There is a picture that I’ve seen on the ol’ internet of this very uncomfortable looking runner dude who looks to be participating in a marathon. Why the pained expression on his mug? Because he seems to have had a big accident resulting in a nasty mess running down his legs.
I know, I know. Gross, gross, gross. But I thought about that snapshot the other day as I was in the middle of my 28-minute run (C25K Week 8 Day 1). When I saw that picture before, it never occurred to me that somebody that… erm… had to go… wouldn’t just stop what he was doing and go.
As I loped along, I felt an uncomfortable loosening feeling in my guts, then a rumbling deep inside and the mental image of that embarrassed marathoner burned a hole in my brain.
“Oh, crap!” I thought, and my body seemed to be trying to respond in kind.
I concentrated on the song that was blasting out of my iPod, stared off in the distance, trying to distract myself from my uncomfortableness. The halfway mark came and went, and suddenly it became of imperative importance that I finish this run. I’d invested too much time, too much sweat, too much effort. To quit now would be just too much…
As I passed the twenty minute mark, I knew that I was now in unchartered waters, running for longer than I’d ever run, thought about running or even wanted to run. Now I was really past the point of no return; there was simply no way I was shutting it down.
In a way, it was almost a blessing to have something else to worry about rather than if I could actually run for half an hour or if I was going to drop down dead somewhere in the middle of it. As the minutes and seconds ticked down, I realized that I was actually going to complete the run and not soil my undergarments. Two accomplishments for the price of one.
I’m sure I’ll come across that photo on the internet again someday, only this time I won’t snicker at my fellow runner’s predicament.
Because there but for the grace of God go (number two) I.