Rewind 30 years, me and Dan in the car.
Me: OK, we have to go home.
Dan: Whaaat? We’re not even there yet!
Me: You know why!
Dan: Can’t you go at the mall?
Me: Are you insane?
Rewind 4 years ago.
Me: I pooped in the woods tonight!
Dan: Who are you?
When I became a runner I had no idea that poop was such a major thing. The first time I ever heard of it was when Coach Mandy told the story of running beside a woman with poopy pants in Boston. I was horrified and could not believe my ears! What the hell would possess a person to keep running in that circumstance and how did that circumstance even happen? I mean, I don’t even fart in front of my husband, how is this person running with poopy pants in front of 30,000 strangers? I had nightmares about this for days.
I never thought I would be capable of liking a poop story and really never thought I would be the one telling them, but running changes your perspective. Your body shows you that it can do amazing things, but just to keep you humble, it also shows you colossal acts of betrayal. I can’t believe I’m going to tell these but here goes, my 2 worst/best poop stories. Go ahead, judge away!
The very worst part about my first poop in the woods is that it was prefaced by a fart in front of my running teammates. I was mortified as they laughed hysterically. I thought, well, maybe if I laugh too they’ll think I think it’s not such a big deal. So I did, but I was dying inside and I’m sure they knew it was the biggest deal ever! If that had been the end of it I might have felt only mildly embarrassed but, oh no, the night was full of more surprises. There I was on a spring night on the West Shore trail scanning through the leafless trees for a spot to poop. I was sweating profusely and thought every noise was a random walker about to discover my shameful ass defiling the woods.
Me: “Why is this happening to me? I don’t do things like this! Remember? I don’t even fart in front of my husband!”
Also me: ”Hey you just farted in front of 3 other people, now pull up your pants and act like nothing happened here.”
Me: “Act like nothing happened? That’s your answer? Maybe I’ll stay here until the workout is over and then quietly leave.”
Also me: “You know they’ll come looking for you and then what?”
Me: “You’re/I’m an asshole!”
My life was forever changed that night. I confessed my evil poopy sin to the other 3 and we had a good laugh. It kinda felt good to tell them, a relief, like I had leveled up as a runner. Now, telling Dan was another story, he shook his head and I’m sure he felt the Pierson name had been shamed! I did feel shame when I told him but not as much as I thought I would or should. That night was a speed workout. I would learn later that long runs are a whole other ball game. You definitely want to say the coveted words, “I pooped this morning!”
Hey, who wants to hear another poop story? Well, ok!
My sister-in-law is a great cook and when I visited she made delicious roast veggies followed by a tasty dessert that I had never tried before, chia seed pudding. That may have been my undoing for the 18 miler I had to do the next day. I started out early before any of the town was awake and headed down a country road. I got about a mile out and bad things started to happen. I mean, really bad. This was a prairie highway, no protection whatsoever, so I had to make it the mile back to the Porta Potty in the park. Next thing I know, I’m staring at my underwear floating in said Porta Potty. Not gonna lie, I cried a little bit. I gave myself a pep talk, “Listen, you got this, put your big girl panties on and….. Oh yeah, never mind.” It was pretty early so most likely there wasn't a lineup waiting to get in. I listened for any noise, nobody there. Should I use what little toilet paper is left to cover my floaters? Should I go out and break off a tree branch and make them sink? I have to make a decision, I still have 16 damn miles to run and I need fresh air, SOON! I broke outta there and didn’t even look back. I headed home for some fresh undies and finally continued. Only 2 miles ran in the first hour, jeez, it was going to be a long day. I made it to 15 miles and called it quits. When I got back Nana was up and making her breakfast. She asked me how my run was and we talked about our visit with my brother and his wife. She mentioned how good that chia seed pudding was and I just nodded in agreement. So delicious and malicious!
My only comfort in revealing this is that it might make you laugh and because I know other runners' dirty little secrets! If you'd like to share one, I’d be happy to blog about it!!
Run and done