Jul 14, 2014

Code Brown

Sure, everyone knows the benefits of working out.  It makes you feel better, fat pants get loose and you can make that guilt-free third trip through the orange chicken buffet.

However, there is a dark side to running that often goes unspoken.  

Saturday mornings, several of us meet for a 12+ mile long run on the Johnston trail.  Greg, Tony, Jenny, and Patrick joined me last weekend for a sweaty 7:00 am, 90% humidity grease trot.  I fell back at mile eight due to a code brown.  I wrote them the following today to let them know what happened:

Mile 8 is when the problems started. A near-miss on a shart signaled it was time to slow down. Hopefully, it was a false alarm and the backside burp would disperse.

Nearly caught back up with the group when another round let loose. Like a warship dropping depth charges on a German u-boat, this second attack was primal and not playing games. Slowing to a walk and squeezing cheeks to contain the brownie batter, I eyed both sides of the trail looking for an emergency landing strip. The recent flooding meant normally dry woods were a foot deep in swamp. Waddling and scanning for high ground free of bramble, there was a small dry spot between a floral rose bush and a sick tree infected with ash borer bugs.

Hovering over a toadstool like a Chinook, the hydraulic bomb bay doors opened. I could hear a flock of mosquitos hovering inches away, they buzzed like tiny quadrocopter drones. Their bloody beaks had a lock on my glutes, and they were hungry. As I laid a curly pile of DQ, they commenced their strike on my albino parts.

I counted 37 stings in 90 seconds.

Realized I wasn't more than a few feet off the trail, I glanced up and there was little barrier between the active code brown and bikers. Clean-up in aisle 7, the first leaf I reached for had little poky needles on the underside. Bomb bay doors still open, I bear-walked a few feet over and grabbed different random leaves, praying for no poison ivy or a mother biking by pulling toddler on a tag-a-long.

Limped back to the cars, Jenny was waiting with a sack of chocolate chip cookies to celebrate Tony's birthday.

The end.


  1. I have been warned by friends about the 7 mile mark. Luckily, I can't get past 4 miles...

    1. Correct, shut her down before mile 7 or the the special fairy that rhymes with boop stops by for a visit.

  2. During my last out and back long run before the Ottawa half marathon I was his hard by GI issues and spent 9k of the 19k walk/running 1 to 1. What should have been a 2 hour run turned into a 2 hour and 45 minute run. It sucked and I wondered if I'd get through my first half without pooping my pants (I did). I now tuck a package of tissue in my running bra for Code Brown calls and made friends with all the people in the neighbourhood just so I can use their potties.

    1. Oh you said the p-word, now you've done it!

  3. Anonymous7/22/2014


  4. Anonymous8/02/2014

    Dig your writing. Keep it up.

  5. Beard, I laughed out loud when I read this . . . do you know that the instinct is part of our flight response . . happens so we "lighten the load" and can run faster from prey . . . notice that deer and many running creatures have the same response . .

    but I'm ready for a new post .. . you must have been having a real vacation .. which any single parent, even with curls, richly deserves . . . hope it was grand . . .


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!