Freezing my tail off

I froze my tail off during my run on Sunday.
It was completely unexpected.

The temperature wasn’t even that cold; a balmy 38 degrees with a 5-10 mph breeze.

It is probably kind of funny to some people. Horrifying to others.

A somewhat common thing that gets far too little press.

When I first started out on my run, I was pretty stoked to be out there. I had brand new capris on, (My pre-pregnancy spandex capris are too big?!??) it was beautiful and sunny outside, and, although I was running the hilliest route in town, I planned to run easy. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about the uphills. Unfortunately, it was the downhills that became my undoing.

Let’s back up a few weeks. When I first started running again back in January, I had some peeing problems. As in, I had to be sure that my bladder was completely empty before running or it would do me the favor of emptying itself along the way. No big deal Kind of a big deal, but fairly common at two weeks postpartum.

Slowly, the problem corrected itself until it was no longer a problem at all. For weeks, I have been having pee-free runs. It is amazing how much one can appreciate something that was once taken for granted. Until Sunday.

The combination of chugging a Powerade Zero before the run and opting to run downhill did not do me any favors.

After ascending for the first half mile, I was excited for the relief of the first small downhill. As I pounded my way down the hill, I felt a warm trickle. I immediately knew what was going on, but assumed that would be the end of it.

I began climbing the next hill and mostly forgot about this little problem. In fact, it did not seem like much of a problem at all until about halfway around my loop where I hit a fairly steady decline. My legs alternately got warm, then really cold as I raced down the hill.

Geez. It was happening. There seemed to be no stopping it unless I walked.

Surely nobody else on the trail could tell.

Or could they? I could look down and see liquid shedding from my pants with each step.

Finally as I began down the last half mile of descent, I felt my shoes getting warm. You’ve got to be kidding me.
Sure enough, even my shoes are soaked. Notice how soaked my legs are in the first photo.


When I made it back to my brand new to me car, I was faced with a big decision: Get into it with ridiculously wet pants or risk getting in trouble for driving home without them. I made a quick judgement call.

I stood in the parking lot stripping off my socks and shoes.

Did I mention that it was 38 degrees, feels like 28 degrees?

I took off both of my shirts and placed the thicker one on the seat of the car. As I carefully climbed in, I took care not to put my wet rear end on the seat until the dripping wet pants had been removed. Finally, I took the thinner shirt and placed it over my lap.

As I drove off, I prayed that I would not get pulled over for any reason as I was fairly certain that I could get in trouble for driving home pantless in a sport bra. When I made it home and burst through the door, I’m sure that I must have been quite a sight!

For the record, I broke my rule about shoe washing and dumped those things into the washing machine straight away. They seem fine, no worse for the wear, um, or washing in this case.

Also worth noting, this problem has not reared it’s ugly head again since then. Although, for some reason, I doubt that I am totally in the clear. After all, that would be far too good to be true.

A more serious note: If you are still reading at this point and you are thinking “Gosh, I’m sure glad that I’m not alone.”, I want to drive awareness that there is physical therapy available (beyond the standard advice to do Kegel exercises) to dramatically improve or eliminate this problem. I definitely would not have known about that option if I had not been bold enough to ask my doctor what would happen if my peeing problem persisted. If this happens to me again, you can bet on a follow-up post about anti-leak PT because living in fear of wet running shoes is no way to live!

  1. Lisa said:

    You are so honest and have a great sense of humor. Good luck with this. I’m sure a few years down the road I will very much appreciate this candid advice!

    • Brit said:

      I hope that you won’t fall victim to this, that could make for some frigid runs in MInnesota! It figures that I did as I emerged from pregnancy pretty much unscathed except for the peeing problem.

  2. Kate said:

    Ohhh been there, felt that. :z I now wear a Poise (or similar) pad on every run, even though at 3yr 8mo postpartum the problem is significantly improved. Fear of those wet pant legs–mine happened on a run with friends–has scared me into it!

    • Brit said:

      Your stories, in large part, are what made me feel comfortable posting about this because they made me feel like it was a fairly common problem. Perhaps I should consider doing the PT, just for good measure. It can’t hurt.

  3. shelby said:

    Woman…you are scaring be about the whole having kids thing. 🙂

    But I have to say, props for posting about this in an entertaining way!

    • Brit said:

      That was one of those situations that would be mildly amusing to hear about second hand (not in a mean way, I mean provided that the peeing person saw the humor in it all) but it was somewhat less amusing to live through it.

  4. Hopefully this little problem clears itself up. I am sure you are not the first, nor the last, woman to experience this! I pee when I sneeze so I am pretty sure I will be just like you once I have my baby. I’ll make sure to keep a towel in my car at all times and always wear black bottoms!

    • Brit said:

      You survived once already, I figure that you have nothing to worry about. 🙂

  5. Bree said:

    Oh boy…I liked where this started out…”my pre-pregnancy capris were too big!”

    Thanks for sharing though. I am always so glad to know about these things and appreciate when women talk openly about them – because a lot of us are going to deal with pregnancy and childbirth, I would rather know what I’m in for!

    • Brit said:

      Yeah, I had a lot of pregnancy related things strongly in my favor, but apparently excellent bladder control is not one of them.

  6. I give you credit for not giving up on your run…and for putting it all into writing like this! I love that you’re so candid and humorous about it, I can only imagine how the conversation would have gone if you got pulled over for a missing taillight or something! You give me hope for parenthood, should it every become a responsibility of mine!

    • Brit said:

      Gosh, I probably could have gotten in a lot of trouble if I had gotten caught.

      Good thing I didn’t park my car at the park that day!

  7. You are just unfazable, aren’t you?

    I mean, I’d probably be burning my workout clothes, and making up some lie to tell my wife, and swearing never to tell a soul about this, and you put up a blog post because you think that it could be of benefit to other women.

    Not only that, you drove home half naked.

    I don’t know what we’d call it but there’s got to be a blogger award for this.

    • Brit said:

      Meh…it’s kind of funny. I mean aside from the fact that it had to happen to me.

      As for depanting, I really couldn’t think of another reasonable option. My car seats would have been tainted forever!

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