I say this as a runner. And I say it in all seriousness. Runners are gross y’all. I thought of this (for about the millionth time) today during my 11 mile run. What brought it to my attention was somewhere around the twentieth snot-rocket that I blew. It was around 34 degrees this morning and the snot-rockets (not to mention my sleeves that I wiped my nose on after the rockets) were inevitable. So here are all of the reasons we runners are gross:

1. Snot. Especially in the winter. Generally, pocket space is limited in running apparel. And even of I had more pockets, I probably wouldn’t stuff them full of tissues. They’d probably get soaked with sweat before I had a chance to use them. So most runners get pretty adept at blowing snot-rockets. No one is perfect though. That’s what sleeves are for.
2. Bodily functions down there. If you google it, you will find pictures of marathon runners with all forms of gross running down their legs. Ladies have menstrual issues and no one is immune from pooping problems. I’ve never actually had either of these things happen to me (thankfully), but there have been at least a few times when I actually thought I was going to crap my pants. It’s not a good feeling. Lucky for me, my finishing time has never been more important to me than not crapping my pants. Lesson learned here? Don’t eat eggs shortly before heading out for a long run.
3. Chafing. This is less gross than the last two but it can still get gross. We runners have to be very careful about what clothing we chose to run in. A seam in the wrong spot can mean trouble. When I first started running close to two years ago, I had gotten some new shorts and stuff to run in. It was summer so I figured shorts were the right choice. At first, my workouts were structured so that running on a track made more sense because I knew exactly how far I was going. I was using the local high school’s track and it was towards the end of summer so the football team was starting their preseason workouts. Somewhere around my second or third day of running, my brand new shorts were starting to rub my inner thigh. I ignored it. It was uncomfortable (okay, it hurt), but I wanted to get my workout done. So I finished and left. When I got into the car, I looked down at where the shorts had been rubbing. My entire inner thighs were smeared with blood. The friggin’ seam in those shorts had chafed me until I bled. So it looked like I had an accident similar to one mentioned in example #2 in front of a high school football team and all of their coaches. Swell.
4. Stink. Runners sweat. And after a while, sweat stinks. Especially when it gets hot outside. Feet stink too. And therefore shoes as well. And if you’re not careful, the clothes you run in will permanently stink too. Gross.

The positives about running definitely outweigh the negatives. I don’t mind sharing these somewhat embarrassing stories about myself because a) I’m shameless, and b) I know I’m certainly not the only one who has to deal with this stuff. So what’s your gross-out running story? Any helpful hints to avoid them?

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