Posted by: Ingrid | March 24, 2009

Porta potties on the brain

I have never thought this long or this hard about porta potty placement (say that 10 times fast).

I am still on the fence when it comes to the half marathon on May 2 and most of it comes down to the porta potties. One of the race coordinators was kind enough to email me a hand drawn map that shows the 1 (one) (ONE???!!!?) spot where porta potties will be placed.

Now obviously a pregnant woman is not planning this race because a half marathon is 13.1 miles. Some people last year walked this event. If someone walks 4 miles an hour that is over 3 hours walking with only one porta potty to be found. Is that sane? Is that legal? Of course, most of those people don’t have a baby bouncing around on their bladder either, I’m guessing.

To be fair, it was clear that great strategy had been used in picking this location as it can be accessed at several locations. The breakdown looks like:


Mile 0-0.75 in the park with restrooms

Mile 3.5 Porta potty

Mile 6.5 (course comes close enough where a runner could run back to the potties)

Mile 7.5 back to the porta potties

Mile 9.5 course passes the porta potties again

Mile 12.5 back to the park with restrooms

It all looks so easy… if I could negotiate with my son on where exactly he’s allowed to kick and lean for 2.5 hours on that particular Saturday morning.


I can’t believe that I’m thinking this much about it. Other possibilities that have crossed my mind, since dehydration is not an option, are a catheter, Depends, and the brief thought that maybe, with all the orchards around, I could just duck behind a tree and um… improvise. Please let me know if you have any ideas! I just hope my sister doesn’t read this because if I feel mortified just thinking about these things I can’t imagine the mortification she would feel as she thinks about running with me. I’ll already be slow enough, do I really need to embarrass her by wearing an adult diaper under my running shorts?

Every week now when I hit my Saturday long run I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief. I keep counting down the weeks and days, so afraid that my body is just going to go nuts in the 5 weeks and 4 days left before the Visalia half marathon and give out on me. I feel like I’m treating the next few weeks the way I treat difficult long runs, picking a spot ahead of me and focusing on it until I get there, picking another spot a little further away… In this case, I have La Habra in 4 days, then a run at Newport the following weekend while we’re at the marriage retreat, then trying to run 12 miles right before Easter to determine whether or not to sign up for Visalia, then a weekend run in Hawaii, then a 5K, and then the half marathon. Surely I can make it that long, right? What’s the worst that can happen other than another 6 pounds, 6 additional inches of girth, and unspecific aches and pains?

I want so badly to do this but it seems to close and so very far away at the same time. I want to meet my goal and then adjust my running accordingly, maybe add some swimming, drop my mileage, cross train more… at this point that sounds so appealing. I guess the half marathon would feel like my last hurrah and make me feel as though, even while being pregnant, I can still do something that I love so much.

And that just might be possible in 39 days. If I can figure out the porta potty predicament.



  1. Trust me, it is WORTH YOUR TIME to make sure you have porta potties a’plenty! I did the Las Vegas half marathon in December at 5 1/2 months and stopped 6 times to pee. Luckily, they had porta potties at least every mile. Good luck!

  2. k, maybe it’s just me, but if you have to contemplate a catheter, that might be a sign that it’s not a good idea!

  3. k, had to add this: apparently there’s a cell phone app for finding the nearest public restroom:

    might help!

  4. Jess, that’s great! Thank you! I don’t have a lot of hope for public restrooms in the middle of Visalia orchards, but it’s worth a try!

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