Found on RunnersWorld.com and written by Cindy Kuzma
Here’s what to do when you gotta go.
The gallon of water you downed yesterday. The mile-long bathroom line 10 minutes before your race is to start. The sheer anxiety of knowing your half marathon or trail run might take you miles away from the nearest potty.
All these can add up to a sudden and serious need to pee in a place with little privacy. While men have few problems with communal leakage, women’s anatomy poses unique challenges to relieving yourself without revealing yourself. Here, five potential solutions to this, uh, urgent issue. (Now, all you have to worry about are public urination laws in your area.)
1. Buy a trap-door skirt.
When Boulder, Colorado-based Skirt Sports sent an April Fools’ Day email announcing a skirt designed for women to “finally answer nature’s call without baring our assets,” customers clamored for a real-life version. A successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $60,000, and the Gotta Go Skirt—complete with a “trap door” made of moisture-wicking fabric—will now officially enter production. Pre-orders ship in early April; if you missed out, watch for extra inventory on sale online in May, says founder, CEO, and Zelle contributor Nicole DeBoom.
2. Create your own concealing combo.
To DIY, start with a pair of bun-hugging shorts (like the Competition Brief from Oiselle, $26). Cover with a briefless skirt, like Skirt Sports’Downtown Reversible ($55). That way, you can swiftly move the fabric to the side—or pull down your knickers altogether—and still keep your privates under wraps. A skirt with briefs built in—like the straightforwardly named Black Running Skirt ($49) from Running Skirts Inc.—can also offer more privacy than shorts alone (and the dark color hides any dribbles).
3. Recycle your space blanket.
Preserve your modesty and the environment by reusing the heat shield from your last half or full marathon. Wrap it around your waist, pull down your shorts or pull up your skirt, squat, cover back up, and discard.
4. Pop a semi-squat.
Kneel down with your right foot behind you and bend your left knee at a 90-degree angle, thigh parallel to the ground. Reach one hand in front and one hand in back and pull the fabric of your shorts forward and to one side before you let things flow. The tighter your shorts, the less likely you’ll pee on them—if yours run a bit loose, consider pulling them to the back and over instead to avoid soiling the extra fabric.
For the greatest possible privacy, position yourself in front of a tree (or a friend), says Amanda Theobald, a former collegiate runner at Westminster College who learned this trick while working as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Utah. As with plain squatting, she notes, it works even better with a running skirt—just let the skirt hang down and scootch the briefs underneath.
5. Carry a truly porta-potty.
With a bit of pre-planning, you can create your own emergency public urination kit. For less than 10 bucks, pick up a three-pack of Peebols, pocket-sized bags of absorbent granules. Steady your aim with theUrinelle, a disposable converter of sorts to help women go standing up ($9.99 for a seven-pack at Amazon). Do your business (under cover of skirt or space blanket, if you like), seal it up, and reuse later, or toss after a single whiz—fortunately, everything involved here is biodegradable.