One of the first things a new runner has to get over is their fear of porta-pots.
You will for sure see them at the start (and finish) of a race, but you also may be fortunate to find one (or a few) along the route. If you're really lucky (and I use that term quite conservatively), you might also find one as you're running on your own, without the convenience of a race or fellow runners in your midst.
Don't be worried, and don't be scared. Everyone can (eventually) conquer any fear or misgivings about these "modern" conveniences. After all, our forefathers survived many years before indoor plumbing was readily available, and their version of porta-potties often gave you splinters.
Anyways, if you're a new runner, or a seasoned runner still fighting that fear, here are a few tips to help you....
1- Enter at your own risk
You have no idea who has been in there ahead of you, so proceed with caution and try not to touch anything. At one of my first long distance races, I decided around mile 9 or 10, that I needed a potty break...and had to wait in line behind 3 or 4 others. Each time someone came out, they warned the next person that it was really nasty in there. Finally when it was my turn, I learned why. Let's just say someone "exploded" all over the place inside...and none of us wanted the others to think we were the ones responsible.
If it's a really sunny day, your eyes may need a few seconds (or several) to adjust to the darkness inside. Conversely, if it's an especially cloudy day, it may be extra dark inside. You just don't know what could be underfoot and (depending on the time of day, cloud cover, your state of fatigue, etc.) there could be some unseen stuff to stay clear of. ..I'll just leave that right there.
3-Watch where you sit
Some porta-pot seats have covers (like the real indoor kind). I had a friend accidentally sit on the lid, instead of the seat itself, and couldn't figure where the dripping "water" was coming from....until she realized the dripping water was not water and it was coming from her. It's always a good idea to check the seat for cleanliness (well, within reason)...it might need a wipe or two before plopping yourself down onto it. Or you can do as I do---squat (and hold that pose with vigor).
4-Knock before entering
Even though most porta-pots have locks, not every occupant knows how (or remembers) to use them...and sometimes the locks don't actually lock. So, give a polite knock...it may prevent a whole mess of embarrassment (I'll just leave that right there, too).
|Is it really open? and unoccupied?|
This goes for both the ladies and men...try to keep your dribbles to yourselves. Just like we all learned in Kindergarten... if you make a mess, please clean it up before exiting. It may be impossible to leave the porta-pot cleaner than you found it, but do try to not make it any worse for the poor sole who is next in line.
|The porta-potty does NOT have to scare you into avoidance....|
So, there's a few tips on porta-potty protocol. Have you ever violated any of these? Any tips you'd add?
** I'm also linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner
**And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout