Monday, April 7, 2008

The Angry Red Monster "down there"

It had to happen sooner or later. In the aftermath of yesterday's run, I discovered that angry red monster between my legs -- no not that, you cheeky monkey -- I mean chafing thighs.

I immediately flashed back to attempts to run in high school and college. Inevitably, this it what sent me back to the La-Z-Boy. It aggravates two of my key fears - being fat, and getting hurt while exercising. I don't think it qualifies as an injury per-se, but it will definitely knock me out of the game if it gets much worse. Given my size and my genes, I expect this is always going to be an issue for me, so I did some research. Powders and Vaseline are both recommended to prevent rubbing, but my experience with powder is that I sweat it off, and vaseline just seems to make my thighs sticky. This results in more friction and a sort of deep fryer effect. There are lots of home recipies that people like, but the one I see the most is a combination of 1) Spandex compression shorts and 2) Body Glide, a fearfully expensive product that an awful lot of runners swear by. It turns out that this isn't just a fat man's problem.

I managed to find one source for giant spandex shorts (now there's a phrase that shouldn't be spoken out loud) so I'm going to try that combination. (Another $35 investment - I guess that makes up for the bargain I got on my shoes). I don't plan another long trot until next weekend, so I'll have time to heal (I'm trying triple antibiotic ointment which is Mrs P's panacea, and some time on the elliptical until the swelling goes down.

I'm doing several things wrong "down there" as it turns out. cotton shorts are a bad plan for a big sweater because they get wet and stay wet, making them rub all the more. Some folks even get chafed, bleeding nipples (pause for my head to stop spinning) when they run in cotton tee shirts. Baggy shorts make things worst, because they rub, and they ride up your leg. Also, boxers may let the boys swing free in the breeze, but they also let them rub against the thigh, creating even more friction, chafing where no man should ever chafe, and in the worst case I care to think about, causing a hideous condition called testicular torsion which sounds like something that happens when you sit on an electric drill. I'll be switching to something a bit less cottony and more snuggly at once.

Oh and I have a great fitness tip for travelers. Don't do a long run, then sit in a car for four hours. Mrs P and I had to take a trip to Southern KY yesterday after the gym, and by the time I got back home, my knees felt like they were full of broken glass. I'm thinking that a long run followed by cramped stillness in the passenger seat of a Malibu is a really bad combination.

I slathered on the Ben-Gay, but the pain still kept me up most of the night.

Today's workout will focus on the upper-body, I think.



  1. I knew I would regret this post. Just got an email from Mother P suggesting that I try corn starch and Vaseline.

    I'm not sure which is ookier - the recipe, or having my mother tell me how to care for my 47 year old crotch.


  2. I had to laugh at your misery while reading your post because I've been there, had that happen. And then I read the comment above about your mother. What a sweat woman still worried about her little boy, but yea, kind oookie.

    Keep running, and good luck with the compression shorts. I hear people swear by Body Glide all the time, but so far no one's coughed up the $10 I'd need to by a tube to try.

  3. Yeah, mom talking about chafing is kind of..awkward. But trust me, body glide is your friend. Spend the bucks and get some. (a smaller thing of it is only around $5.)

    Put it everywhere. Works well on thighs, but also put some it on feet, nipples, armpits. Heck, if I even think something is going to lube, I slap some on
    (Okay, this may be too much detail. :)

    Instead of compression shorts, you may want to look at "athletic underwear". It's basically compression shorts in a breathable material, and you can wear regular shorts over it. Expensive, but worth it.

    Good luck with your training.

  4. Thanks for the support. I got the compression shorts, and really like them. I also found a pair of giant running shorts on the clearance rack at Dick's (the kind with the brief sewn in). Both help a lot.

    I used a little Body Glide today on a place on my foot that usually rubs, and it worked great. Once the weather turns hot and I'm running outside, I am sure I'll find all kinds of crevices that need slippering.


  5. thanks for the "support"
    oh wait, that was a pun, right???


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