Daily Run: Best Shower of My Life

September 6, 2008 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 11 Comments

Time of Day: 6:25 AM

Weather: Perfection. However, I am angry at Texas right now and will not discuss its beautiful weather further.

Duration: 2 hours 6 minutes.

Estimated Distance: 16+ miles

Notes: I debated for a long time about writing this post and decided that I have two choices: A) write out all the mundane details about how my legs felt today, how far I went, how the Vanilla Power Gel was a little too sweet…yada yada yada, and thus omit the one terrible detail that actually defined this run, or B) I can tell you the truth.

And I’m going with Choice B, which is rather unpleasant. So if you’re at all squeamish, I suggest you navigate away from this blog and go read See Princess Sparkle Crown Run. I hear she has some good tips on refueling with pixie dust.

But if you consider the bathroom scene of Dumb and Dumber to be the pinnacle of good cinema, then by all means read on and delight in my utter misery and shame.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, I crapped my pants today.

Allow me to explain. (That needs an explanation!?) I get up this morning after a wonderful night of sleep (thank you, Tylenol PM). I need a little fuel before my run, and lacking a granola bar, I stuff a Flat Out Wrap into my mouth, innocently thinking, “Mmmm…yummy nummy whole wheaty goodness,” as I prepare to run 16 miles.

Such a novice mistake. Flat Out Wraps contain over 30% of the daily value for fiber. I’ve apparently learned nothing in the past twelve years of running.

Merrily, unsuspectingly, I exit my home. Less than 30 minutes in, I get a bathroom urge. That’s ok, there’s a nice clean one right here! Glad that’s taken care of; I love this trail with all its amenities! I can continue my run comfortably now!


I reach halfway and do my turn around (out-and-back course). I feel a slight rumbling in my stomach and wonder if I should stop at the bathroom right next to me. Oh no, I already stopped to go once. I can’t possibly need to go again. Silly Jess.

A mile or so later. Another rumbling. I stop for a second, worried. The urge passes and I continue on, vowing to stop at the next restroom.

And again. Only a minute has gone by. Uh oh…the restroom is still very far away. I stop, and yet the rumbling continues at a stronger pace. No! This can’t be happening! I clench every muscle in my pelvic and abdominal regions, willing my intestines obey me and WAIT.

My intense effort doesn’t work. My body betrays me in a single wave of relief, followed immediately by complete horror and shock as the Flat Out Wrap evacuates my body. I run into the woods, thanking God that no one saw me on this very public trail.

Did that really just happen!? Why are there no leaves in these woods!? I see sticks, brush, and cacti. Screw you, Texas! Thanks for nothing! I hate your dry summers that kill everything that is green and soft. I will no longer defend you by saying, “Well, at least some parts of the Hill Country are pretty!” I will no longer pretend that the Alamo is interesting! I will no longer take efforts not to litter! I will Mess with you, Texas!

Panicking, I removed my sodden shorts. I need to get home. Oh wait, it’s seven miles away. I’m stuck here. I have no phone. Who would I call if I did? Who would I let see me like this? Who would LET ME IN THEIR CAR!?

I’m…naked near a public trail. I need to fix this quickly. I remove my shirt; my favorite running shirt. The shirt I save for long runs because it’s comfortable, airy, and doesn’t chafe. The one I was a little upset about staining with a Mocha Clif Shot Blok last weekend. How ironic.

I use my best running shirt to clean myself off, and then resign myself to the fact that yes, I am going to have to put my nasty shorts back on. No, I cannot run home naked and no, I cannot stay here in the woods forever. So, I convince myself that the stains on my shorts can pass as “mud” and continue on in my sports bra. And haha, Texas, I littered you with a poo-soaked running shirt.      

So yes, I continue on, feeling sorry for myself and even worse for anyone within 50 miles downwind. Blessedly, there were relatively few people on the trail today and no one I knew. I’m sure those I did meet looked at me from afar, thought to themselves “Is that mud or is it…” and then when they got closer to my stink came to the horrible conclusion, “Oh Lawd, it IS!” and had to suppress a vomit reaction. I’m sure the groups of walkers discussed me in horrified whispers once they thought I was far enough away, and once they had recovered enough to breathe through their noses again.

I completed my run. And wow, I ran really fast after this incident. In fact, there was no pain or fatigue in my legs. I think it was the adrenalin, or perhaps the approximately 10 pounds that I lost along the way. Or, maybe it was because I was so very, very focused on getting home and into the shower. Either way, 16 miles had nothing on me.

In fact, I ran a negative split. The second half of my run was a full 25 seconds shorter than the first half. A difficult feat in a normal run, much less a sixteen-miler whose second half is much hillier than the first, with an almost vertical climb in the last three miles. And really, it was my negative split that made me decide to share this story with you. Because you have to celebrate a negative split. I can’t wait to tell my grandkids about the day I ran a negative split sixteen-miler with explosive diarrhea. In fact, I’ll recommend they eat a Flat Out Wrap right before their cross-country meets so they can go to States.

No, not really. I’m definitely crossing that off the list of pre-marathon breakfast ideas. Live and learn.

And umm…please don’t let this deter you from reading See Jess Run. I hope to never share a story like this again.



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  1. Oh my goodness, this is hilarious! Definitely an interesting running story! I was laughing through the whole thing…I’m sure you weren’t at the time but you made it through 😉 I have no idea what I would’ve done! Congrats on making it through the run though!

  2. OMG how HORRIBLE! Very brave of you to post. I think I would have sat in the woods and cried until the search and rescue team came to find me.

  3. Haha thank you both for your comments! I was afraid that I scared everyone off. We must laugh at these things, right?

  4. I won’t judge. You encountered every runner’s worst fear and came out the other side in one piece. Bravo to you.

  5. omg. i can’t even believe this story. I feel so bad for you! and your poor running shirt! and those poor walkers haha.

  6. Oh no! How awful. Your post made me laugh a lot, though.

    I have had a similar problem when I ate an entire package of sugar snap peas, raw, right before a run. Don’t do this. (Really, this should have been obvious even to me.)

    I did manage to get my pants down, but I was in full view in some poor soul’s back yard. I still wince every time I go past there.

  7. Thanks everyone for consoling me!

    runatthemouth: I just had to suppress a loud laugh at work. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. […] is going to lead to new training observations, a personal breakthrough in speed or distance, or living nightmares. So while I attempt to keep things interesting with the occasional celebrity appearance, sometimes […]

  9. Oh wow, I can’t believe that actually happened to you! I am laughing so hard right now. I’m sorry about your favorite running shirt. Congrats on making it home (fast, too!) and being able to think on your feet. Incredible

  10. […] from Runolution. The drawing was random (I think), but I begged for the free shirts by submitting this as my weekly running tip. Thanks, Runner’s […]

  11. […] this morning’s situation was only a minor annoyance, and not physically and emotionally scarring, so I will move on with my life. I’m rather pleased with my body’s ability to recovery […]

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