Warning to delicate readers: this story contains graphic content and may be too much for you if you are male or haven’t pushed several babies out your your-know-what*. If you choose to read on, do so at your own risk.
*Normally I prefer to use the proper names for anatomical parts, but this is the internet, people. Don’t expect me to use the word you-know-what in real life.
The nights are getting longer. Coming earlier. Knowing that winter is coming has made my late-afternoon runs more precious. Last week, I had an agenda-free** run planned while my kids were at swim team. Feeling pretty good, I planned to add a little extra distance to both the beginning and end of my regular run.
** Agenda-free here should be taken here to mean not a tempo run, not hill-repeats, and not a long run. Just a regular run.
I dropped the kids at the pool. Normally I stop in at the potties before beginning my run, but I knew it would be both dark and cold by the time they finished, and I wanted to get going. Plus, I had peed before I left the house ten minutes earlier, so how full could my bladder be?
I turned on my GPS and started off. Most trees still had some leaves, and it was beautiful. I admit that I probably had a silly grin on my face as I passed red oaks, maples, and sycamores. The Halloween decorations were mostly down, so I could enjoy fall color without skeletons and giant blow-up lawn spiders everywhere.
At mile 1, I noticed that I needed to pee. Stupid bladder. (Those of you without bladders are probably thinking, “She should be grateful for her bladder.” I am, really, I just wish it worked better.) But in half a mile I would run past the post office, and I knew it had a bathroom. At mile 2.5, I’d pass a school. Both had bathrooms. I’d be fine.
Mile 1.5 I dodged angry postal customers fighting over 5 o’clock parking places and ducked into the post office. And the bathrooms were locked. What? Apparently, they had just cleaned them and didn’t want them to be dirty again. I should try that at my house.
No problem, except that once I told my bladder there was a possibility to pee, it decided it really needed to pee. There was a park two blocks further on. Certainly it would have a bathroom.
No dice. Checked the GPS: it said I had run 1.5 miles. (What happened to my 1 mile split? Hmmm…) The school was only half a mile on. By this point, I was looking for dense bushes. Thinking ahead to the impending darkness, I had worn my brightest, limest green shirt. I might as well have been wearing a searchlight. Peeing in the bushes was not a good option.
Mile 2: The school was locked. Health center at mile 3-plus: closed. I ran through my options: ice skating rink? Nursing home? Private residence? Not looking good.
At that point, mapmyrun told me I had run 4.15 miles at a 1:03 pace. I would have turned it off, but… well, I was still hoping it would recover from its delusions and track my path.
At this point, I could go half a mile back to the rec center, or go on. I went on for fear that if I went back to the start, I wouldn’t restart the run. I had to capitalize on my momentum, right?
Mile 3+ (real miles, as calculated in my head): bladder rebelled. I moved from the sidewalk to the grass so that no one would see the trail I was leaving behind me. Felt much better, picked up the pace.
Mile not-quite-4: found a bathroom in the park. Didn’t stop because what would be the point now? I’d just have to pull wet capris back up. If I kept running, there was a chance they’d dry, right? I capitalized on my already stellar run by blowing a snot rocket into my shoulder.
Mile 4+: really really really had to pee. Again. Sat down in the grass and had it out with my body. Managed to get my skirt out of the way. (I warned you, didn’t I?) But after that, I felt so much better. Decided to do another loop of the park. With the hill.
And there was a the moon.
Gorgeous, full orange moon, rising enormously over the horizon. A photographer with a lens as long as my wet leg was perched at the top of the hill. I stopped and tried to take a photo with my phone, but who are we kidding? It was so stunning I stopped two other pedestrians coming toward me to tell them to turn around a look at the moon. Both of them actually did, stopped in awe, and thanked me as I sprinted*** off.