Monday, November 24, 2008

The Nipple Principle

At the risk of (again) drawing creepy internet traffic to this site*, I now provide you with The Nipple Principle.

This may apply more to men than women. I wouldn’t dare to speak on this topic for the females. I’ll leave it to one of the ladies, or Vanilla, to address it on your behalf. Way back** when I was just a little, burgeoning, running Nitmos, I experienced chafing and red rose blossoms on my shirt. Bloody nipples. The rite of passage for a wet-behind-the-ears distance runner.

I had my moisture wicking shirt. I thought I was safe. I was na├»ve and innocent. My mileage increased. The top layer of my fleshy protuberances scraped off unknowingly. The first time, I didn’t bleed out. Only the sting of the shower alerted me that my nerve endings were dangling from the exposed nipples like wiring from a new home construction’s wall sockets. Oh, God, that hurts. I’d cave my man-lion-beast chest inward to avoid the trickle of water.

Maybe this shirt is still a little rough, I thought. After a few more washes, it should be fine.

But it wasn’t fine. The next time, 10-12 miles into a run, red splotches appeared on my chest like a pastie clad exotic dancer. I wasn’t shaking these ta-ta’s though. My nipples were bleeding. And I’ve had a long standing rule that “nipples” and “bleed” never appear in the same thought or sentence. The rule was violated.*** I had a 5 alarm, full blown case of Bloody Nipples.

By the time I raced home, I was looking at a 3 inch diameter. This was going to be ugly. Off went the shirt. A quick inspection followed. Nope. No skin. Just glistening red, dripping blood stumps. It was as if someone had scalped my nip tops and taken them back to their village as a war souvenir. This was not right. I didn’t know much about nipple injuries. Did I need a mammogram now? Is this what a “maxi pad” is for?

Sometimes it’s cool to walk around with a huge scab or a new scar. It’s a war story that you can tell your friends and family about. I doubt any of my co-workers would be impressed in this case though. Besides, in order for them to see it anyway, I’d have to cut a few holes into my dress shirt and walk around with my nipples poking out on either side of my tie. It would be a conversation starter though.

“Hey, Nitmos, have a good weekend? And why are your nipples showing?”
“Oh, they are just a little sore and need some air. You see, I was running….(
insert impressive running war story)….”

After several occurrences, I decided that I better get serious about nipple care and protection. So I bought some anti-chafing lube. It’s weird to put speed stick on your nipples. Welcome to the dark side of running, I guess. I taped a podcast recently (for Runner’s Lounge with him, her, and him) and a question came up as to when you knew you were officially a runner? I think I said ‘when I bought a Garmin’. I’d like to amend that answer to when I bought my first stick of anti-chafe lube. A proud, proud moment.

Before every marathon, I still apply the lube to several unmentionable areas including the nipples. Mainly, just out of habit now. However, I don’t use it on my training long runs anymore. In fact, I’ve noticed that after the first several times that they chafed, bled, and healed over they’ve built up a sorta resistance to it. I can go 20+ miles on my training runs without a chafing incident. They’ve hardened and/or become immune to chafing.

So, I call this The Nipple Principle. At first, your nipples may chafe and bleed on your long runs. Let them. Over time, they’ll callous up like a lumberjacks hands. This is a good thing. You’ll never bleed again. If you continue to treat them delicately, they’ll continue to bleed when the lube eventually wears off.

The Nipple Principle: The more you run long distances, the less your nipples bleed.

And you don’t want to have to swipe your finger through one of those community Vaseline boards folks hold in the air at a marathon. Shudder. Community nipple lube?

Now that I’ve discussed my nipples this morning, I look forward to the return of the eastern European site traffic. Hi folks, welcome back to F.M.S! Please stop google searching on ‘fruit in anus’ because it’s only taking you to this post about my race goals and nothing more. Sorry for the inconvenience. There are no pictures.

Happy trails.

* This post seemed to be inordinately popular…until I removed the nipple photo a few months ago. Suddenly, my site traffic from eastern Europe dried up.
** Roughly 9 years ago.
*** The only rule left for me now is “penis” and “blender accident” appearing in the same sentence.

__________________________________________

More cold air asthmatic running. Did I mention how I love the cold!?

6.5 miles
46:48 time
7:12 pace

...and the rest of the day spent trying to catch my breath...

36 comments:

Marcy said...

What you really needed was some Lansinoh. You know that shiz they give to breastfeeding Moms when their nips are gnawed to death by that lovely hell child they just birthed. That stuff is the bomb.

Amy said...

seriously, latch a baby to that bossom. You'll never complain again.

Cindy said...

i agree that the purchase of bodyglide is a rite of passage. i felt like i was part of the club after that.

nwgdc said...

So, despite the bloody nipples, you should simply run more and it'll hurt less? Do more of something and it'll have less of the side effects?
I tried that approach with Heroin, and all I got out of it was a bunch of trouble. Oddly enough, I got some bloody nipples from it too.

Xenia said...

Having never spawned a devil child from my loins, I have no idea of the pain Marcy and Amy are talking about. However, I do know what it's like almost lancing off a nipple when I put a piece of paper (with directions of my new route) in my sports bra. I ran. The paper migrated. It almost ended badly. Never again will I use my girls as an impromptu purse during a run. It's not worth it.

Blyfinn said...

"Community nipple lube" HAHA that is awesome!

Vanilla said...

I wish you all the best in trying to break your final rule. If anyone deserves to never pro-create again, it's you.

Also, I guess I'm not a runner, as I still have never bought any body lube... at least not for running.

John said...

a. describing a nipple as a stump is disturbing on multiple levels.

2. i agree - buying body-glide is the mark of a true runner.

C. i prefer band-aids. even better if said band-aid has a picture of sponge-bob or any member of the justice league.

Lily on the Road said...

As I sit here with my arms crossed protectively over my "lady bits", I can't help but cringe at Xenia's story....

Nip guards are a man's best friend

and

Bag Balm (TM), every dairy farmer's friend, hey, if Shania Twain can use it on her face...I'm just saying....LMAO...

RunToFinish said...

oh...ow Xenia is killing me here...and you are a strange man for letting the bloody nipples happen more than once..I think maybe you have some secret pleasure with it.

AKA Alice said...

I'll tag onto Marcy and Amy....bones and leather nipples...100 years after I die, that'll be all that's left of me...

Now, chaffing caused by breasts? That's another story...

Marlene said...

"Is this what a “maxi pad” is for?"

LMAO!

I don't know if I want calloused nipples. :S

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Still, when in doubt...

...duct tape!

MCM Mama said...

Yeah, a little lansinoh and frequent enough chafing and you're all set.

Russ said...

I got my tube once I broke 10 miles, but I'm a little protected in the nipple area due to my gorilla like fur patches. My biggest issue is in the - shall we say - upper thigh area...My thighs are quite large (I like to think muscular, but who are we kidding) and tend to rub together. I forgot my lovely silk boxer brief type running undergarment yesterday and came home to a completely uncomfortable situation after only 5.5 miles

Sarah said...

Get 'em pierced. Toughens them up like nothing else. ;)

tfh said...

It seems like male nipple removal would be a simple enough procedure, although it wouldn't breed the same kind of toughness all that bleeding and suffering does. Or maybe it would. It depends on what kind of procedure one imagines.

SLB said...

I was going to suggest no shirt but forgot you lived in the tundra; artic not Toyota!

john v said...

I'm glad someone is breaking the silence. Non-runners are horrified when I describe this problem to them.

Here's one more variable for the Nipple Principle: the problem can get worse during cold weather runs. Even if you use synth materials, the added weight and restriction of extra layers causes me to have problems at lower mileage - even after I'd built up the nipular fortitude.

The good news: Body Glide still does the trick.

ThompsonAZ said...

Here's a link to my nipple chafing story...not really MY nipple chafing, but my story about it. Aw, well, just read and enjoy!
http://jaiontraining.blogspot.com/2008/11/long-runs-and-nipple-chafing.html

joyRuN said...

The singular benefit to having my kids feed off my nips - leathery toughness.

I would STILL love to hear how you walked around the office with your nips sticking out of either side of your tie! Wouldn't you want to brag about how tough they are?

Ted said...

like a pastie clad exotic dancer ??? ROFLMAO.... I have a perfect solution for you. Use a band-aid before you go out! It works like wonder. No need to apply Vaseline or Bodyglide or KY Jelly.

Viv said...

I still feel uneasy when I see bloddy nipples on a guy. Like I am seeing something private of theirs. Does running shirtless aid in that? Now I sound like Herb the Perv.

theloosemoose said...

Hey, Nipmos (...and that is not a typo)

I'm all about Sarah's idea of piercing those bad boys. 'Cause then you can just insert your safety pins for your next running bib right through the nips. Good idea, yes? :)

KimsRunning said...

Ooooohhh....you said "nipple" 19 times, "nip" once and "penis once".

Very nice Nitmos....

So what were you saying?????

*aron* said...

i almost just said i am glad i am a girl until i read the first 2 comments... maybe not so glad anymore :)

Melissa said...

Okay, you asked for this. When I was an expectant mother I was warned about the "reluctant nurser" but I was "fortunately" rewarded with "vigorous nursers" and never had to bother with seducing my babies into nursing.

My last baby was the most vigorous ever. I ended up with a scabrous line across both nipples. So I turned her around the other way, like holding a football, so as not to exacerbate the lesions I already had, and I ENDED UP WITH Xes ON BOTH NIPPLES.

So there.

But they got better.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Husband experienced bloody nipple during our last half marathon. I'm thinking bandaids might be the best answer.

Ms. V. said...

I nursed too babies. Nothing is too much information.

I think you need the bro.

Ms. V. said...

^
two

Jess said...

Women may not get the bloody nipples, but we can get the under-boob chafing and that is not pleasant. Body glide definitely helps.

SJ Goody said...

I just verped due to sympathy pain. Ugh.

Marci said...

Hubs frequently gets the nipple issue, yet repeatedly forgets to protect his nipples before a race. So post race, its often a "how's your nipples" conversation, which may seem strange to the average person ;)

X-Country2 said...

I'd vote for bandaids too. They couldn't possibly make it worse.

Jeff said...

Pretty sure I'm not buying into The Nipple Principle. As a fellow bleeder, I've finally figured out a reasonable use for those small round bandaids that are always left at the end of the multi size boxes.

Fitness blogger said...

The dirty secret of men's running is revealed.