Running for It, Week 27: In which an old enemy returns… with a vengeance

It has gone so well, for so long, that I guess I should not have been surprised that at some point something would go horribly awry.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: my 19-mile long run went great. Fantastic, even. Because last weekend’s experiment went so well, I kept up my pattern of taking short walking breaks every 1.5 miles, and I really have no complaints. (I did some number-crunching on the aid stations in Chicago, and they average out to one every 1.3 miles, so I’m thinking I should be okay in that respect.) And I kept up a reasonable pace even though the course was wicked hilly. Check it:

oh, 17-mile mark, I think I’ll miss you most of all

Thank God for those downhill stretches, because there were a few uphill climbs that, as soon as I saw them off in the distance, made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. But here’s the thing: I made it through them just fine. I’m not gonna lie to you… I was getting pretty tired by mile 17 or 18 or so, but if this training regimen has taught me anything, it’s taught me to endure. It’s not that I’m getting any faster, really; it’s that I’m getting much, much better at pushing through despite my exhaustion, essentially ignoring my aching leg muscles. A few months ago, I might’ve just quit and started walking when my legs started crying out for relief. (I might also have been a little shocked to learn that my legs had developed the power of speech.) But now? I just keep running. Cry all you want, legs, I’m just gonna ignore you. Go ahead, I can keep this up as long as you can.

(Parenting, it seems, also provides good endurance training.)

So anyway, I guess what I’m saying is, it was a great 19-mile run. Yes, I was pretty beat at the end, and I definitely needed a nap that afternoon (I had to get up at 4:30am to beat the day’s heat), but I was very happy with it.

Well, except for that one thing that I obliquely mentioned earlier. Something I thought I had long since gotten out of my system decided to make a return appearance, with much stinky fanfare. You guessed it, babies: I desperately had to drop a wicked deuce.

This has not been a problem for a very long time. I assumed my gastrointestinal system had adjusted to my running schedule and that we were working hand-in-colon to make this thing work. Still, I planned my routes such that there would be bathrooms nearby when the urge hit. And so when it hit, right between the five- and six-mile marks, I was flustered but I assumed it wouldn’t be much of a problem. After all, I was running along a main thoroughfare with numerous businesses, etc.

Here’s what I didn’t plan on: I was running so early in the morning that none of them were open. It wasn’t even 6am yet. Grocery store: closed. Gas station: closed (I had really put all my brown eggs in that gas station basket, and when it turned out to be completely dark, I was crestfallen). And then, a-ha! There was a burger joint right next door, with cars in the lot and people walking around inside. Salvation!

Or so I thought. The workers at this particular eatery had other ideas. It was still like 12 minutes until 6:00, and it didn’t open until 6:00, but I really didn’t think I could wait. It was that bad. So I banged on the window, and when a young female employee came to the door, I stated, as calmly as I could muster, that I knew they weren’t open but please OH GOD PLEASE could I use their restroom? After a moment’s thought, she decided she would have to ask her manager. So I paced back and forth, clenching fiercely and murmuring “come on come on come on come on come on,” for a few minutes while she did so.

She finally came to the door and said, “Sorry, but we don’t open until 6.” And she shut and locked the door, leaving me sweating and frantic and miserable. I had to take a dump, and there was literally nowhere to do so. Oh heck, why am I being so vague about these people that treated a fellow human being (which I am) like a common bum (which I also am)?

Steak ‘n Shake at 4929 Northwest Old Pike Road in Kansas City, Missouri: I’m callin’ you out.

That’s right, I’m naming names.

Seriously, folks, what possible harm could it have done to let a brother use your bathroom? A few minutes and I would have been completely out of your hair. I admit, I may have looked kind of like a crazy person, because who but a crazy person would be out running at that ungodly hour, but come on! We eat there all the time! It’s not like I wouldn’t have made it up to you later. I just expected more of you. I’m not angry, I’m… disappointed. Oh yeah, I’m getting all parental on you.

Anyway, could I wait eight more minutes until they opened? No sir, I could not. So I did the only thing I could do: I started running again, clenching feverishly. What else was I supposed to do? I couldn’t pinch one off behind the Home Depot or in the church parking lot. So I just ran, praying desperately that I could make it to Englewood Road, where my salvation–in the form of a 24-hour QuikTrip–awaited.

I may never understand how I was able to make it. Call it a miracle, if you wish. I don’t know how else to explain it, because I ran another mile with a round in the chamber and somehow managed not to fire until I reached that blessed, blessed convenience store.

As long as I’m naming names… QuikTrip at 528 Northwest Englewood Road in Kansas City, Missouri: you guys rock.

(Also, I’m sorry for what I did to your men’s room. A little elbow grease and those stains’ll come right out.)

One Response to “Running for It, Week 27: In which an old enemy returns… with a vengeance”

  1. Jessie Says:

    Um…wow! Glad you made it. I’d hate to do your laundry if you hadn’t.

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