Confessions of an Unladylike Runner

September 1, 2015

When I think about all the ways I would describe myself as a runner, there is one common characteristic that simply can’t be avoided: I’m unladylike. My unladylike running nature was the inspiration behind this Website, and I’ve probably initiated more inappropriate and unladylike moments while running than I care to admit. But with honesty and an uncensored approach also comes important lessons, meaningful experiences, a lot of fun … and of course, the most embarrassing running stories.

Which leads me to today: I’ve been keeping some secrets from you. It hasn’t been intentional. There just hasn’t been a logical time to lead with “Hey guys, I’ve been pooping in the woods and taking pictures in my underwear and fighting body odor. How are you?” So today, I’m fessing up to some of my recent unladylike moments. Dear God, why do I allow myself such humiliation!?!

Confession #1: Does a bear shit in the woods?

Would you poop in the woods during a run if you had no toilet paper? There’s a well-known saying that’s a sarcastic response to any question that has an incredibly obvious answer – “Does a bear shit in a woods?” (Yes, that’s really the official definition of this phrase from the Urban Dictionary.) And, it’s the only, literal, response to my question.

While I was at Acadia National Park in Maine at the end of July, I was on a trail run with Mr. rUnladylike just after sunrise.

Confessions of an unladylike runner on

I was running in the most inspirational and beautiful place when I realized something wasn’t right. At the turn-around point with two miles to the nearest bathroom, I knew I couldn’t run another step if I didn’t go to the bathroom. Immediately. With Mr. rUnladylike standing watch about 100 meters away, I found the nearest tree and patch of pine needles and took care of business. Mid-stream, Mr. rUnladylike thought it would be funny to shout, “Jes, there’s a bear. Look out!” I nearly fell back into my freshly laid, all-natural fertilizer. Thankfully, I managed to maintain my balance without reflexively standing up without my pants on. My tissues I like to carry for those just-in-case moments were conveniently located in the car several miles away, so it was a shake-and-pray-for-a-clean-break strategy. Two miles later when I finally made it to a real bathroom, I realized my skills at toilet paper-less squat-popping were award winning. Boom.

Does a bear shit in the woods? It sure looked like one did. *wink*

Does a bear shit in the woods
Photo source: Urban Dictonary

Confession #2: Stinking Up the Room

Some of you know that Mr. rUnladylike and I are building a house in Tampa. It will not be completed until spring of 2016, so we are living like nomads. For the past month, we’ve been staying at my parents’ house. Last weekend, my mom and I decided to throw some workout clothes in the washer. When I came in with my laundry basket, my mom nearly gagged. She could smell all my running clothes and all she could say was, “My running clothes don’t smell like that.” Some would call that a badge of honor. It must mean I run a lot. Either that or I sweat way more than the average person.

Confession #3: Running Shenanigans from Commando Commander

I don’t wear underwear when I run. There simply isn’t room for another layer when you’re wearing tight-fitting shorts with a 3.5-inch inseam. However, I have decided that I should probably wear underwear the other 23 to 24 hours in the day. The team at Brooks Running recently sent me some of their Moving Comfort seamless underwear to try (Out of Sight bikini and thong). Should one really love underwear this much? I can’t stop wearing them.

Confessions of an unladylike runner on

My mom forbade me from posting inappropriate photos of myself in my skivvies here, so I added a little artistic treatment to my underwear selfies so they aren’t so pornographic. If you like underwear and you like to run, you need these. Trust me people.

Moving Comfort underwear on
Moving Comfort underwear on

Confession #4: The Fight against B.O.

Nearly two years ago, I decided to make the shift from regular antiperspirant (that does an excellent job at preventing sweat and stink) to natural deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum. While I’m happy to be using natural ingredients on my body that are non-toxic, natural deodorant doesn’t really work well. I’ve bought and tried three different brands so far. Mr. rUnladylike has not enjoyed this experimentation so much, especially with the brands that seem to cause body odor instead of prevent it. There was a two-week period when I tried a product called de-Odor that should be called “I stink so bad my husband wants to divorce me.” Needless to say, that one didn’t make the cut. Nor did the Ava Anderson offering that is a chocolate peppermint scent. Not only does it not work very well, but do you really want your armpits to smell like a peppermint patty right before they start smelling like B.O.? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The best option I’ve found so far that seems to do the job is Schmidt’s All Natural Fragrance-Free, Aluminum-Free Deodorant. I found this at a market in Atlanta and recently bought a new jar the last time I was there in July. You scoop a small amount onto a little spatula that comes inside the jar, rub it between your fingers to turn it into a paste and then apply it to your armpits. Not the sexiest application process, but it seems to work much better than my other products. And I stink less … so there’s that.

That’s what I’ve been keeping from you the past few months. Always running, always unladylike. Embrace the #unladylike.

What are your most embarrassing running stories?
What are your favorite running underwear?
If you’ve tried an aluminum-free deodorant you think works, share it with me so I can try it!