When I was in college, I dated a guy who played on an intramural flag football team. He was the quarterback and I was a big supporter of his, so I would go to most of their games and cheer for them. I was their “team” mom, as they called me. Even though it was just flag football, they took it seriously. It was a huge deal to them. They were pretty good too. I think they won their division a couple times, at the least, they made it to the playoffs.
Most of the time, I was the only female surrounded by a few disgusting teams of college boys, so I was fairly used to the farts and crotch scratching, however, I never cared much for my own boyfriend’s disgusting habit of blowing snot rockets before, during and immediately after the games. It absolutely repulsed me.
You can imagine how grossed out I was to see a runner displaying this kind of disgusting behavior during one of my first races. I couldn’t imagine why on Earth they weren’t carrying tissues with them if they had the sniffles during a race. What I further didn’t understand is that this happens to a large population of runners. And until I began running long distance, I was not able to fully understand the need to shoot boogers and snot forcefully through your nostrils.
Up until fairly recently, I hadn’t attempted to blow a snot rocket myself, but I must admit, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s a wonderful skill to perfect, especially during the cold winter months.
Just yesterday, after a weeklong head cold, where I could barely breathe, I decided to lace up and head out for a couple shake out miles. Being that I’ve been sick, I still have a little bit of, shall we say, drainage. In combination with the colder than normal Florida temperatures, my drainage began to drip down my nose. Instead of sucking it back up neatly inside my nose, and since I didn’t have a tissue, I took a quick glance behind me and to the neighboring houses, and let it out……. without even slowing down. I’ve only done this repulsing act a few times, but I’m still slightly embarrassed to be witnessed while doing so. However, breathing is kinda crucial to running, so if my airway is blocked by snotty mucus, it’s gotta come out, forcefully, if necessary. If you are not aware of how to skillfully perform this nauseating action, here is a “how to” video below provided from Runner’s World.
Let me just say, for the record, running is a dirty little habit. Snot rockets are just the tip of the iceberg. Right along with the nasty green goobers of flying snot, is the habit of spitting.
I will completely admit that I am a spitter. A decade of playing shortstop on the clay infield of a softball field turned me into a pretty good spitter too! I spit so well, even Jack Dawson would be proud.
Nowadays, I take my spitting to the pavement, instead of the clay. The big difference between spitting in softball versus while running is the space allotted between the players. I never had to look out for teammates or base runners when I was on the softball diamond, but now, I make it a point to glance both ways before hawking up a loogie. It’s just good etiquette to look before you dispel any bodily fluid. lol
Just a few weeks ago, I was nearing the end of my usual neighborhood loop just a few blocks from my house. My neighborhood streets are pretty quiet and I don’t have pedestrians or other runners to look out for often, I just have to keep to the left and run against traffic. This particular day, I had to spit and did so without checking behind me first. I cocked my head to the right and spit out a large wad. (TMI) All would’ve been fine, except there was a low-ride vehicle that was passing me at that very moment and I do believe I hit his/her windshield with my projectile. Oppsie. Luckily, he must’ve not notice, or he was nice enough to not take odds with me, because I managed to complete my run without an altercation. Needless to say, I will not be spitting in the direction of traffic again.
Along with dehydration, running outdoors amongst the pollution and other irritants can trigger the thicker saliva that usually causes the urge to spit. You can keep this from happening by proper hydration throughout the week. If you can’t control yourself, much like me, make sure you use the same caution as reviewed in the snot rocket video from above. Don’t forget to look both ways to make sure the coast is clear and allow clearance for 3 -4 feet.
Good snot rocket and spitting techniques are fundamental skills every runner should master! Tell me, do you?