Anyone who has read the final chapter of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity knows I have a big bladder--and that I overshare. If this sentence grosses you out or offends you, I suggest you avert your eyes...for the rest of this post.
Still with me? Here goes:
Saturday, the morning of my 15-mile run to prep for the Vancouver Marathon, was a splendidly sunny day with a slight breeze. As usual, I hydrated well in the 24+ hours pre-run with orange Nuun. Perhaps too well, as I stopped about 3.5 miles in at a public restroom by the river. Filled with relief--but devoid of urine--I continued running. I maintained a comfortable pace, as the TLAM Marathon: Own It plan calls for, until about Mile 13. Then I was supposed to "finish strong" for the final 20-ish minutes. My legs and lungs were game, but my bladder was screaming again. I knew I couldn't bust out a faster pace trying to keep my legs clamped together!
By this point, I was in a more urban setting--and across from a State of Oregon building, actually. I've watched enough episodes of MI-5 and Homeland to know my moves were being recorded by hidden video cameras, so dropping trou (er, capris) wasn't an option, even though the streets were deserted. Then I spied a planter--a large, cement planter with a few ledges jutting out like ersatz seats. Desperately uncomfortable, I hatched a new way to surreptitiously pee in public.
Sitting on the edge of the planter and drinking water out of my handheld bottle, I let the stream flow. Yes, through my capris and onto the cement under my bum. Eventually it started running down onto the pavement beneath me, but I made a slight production out of waving my bottle around, so surveillance cameras (or passing motorists) would think it was spilling water, not pee. Only a tiny bit ran down my legs into my shoes. I stood up, relieved and ready to bust out those speedier two miles--and incredibly proud of my new covert evacuation method.
Here are some others I've employed over my years of running in urban and suburban settings (with the understanding that if you're on a more rural routes, there's always a clump of vegetation to duck behind):
-If you're sporting a skirt, simply pull the liner or boy-shorts to the side and you can pee modified man-style, standing up. (I employed this method near a grassy strip in downtown PDX before a Doggie Dash.)
-Be creative in your cover. I've peed between a Dumpster and a hedgerow, behind utility sheds, and in culverts. Mother runner of three Diana, who lives in San Francisco, admits in RLAM she often peed between parked cars in the City by the Bay while preggo.
-Utilize unlocked port-a-potties. Molly, my marathon-training buddy, has been having to cop a squat during some of our tempo runs. There are always houses being remodeled in our neighborhood, meaning there is often a Honeybucket on the sidewalk.
-Find a convenience store, coffeeshop, fast food joint, public library, or gas station. I was set to wet myself on a 9-miler once with Molly because a park bathroom was still locked at 6:20 a.m. Then I realized, with great joy, that the java joint across the street was open early. We didn't have any money, but I sent coffee-drinking Jack there later in the week to be a good patron.
-Have a pal be a distraction. I've resorted to a little soft shoe or cheerleading routine (seriously) to distract passersby when my running buddy has been answering the call of nature en pleine air (and in plain view).
But it's my planter-potty I just had to share with the tribe. Now you tell us: How or where do you go #1 (or #2) on a run?