Hitting the Curb

Before we get into the run-confessional, have you checked out the (waaay overdue) “Who is OUaL?” update? You should. If for no reason other than how to pronounce oual. “On Running” and all its sub-pages got a freshen up, too. Consider it my calorie-free, early Valentine’s present to you.


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Sometimes you go into a workout set up for failure.


can somebody come manage my 3pm sugar binges?

update : this is extreme. I eat plenty of junkfood and candy, but sugar right before a run is not my best move. don’t call the HLB police on me.

To say my excitement was lacking for 8 miles with hill repeats would be a sad understatement. But I laced up after work anyway and drove out to my “hilly” loop, where I sent out this whiney tweet looking for some motivation/kick in the pants.


if an emo temper tantrum falls in a parking lot and no one (other than twitter) is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Eventually I pulled my sorry ass out of the car, told myself to quit thinking and ‘just do it!’, and started running.

Gave myself a nice pat on the back, feeling all smug and proud of myself for rounding up the self-discipline of a 5 year old, and settled into my warm up. Less than three minutes later, IT hit.

The sudden, uncontrollable need to pee.

I tried convincing myself I was just imagining it, but with every jostling step my bladder screamed – no amount of kegel exercises were going to get me through this run.

To set the tone for the rest of the story, here’s an aerial shot of the general area I was in. An OC mecca of high-end shopping, swanky hotels, and golf course condos, all lined with 4-lane streets and massive parking lots.


Starting to panic, I realized I could cut through a few buildings and get to a 24 Hour Fitness. I slowed to a walk to avoid attracting extra attention – knocking over suited folks leaving work while sprinting through a parking lot for the john is probably assault or something – and focused on getting safely to the gym.

“You can get there! Just make sure to put your number in correct so you don’t have to stand at the desk any longer than…”


(photo courtesy of google maps because HELL NO I didn’t stop to whip out my camera during this crucial time)

It was that moment that I realized I was NOT going to make it, and my pretty new poppy Rogas were in serious danger.

What I wouldn’t have given to be on a quiet, back-country road squatting safely behind a bush, instead of sitting bare-assed on the edge of a parking lot curb, shorts pulled as high up as possible so the people walking out of the office building wouldn’t be blinded by a premature moon, pretending to tie my shoes and trying not to step in my own piss…


it’s funnier now than it was then…

Sprinting away from the scene of that crime (and trying to subtly check my shorts for evidence) made for a good distraction and fast warm up, at least.

  • Good miles at the expense of dignity? <— debate.

Unfortunately my public urination/indecent exposure adrenaline rush wore off just at the base of the hill. I lapped Garmin to start the interval workout (training feature tutorial HERE)  and headed up.

When it beeped at the end of the 3:00 interval, I just kept climbing. FUCK THESE HILL REPEATS. Up and up I went, tackling the back end of Spyglass, the hill that broke me last cycle; my chest burned and gasping for air as I clumsily lapped through the rest of the intervals my watch was telling me to run. It beeped for “cool down” just as I peaked, and slowly made my way down into what ended up being eight rolling miles and a really good head-clearing run.

Sometimes you have to go off-script. Be flexible  I’m learning the importance of balancing discipline and knowing what your body/mind wants instead of forcing a workout just because.

(sometimes your body is saying it really wants a curb to pee on)

I’ll run those hill repeats someday. Until then, I’m posting a good 8 miler in my log and doing a load of laundry before the house starts smelling of stale urine.

Sarah OUaL


36 thoughts on “Hitting the Curb

    • And by “happened to me” I mean “happened to me LAST WEEK” because this happens to me all the time & I am just telling you about my most recent “incident.”


  1. You call 2 candy canes a sugar binge?? Girrrrrrl, I eat like 8 pieces of candy a day! At least! And then eat a bowl of ice-cream before bed.

    I never have that crazy urge to pee. Maybe my bladder is exceptionally large and can hold a lot of pee?? Can you please explain how you managed to appear as though you were tying your shoe but were actually peeing? I don’t know how you pulled that off. It’s pretty impressive.


  2. This had me legitimately laughing out loud, and blew my cover for pretending to do work while really reading blogs. 4 candy cane grams for you OUaL, you go OUaL.


  3. ….or sometimes, you just can’t make it to any sort of pitstop and you just….let it flow and keep on running. NOT that I’d know anything about THAT!

    Nice job thinking on the spot, OUaL. And way to make an excellent run out of the situation!


  4. I had a run like that the other night. I had 10 miles and about mile 4 I started needing to go to the bathroom (1&2). By the time I was at 9 I was so desperate I had to pull into a park. Embarrassing but necessary. Thank goodness it was dark


  5. Just had to share my most recent “I gotta pee” emergency on a run. I was running on a canal trail and thought if I went down the steep hill to the river people on the trail wouldn’t be able to see me while I popped a squat… and I was right. But when I finished marking my turf and stood up I realized there was a guy fishing who had a front row seat for the show…sweet! He even waved to me as I climbed back up the hill to the trail.


  6. Oh my goodness, too funny about your pee story. Well I know it wasn’t funny then, but it does make for a great story. Knock on wood, but even on a long run I haven’t had to go pee. I am sure my embarrassing time is coming sooner than later.

    Love the blog update too. It looks great!


  7. to ur credit, in ur comment u left out the fact that u had a shit disaster! power to u for at least getting a run in. if u makes u feel better, i’ve got popping a squat war stories that i still get embarrassed about. well, maybe not so much…too funny in hindsight. :P


  8. Bahahaha! This had me giggling for a solid couple minutes. Fortunately I haven’t had to pop a squat yet. I almost did, but happened upon a trail portajohn just in time. Thank gawd. Love your blog, girl!


  9. HAHA, this is fantastic. And I too am very impressed that you managed to make it look like you were tying your shoes. How did you manage that?! :)


  10. Happens to me all the time. I start running five minutes after going and my bladders is like, hey! I was running a half marathon in Sonoma county, and at mile 0.01 I had to pee desperately, but there were huge lines for all of the porta potties on the course. So at mile 5 I finally ran into a vineyard and “hid” behind a line of vines (which are like 2 inches wide and offer no cover whatsoever) and popped a squat. It was actually really serene, peeing in a Sonoma vineyard at sunrise. And hey, maybe I helped fertilize some good wine.


  11. lol you probably had that extra urge to pee because of the candy. sugar is like caffeine in that regard, so yeah probably just stay away from the sweet stuff before runs. good save though!


  12. I once ran a half marathon on a military base where I chirpily passed the bathroom at mile 9. At around mile 11 I realized I wasn’t going to make it until the finish. As the pee ran down my leg I spotted a trashcan and squatted behind it to go. I was surrounded by housing, roadway, stores, etc. I was literally afraid I was going to be arrested for indecent exposure, but alas I finished the race and no one ever came to my house to pick me up. I guess every runner has a good pee (and probably poop!) storly to tell!


  13. I’ve not peed anywhere quite this public but there’s no shame and no judgement!!! I would do it too if I needed to!!! BTW, oh Oiselle expert. Rogas or Distance shorts? I have birthday money to burn!


  14. I popped a squat in a half marathon last weekend! Very few entries and a state park make for good places to pee at. Especially when its behind a prickly pear cactus! Once I had kids it was all over. No holding it for this girl anymore.


  15. This post totally made my day. While I’ve had this happen, my only audience has been cows or a lone car passing on the highway. Love your blog! We apparently share a mutual love for beer.


  16. Pingback: Trail Run Fail | Whine Less, Breathe More

  17. Pingback: The Many Faces of OUaL Running | Once Upon a (L)ime


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