Fast forward 9 years and I am running the 2021 Boston Marathon. It was a fabulous off-cycle autumn race— I ran strong and felt so great afterwards that I was able to walk all the way back to Charlestown with my family (Charlestown where I grew up in Boston, about 4 miles from the finish line). I hopped in the shower after the race and there was an extreme burning sensation along my sports bra line under my chest. I had some serious chafing! I assumed the chafing was caused by the friction of my hydration vest shifting my sports bra back and forth under my chest, but learned soon enough after running 2 more long-distance races that the hydration vest was not the problem— it was my sports bra! I quickly invested in a new type of sports bra, and voila— it was a success, no chaffing in that area during my last long distance running event.
What options are available after chafing? First, gently clean the area with soap and water. There are plenty of over-the-counter chaffing gels or creams available— I use Summer’s Eve active chafe gel. Aloe vera is also a wonderful choice that helps relieve pain from chafing. Apply the ointment and allow the affected area breathe. If chafing-symptoms do not heal after a few days, or if they get worse, it’s best to see a physician for additional options.