Athletics Magazine

I Did Not Deserve That “Thank You”

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I am not proud of my behavior today.

Let me set the scene for you. Early on in my 6 mile run I was having major stomach issues. I’m not sure if it was the Chips O’Hoy from last night or the Utz Pub Mix, or a combination of both. In any case, by mile 2.5 I was doing that desperate and sweaty glance to the right and to the left, urgently searching for a bathroom alternative (BA) . Oh, don’t pretend you’ve never done the desperate glance as you use every muscle to hold things in place. It’s a universal experience.

I don’t usually use businesses as my BA because I feel bad for not buying stuff when I am most likely going to stink up the establishment. I also run mostly on trails or back roads, so it’s not like there is a McDonalds on every corner. I used to love this one gas station I would run by on a country road because they had a bathroom tip jar (I wrote about it HERE). If I put a dollar in there, I would feel all was right with the world. An eye for an eye. A dollar for a shit.

That placed closed down (see below), which was a travesty. You can buy it for only $250,000, and then I can leave you big tips ‘n turds.

I Did Not Deserve That “Thank You”

But, today was an emergency.  So, I broke down and went into a very small breakfast café. It is only two rooms, so there is no way to be not obvious when you enter. The lady/owner was friendly enough when I asked to use the bathroom. She obviously knew I wasn't looking to sit down and eat a short stack with a side of eggs. I tried to act nonchalant about the whole thing, thinking maybe she would buy the fact I was just going for a tinkle. I strolled on in, not rushing, not clenching.

I spent some time in that tiny WC, and what I did in there should be illegal. I still had over two miles before I would be at home and things would have gotten very ugly had I waited. I felt less guilty about the whole thing because there was a nice citrus spray in the bathroom, which I drained. Without getting graphic, I will say I hope the plumbing in that old and tired breakfast café is pretty stellar because voluminous about describes what went down. And, yes, it did go down, thank God.

As I was leaving, I waved, smiled and gave her a huge thank you for letting me use the bathroom. She said, “No, thank YOU!” Damn friendly small-towners. That immediately made me feel guilty. I so did not deserve that thank you. In fact if she would have just said, “You’re welcome a-hole, but don’t ever let that happen again,” I would have been satisfied.

In the end I made it 6 miles in 52 minutes, not counting the voluminous episode at the country breakfast spot. I guess that was better than yesterday when I ran .12 miles on the treadmill, quit and went home.

Ever had an emergency on your run? Where did you go? On the trails it’s an easy solution, but in town it’s trickier. Many times I have wanted to stop at an acquaintance’s house, but that just seems rude. Although, I would SO invite another runner into my house if they were desperate. I’d even give them citrus spray.


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