Thursday, July 23, 2009

What if you've gotta go ... while on the go?

Yesterday, I asked a random sampling of friends whether they'd pee during a race (without stopping) if it meant -- for example -- achieving a Boston qualifying time or a significant PR.

Some would. Chad: "If it meant the difference between qualifying for Boston or not qualifying, then yes, I would -- without hesitation." Natalie: "Absolutely. Been there, done that, got the PR."

Some wouldn't. Cathy: "Sorry, I would have to hold it." Jonathan: "Never done that, never seriously considered it. My marathon PR includes stopping for that purpose."

Some wondered whether it's even doable. Stacey: "Now that would be a bit difficult ... !!" Bo: "Would take practice to do."

Another friend mentioned the same thing. "Seems like that would take some practice." And after reading their responses, I couldn't get the image of some guy practicing wetting his pants while doing a 7-minute-per-mile pace along the Greenway. I mean, is that something you'd want to practice?

Anyway, I know this isn't the most pleasant of subjects. But ... thoughts on this? Would you? Could you?


Anonymous said...

I know triathlons training for IM distance often practice peeing on their bikes- literally.

I run so slowly, I would just not be justified in going pee on the run. I guess one upside to being at the back of the pack- you'll never have to choose between wetting yourself or winning a race.

kontan said...

There is a hardcore runner's thread on Runners World->Trail running->peeing while running that is absolutely hilarious. This is apparently a hot topic.

Allen said...

Wow, that is a dilemma. Glad to report that I've never been faced with this choice during a race - I go out of my way to 'take care of business' beforehand. Not sure what I'd do if faced with bladder injury or Boston qualifying. I hope I never find out!

Anonymous said...

Death, taxes and waiting in a long line for the Port-A-John before a popular race.

I waited in line for an hour before one race, so it's a legitimate concern for those who want to start up front.

Austin said...

The call of nature seriously messed me up on my first half-marathon (this year's Alston & Bird cup here in Charlotte).

I really had to go around mile six, but I held it.I saw some port-a-jons near the drink station at mile eight and got in line. There were only two people in front of me so I figured it wouldn't take long. Five minutes later, and I was ready to just go in the bushes!

It was my first big race, so I wasn't shooting for a certain time, I just wanted to complete it. Still, losing five minutes got under my skin and when I got out of the port-a-jon I took off...right up a hill. By the end of mile 11 I was ready to fall over! Lesson learned.

So would I ever pee while running? No, I'm not even sure my body would permit it. Would I go in the bushes to skip waiting in a five minute line? Heck yes.

PS-I'm really digging the blog, I linked to it on mine. Just started doing the running thing in November 2008. Got my second half marathon in Sept. in VA Beach.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I physically could pee while running. I would need to stop and concentrate for a second. But if I had to, I certainly would. By the end of races, I'm convered in sweat anyway, so the pee would probably just blend in.

Kate said...

I volunteered at the finish line at last year's Thunder Road marathon. Believe me, there are much worse things to have running down your legs than pee....

p.s. I will NEVER work at the finish line again!

Anonymous said...

Theo, can you pop over and show the Panthers guys how to post a blog? Thanks.