Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Blog Archives - 2012
The Point of No Return...

Every runner has been there…


So let me set the stage:


As runners we tend to be strategic in our running routes… We are creatures of habit… so we tend to plan routes based on convenience / overall mileage / Etc. Want to run a quick 8 miles?  I have got just the route.  Only feeling like 3 miles?  No worries… I gotcha covered.

And then there are usually other reasons for a developing a certain route… Come across a loose dog on a country road…? More than likely, you won’t be headed back that direction again.  Encounter some sort of wild life that has decided to chase you… geese, skunk, badger, OWL??  You will probably think twice about heading that direction again…


So as runners, we develop “the list.”

“The list,” you say?


Yep.  “The List.”


“The List” of course is a list of things that factor into deciding what route to take and why that route will prove to be a tried and tested route for years to come…


      - Don’t like to deal with stoplights…? You find a route without stoplights.

      - Hills not your thing…?  Change your route…


      - Can’t stand the wind on the open road??  You find a nice neighborhood with

        mature trees to shelter you during the storm.


So what does this have to do with “the point of no return” you ask?  Good question… As stated above, we runners take all sorts of things into consideration when determining our routes and everything listed above is, without question, important to consider.


HOWEVER, I would argue that, while running… one of the most important things to consider is this:


What happens if we have to poop??


(Did he just say poop??) Oh, I am sorry… you are one of “those people” that don’t say things like “taking a crap, dropping a growler, taking a dump,  pinching a loaf, laying some cable, dropping a log, Seeing Mr. Brown off to the coast, Building a House for President Lincoln…. Etc.”


Okay then… what happens if you have to go - number 2?? *Shhhhh… don’t say it too loudly… it’s embarrassing* :)

Ah yes… the POOP FACTOR.

Every runner experiences it and it is the worst feeling in the world… Home is in sight and you are at a dead sprint for the last half mile… just hoping…. NO PRAYING... that you don’t  “Build a House for President Lincoln” in the middle of street, or worse yet… two steps from your door. (City building code wouldn’t permit that)  ...and you think saying “Poop” is embarrassing. 

We all have stories.  Just one of the many of mine include a thick group of trees off a major interstate near the Twin Cities.  (I seriously have never been so thankful for that “thick bush” in my life.)  Yes, I must admit that I risked pooping in public and probably a ticket for indecent exposure and/or a citation for public defecation  had I been seen… but you know something? I don’t regret “fertilizing that small patch of forest” (Yet another saying) for one minute… because “When you gotta go… unfortunately… You.have.got.to.go.


SO… all this to say that, I would be remiss if I did not advise you (as you make “The List” of factors that determine what you will deem as an acceptable route) to consider the poop factor.  Are there strategic gas stations on your routes?  Are there city parks with public restrooms?  A construction site with a temporary “jiffy john?”  Anything?


 It is imperative that you consider all of your options is all that I am saying…


That said, no matter how good of a planner you are… on some routes… there is always that dreaded “Point of No Return.  You know the point…  The point at which you probably have the following conversation with yourself:


“Am I feeling good?”


“Was that a bowel movement I felt coming on the last mile… or just a fart?”


“Hmmm…. If it was a bowel movement… I have 4 miles to go and no option during that stretch…”


“Should I risk it?”

"Can I make it??"

“If I take a left now on (crapping like a) Goose Lane… there are 3 different options, should the need arise.”


“Straight… Left?”  “Straight… Left?”  “Straight… Left?”




We always go straight.  Why?  I have no idea…


Maybe it’s the challenge… Maybe it’s the fact that “Goose Lane” is .5 miles shorter than the preferred route… and tacking on an additional half mile is simply unacceptable.  And then maybe… you just have no other route in order to get the miles in…


So… as I wind this blog post down… I wish you all the wisdom in the world as you encounter the dreaded “Point of No Return.”  The next time you see a runner at a dead sprint making a Bee-line for a house… just smile and think two thoughts:


“Hmm…  Looks like he/she made the wrong choice... I am smarter than that.”



“Glad it’s not me.”


Happy Trails!  :)

(Written by Greg)

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