I am usually a big fan of the articles posted on active.com and have often referred and/or linked to some back on this blog. This one was unintentionally funny to me.
The title says it’s an article about embarrassing mishaps that can happen to women runners. I expected to read the article with a knowing nod of my head as I chuckled in recognition. But, there was little in this article I identified with except the intro that mentioned things like blackened toenails and blisters.
Now, there are definitely some things that can happen while running that many people don’t like to talk about. I think anyone who has been running any amount of time can tell you good manners, social graces and just plain good hygiene are often sacrificed for the sake of a good race. I have been known to spit, pee in the bushes, and wipe my nose on my shirt sleeve when it decides to run it’s own snot marathon. One time, a race photographer even captured me mid-farmer’s blow. ( who knew those photographers could have such a sense of humor – or be so cruel. And, no. I did not order a copy of that one. I was so mortified I deleted it as soon as I saw it).
I am also very keenly aware that distance running can sometimes create very painful and uncomfortable bowel situations. Once I started doing long runs of 10 miles or more, it didn’t take much to figured out that I always need to 1) eat fiber the night before a run 2) wake up early enough to let nature run it’s course before I head out. I’ll never forget the morning of my first marathon. I thought I was going to miss the race because, ahem, “things” just were not moving properly. I’ve never been more stressed out about the lack of a bowel movement as I was that day. But I can tell you that my fears were not of a worse case scenario that involved leaving a trail along the race route like a horse would leave behind in a parade. They were more of the “having to make a lengthy pit stop along the marathon route” nature. Or running with minor abdominal pain.
So, yes. Running can sometimes create situations you may find uncomfortable to talk about. But this article would have a newbie runner thinking there’s a good chance they will crap their pants, pee their pants, have their period in their pants, get chafing on their vajay jay, get chafing on their butt crack, or need to change their adult diaper on any given run. Therefore, one must properly prepare by always running with an overnight bag packed with — at minimum– a roll of toilet paper, wipes, tampons, bladder control pads, an extra canister of lube, and a pair of scissors to cut your tampon string. I’m also just going to say that, although I am no doctor, I feel strongly that if you are routinely crapping yourself during a run, you need to seek medical advice, not pack extra underwear.
Had I read this article eight years ago, I never would have signed up for my first 8k.