September 13, 2008

Looking At The World, Counting Bathrooms

It was a great training today. I need to work on speed more and will as I find a faster partner to train with. I’m trying to find the right person and it makes it challenging. We trained for 2 hours today. (I’m interval training… not running this entire thing.)

We meet downtown West Palm Beach and then walk down to the Intracoastal Waterway, and follow the road along the waterway, over a couple bridges there and back, and at one hour, we turn around and make our way back.

As of now, I’m working on a negative split. I make the return 8 minutes faster than when I go out for the first hour.

And so this is the story of my challenges… we all have them.

First let me say, I am going to be so prepared for this race. I kid you not, I essentially did 1/3 of it today and it felt GREAT. It really did. And I’ve only been training for four weeks, so I just feel very very confident that not only can I do this, complete this marathon, but I’m not going to die in the process.

There has been doubt.

About that dying part…

In my mind.


I have IBS. This has been my biggest fear. I really really watch what I eat the night before; trying to stay away from foods I have a difficult time digesting.

There are no bathrooms on our routes.


We start and end near the West Palm Beach library (on Clematis for those of you from the area) and there is a bathroom there. But other than that… there is none.

Last night we had Chinese food for dinner. I made sure to stay away from foods that were too fatty or have given me trouble in the past, sticking with a light stir fry and an egg drop soup. I stayed away from ice cream, anything fried, and anything too spicy.

What I did not think about was… that there is such a high sodium content. I retained water all night and so when in the morning, even though I went to the bathroom, my body wasn’t finished retaining all that fluid.

Flash forward to 35 minutes before the end of my training… , as in I’d been training for about an hour and 20 minutes, and… I suddenly had to pee… and every time I’d run it would be worse. I was walking at a good clip and when it came time for my run interval, I’d not do it. I was crampy and I was nervous I’d not be able to hold it.

And this is where the math brain comes in; that I swear is a disease.

It is an affliction.

I had some song rattling through my head when I passed a group of apartments and the first thought was, “Oh… every one of those people have a bathroom… and can freely use it… and I can’t.”

I passed a church and thought, “Wow, I wonder if they’re open and if they’d let me use their bathroom. I wonder if I knocked on the door and said, “Hey! I’m training for a marathon to find a cure for Leukemia & Lymphoma, Team in Training, and I’m dying here. Can I use your bathroom?” I stink. They’d not want to let me in. There are joggers all over. They probably don’t like their bathrooms to be used as pit stops for random exercise freaks…”

I let the tune go through my head and I came to a high rise. As I walked past it I thought, no kidding, “Hmm. That is four flats per floor. There are 10 stories in the building. There are 40 bathrooms in that building I cannot use…”

And hence it became… my new mental torturous game of frickin’ COUNTING how many bathrooms were within my vicinity that I could not use.

“That’s a deep building. Ten apartments deep, 2 sides, that’s 20, with five floors… that’s 100 bathroom I can’t use…”

“Damn. I wish I knew someone who lived in those apartments. Look at all of them. Not one person do I know. I could use their bathroom… Good Lord, that’s 80 bathrooms I can’t use. I wonder if anyone on my TNT team knows someone who lives in those for next time. We could all file in, purple jerseys and all, and pee in their bathroom.”


I was counting and obsessing over bathrooms I could not use.

Oh don’t get me wrong. I kept looking at places I could drop my drawers. I was on what we call Flagler Drive which is one step down from Palm Beach. You don’t squat on Flagler Drive. Its blue blood high brow wonderfully beautiful manicured public and private property on the Intracoastal Waterway.

When I returned to my finish, I immediately went into the library bathroom where I learned another lesson. Even if I could have squatted… I’d have vastly humiliated myself because I couldn’t get my pants back up on my hips.

I wear running shorts with wicking action, which means they draw the moisture from my body. They have those little built in underwear, and then the shell. I went to pull them back up and the built in part was stuck halfway up my backside while the shell rode up to my hips.

It was like trying to pull up a wet bathing suit… but worse as I had two different pieces fighting against each other.

They fit, but a larger size would not be a bad thing…you know… for these emergencies.

So, that was today’s experience.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend, Lola, who is doing this with me, except she is running, finished about the same time I did. (The runners train shorter time but same distance… we all end at the same time.) She is so frickin’ funny. I swear to you, this is about what she said to me…

“I’m checking off all the major hurdles. I’ve run in the rain. I’ve run in pain. Today I ran having to use the bathroom so bad, I hurt. I wondered that if I did a controlled release, if everyone would just think it was sweat running down my leg.”

Holy crap. I could not quit laughing. I was counting bathrooms that I could not use and she was trying to figure out how to pee without anyone knowing.

It’s a hurdle we’ve crossed… good Lord, I need to find someone who lives in one of those apartments or talk to the Pastor I train with and see if he knows any of the Pastors in those churches. Maybe they can give me a free pass to use their bathrooms…

Posted by Boudicca at September 13, 2008 07:54 PM | TrackBack

Egg Drop is the bomb...especially with those crunchy things they give you.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at September 13, 2008 08:24 PM

Of all the tasks you had to find
For your finely-tuned mathematical mind
Was "Marathon Bathroom Calculus"?
To count the places you can't piss?

Just one thing. Please desist and cease
From using the "Controlled Release."

Posted by: Elisson at September 13, 2008 08:34 PM

TN- Oh... the crunchies are a must!

Elisson- LOL! That was GREAT! I'm hoping the 'controlled release' will never have to be used. I'm still laughing at that. Lola is a frickin' riot. I suspect there will be other 'Lola appearances' here.

Posted by: Bou at September 13, 2008 08:41 PM

funny that we both focused on the need to pee at our respective trainings today!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 13, 2008 08:48 PM

First thing I thought of was Monty Python's Marathon for Incontinence.

Then I started busting up over the counting bits...

Posted by: T1G at September 13, 2008 10:42 PM

Grrrr... that sketch is found at:

Posted by: T1G at September 13, 2008 11:18 PM

'Controlled release'! That was my first laugh out loud moment of the day! LOL!

And I really understand the bathroom thing. I think all IBS sufferers are porcelain phobic to a degree. I can't live in a house with only one bathroom, whenever I go somewhere I must know that there are facilities and where they are... for my peace of mind... ;)

By the way, I bought my first pair of Asics; they're ugly beyond measure but very comfortable! :)

Posted by: pam at September 14, 2008 04:53 AM

Diapers for adults... depends... for those who are running marathons. baw ha ha ha ha... sorry, couldn't resist.

There is no way I could do that. No way. You are one strong woman.

Posted by: vw bug at September 14, 2008 05:49 AM

I was going to say the same thing VW said, Depends!

Posted by: Quality Weenie at September 14, 2008 08:46 AM

when this other girl and I were desperate yesterday morning (the bathroom was locked), she suggested finding a bush, but everything was too visible from the road. And I said, "anyway, I'd be the one to put my nekkid butt through a banana spider web if I were to try to find a bush!"

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 14, 2008 08:48 AM

T1G- Holy crap! I remember that! That's going to be Lola and me!

Posted by: Bou at September 15, 2008 06:05 AM

This post is starting to remind me of one particular episode of Animaniacs I remember from some years ago. Something about a "Potty Emergency"...

Posted by: diamond dave at September 15, 2008 02:12 PM