My IQ and my level of discretion fluctuate wildly during my long workouts. Nicole is the lucky recipient of several hysterical conversations that resemble those of 10 year old boys and all their unsavory bathroom humor. Fortunately for those around me, after a quick recovery drink and a little rest my ability to use discretion and my IQ find a socially acceptable level of equilibrium.

Unfortunately for some of you, there are a few stories that my typical level of discretion and IQ are not fit to compete against. Enter….

THE BATHROOM SITUATION

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for the love of all that’s proper and polite PLEASE stop reading NOW if you are:
1. very mature and find 10 year old boy humor revolting
2. someone who finds the habits of triathletes, runners, and other endurance athletes revolting
3. someone who still believes women don’t fart or poop
4. Jeff (aka my husband)

DISCLAIMER: You have been warned! I can’t be held responsible for your obvious lack of good judgment.

So…..The bathroom situation has some back story. I don’t like public restrooms. I have strategies, even proper protocol, for living in a world full of public restrooms.
1. Don’t touch ANYTHING!
2. Unless the toilet has an auto flushing mechanism…ALWAYS flush with your foot
3. If wearing flip flops, squeeze your toes tightly before flushing the toilet with your foot (and flip flop)
4. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to touch something in a public restroom (facets, doors that have to be pulled from inside the bathroom, toilet seats) make sure you have something sanitary between yourself and said icky item.
5. It is always better to hover then to line a toilet seat and sit.

AND….just a bit more back story:

A few years ago I was running a half marathon and found myself behind a woman who had apparently had some intestinal trouble all over her shorts. It was gross and unpleasant and I very quickly passed her and thought to myself, (insert judgmental tone)

“No race will EVER be so important that I would poop my pants”.

I’ve had many conversations with people since that day about the intestinal trouble running long can create. I have experienced unsettling issues in my own stomach and have diligently planned and worked through what works in my stomach and what does not. Never in all that time of trial and error with my nutrition have I found myself with an intestinal emergency.

So…finally…THE BATHROOM SITUATION! Last chance to stop reading.

September 10th arrived. I had a 2:20 long run with building effort. It was hot but I had my nutrition strategy locked down. My stomach felt a little queasy at breakfast but I sometimes feel a nervous before long key workouts. My run begins…I think I’m fine. The route I chose was a simple out and back on Brawley. I made it “out” just fine. On the way back, I’m not feeling very good. I often suffer from mental weakness so I start to employ my mental strategies to push through this workout.

Step one – check your nutrition. I’m spot on.

Step two – don’t let your brain tell your body it can’t. Brain SHUT UP

I make it somewhere between mile 11 and 12 before I realize my body is trying to tell my brain some serious stuff! Primarily that I need a bathroom URGENTLY. My brain is telling my body it better figure out how to NOT need that bathroom right away as the nearest restroom is still a short distance away. I am squeezing all I can squeeze – Oh My Goodness please be strong! I’m a rock star and make it to McDonalds. I transform from rock star to disaster in about 2.5 seconds. There is no time to apply public restroom protocol and I sit directly on the toilet seat. It’s unpleasant but my insides are trying to escape. Then, to my horror I hear the bathroom door open and some poor, unsuspecting McDonald’s patron has entered the public restroom from hell.

I realize I don’t know what the appropriate protocol is in this situation:

Do I scream at her to run away while she can?

Do I groan so she knows the conditions of this bathroom are justified by my suffering?

Do I suffer in silence and hope she does the same?

I think she decided she didn’t need to use the bathroom after all and would wait until she was home in the solitude of her private restroom. Good decision making right there.

I finally reach a point where my intestines have decided that “Today I can live”. I reach around for toilet paper, anxious to have this SITUATION flushed down the toilet. The toilet paper roll is the spare roll that is in a very awkward position (too far back) for retrieving toilet paper under normal circumstances. This is not a normal circumstance and I find myself in a new predicament as I attempt to get some useable toilet paper. As I’m pulling the very cheap, very thin public restroom toilet paper toward me I find the slight breeze in the bathroom matched with the flimsiness of the TP has the TP touching my skin before I can get any significant amount of paper in my hands. I have sweat drenched toilet paper sticking to my pony tail, shoulders, my arms and my legs. I finally get enough dry paper for my needs, peel the sweaty sticky toilet paper off my pony tail, shoulders, arms and shamefully walk out of that bathroom.

I’m pleased to say that I still think no race is worth pooping your pants over but have a better understanding of just how someone may find themselves in such a horrible situation.

As I said…No pictures…You’re Welcome!

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