finding a bathroom, a tree, a tent, anything. I had but one goal, and one goal only. And it was not finishing a 12.5 mile run in any number of minutes.

This is where it got fun. I jogged from museum to museum. No luck. I ran off course to the National Mall where the National Folklife Festival was being set up and where I finally spied a portapotty; I ran like hell towards it ... only to find it was locked. I nearly wept. (Tell me, please, what kind of maniac LOCKS a portapotty??? What is there INSIDE that is worth stealing? @!$!~!!!!)

Onward, onward. I still thought I had some time. (Ha.) I knew there were three of the most disgusting portapotties on earth at the base of the Washington Monument. And when they came into view, I hurtled over little old ladies, pushed through groups of people stopping to take video of the stationary Washington Monument (it's not like it's gonna up and do a dance or anything!) and ran over mothers pushing strollers, to get into the only open john.

That's when I discovered that my body had gone on ahead without my knowledge, or consent. It had done what needed doing.

How did I not know this? Well, I had lycra shorts on, so I guess...oh, who the hell knows?? What I do know is at mile 9ish, I was stuck in the smelliest, most disgusting portapotty with...how do I say this delicately? Well, my shorts were full!

Oh the humanity!

I had to strip, throw out undergarments, use water bottle to clean self, clean shorts ...oh. my. dear. god.

And then?? And then I had to put those now befouled, sweaty, wet lycra shorts back on, up over my new WRIGHT SOCKS, leaving, um, traces, requiring more squirting of water from bottle, and endless rubbing with toliet paper...

Oh the humanity!

All this while I was frying to death in this hell-hole ... with people pounding on the door every two seconds, just to add to the excitement!

At some point, the ridiculous-ness of the situation hit me. I mean really. What does one do in this situation? Where are the books on THIS?!?

And, as though that wasn't horrifying enough, after getting reasonably clean (not really: I was a mess), I then had to run four more miles. Sigh.

The good news? I totally forgot all about the pain from my blisters!! And that's the end of the good news roundup!

Have you ever run four miles in wet smelly befouled lycra shorts? No??

Yeah.

I am proud (yes, I am claiming proudness; I have some dignity left) to say that I ran the entire way back to Iwo Jima. Where I was indeed the very last runner to come in. I figure I spent about 15 minutes in the bowels of hell (get it?!) so I'm guessing my time would have been about 2:30ish. Which is pretty damn good, all things considered.

After much disinfecting of body, clothes, car, and anything else I touched, I spent the rest of my Saturday carefully examining my diet, and consulting Dr. Internet, who helped me narrow the cause: I used milk on cereal on Friday and Saturday mornings. I haven't had milk in years. I only drink soy milk, but we were out, so ...

Lesson learned!

43 comments:

21st Century Mom said...

You are making me feel SO MUCH better about my run. I mean really - what's a little nausea and pain compared to an uninvited guest in your shorts.

Besides - you are so funny. So very funny - and so brave!

Bex said...

Holy Cowpatties! What did you tell your coach when you rolled into the Iwo Jima?! Or Max?! What a way to spend a Sat. morning - kudos to you for not quitting the run!

brent said...

nice! you did awesome under the conditions...i don't know what i would have done!!! :)

Haight said...

I had to double check which blog I was reading. For a second I thought this was A. Maria's. No offense A., but I'm accustomed to see these kind of adventures from you.

At any rate, thanks for the 'colorful' description. It just goes to show you that it's not always the same ol' crap coming out of Washington...lol

Garou said...

Ouch. Yerg. Wow. Kind of at a loss for words here.

Let's just say that you are one heck of a trooper for running even after that little escapade.

Nic said...

I'm laughing. A lot.Isn't that terrible of me?

But I hate milk, too. Milk sucks!

plods said...

Wow. I'm so sorry... but luckily you had lycra shorts, not see-your-butt shorts... I'm hoping they were black too?
Stay away from milk!!!

Downhillnut said...

There's a REASON why all of my running shorts are dark colours! Gotta say, your incident has made me feel much better about my less-spectacular one last month (May 22).

That lesson learned is also why I'm up at 4friggin30 this morning eating toast and drinking strong coffee, in desperate hopes that the Shreddies I ate last night will make their way through before my 7 a.m. group 20 miler this morning.

Thanks for sharing not just your best moments, but your worst. Not quitting after THAT shows, um, guts.

nancytoby said...

One word:
Imodium.

http://nancytoby.blogspot.com/2005/11/another-secret-psa.html

And another:
Sorry!!!!!

Well, a few more: For future reference, there are some big nice bathrooms in the American History and Natural History museums. Most of the others too, probably. Air-conditioned, with flush, etc. :-)

jeanne said...

nancy: Thanks! and yeah the museums are great, when they are OPEN~! :)

Bob said...

ohhhhhhh that sounds rough, but we have all been there at one point or another in our lives. Glad to see you have a sense of humor about it.
A friend of mine sharted in Target one day with her five year old and HAD to get her errand done. The five year old asked, "mom what stinks" she responded, shhhh it's mommy now be quiet and maybe we will both get out of here alive.

Running by.... said...

Ok, that's it. You are my official hero! I thought you running while suffering with those blisters was admirable enough, but running another 4 miles after your latest debacle? I mean, I would've thrown in the towel (clothes?).

This really helps to put my bad run in perspective. I need to quit whining!

Lisa said...

DAMN that lactose!! I'm a soy milk drinker, too.

You ARE the women. I give you credit for pushing onward. You did what you had to do (literally).

GO GIRL!!

stephanie said...

You have some amazing determination finishing your run under those conditions!

Juls said...

Think: It's mile 18 of California International, and I had to go BAD. I made it to mile 19 only to find that there wasn't any portapotties at that mile. By mile 20, I was in your situation. Lycra tights! No fun. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy the last 6.2 miles of that marathon very much.

Elle said...

You're a brave brave soul.

On another note...let me know when you invent something that takes care of gastrointestinal upset caused by running...cause I'll be all over that one.

Truly what you needed was one of those water back packs with the hose...and a diaper...that's the other thing you needed.

Elle said...

You're a brave brave soul.

On another note...let me know when you invent something that takes care of gastrointestinal upset caused by running...cause I'll be all over that one.

Truly what you needed was one of those water back packs with the hose...and a diaper...that's the other thing you needed.

a.maria said...

ew. and ew.

and umm...

ew.


i think that about covers it!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

holy sh!t

David said...

Yup. Milk will do that. Yogurt does me in too.
That's one of the grossest posts I have ever read; and I feel terrible for you.
Good for you to finish the run though.

Running Jayhawk said...

Yikes. Dairy does that to me, too!! Mad kudos for keeping with it.

Anne said...

Your course of action is one that's been employed by many, many urban runners who don't work certain elements out of their system prior. I'd lobby for more routes that include convenience stores or fast food restaurants along the course. They're lifesavers in times like these.

psbowe said...

When you're determined and Desperate, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Good job on the run.

Donald said...

So, you know, if you and I should ever meet someday, maybe we should just nod and say "hi", and avoid the whole handshake thing. OK?

Haight said...

Jeanne...if you get a chance...I think you better check out Flatman's latest entry...lol

Tammy said...

I have a weak stomach, so skipped the read :) haha. Love the vid though. I saw Live at The Gorge quite a few years ago. Great show.

susie said...

You are Amazing. Amazing. Don't ever question whether you are a runner or not again. I second the milk issue--no more for me either. So good for you. You will be ready for ANYTHING in October!

Bolder said...

i knew i shoulda stopped reading.

full.time.job.

Jennifer said...

oh man! Thanks for sharing your story - really...As someone who is obsessed with GI issues while running I feel for you. Way to push on- I would have probably cried, called home to a ride, and hid in a corner.
Immodium- nice to have in a bind, it has saved me twice now!

Kim said...

Ah all too familiar! I have ulcerative colitis and I find myself SPRINTING for the nearest bush, portapotty, building...ANYTHING! totally understand and can relate!

linked to you through A.Maria's blog, and I certainly enjoy your posts! I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon...hope we meet!

Dori said...

You know you're desperate when you're willing to step into the grossest port-a-potty. What a horrendous experience. Good thing you were carrying a water bottle!

Flatman said...

"...compared to an uninvited guest in your shorts...."

"....Holy Cowpatties!..."

"...A friend of mine sharted in Target one day...."

"...holy sh!t...."

These are just a few of my favorite commments on this post... hee.

I am sorry we are laughing, but we are laughing with you , not at you. Almost all of us have had some sort of GI issues on the "run". Yours just seems a little worse now. Congrats on sticking with it...you are a trooper!!!

Stillwater Heron said...

Oh my God!!!
Away from the internet for 10 days and this is what I come back too!!!
You had me leaning back in my chair at working belly laughing!!!
God bless you!
I really "do" feel bad for your adventure..LOL! No, really I do.
Maybe it was better not to know you'd passed the time limit before you got into the porta potty from hell...
You are a runner, no doubt's about it!

Ben aka "Good Ben" said...

That's AWESOME!!! If this is your first GI-based running story, then consider yourself initiated. It's a fact of the runner's life. Well put! I think we should ALL have to share our "most embarassing moments" or anything that is self-depricating. It really IS endearing! Thanks!

Sherri said...

Oh, Jeanne! I have to tell you, I literally laughed out loud (multiple times) reading this! You are TOO FUNNY! Additionally, you are the epitome of determination....for exiting that blue box and finishing the run! Wow!

*jeanne* said...

Ugh - things you never dreamed you'd ever find yourself doing, eh?

But I bet you weren't sorry you were running ALONE by that point!

I've thought about running with DC Road Runners on those Saturday Long Runs, but their LSD pace is faster than my usual race pace...

Lisa said...

Oh. my. So far I've always managed to make it to a bathroom, for number 2 at least. Thanks for blogging that, and for all the comments. I've never thought of using Immodium!

Dan said...

So, either people think that's hilariously funny or they completely empathize and are grossed out. I'm guessing your thoughts are somewhere in between. Dan : )

Rae said...

Wow!!! Awesome job!! I tried to comment earlier but stupid Blogger wouldn't let me. You are my hero for making it through a nasty situation. AND for sharing it wit us!!!

Danny said...

lol!!

i just stopped by to say that i'm catching up on phedippidations on i just heard your big mention there.

i'm glad you've come up with the "good stuff" to entertain all your new readers!

Laurie said...

Thank you for sharing such an embarassing moment! That was a well told and hilarious story. Great job finishing the run too. I still don't think I am ready to share my similar story but I am one step closer.

Island Girl Runs said...

Okay, I betcha it took A LOAD OFF your mind to tell that story publicly.

Hoot and Double Hoot..

It coulda been worse, at a race one hot September day, I saw a fella in much the same condition as yours, however, he couldn't wait for the portapotty line, so he dropped 'em (and it) right there behind the potty for the world to see.

Actually I wish I could get that picture out of my mind....

Lindy said...

I just give you kudos for being brave enough to tell your story to everyone on blogger.com =) Thaks for making me laugh. Have a great morning.