As promised – as I’ve reached my £4000 fundraising target for South East and Central Essex Mind – here is my horrific Ironman poo story.
There are three thoughts that spring to mind before writing this story.
Firstly – this is not a proud moment in my life
Secondly – energy gels are evil
Thirdly – I’ve never been so pleased not to have trusted a fart
The three laps of the run were not a comfortable time for me. From starting the run with a nasty pain in my right foot (which I later found out may have been a minor stress fracture) to then having a number of toilet, nutritional and timing issues. Fun times.
My stomach first started complaining about 5km into the first of three laps of the run when I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. Now with a mixture of anxiety, being a hypochondriac and being deliriously tired I kid you not when I tell you that my first thought was – “oh no, it’s happening, my internal organs are shutting down because of the stress I’ve put my body through”. I laugh about how ridiculous this is now but at the time though I was genuinely very worried. Around the same time I needed a wee so off I went off to the portaloos. I will talk about the state of the loos later, but third time lucky and I found one okay to sit in and have a wee. As I sat down, the Mother of all farts occurred. I am amazed the whole portaloo didn’t take off. To my relief, immediately the stomach pain was gone and off I plodded to continue my first lap.
Fast forward a lap, it is now dark, I’m about 12 hours in and I still have 13 miles left to run. I am starting to get very tired and slightly delirious so not only am I physically tired but mentally I am not in a very good place. I take another energy gel (a thick gloopy shot of sugar) and very quickly feel the energy boost that I needed. Almost as quickly – my stomach started rumbling again. Maybe this could be another fart… I stopped running and gently tested this theory. This was not a fart. I needed to get to a portaloo. Quickly.
Twenty minutes later and I am relieved to finally see three portaloos. I flew into the first one in sight, whipped my shorts down and the world fell out of my backside. There is no nice way of putting this so let’s just say it was not a solid clean passing or a one wipe wonder. I reached over to the loo roll and to my horror there was no loo roll. Shit. All is not lost though because at least there is the cardboard tube. I tear a section off and go to attempt to wipe and believe it or not things step up to another level.
As I go to wipe my hand brushes over my butt cheek and it is wet. What is all this about? Why is it wet? I pull my hand round and there is definitely something on my hand but it is pitch black so I can’t see what it is. To confirm my fears I put my hand closer to my nose and have a little sniff. I close my eyes in disbelief as I begin to process what has happened.
I will backtrack to clarify what you may have already realised has happened. You’ll remember that earlier in the story I would come back to the state of the loos and why it took my three attempts to be able to sit down and have a wee at the beginning of the run. Well. I have to say I now seriously query whether, for some people, their butthole is actually positioned half way up their back instead of between each cheek. The reason I couldn’t sit down on the first two loos earlier on in the day was because by some dastardly miracle some filthy bastard had managed to take a dump/spray shit spectacularly all over the toilet seat.
So, with that piece of information you have probably guessed what has happened. I created a mess of myself. Shit. I have also managed to sit in somebody else’s poo. Double Shit. And don’t forget there is no loo roll. Triple Shit.
I can’t spare a sock because I need them to run so I squint around me in the dark to assess my options. I spy some empty water bottles in the corner of the floor and to my delight a few of them have some water in them. I then continue to administer a DIY bidet. Now I won’t lie – I got the worst off but my bidet wasn’t the most successful and I ran out of water before being able to wash my hand. I thought “oh sod it” and pulled my shorts back up to carry on. I wasn’t about to let a bit of poo stop me from completing the final two hours of what would be a 14 and a half hour challenge.
The nutrition station was about 50 metres back so I plodded back to wash my hand using a bottle of water and an orange segment. After having a confused moment of almost putting the orange segment back on the tray of others (before judging, please remember I am extremely tired/fairly delirious at this point), I cracked on.
The most hilarious part about it was that with my cocktail of determination and exhaustion – I really didn’t care for the situation at all. I did not wretch or shed a tear. In fact, I actually let out a little chuckle. At some moments, I will confess, I even forgot about what had happened and high-fived a few lucky devils with said hand. Oops. (As seen below in a photo of me looking as you would expect a crazed shit machine to look… 🙂 sorry matey…)
Fortunately, here ends my horrific poo story. I completed the remaining 12 miles of the run and didn’t tell anyone my dirty little secret until after I crossed the finish line.
I hope you enjoyed (is enjoyed the right word??) this story and thank you soooooo soooooo much again for helping my reach £4000 target for South Essex and Central Mind. Next time you are having a shitty day you can now think to yourself – it could be shittier. Literally.