How I shitted my way through Vienna’s half marathon.
The plan for my weekend couple of weeks ago was: 6 am train from Prague to Vienna on Saturday, meet my friend Jens, enjoy the day in Vienna, go for dinner, get a good night sleep, then THE RACE, sauna and spa, eat loads of Sachertorte and train back to Prague on Sunday evening.
And actually, this is what we did… except the Sachertorte on Sunday.
But boy, what a trip (read: race) this was!
(I stole this picture from Google. Thank you, Google!)
By now I have run quite few races and, so far, I loved every minute of every race. Yup, sometimes it was pretty hard, sometimes my legs felt heavy, sometimes I was too cold, sometimes I was too hot but overall I loved every race.
Vienna’s half marathon was the first race I really DID NOT enjoy but it was the first race where I thought I really deserve the medal at the finish line because I didn’t give up!
(We look a bit strange on this picture, but it was the sun, I swear!)
I’m sure it has happened to you as well. Life is great, you are feeling great and then BOOM you get a cramp in your belly and you have to go to the toilet straight away or else! Not pleasant but hey, life goes on.
But, has that happened to you during a race when you are supposed to run, where there are only portable loos, where there are lines to get to the loos and where there can be no toilet paper on a loo? Aaa!
If it happened to you, then you know what I’m talking to you, if it hasn’t happened to you, then “lucky you” and let me tell you: It is NOT the best experience.
(Another Google stolen picture… Hmm, bad me.)
Before every race my stomach feels a bit funny since I’m always a bit nervous. So when my stomach was feeling a bit funny on Sunday morning, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling, the music at the start line was good. Lovely.
The first 14k were really nice. It was a bit too hot, the route was a bit too crowded but I was enjoying it and I was sure I can finish just a wee bit over 2 hours.
On km 15 my stomach made a strange sound and I knew that I have to RUN for a toilet if I don’t want to shit my pants.
Of course there were no portable loos around (just my luck), so I left the road and raced to the first café. I made it just in time.
Luckily the lady behind the counter was super nice and let me use their toilet. Unluckily their toilet had paper thin walls so I apologize to all the people in the café who had to listen to some very strange sounds. Oops.
I said my embarrassed “DANKE”, smiled at everyone who was trying to enjoy a piece of cake, and off I went back to my race.
As soon as I started to run, I had to go to the toilet again… so back I went to the same café. This time I didn’t even have time to feel embarrassed.
When I got back to the road aka race track, I knew I can’t run because as soon as I run I will have to search for the loo again.
(This toilet selfie is not from Vienna. Trust me, you would not want to see how I looked in Vienna.)
From 15k till 20k this is how my race looked:
walk, walk, walk
I see a portable loo – HURRAY
fast sprint and pray there is a toilet paper,
MADE IT in time – YAY
walk, walk, walk
On 18th km I really wanted to give up but my willpower and my stubbornness didn’t allow me to.
On 20th km I started to run and thought, that if I shit myself now it doesn’t matter, because the hotel is close to the finish line.
I don’t think I was ever happier to see the bloody finish line!
Shitty Vienna’s half marathon = 2:24:26
The three biggest realizations from this experience:
- When your stomach hurts before a race it’s not always because you are nervous.
- Untying the lace in your running trousers in a BIIIG hurry is pure evil (I had to rip mine off).
- Everyone who walks during a race has a story to tell and my utmost respect.
Have you ever had a “shitty” experience?
Have you ever walked during a race and thought about giving up?
P.S. Whoever invented portable loos is my HERO. I had to use them 8x between 15th and 20th km.
P.P.S. I will forever love a random fellow runner stranger who gave me a pack of tissues when there was no toilet paper.
P.P.P.S. And just for the record: I did not shit my pants! (I almost did but luckily almost doesn’t count :)
Categories: my RUNNING