So, my husband and I are doing this Tough Mudder training program, right? Yesterday, the Week 7 / Day 3 scheduled workout was a 5 mile run followed by an ab workout.
We decided to head up to our local park to do the run portion. It was hot. It was on the verge of raining so it was super humid. About a mile in, I was having a hard time breathing and needed to cool down fast. I decided to take off my shirt and run in my sports bra.
Women run in their sports bras all the time. No big deal, right?
After three children, two umbilical hernia surgeries, and a Fallopian tube removal, I am used to the double take glances at the scars adorning my stomach. My first umbilical surgery left me with a puckered star of a belly button. This is accentuated by an angry frown right above my belly button from my second umbilical surgery. Because of the scar tissue, my doctor was forced to make a random incision to the left of this artwork to yank my Fallopian tubes. (This one is kind of cool; it looks like a stab wound. At least that’s what I am telling people it is. 😀 ) Throw in a handful of wave-like stretch marks, mostly from my 8 pound 14 ounce bouncing baby boy James… like I said, I am used to double takes when I bear my stomach. Normally it doesn’t bother me…
Yesterday, I was in the zone. It was so much cooler without my shirt, I was focused on my run, Pandora was actually playing decent music, and I was happy with my pace. Yet, I quickly started noticing everyone I passed giving me weird looks.
I’m a friendly runner. I wave hello to everyone and have even given the occasional high five to other runners that I pass. Yesterday? I would make eye contact, only for people to look me up and down and quickly avert their eyes. One lady even smirked at me!!
The first couple of times this happened, I brushed it off. It was hot and people are dicks when it’s hot. After four or five times of this happening, though, I started to get a little self-conscious. At this point I decided to become an unfriendly runner. Fuck them. I didn’t care what the hell my stomach looked like, how disgusted they were. If they wanted to stare and gasp and grimace at my bare tummy, then fuck ’em. I wasn’t going to let them ruin my run.
I put on my game face and finished my run in my best time yet. Whoot!
As I was waiting for my husband to finish his five miles, I found a shady piece of grass right off the path so I could stretch. I sat down, pulled the soles of my feet together, and pressed down on my knees with my elbows. Concerned with what passersby might see while I was in this butterfly groin stretch, I looked down…
My light purple running shorts, when damp with sweat, turned a dark grey. In the crotchal region. It looked like I had fucking peed my pants. I didn’t, but it sure as hell looked like I did.
While newer, I had run in these shorts several times before. Apparently, the bottom of my shirt covered the embarrassing sweat patches. With my shirt removed, however, I wasn’t just flaunting my stomach battle scars but my mortifying crotchal region sweat marks. That looked like pee pants. Sigh.
It happens. You sweat, some days more than others. But I’m just wondering if I’ve earned a new nickname amongst the park regulars who passed me on my run yesterday?