A little over ten years ago, I was getting my wrist operated on. It was local anesthesia, which implied taking my arm out of the hospital gown, painting my arm with antiseptic and injecting the drug into my armpit. They painted from my fingers all the up to my armpit and in a moment of distraction, my right breast was exposed.
In that moment, 12 doctors rushed in and out of the OR.
I gave up being prude in that moment.
And so must you be during a long distance triathlon.
Someone once asked me if we triathletes ever feel like going to the bathroom.
"Of course," I replied.
"So...what do you do?"
That's easy: just pee on yourself.
The quicker you get over the social stigma of peeing on yourself, the better off you'll be. And, I can tell you from experience, that holding it screws up your system. I once held it in during a 5km swim. My stomach swelled quite a bit and it hurt so badly that I felt a bit queasy all day.
Have you ever seen a triathlete, while biking, stands up on the bike and throws the hips to the side? Ever wonder why? That is, my friends, the discreet art of peeing down your leg so that you don't get your chain. And you don't want to get your chain because it'll be detrimental to bike mechanics.
Your shoes, however, will risk being stinky.
Peeing in the water is easier. Just a mental prayer saying sorry to the poor sod behind you and you're on your way.
The first time I peed on myself was on the run. The easy way to cover that up is to douse yourself with water. That way, your shoes won't be too smelly by the end of the day.
This is the one thing I would actually recommend practicing on race day. I can justify a lot better the fact that I have smelly shoes because of a competition than for a training day. It feels like a waste of one more day that your shoes can be "clean."
But it's your call. It's definitely not glamorous but you do feel a lot better for it.