I really love running, but every now and again my bladder decides to slow me down a bit with its habit of calling emergency meetings… and then not showing up!
So there I am, ready to tackle another half marathon, having been to the loo just before I left home to drive to the race, and then again just after registering. I’ve changed, lubed and done all the pre-race things I normally do, then I line up, the gun is fired and we’re off.
But my bladder has other ideas… Seven kays down the road it sends a memo that it would like to make another contribution to the effort to keep the trees and bushes of Cape Town well watered. So I start looking for a suitably concealed clump of trees or bushes to go stand behind, so that I can do my thing, but there’s nothing usable in sight. (I was taught that urinating publicly beside the road is just not on, so even during a race I will rather hike a hundred metres from the road to find a suitable spot.)
OK, so now I’m holding onto the bladder tinkle while I keep searching for a suitable place to pull over. Nothing for the next two kays! And then finally I spot some bushes that seem heaven-sent and I pick up the pace to get to them a little quicker, because now I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable. I get there, head off the road, clamber over a fence and check that nobody can see me from the road – and that there is nobody else already behind the same bushes – and then I am ready to do my thing.
But would you believe it, nothing comes out! I can feel I need to go, because my bladder has been talking to me for the last three kays, subtly hinting that I should pull over soon, and now that I have found a decent clump of bushes the damned thing goes on a tea break!
Right, so after a few minutes of waiting to see how long the tea break will last, I decide to get back on the road. Surprise, surprise, 200 metres further on the bladder suddenly returns to the office and starts sending urgent meeting requests to my brain regarding an urgent missed deadline issue… So I start looking for another suitable bush, which I find another kay-and-a-half further on, pull over, bundu-bash to reach, check for privacy, assume the position, and… NOTHING!!!
Now I’m getting seriously peed off – figuratively, of course – because this is ruining my race. Back on the road again, bladder comes back from lunch and requests another meeting, without so much as an apology for missing the previous two. How rude.
So it’s third time lucky, I reckon, as another clump of bushes comes into view. I head off again, pull myself up an embankment, get behind the bushes I’ve selected, check I’m alone and hidden, and finally… FINALLY… my bladder is on the same page as me. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, sweet relief!
I walked away from that ‘meeting’ making a mental sticky note to send a diplomatically-worded request to my bladder to try to stick to arranged meeting times in future. But I’m not going to hold my breath. Some people are just always late…