running

STORYTIME: Here’s Why You Don’t Wear New Clothes to Your Race

In 2016, I ran Louisville’s Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.  I’ve always loved the culture of Louisville.  There’s southern hospitality, horse races, and bourbon as far as the eye can see.  Signing up was a no-brainer.

Most importantly, I was able to get a bottle of Jim Beam engraved with both my name and my race time.

My mom and I made the trip, and everything was going great.  I had forgotten my running shorts at home, so I picked up a pair at the Derby expo.

The morning of the race, the weather reports were calling for thunderstorms.  Luckily, all that happened was a torrential downpour mid-race.  UN-luckily, apparently, my new running shorts were not rain-friendly.

Around mile 13, my lower half started feeling a little odd.  Suddenly, it felt like I was running in a really, really rough potato sack.  I kept going, and I figured I just would have a minor chafe at the end.

Boy, was I wrong.  As I crossed the finish line, a nice Kentucky gentleman came up to inform me that my legs were covered in blood.  Turns out, my shorts caused a severe friction burn.  A bright, bleeding cut circled around my entire hip area and both of my thighs.

The pain came slow, and finally, I begged my mom to “make it go away”.  We had to walk a mile to the closest CVS.  Essentially I was walking around with a rug burn on steroids.  And also I had just run a marathon.

While the Neosporin we got sort of helped, I basically spent the night quietly sobbing into my pillow and making a paste of Neosporin and baby powder.  I couldn’t find a comfortable sleeping position.  The pain was so tremendous that my legs were actually spazzing out.

Although the pain slowly subsided, for months I had discoloration where the chafe had occurred.  I was worried that I had permanently scarred myself.  Eventually, everything disappeared.

Even recounting this story, I can still feel the phantom burn of how awful that was.

Moral of the story: Don’t buy new clothes or gear before your marathon.

Other moral: I will literally set myself on fire for bourbon.

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