I have been conditioned to pee on cue. The cue, of course, is running related. It is the Wissahickon – the smell of the woods, the sounds of the creek flowing, and the sight of the little shed that encloses two potties featuring toilet paper, at the midpoint of Forbidden Drive. In the beginning, it was just visits to the shed on a just-in-case basis. But now, I have observed that no matter how seriously I emptied my bladder before my run, if I am approaching the Wissahickon from any direction and through any means, I am urged to urinate.
Today was no different. Noah dropped me off at the Northwestern entrance of the Wissahickon so that I can increase the trail:road ratio of my run. As soon as I see those trees, even before I got out of the car, there was no question that I would have to go. I was so flustered that I forgot about the porta-potty that exists and ran straight up to the meadows. I think this part of the Wissahickon is the hardest area for a girl to pee – other than the one big beech tree, the trees here are skinny and spread out – you can really see through these woods. Within this ¼ square mile area, a maze of trails intersect, meaning that as soon as someone turns onto a trail, they can only be a few steps away.
I knew this and pondered descending for the porta-potty, but decided that it would be a worthwhile investment of time, personally, to look for a satisfactory spot to squat unabashedly. I encountered success.
And then, I went about my run – 4+ on trails, 1+ on roads. The air was crisp and the sky was blue. I felt like I could run forever. I ran leisurely, today hurried by nothing, and stopped several times to prolong the run. It was the perfect recovery from yesterday’s 20 miler.