Feeling Under the Weather While Running in Wet Weather

With my wife battling a cold for the last 10 days and a co-worker bring a cold to the office, I kept a positive mental attitude, proactively loaded up on vitamin C and washed my hands all the time to steer clear of catching something myself.

It was a galiant effort. But it got me. Finally. Dammit.

While I did my best to heed off the cold, probably what did me in was insufficient sleep. Hey, I like writing and sharing information, but it does keep me up later than what my bedtime should be.

But I continue to do my best, running through a head cold. Helps me clear out my system. But yesterday it was pouring rain most of the day and I didn't stay out too long.

This brings me to running ware in the rain. It is so infrequent that I run in the rain that, while I know what I should be doing, I usually am not prepared to do it. I wore 2 layers of cotton and it was raining on me. Within 15 minutes the shirts were soaked. Not a good thing as those wet, heavy shirts can do quite a bit of chafing on the chest. Luckily, I didn't run long and I escaped the dreaded shredded nips.

Layering is good. In the colder winter months I layer my tops and often take the outer layer off during the run. But in the rain, the outer layer should repel the water. If you anticipate taking off the outer layer, the inner layer should too. A "technical" shirt made out of non-manmade materials is the way to go. If you are running in strong rain, placing protection, like a bandaid, over the nips, is not a bad idea.

I survived that run. This morning I woke up and it felt like a bus hit me. My sinuses are clogged. But I got out there anyway for 35 minutes. Felt terrible most of the run.

Ah yes, the joys of winter running when sick. The toils of a marathoner.

Hour and 45 Minutes, No Water, No Gels, But a Bit of Chafing

With nearly 18 years of running and 45,000 miles under my belt, you'd think I'd have learned from all my mistakes. But nope, from time to time, I subconsciously must seek some self-defeating behaviors. But it's all good!

Sportslick is a nice alternative to Vaseline to maintain chafe-free skin on long runs






           On Saturday morning I decided I should run for 1 hour, 45 minutes, or 15 minutes longer than my previous longest run of the year the previous Saturday. It was somewhat cool outside so I decided I would wing it and not bring any fluids or gels, like my typical 40 to 60 minute weekday run.

Usually on my longer runs, I have a pre-run routine, but since this was kind of an ad hoc decision, I hadn't given much mental thought. But I did do the basics....bandaids on the inner circles of my chest (a.k.a. nips) and for chafing and blister prevention, some Vaseline on the inner thighs, some on the toes and heel and the backs of my armpits. You know, anywhere.

With some light sunscreen and a hat on my head, I ran off, feeling perky. Felt good outside, this last day pre-Daylight Saving time.

About an hour into the run I started feeling very slight irriation on the left side of my upper leg, where the inner thigh meets the running short. The telltale sign that something was amiss. But I've run thousands upon thousands of miles with no significant chafing issues that I didn't worry too much, though something told me perhaps I didn't put enough lubrication down there.

Sure enough, it became a true annoyance over the next 15 minutes, to the point I had to decide, should I cut the run short by 15 minutes to minimize the what was now obvious chafing issue, or do I grin and bear it. I chose the latter. I'm no wimp.

And so I continued running on a path I knew would achieve my 1 hour, 45 minute goal. Adjusting my crotch every few minutes (drivers must have wondered what I was doing), I made it home. But I was fully dreading the shower. Ooch, ouch, ooch, ouch as the water drove the pain factor up.

But I survived. Two days of Neosporin and other topical creams later, I was pretty much o.k.

So bottom line, make sure you LUBRICATE ADEQUATELY for your long runs. Take it from me.

And one other thing. I wore a cotton t-shirt on this run. Fortunately it did not do too much chafing damage, but the bottom part of my back felt a bit irritated from the shirt.  I usually where a "technical" top (e.g. a shirt made out of a synthetic material). But once again, I was feeling foolish Saturday morning.

Lastly, even with the red welts on my inner thighs, I was able to run 3 miles on Monday morning and maintain my running streak. It is now March 15th and I've achieved 3 months straight of running. I'll be taking a day off soon though.