“But my biggest fears come from things like, what happens if I have to, like, go poop? I mean, what do you do? Really. Do you stop or do you just do it?” This comes from Lauren Fleshman as her biggest fear going into the NYC Marathon. I’d have to say that would rank up there in my list of fears should I be entered in a marathon. So today, it’s all about poop.
I have horrible GI issues, my mom too, I guess I inherited some poopy pants in the gene pool. Fair warning, this post may disgust some, but I’m going to put it out there because 1) it is what it is…c’mon, if you’ve been running long enough you’ve experienced this on some level 2) perhaps we can take some solace in the fact that we’ve all been there and 3) maybe we can swap tips and if nothing else stories…oh, let the good times roll.
I remember the first time I had to go on a run; I was with my mom and up until that point I thought the whole pooping behind the bush was just disgusting. But we all have that breaking point…you know, the butt clench waddle, then the feeling of, “I need a bush NOW!” It then becomes more a matter of, it’s either going in a bush or in your pants…what would you rather choose?
From that day on, I’ve cast aside any judgement on making your own personal port-a-loo…and can joke with other runners, “If you go out on a run and someone in the group comes back with one less sock, you just don’t ask questions.” I’ve compared poop stories with the best of them, and what really gets me…what REALLY bugs me is that the blasted ‘issues’ can be so unpredictable…it’s like a nasty game of Russian Roulette, you never know when it will hit.
Will it be in the middle of a hard workout, a long run, or horror of all horrors, a race?! It’s one thing to be nervous about time, place, feeling good, but how about soiling yourself? Not so settling on the nerves.
I know some of it just comes down to the person, I love how Shut Up and Run’s philosophy is just like mine, in that she isn’t afraid to speak the truth. We’re all friends here, we won’t judge, and if you do judge I’m sure your day is coming, just trust me.
In marathon prep, part of it comes down to finding what works for you fueling-wise, but even then, if you do all things ‘right’ there is the unknown of the GI Monster. Forget the Gila, this thing is far more terrible.
So Lauren poses the question right, “I mean, what do you do? Really. Do you stop or do you just do it?”
Paula Radcliffe had to choose during one of her marathons and she opted for the pop and squat. Over the years I’ve gotten my P&S to a very short interval, so you wouldn’t lose too much time…it’s just a matter of hoping there is the right bush in the right place.
Where do you stand on the issue?
1) Are you going to take part in the poopy debate?
2) Do you admit to the pop and squat, or the bush dive?
3) What would you do in Paula or Lauren’s situation, obviously on their level they wouldn’t be able to hide the fact of either choice?