Training for my first half marathon, The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon, introduced me to the humanity of running.
If you don’t want to read about the humanity of running that involves potty breaks, please skip this post. Otherwise.. forge forward…
It doesn’t matter how hot it is or how much you sweat, while you run your (ok maybe just mine) body is still working. While the focus may be diverted, my kidneys are still hard at work. On the other side, I worked hard to get my body on a BM routine that worked with my running schedule. Same time every day worked… mostly.
Porter, his body is different from mine. He can be well hydrated and run 12 or so miles and not have an issue. I seem to need a stop around 7 or 8 miles.
A little background. When I started training for the half, some of what I thought were getting older, delivered two babies, lady issues occasionally reared their head. Actually, coughing hard and giving the final kick at the end of a 5K made me stop laughing at the Depends commercials. Everything happens for a reason… over a business lunch with a friend she shared she had visited a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic floor disorders. We talked at length and I had an appointment the following week. See… to my logic (it didn’t even occur to me that there would be port-a-potties along the route) if I couldn’t get this under control, running a half wasn’t happening. Lisa Trunzo, PT, is certified as a pelvic floor PT and she is awesome. As a runner, she understood my concerns and with about two months of PT, my problem was solved. Just to elaborate a bit here… Everyone is different. I had a problem because although at one time I was fit & trim, over the past 10 years it was spotty and my problem was directly related to muscle atrophy. There were no physical problems other than me not moving the right muscles… yes even though I did kegels (5-10 a day were not nearly enough… just so you know). After spending time with octogenarian women who all had incontinence issues, I wondered if exercise was an answer as it is to so many things. With Lisa’s help, I learned that yes, in many cases (depending on your problem) it is as simple as a little PT… every day for the rest of your life ;).
But once we got that problem solved and the miles increased, I found that I needed a potty break because my bladder was full.
What to do?
Well, like most things… visit Runner’s World to see what they have to say, stop by some of my favorite blogs to see what they have to say on the subject. I really appreciated Beth at Shut Up + Run for sharing her experiences. I don’t know Beth but she helped alleviate my fears when I read some of her experiences. She is open about her humanity of running.
For me, after having my first (and second) experience on a long run and just lucking out that a marina was open and kind, I changed my route to place me at home between 6-8 miles. For me, that’s where it became an issue.
Who cares? Why is this a big deal?
Because we live in a more rural suburb, having places to stop along my run route doesn’t just happen. But it’s not all woods either. And I’m a little neurotic… after my body getting out of whack one week required a port-a-potty hijack. Thankfully said port-a-potty (which hadn’t been there the week before) miraculously appeared the week I needed it 2 miles from home and about one from other alternatives (besides the woods). Whew, catastrophe averted. And… I’m not a big fan of stopping in the woods. I will if I have to, but making other plans is a better answer for me.
How do you handle this part of the humanity of running?