Monday, July 24, 2006

Nature Called

And I had to answer.

This, I suppose, is just one of the many bodily tragedies that childbirth can inflict on a woman. And comparatively it is a lesser one. Thankfully, for the most part, I escaped unscathed by the usual badges of childbirth. However, my bladder took a severe beating. And no, I don't have that problem but I do have to tinkle frequently. More specifically, I absolutely cannot run a single step with a bladder anything other than empty. I only have myself to blame though. Running until your 34th week of pregnancy probably isn't the smartest thing to do.

I have found ways to combat this problem. The main one involves peeing about eight hundred times before I start running. This is to insure that there is not a drop of urine anywhere in my obviously much too tiny bladder. I have learned that if I start running immediately after using the restroom my body will start using all that water I drank to hydrate. If I linger, even for a moment (as I foolishly did this morning), my way too efficient kidneys will get right to work and I will inevitably hear that all too familiar and quite uncomfortable call.

Today I heard it. I tried to ignore it, pretend I wasn't home. Unlike men, and maybe even other women runners, I just can't ignore it. Maybe it is because I terribly abused my bladder while pregnant, maybe it is because I ran too soon after giving birth but whatever the reason I cannot run if I feel that urge. At all. I can hold it but I can't run and just pretend it isn't there. So, I either have to stop and walk to a restroom or back home or, my least favorite, make nice with a tree and pop a squat.

This morning I wasn't even halfway into my current regular 7 mile run when the urge hit me. This particular run is a loop through almost entirely residential roads. Certainly, I can adjust the course so that I do go through an area populated by several businesses where potential restrooms abound but then I also have to run longer on a very congested and busy road--absolutely not worth it when we are in the middle of bad air days July. Today though the adjustment wouldn't have mattered because a bathroom was still 2+ miles off--almost as far as it was back home--when the I got that call.

For runs longer than 10 miles I try to situate potential bathroom breaks along the way should the need for a potty arise --CVS and QT have been my saviors on many a long runs. Not to mention they always have clean stocked restrooms and water fountains. For shorter runs though, I just don't usually worry about it because it generally isn't an issue for me.

Unfortunately today it was and understandably I was in quite a pickle since this run is largely made up of multi- million dollar homes--homes that rumor has it are owned by many current and ex-Atlanta Braves or Hawks players. It is not the fact that they are celebrity sports personalities that had me worried but more that they might actually be home since they don't have 9-5 job like regular people. I mean most people get ticked off when dogs use their lawn as a potty. I am guessing that they are even less tolerant of runners. Also, these homes either sit behind giant gates or are on wide expanses of treeless lawns. Camouflaged potty spots are hard to find or hard to get to. But worst of all, in regards to pit stops, my loop is on several well traveled roads. There is rarely a moment when there isn't a car passing by. As you can see all of this makes it kind of hard to pee on the down low.

As I came down the hill I saw it--the perfect potty spot-- nestled behind some Leland cypress and a well crafted stone wall. Sure, I suppose if Mr. Ex NBA was looking out his second story front windows he might have a nice view of my ass but it was worth the risk. So I ducked back there quickly when there was a rare break in the traffic and relieved myself. Yeah, it was embarrassing but only the potential of it since I didn't get caught--that I know of. And, best of all, I felt so much better and was able to finish my run much more comfortably.

Last week's running log:
Mileage: 33 miles
Items found: a great beach weekend with the girls

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