My Very Own Poop Story

At some point in their running endeavors every runner finds themselves with a poop story to tell. Before I was graced with mine, I was blissfully unaware of the scientific link between running long distances and suddenly having to "go".. So allow me to enlighten you...

There's probably a more scientific and appropriate way to describe this, but I'm not scientific, or appropriate, so you get my version. The constant bouncing up and down of the bowels while running coupled with the increase in your body temperature creates a "perfect storm" that causes your bowels to evacuate, like rats from a fire. It's quick, it's crowded, and there may even be a some squeaking. 

Now that you've been properly briefed, let me set the scene for you:

It was a hot summer day. I had woken up at 4:30 a.m. to be out running by 5:30 to beat the heat. Looking back even now I wonder what the crap was wrong with me. I don't do mornings. And I especially don't do mornings to go run a butt-load of miles. 

Anyway, it was a long run day and I had 11 miles to run. I started out great! I had lots of energy and was plucking along. About 3 miles in, I felt nature wandering around in my backyard. I kept telling myself it was nothing. These were the Braxton hicks of poop contractions. I had nothing to fear. It took about another half mile before the feeling went away and I kept running completely oblivious to the mayhem that would befall me.  

It was at mile 7 when it hit me. Mother Nature was no longer some weirdo snooping around my backyard. She had gotten 50 of her friends and they were all trying to break through my back door at once. This was no longer false poop-labor, I was delivering right then and there, and I apparently was delivering very large babies! 

Once my brain caught up with the gravity of the situation I did what any sane person would do: I stopped running and in a panic I sat down right then and there in the middle of a very public and very crowded running/biking trail in an effort to keep the poop contained inside my body. I wish I could research why that was the first thing my brain thought to do; I'm sure it would warrant some fascinating conclusions. I would have also loved to be a spectator to my odd behavior. One second I'm cruising along and the next at the speed of light, I've dropped to the ground like I was playing my own personal game of freeze tag. I was also frantically looking around for a tall bush or tree or anything to relieve myself and found absolutely nothing. Of course it had to happen on the one stretch of the trial barren enough you couldn't conceal a gerbil, much less a grown woman popping a squat in the middle of her run.  Oh, and did I mention this trail parallels a very busy stretch of freeway? I had quite an audience. 

So there I was, sitting on the trail, not daring to move while bikers rode around me with more than just curios looks on their faces. Some wore distinct, what-the-hell-is-she-doing? looks. But my little stunt had worked. I had barricaded the back door from invaders just long enough for my brain to come up with an even more irrational idea out of this mess: call Cory. As you can see, I wasn't thinking clearly. Call it panic, shock, idiocy, whatever, but I pulled my phone out and at 6:30 a.m., called my husband. To my utter amazement, he answered, rather groggily, and was greeted by the kind of terror that should ONLY accompany mortal peril on the other end.

"Cory! I have to poop RIGHT NOW and you have to come get me!!!"


"I'M GOING TO POOP MY PANTS!! You HAVE to come get me and take me to a gas station!"

Cory, bless his heart, remained calm after receiving what could of only been very confusing and just plain weird news of my disastrous situation and gently told me that he couldn't come get me. In my mind, I had already concluded that by the time he got dressed, got in the car, drove the 10-15 minutes to where I was, and found me, I would have long past been done fertilizing the weeds and grass growing next to the trail. I was doomed. This revealing snap back to rational thinking scared me. I started to cry, mumbled "never mind" and hung up on my sweet husband in the middle of his sentence.

It took about 5 seconds for the reality of what was about to happen to fully sink in. I had no choice but to stand up, get moving, and poop my pants like no adult has ever pooped their pants before. I stood up and started walking in a way I can only describe as the walk the Tin Man has, and braced myself for impact.

Then I had another bone chilling revelation: pooping my pants was all well and good but I still had 4 miles to go to get back to my car. FOUR MILES!! How on earth was I going to make it back to my car without littering the trail with poop all the way there? Running shorts can only hold so much...

It was at this point that my body went into all out, crazy-panic mode. You know fight or flight? I had taken flight before the rest of me had any idea what was happening. The thought of running four more miles with poop spilling out of my shorts for all to see apparently had been too much. I was blazing down the trail at lightning speed, living on a wing and a prayer and hoping for a miracle.

That's when I saw it, up ahead. About 50 yards in front of me, the trail took a sharp turn and was then boardered by tall, thick, amazingly beatiful clusters of cattail bushes. If I could only make it that far, I just might be able to save myself some dignity. With all the will power I could manage, I squoze my butt-cheeks together as hard as I could and continued to sprint towards the bushes.  

As I reached the turn, I frightened a group of scouts on a long bike ride as I barreled past them at Mach 5 and literally dove head first into the bushes and tucked and rolled out of sight. It had to have looked pretty cool, like some Jackie Chan move. As fast as I had come, I had gone, almost like magic. I didn't have time to care what they yelled or exclaimed. I had gotten myself safely hidden among the cattails, by some act of God had gotten my pants off in time, and I was finally, finally able to let nature take its very disgusting and forceful course. I can't be too sure, but I think that was the most relieved anyone has ever been to take a poop in the history of the world. 

Seconds later my bowels had been evacuated at record speed and I now found myself in another predicament: I had nothing to wipe with. I considered using my underwear and just leaving it, but for some reason that idea didn't get pitched to the correct neurons and was skipped over and discarded. Instead, my brain had concluded that the supple, gigantic group of leaves in front of me was the better option. I hastily plucked the dinner plate-sized leaves off of their stems and proceeded to wipe. Everything was wrapping up nicely and I even remember letting out a little giggle as I began to feel like I had just cheated death. I was suddenly aware of the adrenaline pumping through my veins, making me feel strong and shaky at the same time. I was beginning to think I was the luckiest girl in the world until that adrenaline was accompanied by a very distinct and painful burning... Located directly where I had applied "natures toilet paper" to my neathermost regions. 

To say that this was a skin "irritation" would be like calling Jabba the Hut "chubby". I've never experienced pain like that, much less in my sensitive areas. I was unaware at the time, but later came to light during my examination at home, that my hind end was also breaking out in hives and a rash. I was allergic to the plant I had used and some kind of evil and vile aftermath had been left in its wake. Every agonizing step made me want to cry out in pain. It was an unrelenting 4 mile trip back to my car. 

I remember reaching my blessed vehicle and sitting inside in total shock and bewilderment that something so crazy and absolutely humiliating had just happened to me. I even remember having the thought that this would never seem funny. This would be a sore spot the rest of my life. Never would I find this comical!! 

It took about a week before I began to see the humor in it all. Not just because I was able to laugh at the situation or visualize what I must have looked like, but because of something else entirely. 

The following week I was out for another long run and came by the place of my misfortune and doom. Uncertain what correct behavior was, I looked toward my christened group of bushes and smiled. And only then did I notice the giant sign above them that read: 

Warning: area is under video surveillance. 

Looks like I'm not the only one who's laughing. 

1 comment:

April said...

How in the world is tis almost 8monts old and zero comments!?!
I have to admit reading this does not bode well for a aspiring runner gaining for her first half that already deals with gastro fun daily.

Your story was a riot! Tanks for sharing!