Your #RunnerProblems Solved

Ok guys – I’ve spent the last few years creating this safe-haven place on the internet pretty much solely for this moment right here. Three years of writing, MS Painting, and grooming a “tells-it-like-it-is” atmosphere is finally about to pay off.

Today we’re talking about all the truly embarrassing – I’m talking reputation-ruining-if-seen/discussed-with-the-wrong-party – type of problems us runners go through. Yes, some of it is self-inflicted, sometimes it’s preventable, but sometimes (pardon the pun) shit happens.

And since I’m shameless and have been through nearly every one of the things on this list (I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide which have/have not), I’ve gratuitously come up with solutions for each and every one of them for you. Some of them are smack your forehead “why didn’t I think of that”, some of them are smack me “quit wasting my time”, all of them I promise you’ll get a good “damnit I’ve been there” chuckle out of. From bodily fluids to body parts to “wtf why does my ____ look/smell/act like that?!” consider this your Runner’s Emergency Handbook. Like your friend’s older sister you secretly asked for period/boy/sex advice from, except I won’t blab to the whole school (internet) how totally immature and uncool you are.


And if you’re a newb and you’re horrified by all this, shaking your head saying “OMG no, good God NO that will NEVER happen to me! [barfs in trashcan]” … just you wait sweetie.

Your time will come.


  • “I’m the Sweatiest Person Alive”

Problem) People Ask if You Jumped in the Pool After Your Run (you didn’t)

Solution) Own it. Tell everyone being this sweaty is a “sign of hard work” and that your internal air conditioner is the hardest working machine this side of the Mississippi. Beat your chest like a ‘roided-out linebacker then maybe ask for a towel.

Problem) There’s Salt, All Over Your Face – Sideburns, Anyone?

Solution) Keep an airplane bottle of tequila in your pocket and pair it with Margarita Shot Bloks for an on-the-run fiesta. Also, take in some damn electrolytes your kidneys are pissed at you.

Problem) Cute Colored Shorts Turn Into “OMG Did You Pee Your Pants?” After Three Minutes of Perspiration

Solution) Black is always in style, especially when it keeps adult diaper jokes at bay, so keep the brights for night runs or non-sweaty activities. Like sleeping or going to the grocery store (it’s always so cold in there!)

  • “… I Really Did/Might Pee My Pants”

Problem) Accidental or Not (hey, those are precious seconds ticking away on the clock!), You’ve Added Urine to the Fluid Cocktail Covering Your Body

Solution) Throw a cup of water all over yourself (and your dignity out the window) at the next aid station to create a seamless coloration to your lower half. Just make sure it’s not Gatorade – color + stickiness = a whole new kind of problem. And run like hell because if you peed yourself to save a few seconds you better have a killer race time to show for it.

Problem) Nary a Porta in Sight and You’re too Proud/Stagefrightened to ‘Just Let it Flow’

Solution) Find a bush or a tree to hide behind and quit being such a priss. I’ve seen people pull the crotch of their shorts to the side to avoid full moon’ing, but it’s debatable which is less classy. Actually, you’re peeing in public… classiness debate hereby nullified.

Problem) “Flow” is not a Term Describing What You’re Needing to do..

Solution) Know what poison ivy/oak look like, and if you’re gonna use a sock take them both off. Nothing screams “I just shit in the woods!” like finishing a run uni-socked.

  • “The Fluids/Noises from Other Holes in My Body…”

Problem) The Snot Rocket Gone Awry

Solution) Can’t master the “Farmer’s Blow?” It’s truly an art, don’t feel bad. Blow those boogers into gloves or your shirt sleeve until you get it. (Snot Rocket Tutorial from Runner’s World)

Problem) You Hocked a Loogie… all over Yourself

Solution) Are we competing in a pageant? You’re covered in sweat and smell like shit, who cares? Rub it in and keep moving.

Problem) [Fart]

Solution) First, be wary of trusting any mid-run fart. Clench your cheeks for a few strides, does the fart urge worsen (find a toilet) or dissipate slightly (continue)? Maintain the clench, and let a little squeak out on contact. Repeat, spacing out emissions to every 2-3 footfalls to avoid a machine gun affect and increased risk of compromising the dry climate in your shorts.

Problem d) Nausea, Burps, Cramps, and Other Non-Shorts-Threatening Ailments

Solution) Quit going to taco night before tempos

  • “There’s More Than a Handful in my Sports Bra”

Problem) You Fear You’ll Give Yourself a Black Eye

Solution) Double bag it (that’s two sports bras, if you never spent any time in a locker room) if your threat levels reach orange. Duct tape and/or find a doctor at red.

Problem b) The Machiavellian Torture Device Harnessing the Girls Chaffes EV.ERY.WHERE.

Solution) Body Glide is the obvious answer. Not-so-obvious : turn your bra inside out. YOUR UNDERBOOBS ARE WELCOME!

p.s. favorite, c-cup-approved, no chaffing, sports bra

  • “It’s Sandal Season”

Problem) “Eww Why is Your Toe Black?” — non-runner friend

Solution) Any color polish darker than ‘merlot’. Also, stay away from the pedicurist unless she’s also a runner and knows to tread lightly on the dark piggies. Nothing worse than a rogue nail in the bubble bath.

Problem) Your “Eww Black” Toenail is Now “Eww WHERE is Your Toenail?!”

Solution) Wear it like a missing badge of honor. Also, don’t hang out with people that pay so close attention to your feet.

  • “Leftovers? Where? I’m Starving”

Problem) Your Runger (runner hunger) during marathon training is OOC

Solution) Start couponing to manage your grocery budget and keep the emergency snack drawer stocked – Only thing scarier than Runger itself is desperate, untamed Runger.

Problem) You Can’t Keep Track of What You Ran Last Week or what You’re Supposed to Run Today

Solution) Paper ; Electronic

Problem) You Don’t Remember When You Bought New Shoes Last

Solution) Do your legs hurt? Then you’re late.

Problem) Running is Making me Broke

Solution) Ugh, same. I’ll punch whoever coined it a “cheap sport” right in the throat if I ever find them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What’d I miss? Any #RunnerProblems you’ve had or have miracle solutions for? Fess up – we’re all in this gross, weird, hungry club together.

Sarah OUaL

40 thoughts on “Your #RunnerProblems Solved

  1. So, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and never commented so I feel like a creeper. But, the “rouge toenail in the bubble bath” situation is so true. I once had one come off during a pedicure and go FLYING across the nail salon (practically in slow motion). It was dramatic.Needless to say I had to find a new nail place after that.


  2. Seriously I laughed out loud multiple times here. And I don’t *LOL* at the internet very often. “I’ve seen people pull the crotch of their shorts to the side to avoid full moon’ing, but it’s debatable which is less classy.” hahahaha

    Also…Who would sacrifice a $10 pair of socks? Grab a freaking leaf and be done with that shit (literally).


  3. I absolutely LOVE this! It’s hysterical and particularly fitting because 2 years ago I never would have done any of this. At the Disney Princess Half in February I peed in the woods at the start line and held up a woman’s tutu for her so she could too. Runners unite!


  4. Funny! Okay, a few more #runnerproblems:
    1. It’s 2 pm, I finished my long run and all I want to do is sleep.
    2. Gel/drinking FAIL and now there’s sticky crap all over my hands/shirt/shorts.
    3. I just ran 5/12/20 miles with a complete stranger during a group run/race and we shared our entire life stories and deepest secrets, but now I can’t remember/never learned her name.


  5. i mean, if we’re going to go all-out runner probs here, we need to fully acknowledge the horrible “runner’s diarrhea/runner’s trots/runner’s runs.” i heard some stat that like 25% of runners suffer from it. best methods i’ve heard to prevent it: drinking coffee/tea before a run, avoiding fiber, and taking anti-diarrheals. YAY.


  6. I’ll love a suggestion for a fun and witty greeting when a homeless dude emerges from thin air and stink-eyes you for using his bathroom (i.e. pissing behind a dumpster). “Good morning!” didn’t quite seem to break the awkwardness.


  7. If you’re looking for a REALLY cheap sport try triathlon. *badup ching* At least we have gear that’s made to be peed in? :) Thanks for a great Friday laugh…


  8. I was seriously going to write a post like this about the ugly side of running, but I’m glad you beat me to it — saves me some work! The only things I’d add are: awful tan lines (shorts, Garmin) and headwear-related acne. Oh, and nipple sweat that comes with the wrong bra + top combo.


  9. Ha! I’ve never crapped my pants, but I came pretty close to once. And I was six miles away from the nearest bathroom on a long run. What followed was an hour and a half of pitifully slow run/walk (mostly walking) back to the bathroom. OMG I don’t think I was ever so happy to use a dirty public bathroom in my life.

    Thankfully, I’m pretty regular, and aside from that time, all farts have just been farts. Also, I pretty much spend half my run farting. Which is bad on the occasion I have to run on a treadmill at the gym….


  10. I own one pair of sandals and I one pair of flipflops. I rarely wear either…I definitely have runner’s feet! Even after my toenails grow back they are all weird.

    The best part is meeting someone new right after a race and they want to shake your hand…especially when they are runners and you know your swapping all kinds of spit and snot!


  11. Other things you missed – ugh.. I spent all my money on cute running clothes and now I don’t have real clothes to wear so I can totally come to your birthday party in these cute spandex capris, right? Or, yeah, I’m sorry I’m late but my 18 miler took longer than I thought and now we need to brunch somewhere that serves mostly salt on a plate. That’s when you know your friends love you.


  12. Pingback: The ugly side of running | We Run This Blog


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