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Having to Pee During a Marathon

A Reader's First Half Marathon Is Full of Triumphs and a Little Bit of Embarrassment

FitSugar reader Dhitri has an embarrassing tale about her first half marathon. She shared her story in our RunningSugar community group. Help her out by sharing your own funny or embarrassing race tales below!

So you know I ran my first half and had the greatest time ever.

There were a few blunders, of course (what's a race without 'em?). Firstly, I arrived only half an hour before the start. Leaving the house without breastfeeding my little miss didn't feel right (and I had to lose that excess fluid from that part of my body anyway!) and it took longer than anticipated. Then of course I completely forgot about the road closures! We were stuck in traffic and I had to hop out of the cab and run to the event location to save me a few minutes. Also, in all my excitement, I forgot to put on any Vaseline or Bodyglide and even forgot to apply sunscreen. My skin was dry and full of marks from me scratching all night (I do that when nervous). My legs never looked this ugly!

But here comes a big confession: I peed in my pants during the run. Okay, firstly I have to criticize the otherwise flawlessly organized race. There were simply not enough portaloos! The line before the start was just EPIC.


Initially I didn't feel like I needed to go, but then remembered that I downed a lot of water when I woke up at 5AM (2 hours before start) and even though I went a few times at home, I felt like I needed to visit the conveniences in case I needed to wee because of the cold (it was a chilly morning at 10 degrees C) or nerves. I braved the line until a couple minutes before start (and was still nowhere near my turn). Big mistake! I should have braved the bushes instead.

Read on for the rest of Dhitri's story!

Just after start, I felt a niggle and realized that I did have a full bladder. To my horror, my pelvic floor gave in, and I started leaking. My shorts felt damp at first but after a few Ks they were properly wet! The embarrassing part was that I wore grey shorts. Grey of all colors! Anyone running behind me would have spotted the wet patches, they were very obvious. But I couldn't care less. I have running my first half! I trained hard to get to here and I won't let a leaky bladder to ruin my fun! Good thing I didn't have it trickling down my legs, That would have been the ultimate embarrassment! I did the next best thing at the first water stop: I splashed myself with water, secretly hoping for the sun to dry my shorts and to whisk away any stench that might ensue.

I've written before about experiencing loo troubles when running. Apparently incontinence is a common issue among women, especially mums. Those pelvic floors take a beating throughout pregnancy and childbirth, and if you had one as traumatic as mine (fourth degree tear, for crying out loud), yours would be in hiding, too (that's what I felt mine was doing when I had that leak during the race). My loo troubles in the beginning of my running obsession lasted only for a short while and after doing my Kegels more regularly and losing weight, they went away . . . and that's when I stopped doing those squeezes! BIG MISTAKE.

So back to the race. After the leak I thought then that my loo troubles were over. I sort of restricted my hydration, too, fearing I would drink too much! Alas, at halfway mark I felt another need coming, so I headed to the side of the road, spotting toilets. To my surprise, there were only 2 toilets! TWO TOILETS! So you can imagine that, again, the line was epic!

I didn't have the patience nor did I want to sacrifice 10 minutes just for a wee, so I headed to the bushes, ensured I had enough cover, and did a DIRT SQUIRT (squatting, mind you), the first time in a long time! Looking back, I hope no one has been subjected to the sight of my stretch marks-filled butt. But to be honest, I didn't care at that time. I was on a roll, my pace was good, I felt fantastic and wanted to finish strong. And you know that I did (2:18, baby, woohoo!).

As a final note, I'd like to add that I didn't mean to gross anyone out with this post and hope people appreciate by honesty (and bravery!). Because there really is an important lesson to be learned here: Take a trip to the loos as many as you can before a distance run, wear black shorts and do your pelvic floor squeezes, ladies!

So what's your biggest race blunder? Spill (no pun intended)!

Reblogged from my personal blog.

Share your own stories (embarrassing or not), tips, or workouts in our Fit Community!

PinkSparks PinkSparks 2 years
Oh my goodness! That's hilarious but I'm glad I read this. I'm planning to run my first half this December and to be honest, I hadnt really been concerned about having to go during the middle of the race. However, I should be aware of these types of blunders because you never know when the urge will come! Thanks for sharing this experience! I'll keep this in mind as I train for my race!
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