Yesterday morning, when I came home from my run, I was walking around the house all proud of myself. And then I made the mistake of walking past a mirror in our living room. HOLY MOLEY! I looked like death warmed over! Did I ALWAYS look this rough after a run?? I was flushed…and sweaty…and apparently I could not even feel that massive amount of snot running down my face. (Nice visual, yes?) If this is my usual post-run appearance, God bless my husband for all those hugs and kisses after races. YOWZA! I am certainly no post-run beauty queen. (Though I do think a tiara and sash would have improved my situation.)
While running is fun and great for the body, it comes along with a whole other side that does not get talked about much…the FUNKY side.
If you are a newbie runner, here are some things you have in store for you. Don’t think for one second that you will not experience them at some point, because you will. I promise you! If you are not a newbie runner, then you have probably seen or experienced some of these things and you will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.
SWEAT. I am just going to put it out there…I am one Sweaty Freaking Betty. I am not one of those girls that “glows” or “perspires.” I sweat. A lot. By the end of a run, all my hair is drenched and my ponytail is often flinging droplets as it swings side to side. If I fling sweat at you, I am sorry. Please know that it is not intentional. If you fling sweat my way, I’ll probably think, “Oh, that was gross.” but I will understand. Try your best to keep it to yourself, but if it shakes off, just try to shake that salty goodness AWAY from your fellow runners.
BLISTERS. Oh, blisters. This is one of the most common gross-outs experienced on the run. It can happen to noobs and veterans alike, repeatedly. I have most often gotten them right in the arch of my feet, typically on long runs. What starts out as a little hot spot quickly progresses into a massive, disgusting bubble o’ nastiness. I know “they” have said that you should not lance these suckers, but I HAVE to. There is no way this girl is walking around on a bubbled up foot until is pops on its own. (Blister poppage in my sock??? GRODIE!) I mean, no, thank you. For the proper way to take care of your blisters, check out this page.
*Note: I was going to post a good blister pic, but they even grossed me out too much. If your curious, just Google “runner blisters.”*
CHAFING. For me, chafing is something that I am experiencing a lot more recently. Back when I was heavier, when I first started running, my poor thighs rubbed together and created so much friction I swear I could almost start a campfire. As I ran more, my legs got leaner, I was running faster, and the problem seemed to subside. And then I got pregnant. Hello Thunder Thighs, I’ve missed you (not really). But, it looks like they are here to stay for a few more months, so I will make sure I keep my Bodyglide within an arms reach. Other places you might experience chafing is on the inside of your upper arm, on the inside of your shorts waistband, and around your ankle where your socks hit. For wherever you have some friction, Bodyglide the heck out of it. It will be your saving grace.
SNOT ROCKETS. I am one of the lucky ones who have allergies year-round. (Yay allergies!) In the spring and summer, it is all the plants and flowers blooming that gets me. In the fall and winter, it is the crisp air that does me in. The worst is in the dead of winter when my face gets so cold that I don’t even feel the snot running down out of my nose. It is SUPER lady-like, I promise. When on your run, sneezing, snotting, and snot rockets are bound to happen. If you have to shoot one out during a race, PLEASE, for the love of Pete, glance behind you quickly to make sure you don’t snot on a fellow runner. That’s just nasty. Or you could be gross like me and just wipe it on your sleeve. (Don’t judge, you know you have done it too.)
FLATULENCE AND THE RUNNER’S TROTS. Or, the poops…whatever you want to call it. In this arena, I really AM one of the lucky ones, as I do not seem to get the normal GI afflictions that affect most runners. I am very rarely nervous on race days and I am very careful about what I eat during training and on race day. If you have ever had long run or marathon training buddies, this is an aspect of their lives that you will learn (and probably talk about at some point) intimately. I am never surprised about the details of one’s personal life that get discussed on training runs. You will know exactly how far into a run your buddy will have to stop and you will know all the points along your route that have public restrooms. Don’t be ashamed to speak up and tell your mates if you have to stop; it happens to MOST runners. You will always see a long line at the port-a-potties the morning of a race. All I can say is that is one line I am glad not to be in…especially if you don’t show up to the race early. Those port-a-potties certainly don’t get any more fresh smelling as the morning goes on!
BLOODY NIPPLES. This is one that happens to the fellas more than the ladies but I have seen it a time or two in the flesh. And it is as absolutely awful as it sounds. This happens when a man’s shirt gets sweaty and the wet fabric rubs against those oh-so-sensitive areas for too many miles. If seeing a man bleed from his chest doesn’t make you run out and get your Bodyglide, I don’t know what will.
VISUAL ASSAULTS. You know what I am talking about. The old guy in the “shorty short” running hot pants. The older lady in running shorts that are so freaking tight that they almost look like panties. The lady that takes her running so seriously that she runs a charity 5k in running buns. What is so difficult about running shorts (in the proper size) and a singlet? I mean, really? Just dress comfortably. And, no, there is NO convincing me that the aforementioned ensembles which I have actually seen is races is comfortable or appropriate.
As a runner, what have you experienced personally or seen at races that completely grosses you out? What funky runner habits do you have?