Fat Frank's Dirty Little Secret
Feature by Rick Lamb
Updated Wednesday, 6th February 2008
The latest installment of our blog on training for the Flora London Marathon. www.lambontherun.blogspot.com
I know someone who is friends with a primary school teacher who openly admitted to thinking that lions and tigers were the male and female versions of the same thing. If this is news to you, keep it to yourself.
Anyway, my father has dropped me in it somewhat. Obviously I'm incredibly grateful to him for being the first to sponsor me for my Marathon effort (shameless plug time - www.justgiving.com/lambontherun). However in classic 'dad' style (not just mine, it's a recognised phenomenon. If you don't believe me, watch American Pie) Dr Lamb added a comment about nipple grease.
What sort of pervert is he, I hear you ask? He's not. He's an upstanding member of the community. He just assumed, as I did, that people are aware of jogger's nipple. Apparently they aren't, at least not everybody is.
During the process of training for the Flora London Marathon I'm obviously running for pretty lengthy amounts of time. Last weekend being a bumper football weekend of FA Cup action I managed to get a lot done.
I'm really feeling the benefits of having packed in the booze and fags since New Year (I'm back on the booze for February because of my birthday, Valentine's Day and as a reward for managing January) and last Saturday, during the sporadically entertaining Mansfield against Middlesbrough match on the sporadically entertaining BBC I have never felt as capable on a long run.
Around 80 minutes and just short of ten miles into my run (and the match. If you haven't worked out that this is a football-themed running blog because I'm running while watching football yet then you really should pay more attention) I happened to glance down and something caught my eye.
There was a sort of rusty mark on my new white adidas top. On closer inspection there were two. On further examination they extended from a near perfect circle into a downward smear. My nipples were bleeding.
The snap above, taken after the shirt had been removed and had festered in my bag on the way home, doesn't really do it justice. I considered taking a snap of my actual nipples but realised that would have been hideous. They don't actually look that bad to be honest. They just sting.
Anyway I've mentioned my plight to a couple of people as it's quite a light-hearted response to the inevitable 'how's the training going?' queries. Not everyone, I'm quickly discovering, gives a tinker's cuss whether I've shaved a couple of seconds off my 10k time.
Similarly, even fewer people seem to know about jogger's nipple. The looks I've had when routine questions about training have been answered with 'yeah, it's going well although my nipples are red raw' have been many and varied. Few have been anything but confused or slightly disgusted in nature.
The upshot of the actual incident has been to realise why so few people wear white tops to the gym or when you see folk out running. It also gave me an interesting theory.
Certain players in the past couple of years have been accused of failing to perform as well for the England football team as they consistently do for their Premier(ship/ League - I know it's League but if I'm talking about the past few seasons do I have to say Premiership? Quite a few pundits haven't noticed there's been a change. They're the ones who still refer to League One as Division Three and talk about teams 'getting the three points' in cup games. The inconsistency is blinding. If they're that opposed to change, it should surely be two points for a win) clubs.
The theory is pretty rudimentary, but basically rests on the premise that certain of said players are routinely, rightly or wrongly, derided for being of a rotund build. Very few clubs play in white (although some of the big clubs have or have recently had white away strips) but England do. Surely a maligned player would do anything in their power to avoid giving fuel to their detractors by running around sufficiently for their bouncing busoms to create sufficient nippular friction for claret to be spilt?
It should be interesting to see how Fabio Capello deals with this. I notice yesterday's kit launch was of a deep crimson second strip, and that all the cold weather training this week has been in maroon gear. Clearly the Italian has left nothing to chance. He could even call up Dean Ashton now, thus adding a considerable footballing brain to his squad and hopefully adding a few quid to the bank account at Carrow Road, should Neil Doncaster and the money men at Norwich been shrewd enough to include a clause of extra payment in the £7million fee they negotiated with West Ham.
As a tangential aside I have recently been reading Russell Brand's autobiography as well as a compilation of his columns from the Guardian. If you don't read the Guardian, I'd recommend searching them out on t'internet as they're very enjoyable. Anyway, in the foreword for the football book, Irons in the Fire (he's a West Ham fan is Russell) he talks of being on the pitch having his photo taken and seizing the opportunity to have a snap with Dean Ashton, one of his new heroes. I've warmed to Brand through finding out more about his life (I've no idea why I was marked out as needing to read more of the works of Russell Brand. We don't have huge amounts in common although I am a closet fan), but no single occurence throughout both books brought us closer together.
On the subject of forewords, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote the foreword for Bryan Gunn's book In Where it Hurts. He talks about Gunny, another of my all-time top three Norwich heroes (Ashton and Efan Ekoku being the other two) and at the end says 'I'm sure it will be a fascinating read', implying he hasn't read it as it presumably wasn't finished. The publishers, however, took this as a quote and put on the front and back of the book 'A fascinating read' - Sir Alex Ferguson. Shameless.