A Porta-Potty Miracle and “Like” Challenge #3

Reader Advisory: I am going to mention poop. If that bothers you, turn back now. Here’s a story of my candy-love, my guts, and last night’s run/”like” challenge.

Background:  In 2009 I was diagnosed with an uncommon form of Colitis and also Celiac Disease,  at first I followed a prescribed diet, then I didn’t. Now, after nearly two years of masking symptoms with medication (over the counter and prescriptions) and accepting chronic discomfort, I’ve taken the responsible route and gone gluten-and-mostly-trigger-free in 2013.  In nut-shell, often when I eat stuff, my immune system wages war on my digestive tract, and I have a pity party.

Introduction: I love these

This delicious candy is only available for the short window of February and March each year, so last year I consumed probably  a dozen bags of them. I even saved two bags and packed them to have after running Boston last April. True story, ask my mother, she shared them with me while I nursed a hangover the day after the marathon. Yes, I was more focused on the hangover than any running related issues.

Anyway, I saw they were stocked at Target and the grocery store on Tuesday, and couldn’t stop thinking about them! So yesterday morning I did about 15 minutes of internet research which rendered the following results (which may or may not be accurate):

  • In the UK Cadbury mini-eggs are bonafide gluten free
  • In the US Cadbury is operated by Hersey and they use leftover ingredients from bigger candies to make anything mini- which means that the ingredients list is a guesstimate…
  • Hersey maintains that the mini-eggs candies are 20ppm Gluten (I’m not totally confident I am saying that right) which is technically “gluten free” by the US labeling standards.
  • Blogs and other GF resource sites offer totally mixed information regarding the “gluten risk” of Cadbury mini-eggs.

So I came to the only rational decision possible. I bought a bag while driving between meetings.

The rising action: In an impressive show of self-restraint I ate EXACTLY 14 mini-eggs (a serving size is 12) over the course of 90 minutes. 1:30-3pm

I felt a little stirring in my stomach, but it was the sort of sensation that can A) be ignored, and B) be many different things. Foreshadow: my body does not consider 20ppm to be gluten free.

So I went on my run as planned at about 5:30pm. As soon as I started running repeats at 5k-ish pace, my abdomen started to cramp.

Obviously this was a totally awesome development.

I was able to breathe through it and nail (woohoo!) the repeats, the recovery intervals, however, were a little stressful as it became clear that I would need to locate a bathroom. And soon.

Once I was into my cool-down (3 miles from home), the relaxed running pace was making my abdomen cramp more, and my entire GI tract was now very active. I changed my course so that my cooldown would be cut short by about a mile, and I’d come across a few places where I knew there were bathrooms within a mile (Starbucks, Walgreens etc).

Turns out, I didn’t have a mile.

The Climax: I was probably less than a half mile from public restroom paradise when I had to totally stop moving. My colon was going to cleanse itself regardless of my feelings, plans, or geographical location.

My next thought was actually something like “auw, maaan, now I am going to have to retract all those snarky “pooper” comments I made following Boston last year…” (Seriously, that event had to have set a record for people evacuating their bowels in their running shorts.)

I then realized I had a very rapid decision to make, I could:

1.) let things go behind some nearby trees that weren’t anything like a “grove”, and risk complete and utter public humiliation, and/or being ticketed for indecent exposure or something worse…let’s be frank, I’d deserve a worse charge for what was about to happen.

2) attempt to make it to a toilet, which would inevitably mean destroying a perfectly lovely pair of Lululemon tights. (and further public shaming as I had nearly 2 miles of city streets to cover before I got home)

It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve been so rapidly and severely struck with an episode of tooth chattering diarrhea, and at this point I wasn’t sure but I might actually start vomiting before I made decision.

I could taste metal.

And, I ‘m not proud of this, but I started to cry. Which then brought a memory of the summer of 2009 (pre-diagnosis). I’d had chronic stomach pain, fevers, and diarrhea for about 6 weeks and after 3 doctors was convinced I must be having a mental break, or I was dying. I got extremely sick in the bathroom in the grocery store, and the toilet clogged. As I was walking to find maintainance, a women came running after me and (I swear she was) yelling “Jesus, go back and flush the toilet!”. I left my grocery cart and ran home, bawling. I was 27 years old, and had never felt so humiliated.

All of these thoughts probably happened over 2 minutes or less. But if felt like ages. I standing in between the path and the parking lot near Diversey Harbor.

In one last desperate hope for a sanitary and not devastating solution I turned 360 degrees and actually laughed with glee.

There, near the empty harbor, not 400 feet away were 2 porta-potties. I shuffled and gagged (ayup) my way over to them. They were positioned under a light and even had a fresh roll of toilet paper! It was a runner/IBD fantasy come to life!

Sometimes, an outhouse is as welcome as a winning lottery ticket.

My stomach hurt the rest of the way home, but I knew they were empty threats. (after such violent displays of warfare, I usually get at least 40 minutes of respite)

Epilogue: “Like” Challenge #3

After all of this drama I was home and ready to face this week’s “Like” challenge:

Please forgive me the typos.

Please forgive me the typos.

It appears, based on only the 3 weeks of doing this, that people are more likely to react to the more painful of exercise movements. So I added up blog entry “likes”, the Facebook original posting, and the shared posting and totaled 43.

sit up

43 seemed conservative enough, and it was. Except that the last 5 push-ups were really difficult, and Jorge, in a not so kind show of support, dropped and performed 40 chest-to-the-ground push-ups in the time it took me to do that last 5. Jerk.

push up low

I realize these pictures don’t exactly prove that I did all of these. But, well. Oh well. I did.

push up high

People have offered some pretty good, and painful sounding, suggestions for upcoming “Like” Challenges. Share more! I’ll Post the next one on Monday.

In the meantime, stay injury free and safe in this stormy weather!


16 responses to “A Porta-Potty Miracle and “Like” Challenge #3

  1. Great post. Sometimes I’ve seen a Porta-Potty and I swear I actually heard angels start singing. 😉

    • Oh man, I think I considered just moving into that porta potty for a minute. They are one of civilizations best inventions!

  2. Thank you for making me laugh my ass off at work. I am really sorry that this happened to you, but I am glad you shared it!

    • Hah! Well, you’re very welcome. No matter how many experiences like this I have, it’s always dire and terrifying while is happening but hilarious by the time I get home!

  3. I’m still laughing but sorry for your ordeal. This one I am sharing at SNB.

  4. Colette asked if you had considered diapers.

  5. This post had me DYINGGGG!! Oh my GOSH! HAHA I have most definitely been hit with the bubble guts on a run, but never have I had diarrhea to the point of having to stop moving. I can only imagine!! Thank god for those porta pottys!

    • Thanks for commenting! I’m laughing while getting ready to use a treadmill a) because of weather but b) because of post-traumatic stress from yesterday…I am totally going to use the term “bubble gut” in the immediate future!

  6. Annie,

    This cracked me up and I have sent it to my sisters and cousins. We always have “poop discussions” where I am told I don’t poop correctly. Ya think?? Also, one cousin also suffers from Celiac Disease (I don’t, just constantly constipated Anyway, good luck to you and I guess you need to stick to your diet to avoid the “gotta go NOW” (and I don’t mean #1) while running. Just got back from Boston. Darn, missed the impending storm Good luck preparing for and running the Marathon!!


    From: Fluency’s Folly Reply-To: Fluency’s Folly Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013 5:04 PM To: Dottie Subject: [New post] A Porta-Potty Miracle and Like Challenge #3

    WordPress.com Annabelle posted: “Reader Advisory: I am going to mention poop. If that bothers you, turn back now. Here’s a story of my candy-love, my guts, and last night’s run/”like” challenge. Background: In 2009 I was diagnosed with an uncommon form of Colitis and also Celiac Dise”

  7. Not to make light of your story, I’m so glad that other people have to deal with the craziness I did!

    • Not making light at all! It can be a real pain, and annoyance, but also funny, and a source of motivation to be healthy!

  8. Pingback: Some Running Entertainment and a Training Re-Cap (9 weeks til Boston) | Fluency's Folly

  9. Pingback: Things are piling up. | Fluency's Folly

  10. Glad I found this story, but sorry to read of your ordeal. I had a gluten reaction last night to Cadbury mini eggs, and I agree. They are not gluten free for many of us. I won’t be eating the rest of the bag…not worth the extreme hunger, bloating, and tummy troubles as well as grouchiness I got from them.

    • Yah, I’m finding that some GF beers cause a reaction too. Which makes sense, I guess, but is annoying.


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