Yesterday evening I flew out of work at 5pm on the dot (not typical these days) to enjoy the incredible 70 degree weather. I had just downed the last of a very large cup of water, grabbed my purse, and drove very
speedily assertively expeditiously carefully to Johnson Park, excited to run on the Towpath. Hooray! I had packed my running clothes that morning in anticipation (okay, the night before), and walked up to the Grove 5 bathroom. Locked! “Closed for season,” the stupid sign read.
Changing in my car would be fine- dress with a tank top underneath. Easy. Unfortunately I was also hoping to empty my bladder. And by hoping to, I mean needing to. I changed quickly, with only a few awkward stares (“What?!?!? Like you’ve never seen a sports bra before!!! Geez.”), grabbed my car key, and took off for a leisurely run to taper for the Miles for Music 20k.
Once I got on the Towpath all I could think about was the water I had chugged, and the two minutes it would have taken me to swing by the bathroom in my rush out of the office. Oy! I glanced at my watch. Too fast. I tried to back off. Still too fast. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, so I made sure no one was coming, went about my business, then jumped back on the trail and settled into a relaxed pace.
I haven’t always been this bold. (And yes, I understand “bold” might not be the word you’re thinking.) It took me years to perfect the fine art of spitting effectively while running, and I only recently started snot-rocketing. (I used to mash a tissue into the waistband of my shorts, which resulted in a sickening, crumbly mid-run mess.) Changing into running gear from everyday clothes was a skill I learned quickly in the high school locker room. It just takes a little forethought and controlled movements!
These running habits are weekly, if not daily, for me, with the exception of public urination. I’ve only used nature as a “facility” a handful of times. The reasoning for this probably falls between proper pre-run planning and knowing where the bathrooms are on my usual runs, but it really doesn’t include that public urination is completely gross, socially unacceptable, and against the law. That just… doesn’t seem to phase me. And I’m kind of proud about that!
I’m not quite sure when these hideous, potentially offensive, and sometimes illegal acts became so customary for me, but I can honestly say that they’re here to stay. Never will I hock a loogie while strolling the outlet mall, snot rocket outside a bar, or change into a sports bra and shorts in my cubicle, but I’m not holding back while running.
Though, if the day comes that I do any of the above-mentioned things in a normal, public setting, that’s the day I will drop each and every one of these habits. I promise.
But for now, I will leave you with Motivational Poster #6 from my favorite Runner’s World blog, RW Daily: