Monday, December 9, 2013




Private by nature, I was at first put-off by runners recounting their problems with natural functions. 

Now I’m fully initiated into the discussions of “tossing cookies,” and “sitting on port-o-potties,” but Daily Pilot readers are not, so I will attempt to be delicate with the following.

Today I ran the Long Beach Half-Marathon, a disaster.

Long Beach brags of a flat course and cool October weather, predictors of a good race. 

Now returning to the topic of natural functions. For my first marathon I was neither afraid of 26.2 miles nor injury. I was afraid I’d vomit. 

Since beginning running 30 years ago, I had no a hint of digestive problem, nor the need to stop for a potty break. I used to be smug because my toilet needs turned off when I ran. Then last year, my intestines turned on. I tried Immodium for the Huntington Beach Half and finished in 2 hours, when I sat down in the curb and threw up.

No more Immodium. Since then I experimented with a half Lomatil in practice runs so I’d be accustomed to the medication on race day. It worked nicely on workouts. At the Long Beach Half Marathon, I had my half Lomatil, but a few things were added.

First, Evie and I spent the night in Long Beach in a no smoking motel room which smelled like the last tenants snubbed out 100 cigarettes in the carpet. 

No other rooms available so we breathed stale cigarette all night. I awoke with a headache. Next I told Pilot readers how well chocolate worked for a pick-me-up during the OC Half Marathon so I ate it again at mile 7 and ten. 

Hoping for an added kick, I drank cold Starbuck’s coffee for the last three miles. I finished the race in 2:05 for a second place, without a potty stop: Good.

Post race, I jumped in Evie’s immaculate pure white Mercedes which is just like her immaculate-white house and her immaculate white Swiss Spa in Corona del Mar. 

We returned to the motel to check out of our room and complain to the managment. Besides the cigarette smell, we needed a toilet plunger that morning. Manager unavailable, we jumped back in Evie’s immaculate white Mercedes to leave Long Beach behind. Only we couldn’t. Looking for PCH, marathon roadblocks sent us in half-hour worth of circles.  

Finally sighting a 405 onramp just north of Seal Beach Blvd, we sped homeward. Right then my queasy headache became an emergency. Desperate not to sully Evie’s perfectly immaculate white car, I untied the long sleeved shirt I’d worn around my waist, and opened the bottom, trying very hard not to use it. Impossible to stop, the shirt functioned like the bags in airplanes.

In the meantime, listening to me apologize between “events,” Evie opened the windows.

I called my husband to meet us with a bucket, rags and he added vinegar. Evie called Don to ready their other car for a birthday luncheon they were due to attend. 
To my credit I’d only splashed a bit on the seat belt and my finisher’s medal. 
Demoralized, I came home, showered, took to my bed, worrying about how I will manage a full marathon.  

Later, I emailed my woeful story to Saturday Runners. They emailed back, “We’ll see what kind of a friend Evie is by whether she ever lets you back in her car."