CAUTION: What you are about to read and see may be shocking and horrifying. (or at least mildly disconcerting)
I thought I’d write a little about the not-so-fun details of post-run issues. So those of you who are not runners or who are afraid of TMI, you may want to skip this post.
This Key West 1/2 Marathon was my 4th in 10 months. So some of the things I am experiencing I should probably have known better about prevention, some are new, and some are just inevitable.
1.Chafing. Definition: Chafing, a runner’s rite of passage, is the result of friction that occurs when skin rubs against itself or clothing.
OMG it hurts. All those stories about when you get in the shower are oh, so true.
For someone who runs with long tights and long sleeves, this may never be a problem. Enter warm weather. Enter skin against skin or bare skin and loose fabric. For some odd reason I do not have the thigh problem that so many do. But I put a layer of “Body Glide” all around my upper arms. This is what I ended up with.
The only thing I can think of is that when I took off my rain jacket, the glide went with it. I was surprised that I got chafing with the my running bra as I have worn it hundreds (well a lot) of times. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know that I had those chafe marks until I entered the shower.
So here are some tips from Runner’s World:
Ditch cotton. It absorbs sweat and stays wet. Wear synthetic, wicking fabrics.
Go seamless, tagless. Seams and tags on a shirt or bra can cause irritation.
Get a proper fit. A too-snug sports bra can dig in; the excess material of a baggy shirt can rub you raw. Here is where I may have gone wrong. I fastened mine extra tight on race morning thinking tighter was better.
Protect your legs. Compression shorts can save your inner thighs from abrasions.
Cover ’em up. Nipple protection is critical for guys. NipGuards and Band-Aids are common shields.
Get greasy. Apply lubricant to chafe-prone body parts. BodyGlide and petroleum jelly–based products are classic salves. When heading out for a long run, stash ChapStick or a travel-sized deodorant in a pocket. Great idea. I could have easily re-applied it to my arms.
Hydrate. Drinking minimizes the salt concentration of sweat. Salt has a sandpaper effect on skin.
Moisturize. “Skin that’s well moisturized—apply lotion twice daily—is less prone to chafing,” Frey says.
Wash up. Shower ASAP after running, keeping water lukewarm. Use antibacterial soap to ward off bacteria that can creep into exposed skin and cause problems like folliculitis, a skin condition that occurs in athletes.
Soothe it. Pat—don’t rub—skin dry and apply an ointment such as Desitin or A+D Zinc Oxide cream (diaper-rash creams containing zinc oxide are antibacterial).
2. Sore Feet.
I will address a couple of things here. Please understand that I am not giving medical advice here – only suggestions or helpful hints based on my experience.
I know this is not a picture of blisters. But have you looked at pictures of feet blisters lately? They are disgusting!
Get good socks. Socks made for running. I currently use and love Balega blister resist socks.
Tie your shoes properly. Honestly did you realize there are different ways to lace your shoes according to your foot? I have a high arch and when I changed the lacing it made a big difference. Here is some info on that:
Running Shoe Lacing Techniques
The universal shoe tying technique of a rabbit perpetually running around a tree works great when you’re 5. However, as most runners have experienced, shoes can be a source of discomfort and even sometimes pain. Changing the way you lace up your kicks can completely change the way you feel about your running shoes. We have listed some of the most common shoe issues, and the solutions in lace form. Read on and your arches, heels and toes will thank you.
Start by lacing your shoe at the bottom like you normally would, evening up the laces through the bottom eyelets. Cross the laces and thread them to the second eyelets normally. Now, here is the crucial part – take the laces directly up the shoe (not crossing the tongue) into the next row of eyelets, leaving an open area in the middle of the shoe. Just keep lacing crisscross style until you reach the top.
No one wants to feel like they are running on banana peels. This one is fairly straightforward as you lace your shoes normally until one eyelet remains on each side. Lace each side straight up the outside of the shoe into the last eyelet, leaving a loop on either side. Crisscross each lace across the shoe and pull it through the opposite loop and tie as normal. These loops help pull up the shoe material around your ankle to secure your heel in place without tightening the rest of your shoe differently.
Get some air down there! This one is similar to what we did with High Arches, but placing the gap lower. Start by lacing your shoes evenly at the bottom, thenstart working up the outside. Lace each side into the first eyelet up the side of the shoe. Do this twice to the middle of the shoe to the third eyelet on each respective side. Then just lace up normally and your feet will have plenty of room to work with while you run.
This is a common problem with an interesting technique to help your toes. Start by threading one side of your laces at the top of your shoe on the opposite side of your big toe. Make sure to leave enough lace to tie your shoes. Then take the lace down to the end of your shoe closest to your big toe to the bottom eyelet making a diagonal line. Now simply lace up your shoe with this single long lace normally in a zig zag fashion. You’ll notice now when tying each shoe that the bit of shoe above your big toe gets pulled away from your nail while allowing the rest of your shoe to be tied up tight.
This one looks simple, but can be a bit tricky. Start by lacing the first two eyelets on the same side on the big toe side of your shoe. From here we are going to follow a pattern. Take the lower lace and cross it to the other bottom eyelet and put the lace down through it. Take that same lace, skip the second eyelet and thread it up through the third eyelet, then cross it over the tongue and down through the opposite side eyelet. Follow this pattern up the shoe. Do the same pattern with the other side of the lace on the remaining eyelets. You’ll notice at the top that one of the laces will go right in perfectly with the top eyelet and the other is a tad short. Just pull up the remaining lace along the same side of the shoe to the top eyelet and you will be all done. Avoiding the standard crisscross pattern in this style allows the top of the foot to have more room, giving you much more comfort while still getting support.
See now wasn’t that fun??????
My last complaint from the run yesterday was how sore the bottoms of my feet were. Now thank goodness I don’t have the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis (I know this because by the next morning I had no more pain nor any more of the PF symptoms). I believe they were just bruised and sore from pounding that pavement. One great idea I read today was to take a frozen bottle of water and roll it under your foot. Ooooooo that would have felt so good! But I will also take my shoes to a running store and have them evaluate them and my feet to check if they are the right ones. I have two pairs of Brooks Ravenna 6 that only have about 125 miles each on them, so I want to see what the experts say.
And now I’m done. Did you skip all that in the middle and just cut to the end? I don’t blame you – this was a long one.
Sitting in Ft. Lauderdale tonight. We are catching a flight back to Denver in the morning.
Do any of you have great ideas for chafing or sore feet?