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Diarrhea; or, The Runs


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Saturday, March 19th: Feast of St. Joseph, the swallows come back to Capistrano and I run the Brooklyn Half-Marathon.

I finished 376th of 1374 women (1462nd of 3325 overall, 11 for my age and sex), but those statistics lie. I saw thousands pass me by in the last five miles.

By then my attention was mainly focused on keeping continent. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or maybe just indigestion from bad eating (see below) has struck again. Imagine me running three miles on the Coney Island Boardwalk, then six miles up Ocean Parkway (a thoroughfare I’d never seen before, but which was exactly as I’d imagined), finally up Park Circle and into Prospect Park, all the while looking for a porta-potty (or Royal Flush, to use the concession’s actual name).

Funny how few people are noticeably ill at these events. Though I did see a girl with the dry heaves, just before the Park Circle turnoff.

In 1999, on a relay race in New Hampshire, I ate Olestra-laced potato chips and got a severe case of trots. There I was, running through the center of Laconia, NH at 2 in the morning, hoping desperately to reach the finish before I soiled myself. Today’s race was nearly that bad. Not coicidentally, I ate potato chips yesterday, too, though they did not have Olestra. Also ate assorted sushi and some cheese. And a big chocolate-chip cookie and bowl of hot chocolate with cube-shaped marshmallow at the City Bakery on 18th Street. That’s my diverse diet, folks. I shall be more careful in the two or three days leading up to the Paris Marathon, and subsist entirely on yoghurt, fruit, and modest amounts of soup and pasta.

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