A scary story to tell in the dark part 2: This time it’s legit. I need some running sunglasses.

Unlike the first time I told a scary story on my blog – aka the post where I ugly cried on the side of the road during a terrible 15 mile long run – this is the kind of story you could probably tell around a campfire to scare small children. I need some recommendations on sunglasses to wear when I run. Swim goggles. A snorkel set. Gas mask. Basically anything I can wear on my face to keep what happened on Saturday from EVER HAPPENING AGAIN.

Warning: This story is kind of gross. So if you just ate some food maybe come back and read it later. Or if you were just thinking about eating donuts, but are trying to watch your sugar intake, go ahead and read it now.

I’ll call this one…


No dark and stormy nights this time. On Saturday morning it was pleasant – albeit a little humid – when I went out for my 8 mile run. From the beginning things felt so much better than they had during my 6 miler on Wednesday and I was cruising right along just happy to be outside.

The incident occurred during mile 3. Out of nowhere one of those pesky little gnats flew directly into my left eye. You know the kind I’m talking about and I know I’m not the first person to experience such a thing. It’s not the first time this has happened to me either and initially I didn’t even stop, but after running a few yards I could tell the bug hadn’t bounced right off or gotten stuck in my lashes. So I stopped and used the camera on my phone to see if I could see anything lodged in my eyeball, inadvertently taking this ridiculous selfie that I couldn’t NOT share with the Internet:


If anyone is aware of a ridiculous selfie contest that I may be able to enter this into, please let me know and I’ll split my winnings with you.

Anyway, as you can clearly see there is not a gnat to be found. I was satisfied by this and went along on my merry way. The rest of my run was enjoyable and my eye wasn’t bothering me in the least. By the time I got home, I had all but forgotten about my mile 3 gnat encounter.

Until I was in the shower.

Mr. Salt goes to work on Saturday mornings and I was hurrying to get showered and get myself and Betty dressed to go to her gymnastics class. I had just rinsed the shampoo out of my hair when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my left eye. Like something was stuck in there.

I jumped (carefully) out of the shower, ran to the mirror and started pulling on my eyelid in the same way I was in that picture above. I saw nothing. I pulled the lower lid down. Nothing. I was just about to write it off as a soap-in-my-eye experience when I looked to the right and a black speck appeared in the corner of my eye. OH MY GOD.




BUG. IN. MY. HEAD. I was gagging as I swiped it out with my finger. Obviously Mr. Gnat from earlier had gotten stuck to my eye, rolled into an unknown area of my skull, and was having a party back there or something. While I ran 5 miles with him IN MY HEAD. I don’t know. I was so grossed out I couldn’t even think straight. I frantically yelled for my husband and told him that if I suddenly became very ill that day it was likely due to the gnat party going on inside my head. (Like I actually said those words.)

He looked at me like I was insane. (Probably because I sounded insane.) Whatever.  I’m allowed to be insane when I just had a BUG IN MY HEAD for an extended period of time.

Has this ever happened to anyone else!? Or am I just REALLY lucky?

Anyway, as I mentioned at the start of this post, I am now in search of sunglasses that I can wear while running that will stay on my very narrow face. In the past I would have been all “Bonus points for cheap!”, but the way I see it now, you can’t put a price on not having bugs in your skull.

Do you run with sunglasses? Any brands to recommend? Will you run with sunglasses on now that I have told you this horrifying story?

I hope everyone has a happy, gnat-in-your-head free Tuesday! I’m sorry if I grossed anyone out. 🙂





94 thoughts on “A scary story to tell in the dark part 2: This time it’s legit. I need some running sunglasses.

  1. Cynthia says:

    Ugh, I had a gnat in my eye a week or so ago- they’ve been terrible around here. I don’t know what happens to the ones that “disappear”, I don’t even want to think about that! Ignorance is bliss.

  2. txa1265 says:


    Yeah, I have had gnats in my eyes before … though they tend to come out pretty easily. I am wimpy about stuff and my eyes so I am lucky they water well and flush crap out. But last summer I had multiple times of a few around the corners and otherwise just grossly being dead around my eyeballs. Yuk.

    I got running sunglasses last fall and have really put them to use this year – they were only ~$12 or something, they have a decent wrap around my head (i.e. curved, not wayfarer-style), and getting BOTH polarized and UV protection is a MUST. Aside from that, whatever fits your head (I have a big head so that is actually a ‘thing’ for me).

    Good luck 🙂

  3. Kristin says:

    Wow, that is soooo scary and I totally would HAVE yelled for my husband and been totally freaked out. I’m easily freaked out by stuff like that!!! Whoa, crazy story!!! I’m glad you’re okay! I hope nothing like that happens to you again!!

  4. Chaitali says:

    Wow, I never even though about bugs in the eyes. That is so gross and I probably would have had a similar reaction 😦 I just bought a pair of sunglasses to run with with some birthday money and now I’m glad that what I chose to do with the money! I’ll let you know how they work out.

  5. DarlinRae says:

    Ugh gross. I’ve definitely had them in my eyes/nose/mouth before, but nothing quite like that. I run with my cheapo-supremo $5 Walmart sunglasses most of the time. I will most likely be wearing them more, now…

    • runsaltrun says:

      Looks like I’m going to have to make a trip to Walmart. I definitely eat them all the time (gross, but still not quite as gross) and have gotten them in my eyes before, but never stuck for a prolonged period of time. 😦

  6. vegasmotherrunner says:

    I don’t have any sunglasses recommendations, but I’ve gotten a gnat in my eye too…happens when I run trails near water. It is so gross. I can’t believe it was stuck in your eye for that long. I would have died!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I’ve heard such awesome things about Oakleys for running! I eat them all the time too, but this was just so much grosser. I would gladly eat a few more if I never got one stuck in my eye like that again.

  7. Sun says:

    Oh, how horrifying!! Those gnats are the worst and will stick to anything and everything but to have one stuck in your eye/head is terrible. So sorry that happened!

    Keep us posted on what sunglasses you pick – I’ve been thinking about getting a pair for awhile but haven’t done any research yet.

  8. Sara says:

    EEEWWWW! Haven’t gotten a bug in my eye yet, but I have gotten one in my mouth while running – totally gross. I do run with sunglasses – for sun in my eyes protection – not bug in my eyes protection (but now they are pulling double duty). I got a cheap pair from Target to try out. I didn’t want to spend a lot and I was concerned that the sweat would make them slide down my nose during the run. So if that happened, I wouldn’t feel bad about chucking them to the side. But low and behold, they stay on fine. They are black with white polka dots – Charlotte picked them out.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Sweet! Thank you. I will definitely check out the sunglasses section next time we are at Target. Maybe I should let Betty pick for me too! 🙂 I really don’t care what they look like as long as they stay put/keep stuff out of my eyeball!

    • runsaltrun says:

      NO NO NO NO!!!! (I actually just said that aloud as I read your post EW!) I’m so sorry!! Thank you so much for the link. I LOVE these. I usually buy really cheap sunglasses just for out and about because Betty likes to pull them off my face, but I wouldn’t mind investing a little extra in ones specifically for running.

  9. hellyontherun says:

    UGH!! I actually come across (literally) these bugs all the time when I run because the path/trail I take is right next to a canal–bug city central. I never wore glasses either but am looking forward to what people recommend here

    • runsaltrun says:

      I haven’t been out on the trail for awhile and I bet they are extra bad out there now. Come to think of it, I have a trail 5K this Sunday. I should probably get a cheap pair to protect my eyes before then!

  10. courtruns4cupcakes says:

    OMG that is terrifying! I’m pretty sure I’ve swallowed a bug or two (gross) but I’ve never had one in my eye. Running with sunglasses annoys me too much so I’ll have to take my chances!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I’ve definitely eaten them! I haven’t been real keen on the idea until now but I figure I’ll be good if I find a light enough pair that will conform to my face.

  11. SuzLyfe says:

    UGH I hate this. It’s happened to me tons running and tons from riding. One time I had one fly into my eye while I was on course at a horse show so I had to half of my trip with one eye shut. Luckily, I had my good eye open. I need to get some more shield-like glasses, and maybe even some transition lenses or clear lenses (as dumb as I think they are), because the little fkaj;dfaji; somehow are able to infiltrate my running glasses.

  12. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    Sad to say, I’ve had this happen all to often. Disgusting, I know!!! It’s not too bad now, but when Arizona’s monsoon season hits and the humidity skyrockets, we have a ton of little gnat swarms just chillin’ together. I don’t know what those little guys are thinking, I would not want my life to end in someones sweat or someone’s eyeball! I do wear sunglasses now though to prevent such terrible occurrences. They can’t prevent the fact that I’m still covered in the little nasties on my neck, but they do protect the precious little eyeballs. I just bought mine at a bike shop and the brand is Optic Nerve, but I wouldn’t recommend them. They weren’t terribly expensive, but still more expensive than I would like for the lenses to pop out when I drop them..I know it’s not their fault I’m clumsy, but still. 🙂 I would just recommend a cheap pair at a sports shop :).

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, lady! (And thank you for the honest review too!) I’m also pretty clumsy with things so I would need a pair that could withstand being dropped a lot (and potentially grabbed off my face by a small person. And then dropped.)

  13. Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill says:

    Oh my goodness – that is the worst! I haven’t ever had that happen while running, but I did as a kid when I used to rollerblade. I actually run in cycling-specific sunglasses – they are perfect because they don’t bounce at all and don’t give me a headache. The only real problem is that I look like a goof – but I got over that problem years ago. Because always.

  14. michelle says:

    Eww gross! Last year I cam across a few swarms of gnats in my neighborhood. I tried to run around them but was apparently unsuccessful because I’m pretty sure I inhaled a few and got some stuck in my eyelashes. Then I went home and found they were all over my shirt and pants. I freaked out and ran around like I was on fire until Myles confirmed they were all gone. Yuck! Not one in my eyeball though!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Ahhhhh I hate when it’s like a cloud of them! We actually went to a birthday party after B’s gymnastics class and there were gnat clouds on the playground everywhere. (It was just not my day for bugs I guess.) That must have been one serious gnat cloud to leave them stuck all over your clothes like that! Gross!

  15. candies & crunches says:

    I AM SO SO SOOOOO SORRY! But I couldn’t stop laughing! I mean who does that?! You are so so funny. Seriously, I still can’t stop laughing so this comment will be rather short. On another note, write a book, I’ll be the first one to buy it! ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxox

  16. Kerrie says:

    Haha! I shouldn’t laugh but I love this post! haha. If it helps, nothing can get to the back of your eye. I’ve ran through them before and felt them hit the back of my throat and kind off accidently ingested them. It was one of those moments were I was pulling a ‘sicky’ face. – people must think I’m I fruit cake when I run.
    Hope your eye is okay!

    • runsaltrun says:

      YES! That has happened to me too. You really have no choice but to eat them at that point. (Seriously what a lovely post/comment thread this has turned out to be). My eye is fine, but of course I had to be ultra dramatic about it to my husband and he had to convince me that a gnat didn’t lay eggs in my head.

  17. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says:

    I ALWAYS wear sunglasses when I run. I have a ridiculous number of pairs of sunglasses because 1) I wear contacts so my eyes are super light sensitive and 2) they’re fun 🙂
    I REALLY want a pair of Smith sunglasses with the interchangeable lenses, but I haven’t bought them…..Yet!

  18. themilereport says:

    haha! gross!
    I’ve gotten plenty of gnats stuck in my eyes, but usually I’m able to pick them out right after the run. Once I was running a rather gnatty route and felt one fly right into my eyeball. As I stopped to pick at my eye for several minutes, a nice couple on a walk stopped to ask if I was okay. I legit opened my eye wide and said, “is there a bug in my eye?” The woman said “omg yes” and tried to direct my finger toward it. I was able to fish it out of my eye once I got home.
    Have you gotten one stuck in your ear? blurghh you can hear it BUZZING in there!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahaha I love that the lady tried to help you! NO NEVER IN MY EAR! I have a crazy fear of getting a fly or something in my ear after reading this horrible story about this girl who was camping in Peru. I won’t tell you what happened because I really don’t want to ruin your night. Dammit I’m going to need to get sunglasses AND earplugs.

      • runsaltrun says:

        Okay so she was hiking or something and a fly got in her ear. And it LAID EGGS IN HER HEAD. And then the maggots buried into her ear canal and she could hear them crunching as they ate into her head. They ended up being able to remove them and the girl is okay, but still excuse me while I go throw up.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I think the general consensus on this is going to be Oakley! 🙂 Maybe I should get an expensive pair and then a cheaper pair from Target too just to have on hand.

  19. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    Ah that sounds like a terrible experience! I’ve definitely gotten them in my eyes before but never for an extended period of time (or at least I thought I got it out, but I guess I don’t really know for sure!) I have some cheap glasses that I bought at an expo at some point so I usually wear those. Hope you find some decent glasses to prevent that from happening again!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! So do I! I’m sure you got all the bugs out of your eye. Even though I couldn’t feel it for awhile, right before I pulled it out it was seriously painful!

  20. thelindzhaz says:

    The bugs here are so gross too! I had dead gnats all over me by the end of the run – they drowned in my sweat…..so gross!

  21. Running Bear says:

    I run around a lake that has major gnat problem, you hit a swarm and just BAM! Worst run ever was three gnats in one eye and a single in the other. Sometimes I can clear them out right then and there, other times its way later like your experience.

    They get snorted into my sinuses which is worse than the eyes, IMO. I always think I should run with a welder’s mask on, that’s the only way to protect fully.

    For sunglasses, I’m cheap, so I use a random pair I got for like $15 at Target. They do the trick, although I bet you could get a much better feel and quality lens if you go more expensive from the local running shop.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahaha I was just thinking a full coverage mask would be good. Or maybe swimmer’s nose plugs? I’ve never gotten a gnat in my nose, but it sounds really horrible. I’m thinking in the meantime I’m probably just going to hit up Target for a pair for this weekend (since I have a trail race and there are bound to be bugs out there) and then maybe check my local running store and see what they have.

  22. Run Colby Run says:

    I can’t stop laughing! I FREAK OUT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. And remember last year? With the whole Cicada-pocalypse??? I was TERRIFIED. I blogged about it- Gird Your Loins. It was a HORRIBLE experience. I just started itching. Seriously. ITCHING. Gaaaaaah! Now I’m laughing out loud!! Oh Salt. I’m sorry. 😦

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh my god the last time we had cicadas. Don’t even get me started. I swear I would move out of the state before that ever happened again and I’m slowing running out of time. (It has been 10 years since the last big invasion here and I have another 7 to go.) I literally would go to work an hour and a half early and come home late so that I wouldn’t have to be outside in the hottest parts of the day. I wonder if I can plan a 6 week vacation for next time.

  23. Pandora Viltis says:

    Eeeeewwwww! Although I’m pretty sure the bug was thinking, “Eyeball on my body! Eyeball on my body!” and not having a bug party. I could be wrong though.

    I usually wear sunglasses when it’s sunny out. Make sure whatever you buy is anti fog.

  24. runningsouthern says:

    Oh my goodness, this is so gross. I have had them fly in my eye before, which is the only time since EVER I am happy to wear contacts, since usually they stick to it and I can just take it out. Having it in hiding in my head would totally weird me out.

    I hate running in sunglasses because I have a child’s size head and have a hard time finding ones that stay on. I have a pair of Costa Del Mars (the plastic kind, not the kind with nose pieces) and they stay on better than any I have ever tried. They are a little pricey, but come with a lifetime guarantee, so if you shatter them/scratch them/ squash them, you can send them into the company and they will replace them. But in 3 years I have never even scratched the lens, they are so durable.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I’m right there with you, my tiny-headed sister. My head is small and my face is really narrow so all sunglasses seem to be ginormous on me. Thank you so much for the rec! I have a feeling that the nose piece kind would really annoy me so plastic is going to be the way. And I love lifetime guarantees!

  25. littlegreenrunningshoes says:

    GROSS. So sorry that happened to you. I have definitely run into bugs before but never had one stay that long! I’ve also had my fair share of gnat inhalations as I run through a pack of them. Talk about gross! Feeling a gnat in your mouth ain’t so tasty. Glad you found the little guy and got him outta there. I don’t have running sunglasses and am very curious to see what kind you get!

  26. piratebobcat says:

    LOL, you’re a hot mess! All around! Hahaha. It is gnat season, isn’t it. I’ve noticed it too. But I’ve never gotten one in my head – usually the end up in my MOUTH! blergh!!!! I’ve noticed this past week that they’ve been sticking to my hot sweaty bod too. I always rinse a bunch off in the post run shower. I. do. not. get. why they always hover over sidewalks!?!?!?! Why can’t the move over the lawns?

    I hope it didn’t lay any eggs in your head.

    • runsaltrun says:

      AHHHHH STOP THAT WAS MY BIGGEST FEAR AT FIRST!!! I pulled that thing out of my eye and all I could think of was that I had a family of them hatching back there. It’s been a couple days though and I think I’d know by now if that were happening. Right? RIGHT!?

  27. anothergirlrunner says:

    That is terrifying, and I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’ve swallowed some gnats, had them go up my nose, and had one stuck on my eye that I promptly flushed out with water… but I would probably get physically ill if I were in that situation.

    I hope you recover quickly from the trauma, and now I feel like I need running glasses too, because that is terrifying.

  28. TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere says:

    Ohmy god!!!! I lol’d lots at this post, but I FEEL YOU!!! I have gotten so many big in my eyes but I always have gotten them out..having a bug IN your head..well now that is just a creepy and strange experience!
    I have an abnormally small head and use an old pair of coach sunglasses…all those professional runner glasses NEVER stay on my face…and don’t even get me started with headphones not fitting on my head!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I have the WORST problems with headphones too! Eventually I just went with the Yurbuds that have the hooks over the ears and they are WONDERFUL. First headphones that I don’t have to mess with when I run!

  29. Polly - TastyFoodProject.com says:

    Sorry to hear about that bug in your eye! Now I’m probably going to think about it when I go on my next run! I don’t have running sunglasses but will have to look into getting a pair now that summer is coming up soon!

  30. Run Pilou Run! says:

    Hehehehe, funny story 🙂 yeah it’s happened to me, but as I wear contact lenses they normally stick to them. It hurts and the lenses come off bug and all. I don’t wear sunnies as I usually run with a cap (and I hate wearing sunnies), but something to consider now that the bugs are out and about!

  31. kristenk says:

    Hahahaha oh my god I just spit out my water while reading this! I know this is not funny and is a horrible thing to go through but this post was hilarious! I have had this happen to me before and it’s so terrifying so I know your pain. I am also thinking about getting some sunglasses for running so if you find any let me know! Right now I just run using the cheap sunglasses I got when I ran Color Me Rad and I can tell they’re totally not meant for use in any running situation other than a color run!

  32. Jenn @ Running on Lentils says:

    Yes, gnats on the river trail where I run & my husband commutes to work by bike are awful. I usually come back from a run with them stuck all over my sweaty face, neck, and chest. But my husband has got them stuck in his eyes (where, yes, they disappear!) and had red eyes for days until…they disintegrate I guess? Very gross!

  33. ambertherunner says:

    OH MY GOD EW. Luckily I’ve never had a bug fly in my eye and get stuck for hours on end during/after a run, but I’ll admit I’m a little fearful of it now.
    I remember one run last summer where I ran through a cloud of gnats (pesky cars on the road were blocking my way out of the cloud), and I had several go up my nose. So disgusting. I also looked ridiculous with a ton of black specks aka dead gnats on my shirt for the rest of the run. The technical fabric made it difficult to just brush the little buggers off. Grr.
    Hope you find the perfect pair of sunglasses 🙂

  34. Charlotte says:

    That HAS happened to me several times! I can handle the bug in the mouth but in the eye is painful not to mention hard to get out. I usually wear sunglasses that I won at a Brooks “run happy” event. They are cute and do the job! 🙂

  35. missadventuresinrunning says:

    I got a fly in my eye once. I thought it came out….then it actually came out the next day. That freaks me out. It was in there an ENTIRE day. I try not to think about it… haha!

  36. thestampedingturtle says:

    My story is pretty gnarly. A few years back, I was standing near my cats litter box when he was digging to China, and he kicked a piece of litter into the air and the sucker went right into my eye. I tried to get it out, and it did like your gnat…. slid back behind my eyeball. It was the most agonizing pain ever. I have a phobia of things related to eyeballs, so this was especially distressing. It took a full day for it to soak up all the moisture in my eye and “soften”, which allowed it to work its way back to the front of my eyeball so I could fish it out. It was the worst 24 hours ever, I was so freaked out by my poo eye. Thankfully, no damage was done physically. Only mentally.

  37. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    LOL I’m so sorry about the bug in your head! I have had a bug fly into my eyeball too and it hurts like a MOFO! I’ve also had one fly into my nose and I looked like an idiot trying to get it out. I run with Oakley Flak Jackets and love them. They don’t seem to move off of my super sweaty face and I often forget they’re on. I got the Asian fit for obvious reasons.

  38. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I have never gotten a bug in my eye, but have definitely inhaled a few. You crack me up. Glad you got it out 🙂

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