Firsthand accounts of the most LOL-worthy bodily functions that happen while running


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Photo: Getty Images/Hinterhaus Productions; Graphics: Well+Good Creative

Ask a runner about the diciest moment they’ve ever had while clocking mileage, and most will gladly walk you through a play-by-play with a gratified glint in their eyes. Sure, the medals pavement-pounders earn from crossing the finish line prove satisfying in their own right, but the stories said races elicit are often *the most* rewarding. The general rule? The grosser, the better.

I’m not just speculating here! We asked Well+Good readers (and runners) to share the most embarrassing things that have happened to them during the hours upon hours they spend while meeting training goals, or finally making it to the starting line, and the majority of answers involved spit, the runs, or some other bodily fluid. Because while running is fierce, let’s face it, it’s also super messy.

Below, Well+Good readers and runners share the hands-down most embarrassing moments they’ve ever had on a run.

running stories
Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

When you feel the need to pee, like, the whole time—but keep running anYway

“Most of the times when I go for a run I have to pee the whole time, even if I peed right before I left to run! It’s so frustrating because it’s one of the things that is holding me back from running more, but I feel like it’s such an embarrassing problem [that] I won’t find a solution [to].

“Running a half marathon and had to pee so badly around mile 11. I thought, ‘I doubt anyone will know, they’ll think it’s sweat.’ Yep, you know I had no shame! When nature calls!

“I lived in Paris for a year and decided to train for the Paris Half Marathon. I used this time as an opportunity to explore the city on foot (map and Wi-Fi free), which, of course, meant I got lost frequently, ended up in bad parts of town or went too far and couldn’t find a restroom. (They make you pay to pee in Paris—rude.) I was running through the Luxembourg Gardens late one evening. This run was a long one and it took place post happy hour. Six or seven miles in, I had to pee like I’ve never had to pee before in my life. Of course, I couldn’t find a restroom so I did what every civilized lady of culture would do. I found a sizable bush, prayed God would give my quads strength and squatted. All was fine…until I realized a security guard was quietly standing about 20 feet away. At least I can say I peed on a landmark built in 1612.

When snot rockets and spitting does *not* go the way you were hoping

“Sometimes running gets my nasal passages going. During a cross country race back in high school, I had to clear the old nose, and the only way to do that whilst running is a snot rocket of course! (Gross!!) Before I could change my course of action I realized my mucous was headed straight for the girl running next to me. It’s like it happened in slow motion: I blew, we locked eyes, and then stared the boogers down to her shoe. It was horrific. Now, if I’m without a tissue, I always look both ways (twice!) before blowing.”

When number two snafus happen

“Off the top of head: The cross-country team holds practice Tuesday morning in the parks near campus. I commute to school, so I’m usually up at 4 or 4:30. Since my body isn’t used to waking up that early, I never had to go number two on Tuesday mornings—until I get running, that is. The rhythmic bouncing of my body is enough to shake the logs loose like an outhouse in a great Québécois snowstorm. Coupled with the pre-practice banana it was a recipe for disaster. One morning, a mudslide of apocalyptic proportions was brewing in my intestine. ‘You go on with out me,’ I told my training partners, as I dove into the bushes next to the schools top ten-seeded football field, and all hell broke loose.”

“To start, I have IBS. I had been hiking for awhile then decided to start trail running. I was running on this trail right after breakfast. After about 5 min. I decided I really had to poop. I was not going to make it to the trailhead bathroom. It was a populated trail so I quickly squatted down. I had no other choice! I tried to cover it with dirt but that didn’t help much. After this incident, I started carrying dog bathroom bags, which I used once and decided never again because I had to carry it for six more miles. As a result of this I always carry a towel just in case my IBS decides I don’t need to hold on to my breakfast.

“In the middle of a 15-mile leg on a Ragnar Relay, I had to duck out into the woods to take care of business, if you will. I was using a leaf as, well, you know when another runner caught a glimpse of me. Fortunately it was cloudy, so even with only sparse brush covering me, it was difficult to see anything other than someone in Nike Volt colored clothes squatting just off the course.”

“I was on a business trip just outside of Edinburgh, and as usual took my running gear. I managed to get out for an evening run just before the sun went down. I was out a few miles and found a lovely canal route walked by very few (mostly walkers with dogs) but the farther I got the less people I met. Suddenly finding myself who knows where, and the sun going down I realized I would need to find a toilet, with paper, but had not seen a building for about 30 minutes. Knowing I would not find paper or a toilet in time, I resorted in squatting and grabbing up large clumps of grass and moss. I then preceded to run back the way I came. I now don’t go too far without a planned exit strategy.”

When your runner’s high get interrupted by…a fall, a Fart, or a broken foot

“I was running around my neighborhood and just hit my runners high, and was really feelin’ myself when I literally tripped on my own sneakers and face planted in front of my neighbors house (who were having a family party that day).

“I farted during the race, and it apparently smelled so bad that the person behind me had to pull over.

“When I was in high school, I ran spring track. I had practiced hurdles in weeks but my coach threw me into the 100 meter hurdles. I stumbled over the first and then completely wiped out over the second and third in front of all my family and friends. I then proceeded to throw my hands in the air and walked off the track crying.

“Breaking my foot two steps into the run…major fail.”

“I live in the same neighborhood as my track coach, and sometimes I see him running on the same trails that I run on. One day, we passed each other and said hi, but I was not paying attention and I ran into a bush and fell right in front of him!

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