Friday, January 23, 2009

The unfortunate incident with my armpits

I am supposed to be making edits on my thesis. However, I think it would SO much more interesting to talk about my chaffed armpits. (What does that tell you about where my thesis falls on the list of “things to do.”) For some people, this might fall under the category of Too Much Information. However, I feel it is important to put information like this out there. To comfort people. I am type of person who likes to know that my freaky body and I are not alone.

So I went running on Monday. This is not unusual. I ran a little bit longer than normal, but not LOT longer. When I got home, I noticed that my left armpit hurt. Just my left one. I discovered that it was chaffed.

If you run, most likely you have experienced chaffing at some point or another. I too have experienced chaffing before, though usually in areas where I expect there to be chaffing. I was running in a tank top. There isn’t a whole lot of fabric to rub against your armpit in a tank top.

I went running again on Wednesday. I wore a different shirt (short-sleeves), but again, one that I have run in for years. I ran the same length as I did on Monday. On reaching my house, I realized that my armpit was burning. But this time it was my right one. (My left one was fine. Maybe because of the scar tissue left over from Monday’s adventure?) This started me questioning about my mode of running. How do I run so as to irritate one armpit one day and the other the next?

The pain people. I can’t explain the pain. I wouldn’t think that armpit chaffing would be all that big of a deal. But think about all of your shirts. Think about the seams on your shirts. Think about the area which has the most seams joining at one point. That would be your armpit. (On a side note, the other really painful area to chaff is your inner thighs--for a similar reason. And yes, I have experienced that too. I stopped running in that particular pair of shorts.)

So why the sudden mysterious chaffing? I think I have narrowed it down to my antiperspirant. I recently switched brands, and this brand is a little bit stronger than my previous antiperspirants. It does its job a little to well. It makes my pits dry as bone. This is fabulous--unless you are pumping your arms back and forth for about an hour or so. At which point, the soft underbellies of your arms get pissed, red, and start shouting obscenities at you for at least 24 hours.

Why am I telling you this? Knowledge is power people. If you are using strong antiperspirant and you want to take a run, show your pits some love by slapping on some Vaseline before you go. You and your little white arm underbellies will thank me.

{photo from flickr}


Washington Hills said...

Lady Susan, do you ever watch The Office? There is this hilarious episode where Andy is going to run a 5K or something and he tapes up his chest to prevent nipple chaffing. So funny!

Lady Susan said...

Yes, I have seen that episode. It is hilarious indeed. On a related note. Two guys from my lab were training for a marathon. They both got new shirts (from a lab event) and wore them on one of their longer training runs. I guess they had some serious nipple chaffing. To the point where it was bleeding. Yowsers!

The lesson: never underestimate the power and discomfort of chaffing.


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