Okay, quick: What’s wrong with this picture?
No, it’s not the dog mushing sign. Or even that Seriously has her backside to the camera (which she seems to enjoy showing off).
It’s not what’s there. It’s what’s missing.
Yes, my favorite port-o-potty!
You probably can’t tell from the picture but this port-o-potty is in an odd location, nestled among miles and miles of trails, no other port-o-potty in sight. I mean, why would there be? This is Alaska. We don’t expect nor particularly want port-o-potties on our wooded trails.
Yet, here this one is, all shining and spiffy. It almost warms the heart, doesn’t it? And it’s so inviting!
Trust me, this little blue structure saved my ass more than once during last year’s long runs. Not because I had to, ummm, go. But because it gave me something to look forward to: Eight more miles until the port-o-potty. Three more miles until the port-o-potty. A half mile to the port-o-potty and then wham!, a chance to sit down. The only chair in sight for miles!
And, unbelievably, this port-o-potty was clean, at least through late spring and early summer. Almost no one used it. It didn’t smell. It was clean. I could sit and stare at my shoes and wish I didn’t have another ten or fifteen miles left to run.
It was, in a sense, a beacon of hope.
But alas, it’s still too early in the season for it to be out. And even though I don’t really need a port-o-potty, even though I’ll happily pee (and even, gasp, go number two) in the woods, I miss seeing that damned blue plastic box each time I run past.
In other running news: A few months ago I was swimming so, so well and running just okay. Now I’m running really well and swimming just okay. Cannot figure it out. I’ve been swimming three to four days a week, usually just thirty to sixty laps, and I swear, half of those laps feel choppy and forced. Yet when I run I feel smooth. My body glides over the trails. How odd that I lost grace in one and yet regained it in the other. I mean, why the hell can’t I have it in both?