Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"It's better to feel pain than nothing at all. The opposite of love's indifference." - The Lumineers

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

10k (+ a little something extra) on the track

I'm debating. Should I subject you to my description of the grossest thing that has ever "gone down" on a track? Or should I let you simply imagine? SR and I have debrided bed sores that go down to the bone and burred holes in crania - but this, well... we hadn't seen (or experienced) this.

SR and I both had this morning off. He had run hard yesterday, so I convinced him to pace me for a 10k on the track. The real track this time. The one with the bleachers surrounding it. Thou shalt not build bleachers around a short track. That and I've measured it with the Garmin and Google Earth.

We warmed up by running hills near our apartment. When we arrived at the track, it was empty and I was feeling good. Verly little toe pain. Very little hip pain.

I had written on my blog that my previous PR was 41:09, which was a split from a 15k. This was a time I had remembered from my own Garmin, so who knows how accurate it was. But before that, I had never run a 10k in under 42 minutes.

The vague goal of today was simply to improve on that theoretical PR and make it a real one.

After 3 km, I told SR I wanted to cut it short at 5 because I felt so crappy.

Just before 5km, I said we could do 8km.

Just before 8km, I decided to keep going for the whole 10k.

SR kept me up to date on the splits so I never had to look at my watch. Still on PR pace. Still on PR pace... I think everyone was right who told me I wasted energy looking at my Garmin. Only when you don't run with one, do you realize how liberating it is.

With 4 laps to go, something happened.

"If it starts to smell, It's because I ..."

SR turned his head, wondering why I was talking.

He kept trying to get me to speed up. I kept thinking "it weighs the same in my intestines as it does... ".

I did manage to run the last two km in under 4 min each for a final time of 40:48, but by that time, the PR was not the first thing on my mind.

I was happy. But(t).

The next 20 minutes involved the use of a hose and spraying myself with high pressure, while SR looked on, wondering if he would ever recover. Neither of us will ever recover, fully.

"Sometimes you should try and look at yourself from the outside, Tracy. Can you imagine seeing another 33 year old woman doing that?"

"Would you have stopped?" I asked.

"Yes"

15 comments:

Steph said...

My husband once wrote "An Authoritative Guide to Crapping Your Pants for Young Adults" Here's the link:

http://www.myspace.com/child_of_the_flood/blog/139617188

In case you need it. Just sayin' . . .

Anonymous said...

"A pr is a pr no matter how crappy."

mmmonyka said...

Hm, 40:48. That's a crappy PR, you can do much better!

SteveQ said...

Eventually, every runner does it, I think. One talented local runner with ulcerative colitis does it nearly every race - and I've seen her standing around after the race talking to people while I gagged (c'mon - go do something about it when you can!) I once found myself sitting in Lake Superior, washing out my shorts during Grandma's Marathon, while thousands of people watched. [Might I suggest not eating oatmeal before running?]

Oh... and you're not even at #2 (wink, wink) on a scale of 1-100 of disgusting. Trust me, I've seen some stuff on the internet you don't even want to know about!

Alicia said...

Hey, but if you had stopped, you wouldn't be the Tracy we love, and that would be a bad thing.

Also, Rasmus, any man who hangs out with his wife while she hoses herself down with a garden hose following such an incident is a good husband in my book!

maria said...

I don't get why people are not more horrified by this! Shitting yourself on purpose, in public is NOT ok! (I can't believe I just had to type that.)

CCU is one thing, this is entirely another.

Rebecca said...

@maria
This is not unusual in the running community. In fact, it's often seen as fairly heroic, if not at least ballsy. Google Uta Pippig.

Nice PR.:)

Jacqueline said...

Running and bodily fluids go hand in hand. Well, maybe not hand in hand ... but you know what I mean. Nice job on the PR. If it makes you feel any better, I pee my pants repeatedly in every single race. Only in races, but every time. I don't even care anymore.

maria said...

Rebecca, thanks for the condescension. I run and this has not been my experience in the "running community." Yeah the occasional top runner with prize money on the line excepted.

Maybe I'm extra horrified by this because a friend just told me about a half marathon he ran in GA where a runner near him shit his shorts - while running a slow race with portapotties lining the entire race course. This is what happens when people think soiling oneself is just the "culture of running"! Lord help me.

I'm not squeamish. Hell I love bodily fluids. (Smear em on me, do it!) But if it becomes ok for people to just shit themselves during races or any random fast workout, I'm going to have to find a different sport! Or maybe start my own race, the Shit in the Woods or Toilet (or Else!) 50 Mile. If you have an accident, the RD gets to rub your face in it. : )

Cheers SLG, keep on with your entertaining antics!

Olga King said...

off topic (because on topic my answer to your last question would have been "yes" as Rasmus') - a healthy delivery after running through pregnancy (and contractions): http://www.nealgorman.com/2012/09/benefits-of-running.html?showComment=1348241226059#c8830103262219617064

Olga King said...

On topic, I will have to agree with Maria. When it's an accident during a race, unless you ARE Uta Pippig or Grete Waitz, stop and take care of it a.s.a.p. When it's not a race, you are an adult enough to be aware it's coming - and please stop before its actual happening.

sea legs girl said...

Ok! I totally agree it should not be accepted to elude a port-a-potty in a race and crap your pants!! Ok- yeah unless you're going for the Olympic gold or something. But this happening on a track, where SR and I were completely alone, and us being the only ones who had to deal with it and see it is a little different. Not saying necessarily acceptable, but different :).

Fast Bastard said...

Being the (thankfully) only witness, I can testify that it was a bit more than what I would consider normal.

I think guys are unable to CCU. When it comes to shitting themselves, most guys would probably find a private spot (or drop out) unless big money or fame were on the line.

I was surprised to read that Chrissie Wellington routinely poops during the swim and bike. And she pees on the bike if someone is trying to draft illegally!

SteveQ said...

I like Chrissie Wellington even a little more now, though I'd hate to swim behind her.

Kirsten said...

Oh, so now is the time to tell you what your part is, in my doing my best marathon till now. Yes, yes, it comes nothing close to what you do - but I have the credit of being sooo much older than you ;-)
1. Saying "a discomfort that I'm comfortable with" - that kept me going in the tough parts.
2. "Eating from the beginning until you can't stomach anymore" - that kept me from bonking.
3. Running a "Tracey" = head up and sholders back (until it looks funny) - gives you a lot of air and keeps you going fast automatically.
4. Because you tell openly about your "beating around the bushes", it came as no surprise when - for the first time in my life - I had to desperately "knibe ballerne sammen" until I came to a portaloo - I won't say anymore, just that I feel sorry for the ones who had to use it after me....
Tracey - you have a big big part in my feeling of success - you're a star!!