Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three Napkins, Priceless!

First time this ever happened to me in my more than 2 years and a half of serious running.

Last night, I ate a big serving of spaghetti with meat balls to carboload for this morning's long run.

I woke up late at 6 this morning, had to eat breakfast quick (had whole grain pita with peanut butter, some cherries, a cup of coffee, and a glass of lactose free milk). Took a quick shower, tried to use the washroom with no success (however hard I tried :)), got dressed and drove to the Runningroom homebase to meet my running buddy, Nette on the agreed upon time of 7am.

We were to run 29 ks this morning, in this the 14th Sunday long run of our 18 week marathon training program. This morning, I had 4 energy gels, 2 bars of shotbloks, gatorade , and 500 ml spring water, enough I thought for a 29k run. I also brought $10 cash just in case.

Nette and I agreed again to run the route that our clinicmates were to run and started off 30 minutes ahead of them. The morning temperature was cool, about 15 degrees Celsius, the sky was cloudy, hardly any breeze or wind, ideal for a long run. That was what I thought at the start of our run.

It soon became obvious 3ks into our run that this was nothing but an ideal long run, when I started to have a stomach ache. I kept quiet and hoped it would go away. By the
6th kilometer we passed the last public building , the Markham Stoufville Hospital, and we continued on with my stomach still grumbling. At this point, we would be running along a wooded area and then miles and miles of farmlands and vacant space until we stop at Tim Horton's on the 17th k.

At the 7th k, I knew the inevitable. I wouldn't be able to hold it any longer. I would have to go to the woods and relieve my self (simply, poo :)). Was so embarrassed to tell Nette, that she must have been wondering why I was so quiet the last few ks. Now I know how it felt when Paula Radcliffe had to pee in public at the 2005 London marathon which she won, and our own distance runner PC who crossed the finish line in a marathon sockless after he used his socks for a good and natural purpose.

Initially, I thought I should lie and tell Nette that I'd stop and go to the woods to take a piss. But, had to change my mind knowing I'd have to use leaves or twigs or even my socks and instead asked her if she brought with her some tissue paper, napkin, anything. When she said yes, (I shouted in my mind Woohoo!!), and when she asked why I was asking, I had to confess that I had to go poo (with a red face :)) . She, trying not to laugh, handed me a clear plastic bag with three white napkins. So embarrassing. Thank God I was running with a female friend.

Anxious while at the woods that my faster clinicmates may catch up with us and find me sitting and with my pants down, bum showing, while answering the call of nature in the woods. But the sidetrip to the woods was a complete success,with only squirrels, rabbits, skunks as likely witnesses, thanks to Nette's 3 napkins. A few pounds lighter, I felt much better and it translated into a faster more comfortable pace from then on.

The first 5 of our faster clinicmates caught up with us at the 10th k. Nette and I stopped over at Tim Hortons for water refill at the 17th k. More caught up with us at the 22k mark. At this time, like our previous long runs, had to decrease my pace and Nette had to go ahead, as she gradually disappeared in the distance. By the 24th k, everyone from my clinic passed me. Was a solitary runner once again. Decided to add one more kilometer to the 29 to psyche me up. Very tired at the finish and so thankful to Him for another good day and safe long run.

Completed 30 ks in 4:09:48.

Next Sunday's long run is for 32k.

28 days to my first marathon. :)


  1. Another difference between a male and female runner (even non-runners): We don't leave home without a pack of tissue in our pockets, wallets or bags.

    So next time, Bong, don't forget to bring one OK? Kawawa naman yong squirrels, rabbits and skunks hah hah . . .

  2. Happens to all of us at some point! I was lucky enough that I got that "urge" last week *before* I was on the trail. I managed to make it back home before my "volcano" decided it was time to erupt!

  3. Hi Bong,
    Don't worry I will bring more next time in case you need to go for a second round. And as long as you run with me, you will always have tissue!!!!
    - Nette

  4. Bong, you should have told me earlier so we could have gone inside the hospital for an "emergency" procedure...
    - Nette

  5. See. I'm glad that I had my problem at the church. I don't know if I'd ever be able to perform in the woods, but I guess you really had no choice.


  6. It pays to be honest, that is the morale of your story. And, congratulations on doing 30 k in just a little over 4 hours... does this include the stopover in the woods?

    I know male bloggers aren't much into awards, but do visit my August 31 post, you have an award waiting for you there.

  7. If those poor wild animals could only talk, they would have hurled swear words at me for dirtying their environment. :)

    Got to wake up early Glenn for it not to happen again. I need to have my breakfast 2 hours before the long run to make sure I complete all my pre-run routine, including sitting on my throne :)without getting rushed.

    Thanks Nette for the tissue paper (napkins). What would I have done without you? Run another 23 ks with flies in hot pursuit in my behind. :)

    Yes Lidj, the time included my short visit in the woods, the stop at Tim Hortons and the water refill stop at our runner friend, Angelo's place around 22 ks into our run.

    Thanks for the award. I am humbled. The only awards I received in the past that gave me the same pride and happiness are my First Honor Award on the first grade (I was 7,it's legit and not a fluke)that my mother pinned on me on the stage (still have the picture) and the Most Outstanding Boy Scout Award on my graduation from elementary school.

    Thanks again Lidj. Love it.

  8. Hey Jason, we're still early into our running careers, so don't be too comfy, because once you move up to the marathon clinic expect to run between 3-4 hours on the Sunday long runs Make sure you consistently go about your pre-run routine in the early morning before the run and carry some tissue paper with you in case of emergency. :)

    I hear you're doing the half in the SWTM, September 27. I'll probably see you there with Hanneli and our other runner friends. Oh, congrats too for moving in your own condo. It's not too good to own your own place, expensive, and no Mom to prepare Pinoy food for you, ha ha. Good luck on your race.

  9. Hey Bong, this post made me chuckle! Cheers, mate!

  10. I was laughing at myself too while contemplating on writing this post Rico. I find humor and laughter on top of running as good stress relievers that make up for a happier and well balanced life. I'm not like this all the time though, sometimes I get serious and act my age specially with my daughters.

  11. hahahahaha...
    this is funny, Bong.

    But I shared the same experience with you, many times. Especially during morning run, I never miss to bring wet tissue.

  12. Hey Jerry! It's nice to know that somebody else had the same experience. I would venture to say that for ultra runners like you, it would be more common because you run so much longer than us.

    When is the next race you're running my friend?

  13. Bong I hope you buried it afterwards. Happens to most of us sooner than later. I usually bring tissue with me in a ziplock bag when I'm out for long runs in the trails.

    About your question:

    Based on my experience I cramp for two reasons, intensity and hard effort that my body is not ready for or nutritional - not enough electrolytes and liquids. So on the race, were you going all out? Faster and longer than you have done in training? How was your liquid and salt intake? Were you sweating a lot but not drinking or taking enough electrolytes. Not sure what eload tablets are. I use "Succeed" brand salt tablets. They pack a lot of salt but I don't have to take them as often. Also you can pee out a lot of your sodium before a race by nervous drinking. Drinking too much the morning of and having to pee several time before the race actually starts...again from my own experience.

    Maybe you cramped because you were trying to hold it in for so long. Definitely not something your legs are used to on the run:) Just a thought. Running clenched like that could have sent your quads into over drive, hahaha. I'm sorry, it just came to me.