Embarrassing Stories

I have spent over a week debating the merits of hitting the publish button and sharing the contents of this blog. In this era of brand savvy blogs I worried that by sharing this blog I would be doing my *image* no favours. Then I thought sod it, there is more to life than a free pair of trainers and the theme of my blog will always be Keeping it Real.

In my experience runners love discussing their bodily functions and sharing their embarrassing tales of running woe. As a fellow runner ay my running club once told me:

“You can’t call yourself a real runner until you have been taken short on a training run and have crapped in some bushes” Er thanks!

The vast majority of training runs and races will be incident free. Unfortunately, just occasionally as a runner it can all go horribly wrong.

Chafing Hell

I will start with a minor irritation (excuse the pun) and a not so embarrassing running tale from last summer. In my skinny runner days I had a huge thigh gap, there was no way my thighs were getting to meet one another. Fast forward a few years the thigh gap has gone, and I wear the ‘wrong’ shorts in a race. During the race the friction from my thighs rubbing together generates enough heat to power the National Grid and I end up with raw thighs. This would have been OK had I not been horse riding later the same day. Jodhpurs, a saddle and raw thighs are not a winning combination.


My new best friend.

In this era of running without a thigh gap, I have found myself a new running companion. Vaseline is cheaper and works just as well.

Deep Heat

Every runner on the planet is all too familiar with the distinctive aroma smell of Deep Heat. I can 100% guarantee that the start area of any race will stink of Deep Heat and farts. The train journey to the start of the London Marathon smelt of a combination of fear dodgy guts and Deep Heat. A truly winning combination.


Be careful where you apply this.

In the lead up to the 2008 London Marathon I somehow managed to strain my groin. I developed a bit of an addiction to Deep Heat, and would cover my groin area in the miracle spray before every training run. I think it is slightly obvious where this tale of woe is heading. I can confirm that it really, really bloody hurts if you accidentally spray Deep Heat on your delicate parts. It also really, really bloody hurts if you accidentally rub Deep Heat in your eyes. No of course I was never stupid enough to do that!

Shit Happens

I have far too many tales of shit related running tales of woe to share here. I used to suffer with stomach issues and the runners trots on runs that lasted over an hour. This was as you can imagine awesome during marathon training! A sneaky pressure relieving fart would become a shart. On one occasion the great outdoors became my personal toilet. I ended up using my shorts as toilet paper, luckily I was also wearing running tights. On another occasion I knocked on my geography teacher’s door and begged her to let me use the toilet. Although she had not spoken to me for over ten years she said yes. Thanks Mrs P!

My problems got so bad I would plot potential toilet stops onto my running route maps. I tried running laps from home, far from ideal when I lived on top of a huge hill. I tried taking various doses of Imodium before running and quickly discovered that taking too much Imodium can cause major blockages.


Even the elites suffer. I will never forget the whole Did she or didn’t she? debates following Paula Radcliffe’s infamous emergency pit-stop during the 2005 London Marathon. Every runner in the country knew that Paula had stopped for a poo, there was no way that the leader of the London Marathon would have stopped for a wee. From personal experience peeing while running is relatively simple. I would, however, always recommend wearing dark coloured shorts.

Blood and Tears

Running in the countryside can be a hazardous pastime. I have been chased by a herd of cows, bitten by a farm dog and have twisted my ankle in a rabbit hole. I will never forget the day I was feeling lazy and decided to take a short cut across a field.  Lazy runner karma can be evil as I ended up getting my shorts caught in some barbed wire. One minute I was wearing running shorts, the next minute my shorts had been ripped apart. I had to run home with one arse cheek on display to the world to the cows, and with blood pouring down my leg. Barbed wire is evil and should be avoided at all costs.

I hope this blog has inspired you to share some of your own embarrassing stories. I know that most of my stories were not actually that embarrassing as I can still show my face in public. I will leave you with some links where other runners share their running related disasters:

Runner’s World: The Pack Rules: Don’t Be Embarrassed

About.com: Readers Respond: What’s your most embarrassing running story?


3 thoughts on “Embarrassing Stories

  1. scallywag says:

    Well let’s see:

    There’s the race I got such bad thigh burn by 5k that I ended up running like I was doing those ski strength moves- jumping leg to leg. My legs really hurt by the end!

    Orr there was the time I was guiding for my clubs newbies run. 100 new people and 5 mins into the run I trip so spectacularly that my shoulder, face, knees and all down one leg have grating marks and are now bleeding. Spectacular leadership.

    Or the Edinburgh half when I made the worst fueling choices ever and was throwing up. Finally got over the line, threw up right beside a volunteers feet, and when asked if okay all I could choke out was ‘I’m fine, tastes like tropical smoothie’- the volunteer physically recoiled from helping me haha. It did though. All I’d had was banana, lime electrolytes and coconut eawaterter.

    I’ve never had a deep heat disaster, but imagine is it not dissimilar to a chilli one.


  2. WalkToRio says:

    Loved this post!
    All too relatable.
    I never had problems with chafing until I decided to buy a bunch of cheap t-shirts. They destroy my nipples, I now wear bandaids every time I wear those crappy t-shirts. You can’t ve cheap when it comes to running gear, there’s a limit.
    The Deep Heat, Icy-Hot in the US, and “delicate” part experience is awful. I’ve learned to wash my hands after applying any of those things.
    Luckily I have no problems with my stomach, but this new workout partner I have, he stops every 30 minutes, seriously, it’s annoying, I don’t know what he eats or if he suffers for any condition, but I’ve never seen someone shit that often.
    I don’t know how he manages on races.
    Have a nice weekend.


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