Frozen Winkie

Posted: 12th February 2014 by mockjogger in Medical, Training Runs
Tags: ,

What’s a man to do?

Today’s 18 miler started out fairly innocuously. In working my way out of a cold-and-jet-lag induced running slump I have been vitamining-up and going back to basics on food and hydration, so last night’s triple-bowl of rice with pork were nicely complemented by an early alarm and three slices of toasted Rankin’s Irish Soda bread (other brands are available, apparently, but not in Edinburgh). I knew I would be pushing the distance bar a bit higher today and was determined not to run out of fuel. After a strong espresso and a toilet stop I guzzled down 500ml of SIS Lemon and Lime electrolyte, strapped my training belt with 3 High5 gels, loaded up my Highlander backpack with about 1L of water and headed out the door. It was cold. Very cold. This becomes important later.

Stock photo showing Union Canal on a cold day. Inviting bushes are just around the corner.

Stock photo showing Union Canal on a cold day. Inviting bushes are just around the corner.

9 miles passed without incident. I was running at about 9’30 pace and feeling pretty good. I was enjoying running for the first time in a couple of weeks. Gel no.2 (mojito) was flushed down with some water and I continued on my way along the Union Canal towpath.

And then my body decided enough was enough and it was time to void all this fluid. Or, to be blunter, I needed a piss. I tried ignoring nature for a while, but nature was having none of it. The Union Canal towpath was fairly busy with cyclists, runners and walkers but fortunately there are many side sections with trees and bushes, so I planned my move as I approached the next bushy section.

I was wearing, as I have been most of this winter, the following outfit. A long sleeve upper-body base layer underneath a Madison cycling jacket, gloves, beanie, and down below running tights over nothing at all, with a pair of baggy shorts to soften the view.

A quick look around confirmed that this was a good time. I dived into the bushes, pulling down the front of my shorts and running tights, anticipating the feeling of joy that only a truly immense piss can bring. But my winkie had obviously decided that if hypothermia was going to start somewhere in my body, then it was having the honour. It was pretending to be more frozen than a Disney movie, and in so doing, had downsized to a mere hint of its former self.

There was just no going, so to speak. I danced around a bit from foot to foot, as you do on such occasions, because my brain hadn’t received the no-go message and was still intent on getting to joy point, even though my winkie wasn’t playing the game. I thought about trying to rub some life in there, but it was not worth the risk. After all, this is Edinburgh.

I looked around. I could see an elderly lady approaching, with a small dog, about 100m away. There was still time. I upped the urgency of my dance. Fortunately this encouraged my winkie to thaw sufficiently and unleash what can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime piss.

I hauled up, and hit the towpath running hard, feeling very, very good. The rest of the run passed without incident. Clearly I need to revise my lower-body winter running gear strategy, otherwise who knows what will happen when I try 20 miles.

"I Found Winkie" (c) FunnyJunk. Not that relevant to the post, but impossible to resist including.

“I Found Winkie” (c) FunnyJunk. Not that relevant to the post, but impossible to resist including.