As a kid I was many things: creative, artistic, nerdy, quiet, tall. Words like athletic or strong were never used for me. Nope. I was quite the wimp when it came to sports and more than once I ended up bruised and battered when my much more athletically-gifted sister tried to teach me how to catch a baseball.

I think that’s why everybody snickered when I first decided to try running. Running was hard, it was sweaty, it required some athletic drive and it was just so. not. me.
But here I am, I’m a runner now. Yup, doing something I never thought I’d ever do, let alone love as much as I do. When I think about it, running has actually made me do many things I never thought I’d do. 
In fact, running has me doing things I think my mother probably wishes I wouldn’t do! The other day she commented on this tweet because I think she thought it was pretty gross…
Actually, I’m certain she thought it was pretty gross and it got me to thinking about some of my other runner’s habits (things I never thought I’d do) that would probably make my mom cringe as well…
  • Snot Rockets. Sometimes a dainty wipe on your sleeve just isn’t enough, am I right? I myself am still perfecting the art of the snot rocket (usually I just get it all over my shirt) but I can certainly appreciate the necessity of such a move and will keep trying until I get my aim and pressure just right.
  • Wearing Already-Worn Exercise Clothes. I try not to do this very often but sometimes a run needs to happen whether the laundry is done or not! If I find myself in this unfortunate situation I try to plug my nose as I get dressed so as to avoid any olfactory reminders that my outfit isn’t so fresh.
  • Squatting in the Bush. When you gotta go, you gotta go and let’s face it, running can have the effect of ahem, accelerating one’s digestive system. Thankfully this has only happened to me once way back when but I run a lot more now and I know one day nature’s going to call again. Perhaps I should add TP to my long run packing list!
  • Greasing Up! Let’s face it, smearing all your nooks and crannies with your lube of choice is kind of gross. A chafe-prevention necessity yes, but not exactly something I ever imagined I’d spend so much time planning and doing.
  • Popping Blisters. Who knew the examination, analysis, preparation, palpation, popping and eventual picking of one’s blisters would become such a hobby. Thankfully I don’t get them very often but when I do, clear my schedule because there’s work to do!
  • Taking Ugly Toe Pics. Sigh, this could be a post all of it’s own. They’re ugly, they’re gnarly, they’re painful and should probably be kept to myself but for some reason it’s with great pride that I show and tell people about my ugly runner toes. Admit it, I’m not the only one.
  • Sweating on Your Friends. Generally amongst friends I like to be clean, presentable and smelling pretty but if those friends are running friends then all courtesies go out the window! I have shared some truly incredible and memorable hugs with some pretty sweaty friends and in that moment of pure, celebratory joy at the finish line, the sweatier the better. Sweat on my friends, because those finish line hugs are worth every smelly second. 
  • Sharing WAY Too Much Information. I tell ya, there’s something about a long run that brings out the need to talk and for some reason, conversation usually heads in the personal direction. I’m pretty sure my running buddies know just as much about my body, my health and my personal life as I do! Sorry guys…
So yep, there are quite a few things I’m sure I thought were kind of gross before I started running and never imagined I’d find myself doing (and sharing with the world!).
I could probably have made this post pretty hilarious with exact examples, gross pictures and stories aplenty but I tried to keep it safe for daytime consumption. Besides, if you’re a runner too (which you likely are if you’re reading this post) then I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Have any other gross runner’s habits that would make my mom (or yours) cringe?

Related Posts


  1. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs    

    Hahaha. Nikki, this is perfect! Especially the last one. Something about finding out someone else is a runner leads to personal conversations and conversations about poop. Always. And I wouldn’t change it for the world!
    I may jinx myself here, but I’ve never had to pop a squat on a run, or in a race. Crazy, I know!!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      I shudder to think about all the ‘intimate’ things my running friends know about me!

  2. Tina Fab    

    i have awesome uglee toez. waiting for the big nail to come off an then i am sooo posting one!!!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Will ya send that pic my way?

  3. Melanie Rowley    

    I am guilty of several of these and not ashamed to admit it! I have spent way too much time with my foot up on the coffee table picking the dead skin off my big toe after extracting the toenail that lost its life. Yes, my husband was horrified. I myself am trying to perfect the spit/hoark manoeuvre without getting it all over my shoes. We runners are a classy bunch ; ) Awesome real post Nikki! Thanks for exposing all these dirty habits! Lol!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Thanks Melanie! Seems like the spitting is a common one for people!

  4. Madison    

    Haha. I love this post! So true- and definitely stuff my family finds disgusting, but that is just a part of running.

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Thanks Madison! Kinda hope my mom doesn’t see this post because I don’t want her to know about some of it! Ha ha.

  5. Abby    

    Oh, I have a toe picture that could make you vomit. I sent it to a friend as punishment because she was being a smart alec.

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Ooooh, I’m kind of curious to see it! I like a good, gross toe pic!

  6. Leigh    

    Haha great post! I’ve never shot a snot rocket only because I have a feeling it would end up all over me and not the ground. I have definitely peed in plenty of bushes though…sometimes you just have to!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Oh that has happened to me many, many times. It’s gross to wear your boogies on your sleeve, trust me!

  7. Courteney O    

    I LOVE this post…..very witty and perfectly correct. I never thought I’d be doing any of the above (some of which I haven’t had to do yet) but actually think of them as badges of honor!!!!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      I like that, badges of honour!

  8. Jessica @ RunYourMuttOff    

    Oh man, maybe I’m not a ‘real’ runner yet because most of these made me cringe! I’ve yet to ‘pop a squat’ and the idea of wearing clothes twice makes my stomach turn (sounds to me more like a reason to go shopping!). BUT, I will say, I’m proficient at the nose blowing. My dad taught me when I was young and we’d go skiing; it was a skill he learned growing up on a farm :)
    PS. I know your blog isn’t new (and is already very popular), but I love reading it and have nominated you for the Liebster Award. If you’re interested, head over to my blog to check it out:

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Thanks for stopping by Jessica! Even though I do some of these things they still gross me out, don’t worry. I’ll check out the Liebster Award, thanks for sharing with me!

  9. Amber    

    This is SO HILARIOUS Nikki omg.

    I feel so much better now…. hahaha. One that I do all the time, like every single run is hork and spit. I never do it when I’m anywhere else but running, and I get a little embarassed when I realize someone’s seen me… especially near their lawn. Also, yesterday I couldnt find any other more cleaner tights, so I maaaaay have wiffed and deemed ok the same ones I wore to Sundays event….


    1. Nikki Scott    

      Thanks Amber! Sometimes I don’t even let myself sniff the dirty clothes because then I’ll know how bad they are! Ha ha.

  10. Whitney    

    Love these! I rewear my running gear a lot, especially the shirts–I have to wear them at least twice before I wash them. Something gross that I do (along with other commenters up there) is hock a loogie–sometimes I even see how far I can spit. Yes, I admit it. :)

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Yeah, I guess that is a necessity of running a lot, hey?

  11. Abby's Road    

    I seriously need a class in how to perfect the art of the snot rocket, too. Love this list!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Me too! Maybe we should see if someone could do a guest post for us about it!

  12. Kristi    

    I made my mum cringe when I told her I had mastered the LSL – the long slow leak. Why stop and line up for a porta pottie during a race when you can release small amounts of pee over the distance? Mind you, make sure you wear black running tights for this to avoid showing the evidence to the world.

    1. Nikki Scott    

      OMG! That’s a real thing? I had a running friend who always used to say, “Just let a little leak out and then decide if you actually need to go…”

  13. Phaedra Kennedy    

    I’m guilty of almost all of these with the exception of snot rockets. I can’t seem to get enough velocity to get them to go any sort of distance and I’m usually gross enough after I run, I really don’t need to add being covered in snot to the mix, ha ha. My feet are incredibly hideous but they are capable of taking me places I never thought I’d go so I’m not too fussed about what they look like. Dark nail polish is a runners best friend. 😀

    1. Nikki Scott    

      You are soooo right about the feet! I’m kinda proud that they look so horrible! And heck, if you’re talented enough you can even paint a missing toenail! Ha ha.

  14. Yuri Artibise    

    Great list! All very true, especially the last one. I think my running partners know more about some aspects of me than my wife!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Oh my running partners definitely do too! For some reason, nothing seems off limits during a long run!

  15. kelsnsher    

    Haha as a runner I don’t do many of these but I sure do know the people that do so this is hilarious. nice job :)

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Thanks! It’s only a matter of time before you start doing them too! Ha ha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge