A tale of nasty chafing & running...I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, but I can testify that Vaseline doesn't always help :-(
I think I have a pretty strong mind where pain is concerned. However, I have never been in hospital for anything illness or injury related *touch wood*, so I never quite know whether I am indeed good with pain or if I just haven’t really experienced anything significant as of yet that I can clock up to experience or measure such niggles against. I have been lucky. But I’ve run 138 marathon events including 10 in 10 days, quite a few hilly off-road ultras, back-to-backs, GUCR twice and a few 100 milers, so I think I’ve clocked up some experience with running related ‘pain’ – a little bit. So, last weekend I decided to do Fairland’s Valley Challenge. I’ve done this event twice before and I knew it was a lovely friendly event with lots of familiar faces and lovely countryside. And George was doing it, so I had the best company. However – and how can I put this – I have been experiencing a fair bit of discomfort running-wise, with the humid weather, in a rather delicate area. But, I thought ‘what’s the worst that can happen, I’ve been through worse right?’ Wrong.
It’s fair to say that Fairland’s Valley challenge was a very challenging and emotional day. It was an emotional and physical rollercoaster. Five minutes prior to the race starting, I was jumping up and down and I had lots of George hugs, as my speedy boyfriend decided that he wanted to take this one easy and would therefore be my running buddy for the day. I was super excited because we hadn’t run an entire race together yet and I knew he would be lovely company, like he always is and it’d be a beautiful day, following on from a wonderful Saturday. So, we set off and everything was going wonderful for the first 5 miles. We skipped down little grassy hills, jokingly ran hand in hand and had some little kisses at various kissing gates :-) So, the first 5 miles were great. However the discomfort started to set in :-( and I have never had such bad chafing/ soreness like it whilst running. It felt like I was being stung by nettles for around the next 20 miles. The really horrible thing was that I was running well when I wasn’t in so much pain with it. And the sun was shining, the countryside was beautiful and so was George. I was in the best company in such a lovely place, but this one thing was overriding all feelings of contentment.
I used Vaseline, had used some Sudocrem prior to the race and I tried my best to ignore it and grit my teeth, but it was horrendous. I moaned, I swore and I generally spoiled what would have been an awesome day. George was amazing just being there and gave my little hugs to spur me on, but in reality he couldn’t do anything and nor could I and I knew this frustrated him too. And then about 2 miles before the end, I cried. This lump just caught in my throat and I really felt myself starting to sob. I quickly made myself get a grip and kept on going. I would not be defeated by this. It actually seems so silly writing about this now, but I can not highlight enough how awful it was at that moment in time. In the end, we were a lot slower than we would have been if it had not been for my ‘predicament’.
Honestly, out of all the races, all the events, even GUCR, I have never, NEVER had so much discomfort. And it made me scared. It has made me frightened of this coming weekend’s Thunder Run. I have my fingers crossed that everything will run smoothly. I think this goes to show that even something seemingly trivial or even silly and definitely embarrassing can have such a profound effect on you whilst running and I really hadn’t foreseen that it would be such a problem...
Somebody suggested using chamois cream as used by cyclists, so I did a google search & it seems Udderly Smooth do one. I think I might give it a try, since I already use their moisturiser sometimes & it does indeed make your skin smooth