Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Most People Won't Tell You About Running (and taking a sneaky pee)

This post is dedicated to my friend and food blogger Emily at Defining Delicious
When I was a new runner I pictured myself effortlessly running my races looking beautiful, long legged, and glistening with a healthy pink flush on my face.  To my new runner self I say "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I had several misconceptions about what running would be like. Although I do love running and the high, freedom, and feeling of accomplishment I have when I'm finished; it is not pretty! I SWEAT, not glisten. My face is RED, not pink. Instead of a beautiful long legged glide I have this kind of shuffle, limp, stumble, trip thing going on when I run.  Besides all of that, there were a couple of things nobody told me about: Peeing and Runner's Trots.  I'm proud to say I have experienced both.

Let's start with the more disgusting one first : Runner's Trots. If you are not familiar with Runner's Trots, it is a cramping and diarrhea that some people get when exerting a lot of physical efforts.  For me it happened any time I ran over 12 miles. It happened to me a lot when I first started running, but once my body got used to running, it stopped happening. My first half marathon ended  with me doubled over with cramps and spending the rest of the day close to the bathroom. To prevent this, I just took a couple of Immodium on race day. Immodium could cause problems if taken too often, so I never took them during my training runs. ONLY ON RACE DAY.  I am not saying you should do this, but if you plan on doing it, check with your doctor first. Here is a great article I found on the trots: http://www.active.com/nutrition/Articles/How-to-Avoid-Runners-Trots.htm

Okay. Peeing. There have been several, yes, several times I have peed myself during runs. One main reason is because I have had 3 kids.  Sometimes there are just no bathrooms around, the port-a potty lines are too long, or I just don't want to stop and add minutes to my finishing time.  Sometimes, during super long runs, I just don't even realize it's happening until I feel the warmness running down my leg.
True story.  Peeing happens all the time.  Many of the cyclists and triathletes I know pee right on there bike because who wants to stop, unclip, get off the bike, pee, get back on, start again...no one, that's who.  Peeing in your pants doesn't make you gross, it makes you hard core!

My friend and I have a strategy for peeing if we are just on a training run and there are no bathrooms around.  I also use it during races when I don't want to wait for a bathroom, but I'm not ready to pee in my pants yet.  We just pretend we are stretching and let it flow.  Like this:

"I'm just stretching...and looking off into the distance, while I ponder my run...not peeing at all. Nothing to see here. Just stretching"
  What you have to do is pull the lining of your running shorts over while getting into your lunge position. While lunging, discreetly pull the corner of you shorts over  while still covering up and pee.  The cars are moving too fast to tell what you are doing and the rest of the runners are focusing on themselves.  You just look like your stretching.  I'm not gonna lie, this takes some practice, but once you get it down, your GOLDEN!  Haha! I love puns!

So...what did we learn today? Some people do get runners trots and it is normal to pee in your pants when you run. You are welcome! If you have any other sneaky peeing techniques you'd like to share, leave them in the comments below!


  1. hahaha love the honesty! and good to know when I start running that long of a distance :)

  2. Great post, and that's coming from a non-runner.

  3. I may or may not have a new goal to be such a hard core runner that I justify peeing on myself ... Or at least master the pee stretch. Best. Blog. Post.

  4. This is brilliant. Now I am going to be looking for people "stretching" as we go around the community! LOL I tried explaining to my husband once how I cant run for long periods because it makes me have to pee. He just didn't understand. Now if I ever pee myself, I could just blame it on the boys :-)