The Sun is Coming! (sun safe with Mission Athletecare)

This is going to be pretty rude to those of you covered in a winter encore blanket of snow right now, but believe it or not, Spring is here.

We don’t have a lot of “seasonality” here in SoCal for justification but the calendar tells me it’s true. Sorry if you just got done shoveling your sidewalk or stripping ten layers and yaktraks from your outdoor run.

But the sun will be coming around (if not you can come visit), and all those pasty shoulders and legs will finally emerge from layered hibernation soon.

And with that announcement, it’s time I took my pedestal for another Skin Protection Soap Box Speech.

If you’re unfamiliar with my story, I’ve had two skin cancer scares in the last two years.

In 2011, a week after my wedding, I went in for surgery to remove one pre-melanoma mole and one basal cell carcinoma (a non-metastasizing form of skin cancer). This past December, I went back to have two more pre-melanoma areas excised.

Neither case was life-threatening, but had they gone undetected it’s hard to imagine how quickly they would have sped down the cancer-forming path they were on.

  • As a brief nerd-out, pre-melanoma means there are abnormalities in the cells that have a likelihood of morphing into melanoma, a deadly (but treatable) form of skin cancer. A carcinoma is a grouping of cancerous cells, but the non-invasive kind that don’t normally spread to your other organs or kill people.

I go in for routine checkups every 9 months or so – a quick eyeball body scan by my dermatologist, and if she finds anything suspicious or worrisome she shoots it up with local anesthetic, razors it off (it doesn’t hurt, swear), and sends it to the lab for biopsy. If it comes back abnormal or with unclear margins – meaning a larger chunk needs cut to get all the bad stuff out – I go back. This last round she ‘operated’ in-office, a mostly painless punch biopsy with some stitches. The first procedure was done at a hospital by a plastic surgeon, which I felt was overkill (and expensive) but they were able to knock it all out at once and stitch me up extra pretty.

That’s a joke. All the scars are gnarly.

sc

4 personal advocacy points – great conversation starters. 

Anyway, as your homework for reading this torrid tale (for the umpteenth time, some of you long-term readers) :

1) PLEASE visit your dermatologist for an annual skin check. Or every other year. I don’t care. Just go in – mine was covered by insurance, super quick, and painless. Sure you’re naked and being inspected by a stranger, but I promise it’s worth the peace of mind.

2) DOUBLE PLEASE remember to wear SPF! Even when it’s not sunny or you’re only going to be out “a few minutes”. Not only will you be preventing scary cancer, but you’ll keep your skin young and won’t look like a wrinkly old bag by 35.

Lucky for you I’m not here shoving this down your throats without at least offering to help.

Mission Athletecare sent me some things to keep my skin happy and hopefully out from under the knife this year, and I want to share them with you. Because I love them and hate sunburn (and thigh chafing).

photo 1

5 hour anti-chafe stick, SPF50 continuous spray, SPF30 lotion, SPF30 facestick

I bet you all know how sunscreen works. You put it on – 30 min before exposure, preferably – and it keeps the bad rays from hurting you or turning you into a lobster. Pretty simple, but in case you need visuals here are some really lovely photos of the application process :

mission1

mission2

ps if your thighs don’t rub together when you run we can’t be friends

The continuous spray makes total coverage foolproof, and I can get my hair and scalp without greasing em up real bad. I add some facestick (feel free to take a moment to admire my 6am beauty) to my cheeks, nose, and lips since I don’t like wearing my daily moisturizer because I get a sweaty slimy mess. Bonus : the stick is kind of tacky so it keeps me from wiping sweat in my eyeballs somehow? And lastly, a gratuitous inner-thigh shot of the anti-chafe balm. Also in constant contact with my underboobs, collar bones, and chicken flapping arms.

Reminds me I should go do some pushups after this.

I think there are HIPAA laws against me calling your doctors to make skin check appointments for you, so I’m going to do the next best thing(s) to help keep you sun safe this summer :

1) Use code “SARAHOUAL30” at missionathletecare.com for 30% off your entire order.  (through 5/15/13)

2) Enter to win! One random reader will win an anti-chafe, continuous spray, and facestick – Summer Running Protection kit of their own. To play :

  • Leave a comment telling me your most exciting spring/summer plans. Something a gnarly sunburn or melanoma diagnosis would put a damper on.
  • Tweet “__(something fun you’re doing this spring/summer)__ will be SUN SAFE thanks to @sarahoual and @missionathlete #FUcancer”
    • ex. “Running Boston will be SUN SAFE…”, “Camping Yellowstone will be SUN SAFE…”, “Drinking margs by the pool will be SUN SAFE…” – you get it
  • Schedule a skin check. Let me know. These entries also awarded a virtual high five and insta-BFF status.

1 entry for each, must leave a separate comment. Winner will be chosen by random on Tuesday 4/2 at noon PST

Good luck! The sun is fun and makes everyone happy so enjoy it, responsibly! (like the alcohol commercials).

Sarah OUaL

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134 thoughts on “The Sun is Coming! (sun safe with Mission Athletecare)

  1. This Spring I’m running my first half marathon and I’m super excited about that! The sun doesn’t come out too often here in WA but you can never be too safe. I’d love to win this package!

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  2. No crazy plans yet except to train for Chicago! Something a melanoma diagnosis would definitely damper. I’ve had my share of skin cancer scares as well!

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  3. I also had a skin check two weeks ago (complete with a lovely semi-nude photog session of some gnarly-looking moles to watch). You did, however, remind me to make a follow-up appointment in 6 months! :)

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  4. My husband also had some precancerous spots removed. He has to get checked a couple times a year. I’m very careful to always use sunscreen, especially on my kids!! I have my annual physical coming up. I will make sure to get naked and have my doc check me out!

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  5. I’m the maid of honor in a wedding this summer and the sports bra/tank lines are going to be bad enough in pictures. Skin cancer or a sunburn would just be horribly unsightly!

    After years of lobster burns and a totally nonsensical avoidance of sunscreen, I went for my first skin check a year or so ago, held my breath, said a little prayer and was so relieved when I got the all clear. Pretty substantial history of skin cancer in my family. Yeah yeah, I’m a dum-dum. Working on learning to love the ‘screen and am definitely getting smarter about it than I used to be. Thanks for the kick in the ass PSA. I need it.

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  6. This summer I’m taking crack #3 at the camp pendleton mud run. Last year I was 12th female overall, and 5th in my age group, which is pretty rad considering how many thousands of people do that race.

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  7. This summer I’m trying to see as many concerts as possible! So far we have George Strait / Miranda / Martina in June, Brad Paisley / Lee Brice / Chris Young in July, Keith Urban / Little Big Town / Dustin Lynch in August and Dierks & Miranda in September. Yes, Sept. is still considered summer in Tejas. So is October. And actually, we are going to another show in Oct – Jason Aldean / Jake Owen / Thomas Rhett.

    I will prob also be working another job to afford all of this concert-going.

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  8. I am running a half marathon in 1.5 weeks! And hopefully getting a full mary in this summer :)

    My thighs have decided to start rubbing recently. Even though they never did in the past. I mean, they have always touched and probably always will, but I never had any chub rub until a couple months ago… (Does this mean we can be friends now??) Just thought I would fill you in on the thigh report…hahaha

    I don’t have health insurance, otherwise I would go get a checkup with a derm! :/

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  9. I start med school in the fall, so this spring/summer will most CERTAINLY be spent drinking lots of margs/sangria/anything alcoholic next to the pool before I spend the next 4 years of my life trapped inside a library :)

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  10. And also, I have a yearly skin check with my derm scheduled for every.single. February from now until forever…just schedule it a year out every time I’m there and set an alarm on my phone. Done and done. (I’ve had some pre-cancerous stuff removed as well, though luckily the last abnormal one was >10 years ago…doesn’t keep me from being hyper vigilant about it though!)

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  11. This summer I am doing everything fun imaginable, outside, under the sun, butt-ass naked.

    Ok, the long and dreary winter might have me making some overly ambitious (and under-clothed) summer plans… but I am definitely traveling home to Indiana (what up Midwest!) to run a half-marathon and see my long distance boo. No cancer allowed.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway… Facestick me! :)

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  12. my mom just passed away from melanoma. she was only 51, never a sunbather (no beaches in Iowa, hellooo) and it took her fast. Just got my checkup. And am involved with Miles against Melanoma, check it out! SPF for life. Pale is the new tan.

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  13. Looking forward to lots of glorious runs along the ocean in Santa Monica. My running buddy and I have made a pact this year that after at least one of those runs, we will change in to bathing suits, take a dip, and hang out on the beach with some PBJs and trashy romance novels after getting sweaty.

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  14. Being a Milwaukee resident, the most exciting thing I am hoping for this summer is some sun and warmer temps so I can run outside (although I should probably be careful what I wish for because I’ll end up with 95* temps – ha)! Otherwise, hoping to take in lots of Brewers games with brew in hand:)

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  15. My sun safe summer plans involve spending lots of time at my pool…if Wisconsin ever gets warm enough. And road tripping to Nashville for the CMA music fest. Oh and consuming ungodly amounts of beer…although I am a firm believer that you can never have too much beer or cheese curds.

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  16. I’m the MOH in my BFF’s wedding in June. We may also be taking a 5 year wedding anniversary trip in June too. Sun safe FTW!
    Thanks for the reminder to make an appointment, BTW.

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  17. I am a teacher so I am most excited of being off for 2 months and running my butt off literally! I also have a week of trotting around San Fran and then hiking in Tennessee! WOOOOOOOH SUMMMER! Loading up on the sunscreen already down here in the sunshine state so I am loving the face stick and I need to get me some chafe stick as well…blah rubbing thighs haha

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  18. Most exciting spring plan is running the Keys 100 mile relay with 5 of my best friends (for our 3rd year!). As for summer, it’ll be hanging out at the beach and pool with my two boys.

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  19. I had a check-up last month! In part because of your last PSA. I knew I should go but it was one of those kinda scary “I don’t know what to do” kinda things since my insurance makes me get a referral from another doctor… anyway. Long story short I went in February and got a clean bill of (skin) health!

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  20. exciting = moving into first apt after being in dorms for 9 years, starting residency which is both exciting and terrifying

    dude, meggie loves herself some sunscreen so much. have history of melanoma in my family. i love myself the sunscreen. and fake tanning lotion. have my cake and eat it, too!

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  21. My most exciting spring plan is running Boston–getting a bad sunburn would certainly put a damper on the race & cause really bad dehydration! I really appreciative your skin health tips, I have a family history of skin cancer and need to be extra careful!!

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  22. And I’ve been meaning to schedule a skin check for what feels like forever now (I’m a crazy pale redhead with way too many second-degree sunburns in my history…and a mysterious black spot on my scalp) – looking for a dermatologist now!

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  23. I am probably not doing any major traveling this summer. Because I have a wild two year old. But, we like to play in the sun. And there will be plenty of that. I once had a mole removed on my chest. Right in my cleavage. So now everyone stares at my chest trying to figure out my scar rather than admiring my breasties. Whatev.

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  24. As someone who has also had a number of “interesting”, “suspicious” and “possibly pre-cancerous” thingies razored off her body, thank you for posting this PSA. *high five* I do go for a mole-check every 6 months, and any necessary razoring (which you describe perfectly: it doesn’t hurt a bit – just feels a bit weird – and I can’t watch!).

    But I do need the sunscreen reminder. I currently live in a tropical climate (that’s outside the US, so please re-pick if you happen to choose this comment number!), and can be lazy about the sunscreen-on-face thing. This is partially because I often start my runs before sunrise – and partially because it’s so hot here that I’m a sweaty mess before I start, and can’t bear the thought of slathering on anything that will make my eyes burn MORE than the sweat that already drips into them. Buuuut, that’s not a good excuse. So, I’m outta here – off to find something nice and non-drippy/runny.

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  25. This spring/summer I plan on running a few 5ks/10ks around town and chasing two kids around a pool and at camps! A gnarly sunburn would suck and definitely not be welcome on two little kids! Love your photos by the way!

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  26. Had my skin check-up and so far just some beautiful eczema on my arms! Question for ya-Is the Mission Athletecare good for kids? Tear-free?

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  27. Living in San Diego means fun in the sun every day! Sunscreen is in my purse, in my car, in my home and in my mailbox?? (hope I win!).

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  28. I live in Las Vegas so no matter what we do, we do it in the sun!! I am running my second half this year on April 13 and would love this package. I actually have melanoma and am always looking for a good sunscreen. Thanks!

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  29. I’m planning on having the BEST SUMMER EVER (no solid plans, but camping, hiking Half Dome, maybe a trip to Hawaii?) because I start my DPT program in late August and thus will have no life :)

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  30. My totally awesome summer plan is to run the San Francisco half marathon! I have never been there so I am looking forward to running across Golden Gate Bridge and since I am a pale redhead who has already had one suspicious mole removed I will definitely be wearing sunscreen!

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  31. Planning on training for and running my first 10 mile race Aug 31, in preparation for my first half marathon in Oct 6. Skin cancer would definitely put a stop to this. I’m an Oncology nurse and have treated too many people, old and young, male and female, with melanoma. Very sad and for the most part preventable. Thank you for this post and opportunity!

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  32. I was just talking to a friend about needing new sunscreen because here in Texas the sun is out in full force and my fair skin can’t handle it! I’m planning on going to the beach for a week this summer and skin cancer would ruin that trip!

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  33. Nothing overly exciting this summer, but next summer back to Riveria Maya with husband and friends…and no children allowed….it will be glorious.

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  34. Nothing exciting this summer except classes and hopefully getting my RN by the the end of August. Also, I will be trying to figure out a way to stay alive and run in this disaster of a heat zone that in the south.

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  35. Going to a Tom Petty concert with my boyfriend, though the place is TBD – we’re having a hard time choosing (aka finding decent flights). But it will happen:)

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  36. Taking the 8 year old to Walt Disney World in 2 weeks. She’s a red headed freckle face so there will be lots of sunscreen. My cousin Ted who I adored died of melanoma 19 months ago at the age of 41 leaving 3 small children and a beautiful wife. We ran the Raleigh half marathon in his honor multiple times and have raised a lot of money to fight the disease – now there are advocacy groups springing up to keep teenagers out of tanning salons. Scary sh*t. It was very hard to watch his 10 year fight and I miss him every day. Glad you are cautious, I need to get in and get checked as well as my 18 yr old son who has a couple of moles I don’t like. Thanks for pushing this, glad to see the younger generation aware and advocating too…

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  37. This summer I signed up for the 5K Dirty Girl! All this “exercise” stuff is new to me and I’m learning to love it! Thanks for the giveaway and the great blog! Happy I found it.

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  38. Pingback: Good Reads | Crazy Running Legs

  39. This summer I plan on running a few local 5ks. I’m also running my 2nd full marathon in Fargo and plan for a couple of half mary’s!! I’m also planning on spending some quality vacay time in NYC and Nashville :)
    Oh yeah…and we can be friends because my thighs chafe every.single.run. :)

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  40. Running a 1/2 marathon!! Whee!! And playing/ working on the coast of Maine!!
    Ahhlso, did you end up trying the Lesko? My run today was exceedingly chafey and I think it’s time to upgrade from Target sports bras…

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  41. my annual skin check is coming up in may {i’ve had once BCC removed–from my cheek, SUPER fun– and three other suspicious spots from my back}. thanks for doing this post, i think it’s really important for everyone, but especially those of us who consider ourselves healthy but are outside more than others!

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  42. Fulfilling a decade-long dream: going to Costa Rica!!! (If there’s one absolut must-do there please do tell!)…..and lots lots lots of running and hiking and climbing outside!

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    • Whitewater rafting the sarapiqui river and waterfall rappelling in la fortuna were hands down the highlights of our trip. Have so much fun! Such an incredible place. And tell everyone “pura vida” – it means like happy life or something but is the universal salutation/thanks/gesture.

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      • Thanks so much for the response! We’ve totally planning to do the waterfall rappelling….we’d been debating about the whitewater rafting but this suggestion will likely move it higher on the to-do list! Seems like there’s too much to do….already thinking of what to do on a return trip!

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  43. i’m a teacher so summer itself is pretty exciting! but probably my best friend’s wedding and weekends at the lake with my family!

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  44. Traveling and running plans are it! Doing my first Rock n Roll half, as well as a monster relay of my own. Going on several trips (work and fun) over the next several months, including Punta Cana!

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  45. P.S. I have had the Derm’s # in my iPhone notes to-do list since February. Thanks for the little shove because this morning I finally called and made an appointment for April 10th :)

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  46. I also have my yearly skin check coming up in a few months, and I convinced the husband of it’s importance and he has scheduled his as well!

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  47. I made a wayyyy overdue skin check appt after reading about your last surgery and even after a good report have been good about staying on top of it ever since! Thanks for the kick in the butt!

    Oh and my big spring/summer plans are the Pgh half in May and a trip to Denver in June!

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  48. I am racing Ironman Coeur d’Alene for the second time this summer and after my first time in 2010, I had some serious burns from poor sunscreen application by the sunscreen volunteers. (Have scars from the burns on the tops of my thighs and forearms.) Since I spend a lot of time outside training, having good sunscreen and reapplying often is super important to me.

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  49. I’m doing my first half ironman this spring, so that will be a LONG day in the sun. I’m sure I’ll have my long race day list of things not to forget, and sunscreen is definitely one of them!

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  50. Thanks for sharing your story about skin care & sun protection!!! This summer I will be swimming, walking, and hiking in the SoCal sun and it’s crucial that I wear SPF. Going to check out the Mission website now for 30% off, thanks!

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  51. I’m already making all my summer plans and filling up my summer calendar (currently, Chrome has open tabs to United Airlines, the Mets schedule, Cape Cod Ragnar, and Oiselle’s site – ’cause I need to look cute when jetsetting, right?)

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  52. I plan on running and mtn. biking a lot this summer and could do without a sunburn on my very fair skin! Thanks for advertising this product, i am very intrigued with the continuous spray.

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  53. Pingback: Friday Favorites | Kara Runs

  54. Pingback: Are you Sun Safe?

  55. Hi there! Found your blog looking for ideas on how my biopsy might look when it’s healed. I do wonder if you’ve found a chemical sunscreen for daily use that doesn’t burn your eyes. So far I’ve been skipping it bc it hurts too much.

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