Skip to content

PNS: A Nipple Problem Runner’s Log June 8-14

You didn’t really think you were
getting a nipple pic, did you?

After living through bad hamstrings and falling off ladders, I was anticipating a nice, safe 60+ mile week. It began, just that way. I felt pretty good the first four days racking up a not so impressive 29 miles. Then Friday hit.

I had decided to head out into a very light sprinkle. The weather dudes and dudettes claimed that this light sprinkle would depart quickly and leave me with sunny skies and a lovely little run. Being naive, I headed out the door unprepared to face the adversity that was soon to come my way.

I confess. I have a nipple problem. Yes, it’s true: a nipple problem. How could nipples be a problem you ask? Well, mine never seem to flatten out. And especially when I run, they like to stick themselves right out there like headlights guiding the way. When I run long, Body Glide and I care for them and there is seldom a problem. But in the rain, with no protection; Houston, we have a nipple problem. Protruding Nipple Syndrome: PNS.

Two miles into the run, the skies changed. The sun which was previously attempting to break through, went on a see ya later break. The skies opened up with a steady stream of the PNS sufferers worst nightmare: precipitation.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running in the rain. In Michigan, there was nothing better than a hot August day and a steady rain during the afternoon run. In my later years, however and with the onset of PNS, I must go out of my way to prepare ahead of time. Most often, I wait for the rain to ease. Today it was too late. 

By five miles it was perfectly clear that the chafing was getting to be too much.  And as any sufferer from PNS can attest, once the discomfort has hit, the damage has been done. This damage, characteristically stays around for 3-5 days, depending on further runs. The problem here was that I had miles to run including a long run in the hills set for Sunday.

We finished with 11 on both Friday and Saturday. Then ran 14 on the Mesa Trail Sunday. A steady dose of Body Glide, Vaseline and Band Aids has minimized the discomfort, but the problem needs a remedy.

I realize that several things could have been done differently. First, I could have greased up before the rainy run. NEVER trust the weather people has always been my motto (if the rest of us were that consistently incorrect at our jobs, we’d most surely fired). In fact, greasing up should probably be a daily ritual. Second, I could have waited for it to stop. Well, it didn’t stop and when you want to run, you want to run. Last, I could have removed my shirt and stopped the irritation and alleviated the PNS issue. Sorry, no way I was unleashing THAT visual to the world. Call it ego, call it preventive non-humiliation, my shirt is best left ON!

In the end, I logged 65 miles this week, the most for any week during this year. My legs feel good (like they’re getting used to the mileage) and my spirits are soaring like the hawk. Eight weeks until the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half. Just got to get those nipples under control.

Run on.