To Pee or Not To PR

Friday, 17 October 2008  |  Bullish Insights

To pee or not to PR, yes, that is my question.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, in the much too green November 2008 issue of Runner’s World (page 44 for those of you who have a copy), they said that “one or two cups of coffee or tea an hour before a hard workout or race” can lead to faster times.

With that in mind, I drank a cup of brewed Starbucks coffee one hour before Hope in Motion Race last October 5 hoping it would give me even just 1/8 of the speed of Usain Bolt. Sure I felt stronger and meaner (raaawr!) especially climbing up Country Club Drive.  But, I could have missed the start of that race with the seemingly unending pre-race visits to the little girls’ room. My bladder was uncontrollable.

Thinking that the first race was a fluke, I drank yet another cup of my brewed coffee before Adidas KOTR last week as added assistance to reach my sub-55 hour goal. Yes, I did achieve my goal, but I intentionally left out one little detail when I shared my race report: I went to the comfort room twice before the race, and just as the race was about to begin, I felt the urge AGAIN!  There was no time so I ran through the entire 10k praying to God that I could hold it in without doing a Paula Radcliffe in London Marathon 2005.

{ For late comers, I decided to remove the video clip from this blog in respect of the great Paula Radcliffe.  As others have said below, I think she chose to do whatever she had to do to achieve her goal of winning the marathon—I commend her for that. Some people have been poking fun at the video so I thought it best to remove it from this blog. }

So, the question I place before you is this: Would you drink a cup of coffee to boost your chances of breaking your PR in a race (or even just to improve your time) risking the constant visits to the bathroom, or worse, peeing in your pants?

For tomorrow’s Takbo May Yabang race, I know my answer already. No coffee for me, dear. I’ll stick to a cold bottle of Rush for breakfast and my three graham crackers.