Thursday, May 10, 2012

Worst.Chafe.Ever!

Don't worry, no pictures.

But be warned that this might be a bit stomach turning.

DAMN THE RUNNING SKIRT!

I ran a marathon and Around the Bay 30k in a running skirt. I love (or thought I loved) running skirts. I also tend to use body glide or more recently diaper cream to prevent any sort of chafing. I normally don't chafe. I'm not one of those women who get chafed by bra straps. I will put cream on my feets to help with blister prevention and I will usually put it on my inner thighs.

My experience with chafing is generally weather related. Hot weather chafe is not unusual. Cold weather? unusual. So when I went into the Illinois half marathon without any anti-chafe cream I wasn't really concerned. It was pretty chilly. At mile 6 when I felt the burn starting there wasn't much I could do at that point. I knew it would get way worse but I had no idea it would get as bad as it did. At mile 10 I paused to adjust the inner shorts of my skirt when I noticed I had blood all over my legs. My instant reaction was of utter embarrassment thinking I must not be good at knowing my cycle. Then I realized it was from the chafe. It was at this moment I knew I had done damage but there wasn't any way of fixing that which was already done.

I used a wet paper towel to try and wipe the blood away after the race and that's when I had a little inspection. Holy crap was I shocked. I couldn't touch it and it couldn't touch anything without searing pain. I had it on both of my inner thighs which left me walking very slow and looking like I had something sharp shoved up my ass. What to do at this point? The drive back to Queenie's place I sat in the car with the shorts of the skirt shoved up and spread eagle as I tried to let it air out. It was gross. Blood and seeping goo dripping down my legs.

I was in a bad place. How the hell was I going to get through a week of cycling like this aside from cold showers? Before I had a chance to consult Mr. Google I bought a pair of spandex boy shorts and some super duper heavy diaper rash cream. I figured the shorts would help to keep it from touching. It wasn't long before I realized this wasn't going to work. The seam in the shorts dug into my wounds. I found myself holding my bladder because going to the toilet was so painful. Whenever I had to pull my pants down, the shorts would rip my skin off. I had a full day of traveling to Atlanta by plane and train with a lot of walking and dragging bike boxes and luggage.

First thing I hit was a Walgreens where I bought gauze, tape and Neosporin. I needed to treat it like an open wound. Sadly in my stupidity and pain induced state I bought the regular gauze and not the non-stick stuff. As I was dressing my wounds that night I saw the extent of the trauma. Even the 3"x4" gauze sheets wouldn't cover it. I had a moment in the bathroom where I was bent over trying to clean my wounds when my nose started bleeding followed by my BG tanking. I was a hot hot mess. The next day after peeling my skin off with the gauze and picking bits of it out of my legs I got some non-stick stuff.


It wasn't so bad while cycling since the shorts did a good job at holding it all together. Sleeping and regular walking around sucked. It felt like I had menstrual pads taped to the insides of both my thighs. I was in a constant state of discomfort sitting down and standing up and trying to use the toilet. Add to the discomfort the constant heat and sweating. I would attempt to dry it out at night but it still seeped goo and bled. I was checking my crotch often during the day since it was seeping right through my pants!

I did put it out on Facebook and got a rather interesting response. Suggested fix, Tegaderm. I use the same stuff for my CGM sites and had some with me. I thought about it long and hard before deciding against it. I know that's what they use for road rash but this was my thighs. My inner thighs and both of them. The thought of having to take off the tape at any point made me wince. I couldn't do it, so I just kept trooping through it.

It was the worst week ever of chafe. I was back to walking normally on Monday (9 days post chafe) when it eventually started scabbing over.

I may never wear a running skirt again in my entire life... or at least I'm going to be wary for awhile. How the fuck can I run an entire marathon in the same skirt that ripped me to shreds in half the distance? I don't get it. Unless my thighs have changed shape so much that it just doesn't work for me any more... I don't know. I'm just glad that's OVER!!!!

For the record, the healing is coming along nicely. It sort of looks like I burned myself with fire now. Better than the pus and blood all week.

9 comments:

  1. Ouch. Super ouch!

    Wasn't it raining that day? That could have something to do with it.

    I'd say going forward to just grease up your thighs as much as you can (skirt or shorts) every time. Hopefully it will never happen again, and that might help keep it that way.

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    1. Oh man, I can unfortunately relate to this story! I also usually never chafe under my sports bra, was never an issue for me. When I ran the full marathon in Calgary, Alberta it was a very hot day! So hot that in fact some people decided not to run. I had spent the past 18 weeks of my life training and there was no way I was dropping out. I put body glide on my feet and thighs (I also wear skirts) and off I went. Well the heat, sweat and long time out running did a number on me. I chafed bad all along the underside of my sports bra. I remember getting in the shower and screaming at the pain, lol. I was unable to wear a bra for a week and had to keep applying bandages around my body. The things we go through to run!!

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  2. I'm very glad you are feeling better now, but wow, that must have really been hard. I admire the dedication it takes to run marathons and all the preparation it takes. I am now forwarned...do not run in skirts!!!

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  3. Yuck yuck yuck! So glad you are on the mend!

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  4. oh ouch! can't even imagine how painful that must have been. holy crap.

    glad you're on the mend!

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  5. Ouch, and ouch, and ow, ow, owww. I thought i'd be reading a post i was familiar with, as i'm a regular post rain chafee, but i can honestly (and thankfully) say i've never had it that bad, yikes. Glad its getting better.

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  6. I run 100 mile ultramarathons and have had horrible chafing. THe best prevention is Vaniply by Vanicream. It works great to prevent chafing! And it is the fastest and best thing for healing chafing also. Just appply it over and over and you will healed in a day!!check out their facebook site, official vanicream.

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  7. BY the way you can buy vaniply by vanicream at most walgreens stores, or online. trust me, it is AMAZING. I never chafe anymore and i run for 30-36 hours at a time.

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