The Cranberry Conundrum

Disclaimer:  I am a runner.  Runners are gross.  We talk about things like poop.  If you have a weak stomach, I recommend that you not read this particular post.  However, if you feel so inclined to read about my bodily functions, I guarantee you will be rewarded with laughter that may make you fall on the floor.

Stop now or read on. It’s your choice. You’ve been warned.

It’s appropriate that in a couple days I will join my Ragnar team “Hot Mess” for our highly anticipated relay from Madison to Chicago this weekend, because hot mess accurately describes me as I will be portrayed in this post.  On Sunday, I met up with my Hot Mess teammate, Shane, at Forest Park for a 6 mile run.  On Monday, I planned to do a brick for my Half-Ironman training.  I was hoping to ride at least 25 miles and then run as much as I could before I had to get showered and in to work.

When I woke up Monday morning, I was feeling a little iffy, so I slept a bit longer.  And later, while I ate my bagel with peanut butter, I grabbed some cranberry pills to alleviate what I suspected to be a UTI that was causing my discomfort.  I finally managed to get out on the bike and got in my 25 miles.  I was feeling great!  No flats, no wipeouts.  Awesome.

I dropped off my bike at home, did a quick change into my running gear and despite the fact that I know better, I ate my Honey Stinger Cherry-cola flavored Chews during the transition.  I know, I know…we’re always supposed to take nutritionals at the end of the bike so that our bodies have time to adjust to a new activity before we add that stress.  For whatever reason, I thought I was fine.  And I quickly set off on my run.  A mile in, I couldn’t believe I was feeling so good and holding near marathon pace.  And then, on the paved trails of Wildwood, disaster struck.  My stomach started to cramp.  I figured that’s normal with a brick, especially since I made the mistake of the transitional nutritional.  So I forced myself to suck it up and keep going, despite my slightly slowed pace.

I managed to get to the intersection of Manchester and 109, which would give me almost exactly 5 miles as an out and back.  Perfect.  I began the 2.5 miles back to the house…my stomach pain increasing, my pace slowing, my sanity wavering.  I started to question how I would be able to accomplish 70.3 if I couldn’t even manage a 5 mile run after a 25 mile bike ride.  I didn’t even swim first!  GAH!

Fortunately, I had water, I continued to hydrate.  I remember seeing a couple of Wildwood police cars communing in a neighborhood and since I was beginning to get concerned about getting to work on time, I contemplated asking them to drive me home.  I thought to myself, “Oh seriously, Lindsey, you are being dramatic.  Just finish the run.”

I made it to the Mobile station a mile from my house.  I stopped for more water.  More to have a reason to walk for a moment than an actual need for more water, but the ice tasted good.  I briefly considered going to the bathroom at Mobile, but decided I could make it home to the comfort of my own commode.

I started that last long mile.  I ran, or perhaps shuffled is a better word, past the neighborhood clubhouse where the pool was starting to fill up with moms and kids and the Lake Chesterfield retirees.  Stop?  Yes. No.  What to do?  I can make it.  I just want to be home.  I walked.  I tried to run.  I hunched over in fetal position.  I thought about crawling.  Any runner who has ever experienced the desperation of seeking a bathroom, a port-o-potty, a bush, anything, knows exactly how much I wanted to cry right there on the sidewalk.  I usually run up the hill to my street, rather than taking the path by the lake to my back door, but this time I just needed the shortest possible route.  I could see my house.  Almost there.  Almost. Almost…

Big Sigh.

So close.  And yet, so far away.  I will not go into all the details of how it went down, but sadly, it went down.  Oh, yes, it happened.  Every runner’s worst fear.

I managed to get myself showered and I got to work right at the stroke of 4.  I was shoving any food I could find in my face.  I was starving.  I had a Gu Brew Recovery drink.  I wanted to lay down and die, but since it was only me and Katrina closing the store, I pulled it together for the massive rush of Chesterfieldians that all conspired to descend upon FLEET FEET in the last hours of the day.  It was the Lindsey and Katrina show as we jogged through the store supplying customers with all they needed for their running endeavors, while providing entertainment at the same time, as the line grew increasingly longer.  I’m pretty sure we did about half the store’s business in that last hour of the day.  We were spectacular.

I came home and crashed.  I stopped at Dierberg’s on the way for some dinner.  Then I spent the rest of the night on my couch, drinking Gatorade and watching Desiree decide who stays and who goes.

And now you get the punch line to the story.  This evening, as I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, I saw the cranberry pills sitting on the counter and popped a few more out of the package.  As I looked for my water bottle to take them, I glanced at the pink pills in my palm.  Wait a second…something isn’t right.  I grabbed the package.  Flipped it over.  And saw the words…Women’s Laxative.

OMG.  No way did I actually do that.  Before a 25 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run, I took not one, not two but THREE laxatives.  I don’t even know why I had those in my house, because let’s face it, I’m a runner who drinks a lot of coffee, I NEVER need them.

After my disbelief wore off at the sheer misery I had caused myself, I found myself experiencing jubilance in the realization that I might actually be able to make it through 70.3 without dying. I started laughing at myself.  I started laughing so hard that if I wasn’t completely dehydrated, I would probably have cried actual tears.  The laughter made up for the severe pain I was in only 24 hours ago.  Laughter has a way of doing that.

And after all, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can ya do?

Can you tell the difference?  I guarantee I will never confuse these ever again!

Can you tell the difference? I guarantee I will never confuse these ever again!


2 thoughts on “The Cranberry Conundrum

  1. Liz K

    Code Brown! OMG Lindsey, this post was so good I read it out loud to Brad tonight and we both had a good laugh. Too funny!

  2. Kris

    Yup..been there..done that. Speedwork last Thursday, by myself at the track. Thank god there were some woods. 🙂 It’s a runner thing. Poop stories are a part of a runner’s life.


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