Don’t you hate it when you have a cold and that constant runny nose? You know, the one where you can just keep blowing and blowing it and it never is cleared. That’s what I have. I remember when my boys were little, around 3 or 4 years old, running around with a cold and those long hanging boogers that stretched from their nostrils to their chin. My boys would just sit there and look at me as if that offensive sight wasn’t even on their cute little faces. Just so gross! It is probably the reason why I am so disgusted by boogers to this day. That visual. That and the fact that I was the one that had to wipe it off.
Fast forward to now, and the cold I have been nursing the past week and a half.
Out on my run yesterday I learned something I never in a million years thought I would do. EVER! The farmer’s blow. I mean really, this princess is gonna shoot snot out of her nose? In public? Please!
A few days ago I did my long run… well, a short version of what was supposed to be my long run; I ran 11.3 miles of the planned 14. I shortened it because I didn’t want to get a relapse of the cold I am just now starting to get over. During my long run, my nose was heavily running, but, the princess that I am, had a supply of tissue packed in my waterproof pouch in a zippered pocket. I must have stopped at least 7 times on that run to blow. I was alone, so I didn’t care how often I paused. Sometimes I would even wipe it (the snot) on the back of my free hand (the other was carrying a water bottle) and then wipe that hand on the back of my shorts. It’s so disgusting just doing that, but what is a girl to do?
So you can imagine my dilemma yesterday morning when I was out running around Phoenix Lake with my Wednesday running date, Beth, and I discovered later in the run, that the waterproof pouch I had painstakingly filled with neatly folded tissues for easy removal had fallen out of my pullover (I forgot to zip the pocket after my first pit stop, total dummy).
On this chilly fall morning, at the beginning of our run, Beth had a bit of a runny nose herself. I offered her a civilized tissue just as she performed the farmer’s blow like a pro, something she learned to do from years of riding horses and experience dealing with nasal discharge. I watched her, slightly in an “oh my!” type of shock (chicks really do that?) but also in awe, and then told her I wished I could do that. I wished I could do it not because it is something impossible to do, but because it seems so unladylike and so unlike me (a princess–or so people like to call me,) to do. I stuffed my tissue pack back into my pullover, or so I thought, and we ran on.
I was wearing a long sleeve wicking pullover that was lightweight. It served as a pretty decent hanky for the small drips. Then after about three and a half miles, I was so stuffed up with thick choking mucus that it was starting to back track–gag. I reached for my tissues and WTF? Gone. Shit. Now what? I needed desperately to expel the offending mucoid and so, out of desperation and maybe a need to step out of the box, I made my first attempt at the infamous snot rocket.
It was such a sad display really. I hope to God Beth wasn’t looking at me and luckily, no one was around as we were under the cover of trees just before the transition to the fire road. With Beth’s encouragement and direction, in a very un-princess-like manner, I covered one nostril, took a deep breath and blew out the other nostril with all my might. What should have shot out of my nose like a rocket became more like a thick gelatinous bungee cord. About a 15 inch one to be precise! That left me stuck with the most disgusting task of using MY FINGERS to cut the cord, so to speak. Worse part is, I still had to clear the other nostril. Just like the first side, the result was identical. Bungee cord, swinging to and fro. As I wiped this one with my fingers I told Beth I was going to dry heave. I simply think snot is the grossest thing out there. Worse than poop! She told me that I needed to mentally think nothing of it.
I’ll have to say, after a few more wipes on my sleeve, my nose was feeling pretty clear after that-and even better today. I can see it is going to take some more practice to get the hang of it, as I’m sure I will have to do that again sometime, (hopefully not til the next time I have a cold and when I’m alone.)
In the meantime, I will still carry tissue.
Running has forced me into a number of uncomfortable moments (like spitting in public and using the porta-potty for number 2.) The farmer’s blow can now be added to my repertoire of unladylike behavior, as it is something I never thought I’d do, but as with everything running has taught me, everything we do is mental. We can do anything we put our minds to. Including disgusting things, like snot rockets. It’s snot pretty, but sometimes a necessity! Now, I need to go blow my nose! (in a tissue.)
Here’s a useful video for those of you who need some visual instruction.