Chafing- The Mark of a Champion

“I’m petrified of nipple chafing. Once it starts, it’s a vicious circle. You have sensitive nipples, they chafe, so they become more sensitive, so they chafe more. It’s a tough one. Gotta take precautions.” ~Ed Helms in The Office

East Nasty Sunday Brunch Crew. Photo by C. Young

There are some words I just can’t stand. This past weekend, I added “chafing” and all it’s derivatives to that list. Chafe, chafed, chafing, I’m sorry but you are no longer welcome in my vocabulary.

Chafe (chf)
1. To run and cause irritation or friction
2. To become worn or sore from rubbing
3. To feel irritated or impatient  (Can I say I’m chafed at the chafing?)

Because of the Boy, and the fact that he is a collegiate runner, I’ve heard the gruesome tales of horrors like the Bloody 11, toe nails falling off and things I’ve only known in nightmares. I had never experienced them, but then again, I had never run a 15 mile long run.

This past Sunday, Christy and I ran 15 miles. 15 miles! That’s the longest I’ve ever run- hence why I was terrified when we started. There were a couple times when I wanted to stop but great conversation, laughs and the East Nasties to cheer us on along the way got me through. Around 13.5 miles I hurt, but something clicked in my head and for the first time during training, I knew I could do the marathon. It’s going to be painful and I’ll want to quit but I can do it. I finished our long run with a great feeling…in my head, no so much my feet and definitely not my knees.

A couple things happened after that long run that I wasn’t ready for. I’m hoping that unlike me, you won’t make these novice mistakes.

Body Glide

#1- Chafing
Guys tend to suffer from nipple chafing, the Bloody 11, and girls will normally get it from wearing shorts. I have been able to avoid this malady until now because 1- I am not a guy and 2- I always wear tights when I run.  My luck ran out this weekend. One of my battle wounds ended up being a tender, red rash right under where my sports bra strap hits which consequently has made getting ready for work just a tad bit uncomfortable. Who gets chafing there?!


I’m assuming that since my long runs will only get longer, I should probably find a way to fix this. I guess that means it’s time to get a real sports bra instead of one from Gap Body. My bad. I will remedy that soon.  Beyond that, I will be adding Body Glide to my running arsenal.  Some people use Vaseline but I have never liked it. It’s too goopy. I’ve also heard of people using deodorant or Aquaphor instead of Body Glide.  I have Aquaphor from when I got my tattoo and I really liked it. It didn’t feel greasy so I think I will try that for this next weekend but also pick up some Body Glide on my next trip to the running store.

#2- Sleep  after you run

I thought I was doing pretty good after the long run and it threw me off. Wasn’t I supposed to feel terrible? Come to find out it doesn’t kick in till a couple hours later. Around 4, I had a splitting headache that had me doubled over in pain. I am not used to these distances and at that point I had covered 30 miles in 4 days and my body just felt depleted.  I quickly made something more to eat and then laid down for a nap.

More sunbathing after a long run. Photo by C. Young

I think two factors created this crash. This is the first week where I have really hiked up my mileage with each run during the week being longer than I’m used to and  your body craves sleep after a long run. However, it made me think about the sleep I’m getting during the week. I need to be more diligent about getting 8 hours of sleep during the week, which will be hard but I think it will really make a difference.  On long runs you deplete your body of energy and  nutrients. Just like I am paying more attention to what I’m eating, I need to watch the sleep schedule more carefully.

Christy texted me to see how I felt later that day and her last text made me laugh. “Training for a marathon takes up lots of hours of your life. Hours of running, sleeping and eating 🙂 Ah, that’s the life”

So true Christy, so true 🙂

What are some things you’ve learned as you have built up the mileage? Have you changed your sleep/eating patterns?


12 thoughts on “Chafing- The Mark of a Champion

    • Matt – you ARE totally pouting. Let’s discuss that. Jacklyn and I’s 15 miles worth of conversation is always very positive. Maybe you should start running with us to get a little boost. You know it isn’t too late to do the full…I’m just sayin… 🙂

      • Christy, are you in sales? At least this pitch wasn’t at the tail end of an 8 mile run. You know, with things like sports bra chafing and splitting headaches, what’s not to love.

        I’m running with you guys tonight…I’ll try to keep the conversation positive. No pouting.

  1. I had a mark just below my sports bra also. It started out like a welt and then left a mark that looks like a burn scar. Apparently it wasn’t just due to the Gap brand you have. All I can say is we are pretty bad-a$$.

    P.S. – I am preparing great stories for our 17-miler on Monday 😉

    • Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I guess I tried to put the thought of chafing out of my mind so I don’t remember. So funny! We should get all us runner girls together and make a guide. HA. First item of business, the bra chafe.

  2. Pingback: You Know You’re Training for a Marathon if… « JayeWalking

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