Earlier this month, Sarah gave some tips for peeing on a run when there’s no porcelain tank in sight. Mother runners responded with additional alternative solutions to the toilet that were both creative and laughter-inducing, and we just had to [over]share them.
When you’re body won’t let you go on anything but a tangible toilet, mother runners rely on the kindness of strangers. Donna recalls paying to poop with a pedi:
“On a 10-mile run on a very secluded trail, I felt the urge to go #2. I ducked into the trees and found a spot, but then couldn’t deliver. So I went on running, uncomfortable and praying that I wouldn’t poop my pants. I modified my route and came to a little strip mall that had an open nail salon. I ran in and asked for a bathroom. Those poor women were speechless and pointed to the back. I went back for a pedicure a week later with three of my friends--it was the least I could do!”
Roberta tells her friend’s motto of ‘why not knock?’ Odds are in your favor that instead of a serial killer, it’ll be a mother runner all too familiar with your needs.
“One of my running friends has a micro bladder and struggles mightily to hold it all in. While running through our neighborhood around 8 p.m., she knew she wouldn’t be able to complete the run without taking care of business. So she knocked on a stranger’s door. The door was answered by an elderly lady who understood her plight completely, and she was ushered to the bathroom.
Sometimes it’s not just the internal force of nature, but the external force that messes with a runner’s pee routine. Nancy B. shares:
“In Connecticut, there’s usually a random stone wall or two that I can jump behind. On one of my normal routes, I would go in a row of large white pines blocking the view from both the road and the owner’s house. I usually went between the two thickest, tallest ones…until Hurricane Sandy toppled the one that I used. Gotta find a new pee spot now.”
Katie G.’s solution is to avoid any shame by hiding her face because as every child knows, “If I can’t see them, they can’t see me,” right?
“In the middle of a 50-mile race in the middle of nowhere I had to go so bad I just jumped off the side of the forest service road and dropped my shorts. I had to go so bad I didn’t even bother to jump behind a tree, I still had so far to go I didn’t want to have a mess in my pants, plus I was by myself as most of the racers had really spread out by then. Well, right in the middle of my explosive diarrhea, one of the other racers support vehicles drove by! I just put my head between my knees while squatting and hoped they wouldn’t recognize me later.”
Jenny Breen tells of her experience of marathon pooping.
“I ran my first marathon in Chile in December 2012. It was a great experience, and I was well trained, but this marathon had not one single bathroom along the entire course! It was small, and in the country, so most people didn’t even know what the heck was going on. That said, around Mile 14 I felt the urge to go #2….I held it as long as possible, but finally, upon viewing a little gathering of trees in this mostly farm field landscape, I darted off the road to go. I managed to go-though not my best poop for sure, and then to wipe? Rocks, twigs and whatever else. Needless to say, it got me through the rest of the race. I ran a sub 4-hour marathon, but am sure this little pitstop added at least 5 minutes to my time. Oh well, what can you do. At least I didn’t poop my pants.”
Kelly C. recounts having to restyle her running wardrobe mid-run when a pitstop turned disastrous.
“Usually we hit up a convenience store or gas station along our route. Recently desperation quickly hit me and I had to go number 2. I quickly ran into a ditch next to the road while my running buddy stood guard. As if this wasn’t embarrassing enough, a car stopped and a man leaned out worried I was hurt. Nice of him, horrifying for me. I waved him on from my squatted position. Lastly, to make this even worse, I made a mess of my self and dirtied my gloves, jacket, and pants. As fate would have it, there was a gas station a little ways down which I visited and turned all my clothes inside out for the rest of the run.”
If you feel anatomically inept at peeing without making a mess, turns out there are products, yes, products, to streamline your peeing-on-the-go experience.
Debbie wears pee pads: “I never suffer the urge to pee since it just dribbles out the entire time while I run (older runner now). I wear ‘pee pads’ on my run, but have had to carefully time when I have my last drink of water before starting a run, to be sure I’ve eliminated everything as much as possible before it. My other tactic: At an aid station, grab several cups of water, and pour them over you to ‘cool you off,’--and to hide any peeing you have to do at the same time.”
Paige depends on, “prayer, wet wipes, and an empty Gatorade bottle.”
Melanie clued us in to Urinelle, which are disposable. “It makes peeing while standing easier by providing you with a funnel to direct the flow away from the body (and shoes!). Perfect for the gross port-a-potties, too.”
Marie told us about another “FUD” (an acronym we did not make up! Stands for, “female urination device”). “I have a Go-Girl. I have one and use it mostly when traveling in the car (into a styrofoam cup). But I constantly have to pee. I pee before my run, during my run (usually behind a bush since I run trails), then immediately after. And just last weekend while running six miles, I had to poo so I did that at the state park behind a bush, too. Just remember to dig a hole first and bury it. My husband, who was running with me, says he loves me even more now.” [We do, too, Marie!]
If you have even more tales, we’re all ears. Tell us! (Maybe we need to write, Answering the Call of Nature Like a Mother.)