The Movara program, usually very rigid in terms of schedule, offered up choices on Day 5. Guests were invited to go on a hike, or they could choose to run a 5k or 10k race.
The Russian Princess had just come off a massive back injury 3 weeks prior, and was now contending with toe nail horrors that gave me nightmares every time she whipped them out. My knees were still rebelling in a big way, and I had a massive blister on each foot.
Logically, we chose to do the 10k race.
We volunteered for this, it should be noted, primarily because no one had told us that the first 5k of the 10k route was all up hill.
Despite gorgeous clear blue skies, it was a cold morning, with the temperature hovering in the high 30s. Accordingly, she and I prioritized warmth over fashion, dressing in layers upon layers.
The 5k and 10k racers were advised to walk the approximate one mile to the starting line for both courses.
Once at the starting line, we were given instructions. It would be an out-and-back race, so both 5k’ers and 10k’ers would run the same course, but the 5k’ers would turn around at the 1st rest stop, marking the half way point for the 5k race. 10k racers would continue on to a second rest stop 5k in, and then turn around and return to the finish line.
Irina and I decided we would maintain a brisk walk (approx 4.0 mph) for the duration of the course, so as to not aggravate our existing knee and back issues.
Several racers alternated jog/walk intervals, but we seemed to be keeping at pace with them despite the fact that we were walking 100% of the time, thereby proving my theory that I can walk faster than some people run.
Approximately 20 or so minutes in; shortly after we passed the turnaround mark for the 5k racers, I felt some grumblings in my tummy.
The Movara nutritionist had pointed out in a lecture earlier in the week, “Our menus here are probably quite different to what you eat at home. So, some of you may not have pooped yet. Others of you haven’t stopped pooping. This is normal.”
I fell into the latter category.
No joke. I would go as soon as a I woke up. Then I’d go again after morning stretch. Then I’d go again after breakfast, because God forbid I had to go during the hike.
I am not sure if the issue was that I hadn’t gone after breakfast this particular morning, or if I was just feeling anxious due to the race, but one thing was quite clear: I had to go.
Mind over matter.
Let’s take some pictures! I suggested.
Mind over matter.
I turned to Irina and exclaimed, Dude, I have to poop. She responded, Maybe they’ll have a bathroom at the second rest stop. I reminded her that the first ‘rest stop’ was basically the Movara van, pulled over at the side of the road, a folding table set up with some Dixie cups and a giant water bottle.
Nope. The only bathrooms in sight were those inside the lovely homes we were passing.
Do you think they’d take pity on me if I knocked at the door and asked to use their bathroom? I asked rhetorically. Of course, I’d never ask a stranger if I could enter their home for the express purpose of vacating my explosive bowels in their bathroom.
I took a few deep breaths and we slowed our pace some to see if the discomfort would pass.
I’VE GOTTA GO! I whined. I swear, if I had toilet paper, I would totally squat behind a bush and just do it right out here.
And then the Russian reminded me of the full depth of her Russian-ness.
I have toilet paper AND Kleenex, she said.
What??? Really??? Wait, why do you have… never mind. Okay, I’m doing this.
I scoped the landscape for a large enough shrub to offer some modicum of privacy.
Oh look, there! exclaimed the Russian, pointing at a large utility box across the road.
I took her stockpile of toilet paper and ran toward my makeshift commode.
Struggling to make my way past umpteen layers, my thumbs finally found the waistband of my pants. I quickly shoved them down to my knees, assuming the squat position in the process.
And then… nothing.
What in the actual fuck? I could barely keep my sphincter closed 5 minutes before, and all of a sudden I had performance anxiety? REALLY??
The Russian yelled over, Well, are you going, or what?
THPPTPHTPHPHHPH, my body responded.
She heard the horrific noise coming out of my body and started laughing hysterically.
I mewled back at her, Ewww…it’s SO gross! It’s like PUDDING! And it SMELLS! Ewww!!!
Shut up and finish, I have to go pee, too, she yelled back.
I cleaned up, sanitized my hands, and tried to reclaim some of my lost dignity as I made my way back to the road.
Feeling better? she asked.
Infinitely, I replied.
With that unseemly drama behind us, we pushed ahead, determined to not finish in last place. We had no idea how many racers were doing the 5k versus the 10k, adding to our anxiety about where we were pacing to finish.
Race be damned though, we couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of our long shadows.
A Movara staff member passed us, advising that 10 total racers were doing the 10k, and that we had four ahead of us, and four behind us. We were exactly right in the middle of the pack.
With that motivation, we determined to keep pushing to ensure we finished no lower than our current positions.
At approximately one half mile to the finish line, we decided to actually run some of our 10k race. A novel concept, I know. Don’t judge.
Moments later I crossed the finish line just as I had started it, in lock-step with my bestie.
We walked back to the resort, stopping to take a few more pictures along the way:
And in case you thought that was it for Day 5, I’ll remind you that this is Movara, where just becauses you complete a 10k doesn’t mean you get the rest of the day off.
Final stats for the day:
- 27,511 steps
- 11.9 miles
- 2,385 calories burned (vs. 1,200 consumed)
- 1 massive amount of dignity lost
- 1 Lomi Lomi massage (…which made me forget every hardship in my life. Ever.)