I have to make a conscious effort to swallow my spit. Is this normal?

Not sure. Is your saliva excessive or thick? Please see your doctor. Will have to have your salivary glands and your saliva looked at. Also any problems swallowing. Your doctor will examine you properly.
Depends. Some people suddenly become aware of actions that previously happened without their noticing. You may have made a change that has increased saliva production, e.g., changing medication or stopping or starting smoking. If it persists and is bothering you, get an appt with an ENT specialist to make sure there is nothing wrong structurally.