Chafing…and Finding Clothes That Last!
Let’s be honest, those of us that love to lift, and lift heavy, have the worst time trying to find clothes that fit those legs we love so dearly. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to rock a pair of skinny jeans (try is definitely the key word here because they just don’t work for thunder thighs and calves like mine!) or if I’m trying to find a pair of compression pants, it’s just not happening. A few weeks ago I completed my first three lap Tough Mudder weekend in Atlanta, GA and learned about a few things that I always thought I was exempt from. Because I’ve never been much of a long distance runner, I’ve never really dealt with things like chafing, heat rash, or any of the other ugly monsters that go along with distance running. After 33 miles of trails, I no longer have the privilege of saying I’m not prone to any of those things.
Even though I ran my first OCR in 2012, I still classify myself as a newbie. Mostly because I’ve never raced as a competitive person, simply someone that enjoys being outside, pushing my body, and helping others complete the course. While it’s been a fun three years, it hasn’t really helped me learn lessons like “don’t try new gear out on race day” or “always wear shoes a size bigger the second day of running.” You know, all of the important things you learn when you have bumps all over your legs from a new pair of pants rubbing for 11 miles, raw skin from a bra that moves too much, or toenails throbbing and turning blue 10 days later. Being a well-endowed female that enjoys even the occasional jog, I learned early on that the cute sports bras that you see girls wearing aren’t exactly supportive and that certain types of pants just won’t stay up while running if you possess the effects of a lot of squatting. The list of gear available is so long I get bored reading it, and posting about what works for everyone else is also silly because you have no idea if it’s going to work for you.
After trying the “less expensive” way for the last three years, I decided to invest in a few good pairs of compression pants and am thinking about some arm sleeves (let’s face it, even though I don’t need to impress anyone now that I’m married, it’s just not cute or professional to show up to work with scratches up and down your arms!) After testing a new pair of Under Armour capris at BattleFrog Atlanta, I’m done with them, mostly because they breathe and dry really well, but the fabric is so flimsy it’s laughable. If I have holes developing after only 4.5 miles, I can only imagine how “breathable” they’ll be after 14, 24, or even the goal of 50 miles at WTM. I’ve come to the conclusion that gym workout gear just won’t cut it when I’m out there on the course running double digit mileage. So it’s on to testing more gear, hoping my clothes don’t develop holes in any more awkward places or slide down during the first ¼ mile and show my ass to the world, and applying a lot more Vaseline going forward.
On a side note, if you have issues keeping food down while running, I highly recommend you try Beard™ bars! I’ve always been the person starving on course because anything I tried to eat came right back up the moment I started running again. I fueled myself with these through one miserable lap of BattleFrog Carolinas, three laps of Tough Mudder Atlanta and one lap with an adaptive athlete at BattleFrog Atlanta and had zero issues and felt refueled! They are reasonably priced, all natural (created with the endurance athlete in mind) and you help support an awesome OCR athlete and employee in the process, so everyone wins! It’s exciting to find something nutritious that works in training.