Chafing vs. Chaffing: The age-old debate.

This is really one of those things that makes me put my head into my hands, willing the migraine I feel coming on to go away.

It’s kind of thing, much like the there/their/they’re your/you’re to/too thing that literally makes me want to rip all my hair out.  But this one has been relegated to the runner’s portion of of society because of our issues, what happens when one area of the body performs a repetitive motion.  Or in my case, it’s what happens to my thighs, between my boobs, and the skin that peeks out right underneath my armpit when I run for anything more than like 8 miles.

Certain shorts exacerbate this problem in my thighs.

It always happens between my boobs because I tend to lose weight when I’m in a serious training cycle, and my boobs move around a little more within the confines of their cage.

And it likes to happen when I’m wearing a tank top or those cute running tops with the cap sleeves on them.

During Ragnar in Vegas, I made a critical error when I wore the diaper, the Norts that all you cute college kids are wearing with your tall cotton socks, to run my first 13-mile leg in.  I knew I was in trouble right around the 8-mile mark, and spent the remainder of my time trying to sanitarily (which is not a word, according to the red squiggly that’s appeared underneath) rub the shared stick of body glide on my thighs.

What I’m referring to is chafing.

Not chaffing.

Chafing.

And I’m writing about it today, not to tell you how to avoid it, cause I really don’t even know.  But more so to tell you how deeply it offends me when you spell it chaffing.

It’s gross.

Stop doing it.

It looks like it should be pronounced “laughing” when you spell it that way.  I don’t take you seriously as a running/fitness blogger when you spell it that way.  It doesn’t make me want to offer you my body glide when you spell it that way.

When you spell it that way, it detracts from your overall message.

Please.  Running bloggers.  People who post a lot on the running forums.  Moms who utilize Desitin.  Cyclists who use Chammy Butter.  It’s chafing.  For the love of God.

 

Underboob Chafing

I made a critical error in judgement during my training.

Because I was at the Hornets game this weekend, I shifted my long run to Monday during my workday, and went for it.  But because I was rushing off to work (as usual) I grabbed whatever bra I could find out of the bottom of my clean clothes, and happened to grab this bra that isn’t even manufactured anymore, a bra that may have fit me back in the summer of 2010.  So that was five years ago.

After working in running retail for some time, I have repeated to our female customers numerous times the importance of replacing your sports bras.

“Your bra should never see a birthday.”

“You should change your bra when you change your shoes.”

“Gain or lose weight?  Have a baby?  Come in for another bra fitting.”

But we never, never listen to our own advice, and I have had this bra since I was about 22 years old.  (I’m now 27, about 20-30 pounds lighter, married, and I’ve changed bra sizes and tax brackets.)

So of course, I put this old raggedy bra on, so raggedy that one of the hooks on the hook-and-eye closure has complete disappeared.

Mid-10-miler, I noticed something going on, but was a little focused on making it back in one piece – the temp was steadily dropping, and my poor hands were losing feeling, so I sort of think adrenaline took over.  It wasn’t until I took a shower that I figured out what happened.

I cranked the water and hopped in – I was meeting an old friend for dinner – and immediately starting screeching.  I investigated – I’d managed to rub the skin off the underside of both of my breasts.  I screamed throughout the rest of the shower, and located my tube of Aquaphor immediately after I dried off and slathered a layer on.

That bra is going in the trash.  Well…what if I need it later?  Can it hurt me if I shove it in the bottom of the drawer again?

Any articles of clothing you’ve let hang around for five years?  For longer?  

A few things…

1. First off, congratulations are in order! I overshot my goal of 100 miles in this period by three miles today on my long run!  Yay!  I’m proud of myself!

2. Second, I bandited part of my first race today. I’m not proud of this by any means – it was a total accident.

For those of you who don’t know, to bandit a race means to run it without registering and paying for it.  Not cool by any stretch of the imagination.  Not only are you stealing from the race and race organizer, it’s not safe.  Had I fallen and, worst case, died, I would have made some significant trouble for that poor race organizer.

Let me explain myself.  I was finishing up the last leg of my long run today (12 miles, phew!) and I sort of noticed a cop standing in the middle of the traffic circle on Hillsborough (the main drag through North Carolina State University’s campus).  I thought nothing of it until I realized I was caught up in the middle of a large group of folks wearing race bibs.  So I tagged along for about a mile until I could safely dash across the course toward my home.  Totally an accident.  And not something I’ll make a practice of.

3.  The term, ‘chub rub’ is rude and a complete misnomer.  You don’t have to be overweight, or even chubby, to suffer with this serious condition.

For those of you unaware, ‘chub rub’ is the colloquial term that applies to the awful chafing that happens between your thighs when you combine moisture (like sweat), and repetitive movement.  Contrary to what this term may suggest, you do not have to be chubby in the least bit to experience the awful pain and swelling that ‘chub rub’ brings.  (Can we all agree to call it chafing from now on?)  My first half marathon, I wore my favorite Norts (Nike + shorts = the chosen uniform of college girls = Norts) and couldn’t walk or shower without some significant pain once the adrenaline of finishing wore off.

So how to combat this earth-shattering condition?  The answer isn’t to stop running, it’s Aquaphor or  something called Body Glide!  Slather either one of those babies between your thighs or anywhere where you’re prone to chafing (under the band of your sports bra, near your watch, on the back of your heel), and you should eliminate the issue.  Aquaphor gets my vote, because you don’t have to reapply as often, and it doubles as a sweet lip gloss.

Chub Rub

 

PS, isn’t running darn glamorous?  This is photo evidence of me (not very chubby) having to apply Aquaphor before my Sunday morning run date.  Beauty fades, but my class is forever!