They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. And for the safety and well-being of everyone that we know, the same applies to runners: what happens on the running route stays on the running route (at least, it does until it gets talked about at length with another runner who won't cringe like they've just watched you eat a live worm). Like a lot of things that runners understand, the discussion of our bodily functions and all the unfortunate oozes, leaks and/or bursts that can happen on a run just becomes commonplace over sandwiches at lunch.
I guess that given the fact that running is kind of a gritty sport, it doesn't necessarily surprise people that we're gross—but I don't think people appreciate just how gross we are. People say that running requires endurance and mental stamina and all these fancy, glorifying words, but when you really get to the heart of it, all running actually requires is a distinct lack of shame. It gets to the point where I don't think we're even consciously aware that we're doing gross things anymore (please forgive me, every car that passes me on my morning runs). Here are a few of the gross things that all runners do:
1. Popping a blister with a sewing needle
And every time you do it, you're somehow surprised by just how much liquid came out of that unfortunate flap of your skin. *Squiiiishhhh*
2. Peeling off a dead toenail
If it weren't so socially unacceptable to keep toenails as trophies, then we could probably string them above our mantles and let our guests admire just how hardcore we are. *Dreamily* Maybe someday.
3. Taming an unruly wedgie by shoving your bare hands into your pants
It doesn't matter where you are. You can look right, look left, look behind you, and get satellite imagery of the five mile radius where you're running, but according to the Law Of Inconvenient Wedgies, there will ALWAYS be someone who pops up out of nowhere to watch you pick fabric out of your butt crack.
4. Hacking up leaked snot
Literally the sexiest sound you are capable of making. Mmm, mmm.
5. Spitting out aforementioned snot on the sidewalk
Ready, aim, FIRE! The "aim" is the most important part. I'm looking at you, every single teenage boy I ever ran cross country with.
6. Discovering a tonsil stone in your throat
Oh, the calcified goodness that pops up every now and then somewhere around mile five, making you especially grateful if you're lucky enough not to have a sensitive gag reflex.
7. Peeing on the side of a race course
Literally the entire first mile and a half of the Army 10 Miler this year was filled with people running off the freeway and into the grass to pee. Running with a full bladder is the most terrifying prospect on earth. God only knows how long you'll be able to maintain independent control of the muscle while all the other ones are screaming.
8. Experiencing gastrointestinal distress at the end of a race
Flergh blergh schmmerrgghhh.
9. Picking at chafing scabs
Who knew you could run so much that the inside of your thighs could bleed?! Or that the tiny little scabs that they leave behind would be this sickly enthralling?
10. Blowing your nose into your running shirt
This shouldn't be as satisfying as it is.
11. Mopping up menstrual blood with a sweater
"Surprise periods" are the worst kind of periods. This only happens to the ladies, but when it does, you better pray you have a sweater you can use to mop up the Picasso painting on your legs and then tie around your butt.
12. Dry heaving all over the neighborhood
This tends to happen to less experienced runners or runners who are getting back into it after a spell of not running, but every now and then, out of nowhere, you just have the sudden and ridiculous urge to upchuck. And the worst part is that you can't. You just kind of start ambling along the sidewalk like a zombie in an isolated tomb of your own agony, waiting for the vomit that never comes. It never comes.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (10)