|Where was THIS when I needed it?!|
As you know, I've taken this whole "running" thing very seriously. Mainly out of fear of making a complete fool of myself on October 13th if I don't but ALSO because I have a fairly obsessive-compulsive personality that forces me, upon committing, to take things to the hilt. The kind folks at GoRun Wichita were kind enough to give me a training schedule/calendar that told me EXACTLY what was expected each day (including fartleks (I laugh and laugh and laugh at just the thought of the word)) so that is what I do for them/me/the program/America.
Fast forward to this last weekend. I was not feeling at all well Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. I was tired, achy, my entire body sore, I felt dry and lethargic, and I just wanted to sleep all the time. I chalked it up to me just training too hard in the hot Kansas summer and presumed it would get better with time. I went to bed super early Friday night (as soon as I dropped the kiddo off at her mother's after Temple and could get in bed) and was awoken at about 3 AM by such a clatter, I had to run to the bathroom to see what was the matter.
I had some serious, serious anger coming out of me. The kind that made my eyes water and my sense of optimism shrink. Every 10 minutes for the next 90, I was up every 10 minutes having the same general woes. When my alarm went off at 4:30 AM I was indisposed and considered just waving the white toilet paper flag of surrender and going back to bed. But NO. Nay, I say. NIET! I had eight miles on the calendar. AND it was class picture/our program coordinator coming to run with us day. I had to go.
So I strapped on my running shoes and PFM "Local Joes" t-shirt and headed west (map of the park in hand). I stopped twice on the drive over (it is eight-ish miles from my place to the park) for more madness. I finally got to the park and I figured I would drive the perimeter (the gates were still locked anyway - it was 5:20 AM). There were three gas stations/convenience stores on the run, there were hundreds of bushes, and there were a few construction projects (which means porta-potties, I thought). I went to the bathroom one "last" time, parked the car and headed out. I was going to run eight miles. Today was the day!
I made it about 200 yards. My body wanted to get rid of some excess weight. It NEEDED to So I sprinted to the first construction area. In the haze of the early morning light I saw a porta-potty. I ran straight for it. Blasted. JUST a sign on the fence at about the height of an oasis in the desert.
I whimpered. Pressed on. I decided my ONLY real option was the QuikTrip that was 2.6 miles from the start of my run and probable 2 miles from me. I started off in that direction convinced I was the master of my own body (after all - I was about to run eight miles). I made it another 100 yards. Sweat was now a mixture of running and fear of an actual explosion.
I tried to rationalize. I tried to figure out my options including but not limited to the insanity of "people will think it a badge of honor if I do this with soiled clothes on." Then I realized there were bushes everywhere (this was a zoo and a huge park, after all) and I was wearing two very soft, cotton socks. Plan B. Pick a bush and disrespect it.
I saw an option just up ahead. There was a little tuck away from the roads that was just right that I could see people running toward me but them not see me (privacy is super important in these moments of sub-human behavior) and I ran to it. Kicked off one of my beloved Trance 11s. De-socked. Squatted then looked over my right shoulder - I was not at ALL protected from the West. QUITE the opposite. And here came a huge group of runners. Abort. ABORT! I pulled and stood up. I re-socked, put my shoe on, cried a little, and kept going.
I had never been more in favor of adult diapers in my entire life. And, 99.99999% of the time I'm very, very pro them for those in need (it remaining percentage is a big frowny face to all your fetishists out there). I was running out of time and options. I needed a solution.
In to the park I ran. I was now two miles of running in to the pain. There were bathrooms on the map . . . but were they unlocked? Was this a fool's errand? What would I do if I got to the bathroom but could not use it? Plan C? Back to Plan A? I prayed to G-d for just enough of a favor (which is verboten on the Sabbath, I might add) to allow the door to be unlocked. I ran toward it. Sprinted. Farlek style (giggle, giggle).
I grabbed the handle - yanked it hard. BAM! Open door. Success. I ran to the only stall, looked around and decided that, even with the filth and odor it was better to do "this" here than to recreate the smell, look, and horror of this bathroom in my pants. Plan D had come to fruition. And it was amazing. Sorry, folks. Just being honest.
I decided - in the calm following the storm - that I was done running for the day. I stood up, defeated but victorious (different battles, same war) and walked my way across the park. It was now 6:30 (yes, it took me over an hour to run three miles but I had a LOT on my plate/mind/agenda/distraction list) and the sun was up and all my fellow "Start2Finish" runners were heading out in their groups. I did the equivalent to the "Walk of Shame" past the 5K group.
I tried to wait for everyone to come back in. To at least support them and see my fellow Joes and our coordinator. I wanted to be in the class photo. I wanted to enjoy the group dynamic following the run and at least see how everyone else did against their goals. But, alas, my body had other ideas.
I gave up. Drove home. Picked up my daughter and the two of us slept for a few hours. We spent the afternoon having mini-adventures (never with a bathroom too far away). I had to cancel out plans to spend the evening with fun, fun adults celebrating the birthday of a good friend. I was as afraid of being contagious or having an incident and damaging their home plumbing more than I was still "sick."
I went to bed very early Saturday night. I got up regular time Sunday morning and, once the kiddo went to see "Turbo" with her mother and some other family, I hit the streets and got in my eight miles.
They felt terrific. NOT because I ran them all with strong, confident strides (truthfully I probably walked a good half/three quarters of a mile) but because I had crossed the eight mile mark AND because I turned back on my own body and won the battle that, 30 hours earlier, had forced my white flag.
The war still rages. It will until October 13th but, for now, my stomach, my body, and my fitness plan are all still doing fine. And week seven is already halfway over. Crazy.