Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Strategic Eating and the Tale of a Mortified Runner…Embarrassing Runner Story

on December 6, 2012

As I mentioned yesterday, I’d like to continue posting some of my meals to keep myself on the ball.  Yesterday our building at work sponsored a holiday luncheon they do every year.  The building space we lease is in a university village, even though we are not affiliated with the university.  Tons of yummy restaurants are in this village and they sponsor our luncheon every year by bringing tons of their delicious food for everyone to enjoy!  We are talking pizza, sushi, sandwiches, ice cream, cookies, fried foods etc.  The past few years I definitely pigged out (and it is easy to do!) so this year I tried to stay restrained so I wouldn’t bust my whole day of eating wide open.  I started eating before I remembered to take this picture and the plate is rather busy but here is what I got:


I was going to try and stay away from the pizza but this white pizza with spinach was calling my name and it was a skinny slice, so I went for it.  After selecting that I knew I had to be careful what else I got.  I got a pile of salad sans dressing (there’s a little left on the back of the plate…I tried to pick through and leave the hunks of cheese), half of a veggie wrap from Tropical Smoothie, and two pieces of sushi which were from a cucumber avocado roll (ate one before I took this!).  All in all for the size lunch I would normally eat it was a lot but much better than I did last year.

Here’s what I wanted in addition and would normally have had but I avoided:  A big cookie.  I had one last year and it was divine.  They come from a cafe bakery down the street but I didn’t think it would be worth the amount of calories since they are huge!  I also knew I would already be full.  The other big one was ICE CREAM!  There is an ice cream shop that brings down a cooler full of it and I would have loved some.  I always tell Ben that ice cream fills in the cracks even when you are full 🙂  The other thing I really wanted but avoided was some fried chicken strips that smelled so good but one of my coworkers told me they weren’t all that so I felt better about that after!  It just goes to show that a little strategy when eating at holiday parties and events can go a long way to keep you from being disappointed in yourself later.  I stayed within my calorie goals for the day even after I had this delicious meal for dinner:

Crab Cake with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

Crab Cake with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

Breakfast this morning was one of this week’s frittatas, made with egg whites, feta, spinach, red and yellow peppers and onion, smushed onto a light whole grain english muffin and it was delish!

Frittata Muffin

Frittata Muffin

NOW on to the good stuff….

In running and races, there is always the potential for some pretty embarrassing moments.  I will say that after a while you pretty much lose your shame and don’t care anymore, but I wanted to share one of my finest moments especially with those who may just be starting out.  I’ll start by saying that since this event I am ALWAYS prepared with a race bag that has all the essentials one might need…

Let’s go back to March of 2010, my first ever half marathon, Shamrock!  I was extremely nervous and that is an understatement.  I went to the expo with a friend and picked up our packets (Ben ran this year as well) and shopped at all the awesome vendors.  I got a cute new green headband/sweatband to complete my festiveness for the Saint Patrick’s Day race and picked up a few other odds and ends I thought we might need.  I had done everything I thought I was supposed to including gorging on WAY too much pasta, drowning myself in water, and laying out all of my things the night before.  We got there early that morning but it was absolutely freezing and everyone sort of waited until the last few minutes to get out of their cars and make there way to the port-a-potties and bag checks.  Seeing the lines for all the rows of port-a-potties, Ben and I kept moving hoping we would find a shorter line somewhere since the start was in less than 20 minutes.  It was still dark and down one of the side streets off to the left, away from all the crowds and other potties, we saw it.  Gleaming it all of its glory.  A potty with only 2 guys waiting outside of it!  We dashed over and Ben let me duck in first to use the bathroom.

I”d like to pause here and share what might be TMI.  Anyone who is already a runner KNOWS what I’m talking about.  Most runners like to/have to evacuate their digestive system before running.  For me it is always a nervous thing anyway, so it happens every time without fail.  Add in the fact that this was my first big race and I had never run 13.1 before, and yeah…it was bad.

Moving on, I get in there and do what I need to do.  After I finished up, I reached over to grab some toilet paper when PANIC suddenly gripped me.  All the rolls were empty.  By this point in time other people had found our lone abandoned potty and were waiting in a short line outside as well.  Time was winding down and I knew we needed to check our bags and get to the start.  I searched frantically through my bag but there was nothing there to help me.  I yelled for Ben who was already annoyed I was in there for so long and couldn’t offer me any help.  No businesses were open he could dash in and grab napkins nearby.  With no other option, I started to look at the layers of clothes I had on and deliberated what I might be able to do without.  I needed to improvise here people!  Suddenly I looked into the tiny grungy fake glass mirror on the door of the potty and saw in my reflection….the pretty bright green headband!  Mind you this headband was made of a soft neoprene-type material that was supposed to wick sweat.  It was thin material so it sort of rolled on your head, making it rather wide and generous when rolled all the way out.  I was saved by the $15 headband I bought at the expo!  It was the most expensive toilet paper I’ve ever used but it did the job, pretty well I must say.  It went to its final resting place in the depths of this sad smelly port-a-potty, and God knows where after that.

Since that fateful day, I always keep a small roll or baggie full of toilet paper in my race bag.  I will never go into a port-a-potty again without checking for the presence of toilet paper.  LESSON LEARNED.

That same race at about mile 8, a lady approached me to let me know she could see my leopard print panties through my running tights.  Really lady?  At mile 8 on a day when I had to wipe my ass with a bright green neoprene headband you think I care that you can see my underwear right now?  Thanks for sharing have a nice race.  (Never raced in those pants again either haha).

Anyway all this said, what I learned is that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people think.  You are out there doing your thing, reaching goals, following through with months of training.  Embarrassing moments are always going to happen, it seems especially to a klutz like me, but you have to just keep putting yourself out there and making it work.  For some reason, being a runner has given me the confidence to NOT care.  It has made me less venerable and feel good about myself so that I’m not constantly wondering what other people think about me, wondering what I’m doing out there and if I belong to the pack wearing running shoes.  For these things I am grateful, and grateful I can laugh and move on to continue living it up!

Workout: 5 miles, abs


5 responses to “Strategic Eating and the Tale of a Mortified Runner…Embarrassing Runner Story

  1. Rachel says:

    I don’t think that’s anything to be embarrassed about — runners understand. And I always carry (even on long runs) tissues with me (whether it’s to use the potty in the middle of the woods or if I have a boogie that I can’t seem to get out unless I blow it out or stick a finger in deep). Though, I don’t think it was necessary for that random lady to tell you she could see your panties. Seriously, it’s not like you can go and change it. So is there a purpose of her even saying anything???

    I see you are running the Shamrock Marathon. I’m running it next year also! Good luck with training!!!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks for reading Rachel! I’ve definitely done grosser things since then and I’m glad I’m not embarrassed about them anymore. Good luck with your training also, Shamrock is one of my favorite races!

      • Rachel says:

        You’ll have to give me an idea on how the course is — flat, hilly? My girlfriend ran the full last year and she said the majority of the race is flat with the exception of the two bridges which are kind of hilly.

      • Laura says:

        In my opinion the course is very flat. You do go over the same bridge twice on the first half of the course – once on the way out and then back in about midway through the race – but it is not super steep. I’m not a hill lover and I didn’t have any problems with it!

      • Rachel says:

        Oh, that sounds like a great course! Looking forward to it! Can’t wait to read more on your training updates. 🙂

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