Monday, January 24, 2011

Snot Rockets

It's an art, people. And perfecting it takes some skill. 

For those of you who don't know what a snot rocket is (from Urban Dictionary):
When you plug one nostril with your finger, and blow out of the other nostril with everything you have, sending a snot projectile out of the nose.
"Without tissue, all I could do to clear my nose was to blow a snot rocket."

I was first introduced to a form of snot rockets by my friend Margo. We were hiking in the Tucson Mountains when she suddenly needed a tissue. I had none so she quickly resorted to bending over and slowly blowing the snot from her nose. Her method was slow and drippy and messy (she thinks its funnier that way). I would not recommend it. But, I got the idea. No tissue? No problem. 

Kind of like Margo's method...except this one is for sale on the internet somewhere.

When I run, I become a snot factory. No joke. A few months ago, I decided I should bring along a washcloth on runs because it was so bad. even in one of my race photos you can see where I wiped my nose on my shirt (I forgot the washcloth). Classy, right?
Honestly, it doesn't bother me. Running is a messy sport. Blisters form, pus oozes, skin chafes,  sweat drips, noses run, body parts swell, toenails turn black and fall off, etc etc. However, to the rest of the non-running population, it's pretty gross. Especially snot rockets.

When I was training for my half marathon, I felt very comfortable launching snot on runs. It may have helped that I was usually alone when the deed occurred.  But on Sunday (the RNR AZ half), I became super nervous about doing it! There were so many people! Then my nose started to run and I knew I had to (washcloths look so tacky in race photos) . I ran off to the edge of the course, made sure I wouldn't hit a spectator, and gave it a try. 

Surprisingly, I didn't feel too awkward. I had seen other people spit (I'll have to cover that one in a future post) so I wasn't nervous about that. But not once did I see a snot rocket in progress. Seriously. 13.1 miles and no booger launch from nada. WTH? I thought "Am I the only one with this problem??"

I know I'm not. But I always wondered about etiquette during a race. I looked around and I think Made to Run said it pretty well:
"Race day etiquette suggests you do a couple of things as the nose blow’er. First thing, check to your left and to your right and immediately behind you before you launch a snot rocket. If there is someone behind you please make sure they are at least 3-4 strides behind so that they don’t run through the mist of your nose blow. If you are crowded in during a highly populated race, then you can always take the sleeve of your shirt and blow/wipe accordingly. If you end up running into the path of a nose blower please don’t lose your cool. It certainly wasn’t intentional and running is a friendly, community oriented sport. Let them know to be a bit more careful next time and go on your way. Lastly, if you decide to run with a cold I would recommend stuffing some tissue or a hankerchief in your shorts pocket so that you can wipe or blow frequently without disrupting others."

I wish there was some sort of cure to this. I pretty much despise shooting out snot rockets every so often. I like my runs to be snot rocket free please!
Does anybody else have this issue? And what do you do about it? 

Happy Monday Y'all! :) 


  1. This happened to me two years in a row at the El Tour de Tucson, where a rider ahead of me did one of these, what my friend calls a "farmer blow" and there was some, uh, blowback because we were in a headwind! Well the year before last I got sick, a bad cold, a couple of days after the El Tour so I can't help but think it could have caused it.
    Also, you don't often see female runners doing this, probably because they think it's not ladylike or whatever, but when I was doing the Grizzly Marathon in MT last year, a woman passed me who was openly doing it at the moment... I was a little bit impressed!

  2. My nose tends to cooperate during runs, but I turn into a spit factory. During my last long run I could not spit properly, and ended up spitting all over myself. Yeah, I'm awesome.

  3. I am not afraid to shoot a snot rocket! In fact, I think I have become quite good at them...I do look to the right and left first!

  4. Hahaha, great post! I'm the tissue type guy, because I can't do a proper snot rocket. It's all over me! LOL

  5. IHhaha! I agree! It IS an art and I'm proud to say that I'm pretty good at it. Haha! =)

    Hi! thanks for the follow and for joining my giveaway. Thought I'd drop by and check your blog out. Adding you to my blog roll =)

  6. I have to say, as a triathlete, I am MUCH more worried about snot rockets (or spitting) on the bike! at 20+MPR that overmist has the ability to strike someone quite a ways behind you -- and there's nothing that makes your nose run like an open water swim!

  7. I can't bring myself to do it; I use the sleeve of my shirt instead.

  8. This makes me laugh. I'm not a runner myself, so I guess I never thought of this. Good post.


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