It all started when my hubby sent me a link to the following Poop Flow Chart that he saw on iRunFar’s Facebook page. Those who know me well, know that this is my kind of humor!  I decided that since this flow chart dealt with hikers, and not runners, I needed to make an addendum…

Using the hiker’s chart above as my template, here’s my Runners’ Poop Flow Chart.


Please don’t let the above picture stop you from reading, and please don’t be overwhelmed while I dump a load of information on you in this post!  🙂

Let’s start off with porta-potties, shall we? Nothing makes me happier than to see a porta-potty along a running trail.  Even if I don’t need to use it, there’s just something reassuring about knowing it’s there; and the Cruisers know to automatically stop when we reach this spot on our run!  I even created a Facebook check-in for it!  It’s that awesome!



When Bill and I were at the beach and ran up into False Cape State Park, I was tickled to see this fancy old-fashioned toilet.  It was designed so that when you opened the door, a light came on, and stayed on while you were inside!  Is that cool or what?



I hope you are sitting down (but not on a porta-potty seat… eeew), because the next picture is of something that is rarely seen at a race: fresh, unused, porta-potties galore and no lines!  The North Face Endurance Challenge did it right and had almost one porta-potty per runner!



Last night I decided to reach out to my Sweat Pink sisters and ask for their poop-related running stories.  And let me tell you, they were more than happy to share with me!  There’s just something about talking about poop when you’re a runner!


Heather over at Heather Runs Fast said, “After I eat out I almost always become “irregular,” if you know what I mean… I guess its the higher sodium, refined carbs, I don’t know…  It happened to me after Britt’s wedding and all the deliciousness I consumed.  I usually “go” every morning when I wake up, but after the wedding festivities and again after the past few days of junkier food, I just wasn’t going. So before I left last night for the event, I took some Metamucil to hopefully get things going by the morning.  Well it worked! BUT I should have chosen a morning I WASN’T running outside, haha. I had to stop TWICE on my measly 8 mile run to crap. And the second time, I almost didn’t make it!  Like, butt clenched, shuffling walk to the restroom.  Hopefully after my unloading this morning I’ll be back on track tomorrow morning. Hopefully.”


Caroline over at I Heart Running said, “I always take toilet paper with me on my long runs to poop in the woods because
I vomit in the porta Jons…”


Rachel over at Busy Momma Fitness said, “Well, once I ate way too much for dinner the night before a long trail run and suddenly around mile 10, had that disturbing realization that my ‘business’ wasn’t going to wait for me to find a bathroom and it was either my tights or find some bushes… so I chose the latter. And of course, once I was done and ‘closed up shop’ I emerged to come face to face with a group of other runners and it was TOTALLY obvious what I had just been doing… but they were awesome and told me ‘congratulations, you’re now a REAL runner’ which made it a bit less horrible but uh… yeah.  And there was also my marathon last weekend when I made the dumb mistake of trying a gel that I don’t usually use and thank GOD there were porta potties right there because OMG…. I lost 15 minutes in that p.p.”


Amalia said, “I once was running and couldn’t find a place to go, but the bushes weren’t very tall – I crouched as low as I could (it’s a pretty quiet trail) but low and behold a guy came buy. He was like “you okay?” And I said “I’m looking for my shoe.” Clearly, that’s a ridiculous statement.
He just grinned and kept running.”


Preshii said, “I honestly think I’d choose bushes over porta


At a recent race seminar, Bart Yasso questioned how some runners carbo-load the night before a race, by eating way too much pasta.  He went on to say that he suspected these same runners would be “un-carbo-loading in the bushes at the race the next day.”


Another runner said, “I had to poop on a long run and the only place I could go was in some bushes in a cemetery. I silently apologized to all the headstones facing me.”


Another runner said that she had eaten a chopped salad the night before and while running, IT HIT…  She happened to be on a bridge overpass with no place to go.  She started saying, “Oh no, oh no” to her two guy running friends and as soon as they got over the bridge she ran into the woods, but it was too late.  She ran back past her friends sobbing and said while passing, “I just pooped in my pants!”  She had to run home immediately to take a shower, making sure to leave plenty of room between her and any other runners she met.


And finally, after reading the other Facebook comments, Cassandra said, “Oh thank god! I thought I was doing something wrong when it would happen to me.”


One year at the Baltimore Marathon, I was on track to do really well.  Right as we entered a long section of the course that went through neighborhood after neighborhood of row houses, my tummy started hurting badly.  I had to do Heather’s “butt clenched shuffling walk” until I finally came upon some soccer fields with porta-potties.  It took me about 20 minutes to cover a mile, so needless to say I didn’t place in my age group that year!

When I told one of my clients, who reads my blog regularly, that I planned to do a post on runners and our related poop issues, she sent me the an email with the following:
“After the race don’t forget to pamper yourself!  You will be pooped, but take the time to wipe yourself down!”
I really do have third graders reading my blog…


Today’s post contained a crap load of information and what you do with it depends on your sense of humor…  I hope I didn’t offend anyone!


  • Questions:
  • Will you still read my blog after today’s topic?
  • If you are a runner, can you top these running stories?
  • Do you prefer using a porta-potty or bushes?


(Tiny pink toilet paper rolls image source)