Monday, September 17, 2012


You know those posters you see that say: "You know you're a runner when..." and then there is a list of crazy stuff that only runners would know about, admit in public or even be proud of?

Well, after Saturday's 20k run, I have one more checkmark to add to my list.

I'm not sure whether I should be proud of that checkmark but I do believe it's important to admit because people need to know that real people do this kind of stuff.

Before I fess up, I should elaborate a bit on which checkmarks I already have and which I have yet to achieve.

To date, I have never lost a toenail. I have never had a black toenail. I have only had one blister.

But I can proudly say:

  • I have had and can spell plantar fasciitis 
  • I take ice baths and actually like them
  • I have had chaffing in very odd (and very very painful) places
  • There are times during the year when I go through sticks of Glide faster than sticks of deodorant
  • I know that the most effective way of finding out where I have chafed is to take a shower
  • I have said "only" and "20k" in the same sentence
  • I have had a stress fracture
  • I can use up my year's worth of massage benefits in four months
  • I go through four pairs of running shoes in a year
  • I wear compression socks almost every day
  • I know a training route for every distance from 1k to 25k from my door
  • I know when and how to use gels, edisks, and salt tablets 
  • I have run in 30 degree heat and -30 degree cold
  • I have had a full bottle of pop whipped at my head from a passing vehicle (lucky for me they missed)
  • I have tripped over a tree root and gone arse over tea kettle which resulted in my hobbling home with blood pouring down my leg and having to pick a ridiculous number of tiny stones and bits of gravel out of the deep gouge in my knee
  • And yes, the first thing I did when I fell was pause my Garmin
On Saturday, Doug and I drove to the Niagara Parkway. He had 30k to run and I had 20. Being slower and having to stop for diabetes checks - I figured we wouldn't be too far off in our finishing times. I brought chocolate milk and my stretching stuff for the 20 minutes I estimated I'd have to wait and we were good to go. We parked the car. My plan: I was going to run 7k up the parkway and 7k back to the car. Refill water bottles, check my sugar, eat if necessary and then run 3k out and 3k back. 

The Niagara Parkway is lovely. It runs along the Niagara River so the river is on one side and kilometre after kilometre of extravagant homes line the other side. There are no restaurants, no gas stations, no stores. It's beautiful and feels very rich but I always make sure I have enough carbs on me since there aren't any options for me in an emergency.

It never occurred to me that having no restaurants, no gas stations and no stores also meant that there were no washrooms. 

Because I never need to use the washroom when I run. Even when I was doing 3+ hour runs - my body just kinda goes into runner mode and I run without worry. 

Saturday, I added another checkmark to the "you know you're a runner when" list. 

It involved me running awkwardly down the parkway, madly searching for even a bush I could hide behind. Because there is nothing but river on one side and nothing but manicured lawns and gardens on the other - I was getting more frantic by the moment. Finally I spotted a small forested area with some tall grasses in front. There was no one around and I could NOT afford to be picky. I forced thoughts of snakes, ticks and police officers out of my head, pushed my way through the grass and hid behind the tree. I came out several minutes later missing a wad of kleenex and feeling about four pounds lighter. 

I should have been embarrassed but I was kinda proud of myself. 

I took a dump in the bushes. 

And yes, I paused my Garmin while doing it.

I have passed another initiation test.

And come out the other side a little wiser. 


  1. OH MY GOD you're so gross! Eeeeeww....
    *cough*cough* yeah I don't believe myself either.
    You have totally been initiated in my books. Is it okay for me to say, "I'm so effing proud of you?" well i said it and I mean it. You know me, rarely a run goes by without me crapping in the bushes. As much as some people I know think it's "just Scully" it is not.
    This was a great Monday morning read. Woo Hoo!

    At least you didn't come back with one sock...

  2. Tee hee!

    During my last triathlon I was about 25 miles through the bike portion of 56 when I started looking around for a suitable place to pee. About 15 minutes later I finally found a place that wasn't someone's front lawn, didn't have volunteers or cheering fans, and wasn't going to have me traipsing deep into the woods and off the race course.

    It's very "relieving" to be able to take care of business, no?

  3. Welcome to the club! Once you have done it once the next time will be a breeze :) Great post!