Trail running. The next level.

The realisation came in the shower. It was immediate and clear. I had just advanced to the next level.

I was hot, my legs buzzed with that sweet post-run burn of satisfaction. Sticky sweat trickled down my back and my feet begged to be released from their furnace encapsulating shoes.

Trail running is new to me and at 55, I have started a little late in life. But over the last few months I have slowly been increasing my distance and enjoyment of this activity. I really enjoy being out on the tracks and I find the repetitive crunch of my footfalls becomes almost meditative.

After a long swig of cold water I headed for the shower to cool down and de-stink.
The moment the water hit me….it happened.
Intense sharp stinging pain on my right nipple.

There was no doubting it. Years of medical experience brought a swift diagnosis. I had acute nipple abrasion (that’s acute, not a cute. I’ll eave that evaluation for others).
The medical terminology of this condition is Fissure of the Nipple, a painful raw breakdown of the skin due to friction with T-shirts or other surfaces.

You may have seen pictures of long distance runners sticking those little round band aids across their nipples to prevent chaffing. Reading the literature, this seems to be predominantly a male related issue although I imagine some females who choose to run without sports bras may also have to deal with it.

Anyways, I always looked at those pictures and thought that unless you are some 100km ultra runner, sticking band aids on your boob bumps when going out for a run was a little over the top.

Seriously? I think Ill take up swimming instead.

After the electric nipple shock therapy in the shower my opinion has flipped.
I used to run a little when I was a kid and never experienced any nipple issues.
Perhaps it was from rubbing against my top or perhaps form the strap of the small pack I was wearing (carrying my phone and some water), but if felt like I had scrubbed it with a cheeze grater and then stepped into a shower of lemon juice.

I consider my nipple fisure a badge of achievement. A sign of significant anatomical progress in my trail running project.

Shopping list:

  • Tiny round band aids.



3 responses to “Trail running. The next level.”

  1. Ian . You must try Vaseline on all your protruding parts!! Nipples and mans best friend too. Bandaids can fall off when sweaty.
    My partner uses it all the time.


  2. From a seasoned runner, although not a trail runner, it’s like that old Persain saying carved on the King’s ring: “This, too, shall pass.” Plus the small, round band aides (yes, they’ve a use!)

    Myself, I’ve a heart rate monitor strap that provides data to my Garmin and, added benefit, protects the nipples.

    Keep running. Remember mid to front foot strides. I’m coming back from a minor injury and haven’t run 10km since August, but yesterday was my first 5km in nearly three months and, yes, nipples very sore.



  3. Kelly, I think Ian needs a job. That’s what Leonie tells me. Or time in an institution. Strangely enough I have a skin malady as well. Definitely not from exercise 🙂


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