March means March Madness, so that is the theme for the month. Not sure what that means as regards running? Good question. Maybe training for an ultra? Signing up for a Ragnar Relay? March madness can mean different things to different people. To me it means…Snot Rockets.
That’s right. Snot rockets are just one of many skills that runners sharpen through training and practice. Yes, they’re gross. Yes, they can be messy. But, like peeing in the bushes and using a porta-potty without touching anything, snot rockets are an important skill for runners.
Warning: Straight-up runner talk ahead.
The Art of the Snot Rocket
This is a really bad picture of a really wonderful moment. Alan and I, running our first Paris Marathon, in 1998. This is a poster that is hanging in our entryway. See that yellow circle? That is my pink flower hankie, that I carried in most races back then so that I could delicately wipe my drippy nose. That was obviously before I perfected the art of the snot rocket.
I’m not sure exactly when I decided that using a hankie was just way too much effort. I started by, after looking around to make sure no one was close, discreetly placing a finger over one nostril, then turning my head and blowing out forcefully.
The world didn’t end. No one stopped and pointed at me. I discovered that keeping my sinuses clear this way was very helpful with my exercise induced asthma. I was in.
I admit that I still take a look around before I do it, but I am now a confirmed snot-rocketer. The art? Don’t worry about who’s looking, but do take notice of who is behind you.
The Art of Hocking a Loogie
I come from a time when ladies did not spit, let alone hock a loogie. (I admit I had to Google the correct spelling of this delicious sounding act.) But, when you’re running and the need arises, you do not want to swallow it down. Instead, when you cough up that yucky phlegm, draw it up into your throat, and spit that shit out!
The Art of the Porta Potty
Most races, in order to provide bathroom facilities at the start line, provide portable toilets to use. Call it a porta potty or portolet, or any of a variety of names all of which basically mean an outhouse. Usually an overused, undercleaned, sitting it the hot sun, outhouse. The kind where you hold your breath and try to go without touching anything.
My best example of using a porta potty in an artful way came during the 1999 St. George Marathon. I ran my PR that year (3:16) in spite of having to stop twice to pee (not to mention fueling issues, but that’s a whole other story).
Here’s what I did. I ran into the porta potty. I grabbed my toilet paper first (key), stood up on the platform surrounding the seat. I then pulled my shorts aside, squatted above the opening, and, well, went. Then I dashed out, picked up my pace for about a quarter mile, then resumed my race pace. Voila. The art of peeing in a porta potty.
The Art of Peeing in the Bushes
There is a skill to peeing in the bushes (or anywhere that is not a restroom). This applies to women, obviously. If you’ve ever run a race, especially with a delayed start, you may have noticed that during that first mile, many men dash off to the side of the road, stand still for about 15 seconds, then, without hardly losing momentum, are back in the race.
Women don’t have it so easy. We have to 1) Find an appropriate and discreet spot, 2) Skulk off without anybody noticing, 3) Quickly pull down our running shorts and do our business, 4) Shake our bodies a bit because, um, no toilet paper, 5) Now quickly pull up those sweaty running shorts.
I recommend stashing a bit of tissue in your running belt, as well as using the restroom shortly before your run or race. But, if the inevitable happens, don’t be embarrassed. I have peed before the start of a few races by pulling my plastic garbage bag discreetly over my knees (yet another use for those bags) and during the Paris Marathon by simply pulling off the course while we were running through the Bois de Bologne as squatting in full view of the rest of the runners. That was unusual and extreme, but I really really had to go. Really.
Yes, runners. We are different.
Have you perfected a gross running (or other sport) skill?
The Running Coaches Corner
My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!
Sunday Blog Hop with Jenn
Meatless Monday with Sarah and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie
Inspire Me Monday with Janice
Anything Goes with Marilyn
Bonnie, the Pin Junkie
Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape
Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie, Michelle, Sarah, and Angelena Marie
Wednesday Wisdom with Nanna’s Wisdom
The Running Coaches’ Corner with Rachel, Suz, Lora Marie, and Me!
The Blogger’s Pit Stop with Kathleen
Let’s Get Real with Karen.
Friday Fitness with Jill
Fitness Friday with Miranda