Tuesday, 23 August 2011

N is for nettle… S is for stings and A is for Arse- as in nettle stings on the arse!

Catchy title eh? And it’s true-I am suffering from an acute attack of ‘nettle stings on the arse.’ It’s a rare condition contracted only by the idiot, stupid, doofus female runner who has no pelvic floor muscles and cannot therefore contain the contents of her bladder!  In my defence, it wasn’t actually my fault. It was my blooming ‘gee I loved running those 11 miles in the rain’ attitude of last Thursday that got me into trouble- damn me and my positive attitude. No good can come of it.
           Basically, we went camping to an idyllic part of Yorkshire. As we  were driving to the campsite, I realised that all of the roads were flat- there wasn’t a hill in site. It hit me like a fitness obsessed thunderbolt- I would run my first 12 mile race here, what better way to see the local area and idyllic villages (and to snoop through windows where people had forgotten to draw their blinds against nosey runners- don’t judge me, we all do it!)
            Still in recovery after the 11 miler, I had drunk litres of water to re-hydrate. But did this occur to me? Of course not. In fact, as soon as I had mentally committed to running, I decided to drink more- the temperature was notching up an impressive 19 degrees and so I was swigging litre bottles of the good stuff like they were going out of fashion. As soon as the tent was up, the kids were playing with their new best friends and the husband was reading the paper (I say ‘reading'- he always pays particular attention to the ‘stories’ on page 3, obviously Debbie from Dundee has a very informed and intelligent opinion on the state of the Middle East- that’s why she has to express it with her baps out,) I laced up my runners and set off.
                For five miles, I enjoyed the scenery and the flat roads. Then I felt a twinge in my bladder. I needed the loo. At home, I have several favourite ‘wee tree’s’ behind which I nip if I become urgent- but out here… there was nothing but low hedges and million pound houses with wrought iron gates and swanky water features. I bit my lip and continued running then I stumbled in a hole and nearly wet my pants. Desperately, I stopped, crossed my legs and looked around. To my left was a square of overgrown grass- quite large, and surrounded by bungalows. I really had no other option.
                I removed my cap (it’s bright white and would have stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the sea of lush greenery.) As I ran towards the back of the plot, I stood in a bucket of what can only be described as sludge. My lovely blue left shoe assumed the colour – and consistency of pooh- and something wet oozed between my toes. I should have known right there and then that this would not end well… but I soldiered on. Finally I reached the back of the plot and urgency overtook me, I squatted and relieved myself. Then suddenly, I felt a little stinging sensation on my right bum cheek-this was joined by another, then another until there was a whole line of tiny pinpricking stings stretching across my booty. I froze- terrified that I had disturbed a hornets nest or the web of a black widow spider (Yes, I know they are not supposed to live in this country but scientists can never know for sure- one might have come over from Africa in a banana crate or something.)
                Then I looked around and saw that I had squatted in the middle of the biggest nettle patch ever- it literally stretched for half an acre. By the time I had hobbled back to the path, my backside was on fire. I must have looked a sight going back to the camp- my left hand rubbing my bum cheeks whilst I hobbled/ jogged in a kind of legs crossed, squelchy shoe kind of manner. I fell back through the tent doors and begged my husband to rub the savlon into my bum- when he had finally finished laughing, he agreed and then rang his friends and family to share the story. All of his phone calls started with that immortal line’ you’ll never guess what she’s done this time…’ even my kids laughed and spent the whole of the weekend saying things like ‘oh no Mum, quick, hide, there’s a nettle bush.’ It was a special trip. Really it was.
                Because I am still a bit tender (and back to my usual ‘why the heck am I bothering? This just hurts’ ethos rather than the peppy attitude I foolishly adopted last week) I only ran three miles tonight. Quite honestly, I was a bit worried about getting caught short again- there are quite a few thistle patches on my usual running route. Now that WOULD be painful!
Happy times x


  1. I shouldn't laugh! But I did! Have you considered having a catheter fitted for your next run? I believe they can be rather useful. After reading your tale of woe I' considering having one fitted myself - when I finally get to run any great distance! Keep on rubbing in the Savlon and keep up the good work!

  2. Lucky you don't live in deer country where the dreaded ticks like nothing better than a shiny bum to stick their nasty little claws into. Buy yourself a Shewee!