This morning I headed out for my week’s long run: 13 miles. Now, normally, I get my long run in on Sunday afternoon but Mother Nature (rain) and Life (#2 was baptized on Sunday) got in the way. Being off for the March Break gave me the flexibility to jiggle my running plans a bit; today, I went long.
What I didn’t plan on, though, was the surge in temperature. Last week, I found running in 8C a dramatic change. Today, when I headed out, I started in a sunny 8C and, by the time I got home, it was 14C.
Sensing that I might need a bathroom (doesn’t the body do strange things when we have to adapt to new situations?), I planned my route to pass Coronation Park, a popular park, at the 5 mile mark. Sure enough, at mile 4, I knew that I would need it. I got there worried that the doors to the facilities might still be locked but, no, there were no doors. In fact, the bathrooms had been torn down! Something else was going up in its place but I didn’t take the time to look.
Instead, I ran back to what appeared to be an alternate. No luck. I then asked two ladies watching their children play in the sunshine if they knew where other bathrooms might be and they said there might be some closer to the lake; others I asked along the pathway gave me a different message: there were no washrooms.
In my state of panic, the mother in me wondered about the toilet-training toddlers and children that were running around the playground. Surely one of them will also panic; where will they go? Couldn’t the city have planned their renovations around the excretory needs of park visitors?
Every story should have a happy ending and this one does. As quickly as I could, I left the park and ran to the Seniors’ Residence at the closest corner. Fortunately, the kind volunteer did let me in and, instead of using a cold park toilet that likely hadn’t been cleaned for days, I found myself in a spotless, pleasant smelling facility that also had warm water and a hand drier.
However, this ordeal did add 20 minutes to my run, and that did not please me at all. But all things considered, the extra time really didn’t matter.
P.S. For those who didn’t pick up on the sign of spring, it was construction. Had something new not been going up, the washrooms would not have been torn down and there wouldn’t have been a story to write about.