September 06, 2009

Let Me Go On... Like a Blister in the Sun

I'm home. I'm doing some post race analysis.

First, let me make sure we're on the same page. I am so not... Kenyan. I will never do a race where I finish for money or even finish in the top 50th percentile. I've resigned myself that I will always in the bottom 25% and I'm cool with that.

Would I love to be able to run like the wind? Sure. But I'm not Greek or Kenyan and it's not happening. My body, overall, does not like running.

So. I wanted to do this race about 25 minutes faster than I did. It was 15 minutes slower than my best time.

About mile 10, I was reminded of last weeks 'pebble incident'. We were tapering down, doing an easy 5 mile run. I am known amongst the women I run/walk with, to have a persistent problem with getting small stones in my shoes.

I can tolerate it for awhile and usually the pebble will move off to the side and all is well. Personally, I hate to break our strides to say, 'WAIT! STOP! I have another stone in my shoe..." only to have to take my shoe off, shake it, rub my sock, put it back on and then attempt to hit any type of stride.

So for 2 miles I ran with this stone in my shoe, on the bottom of my heel until finally I said, "I have to stop. I can't take this anymore" except the pain didn't go away. (Sidenote: I have a high threshold to pain.)

That would be because the stone irritated the tissue enough that I gave myself a blister the size of a half dollar, right on the bottom of my heel.

The next day it quit hurting. I forgot about it. I ran on it yesterday (Saturday). Still, nothing, as we only did a couple miles.

Fast forward to today at mile 10. I'm keeping not as good a clip as I want, but pretty steady. And my heel starts to hurt and I think, 'Oh crap..."

By mile 10.5 I knew I was going to be digging deep on this run.

By mile 11.3 (I know this because I had to step on a time pad at this point) I was counting the tenths of the miles until finish, wondering how bad this was going to suck, going approximately 2 more miles on what felt like the largest nastiest blister I ever had.

I finished obviously, but didn't have the time to really sit down and look at the blister until about 15 minutes ago.

The half dollar blister is big, puffy and nasty. The boys are appalled. But surrounding it, is another blister that runs literally my entire heel and then runs up the edge of my foot. It's huge.

To top it off, I have raised blisters on the side of my toes (inside of my foot, where the big toe meets) that are the size of a penny, but raised up full of fluid a good 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch... UNDER callouses.

I have got to figure out what is going on. The heel... I get. I did that to myself. The side of my feet are a constant problem.

So any of you runners out there, I am soliciting advice. I have tried nuskin with baby powder, double socks, aquaphor, powder in my socks and in my shoes... and I have Saucony's that have a big ass toe box. I have WIDE shoes.

Any suggestions will be seriously looked upon, short of human sacrifice.

I've got to fix this. It is seriously effecting my time and it looks like I'm off my feet, no running this week, until this heel blister heals up.

Bonus for todays run: I have all my toenails! Whoo hoo! That's the first thing Bones asked me when I walked in the door tonight, "Mom, how are the toenails? Didya keep 'em?"

It's the little things...

Posted by Boudicca at September 6, 2009 09:10 PM

For the rock problem, may I suggest a pair of "Dirty Girl" gaiters. Ultralight, sassy and snazzy, and downright affordable. Do a google search on them, they were developed by a long-distance runner in California.

Posted by: Ted at September 6, 2009 09:39 PM

Oy! I don't know how you do it, but you are an inspiration...that's for sure!

Your feet sound really....owwwwie....for lack of a better word. I've heard that rubbing antiperspirant on your feet will help stop blisters. I've never tried it, but I've heard people rave about it (hikers, military people, etc.) I have tried using that crystal deodorant...the one that looks like a crystal rock. It actually did seem to help some, but I think using something with an antiperspirant in it is what you really need.

Cheers to making it through...especially on a very inflamed foot! Hope you recover quickly!

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at September 6, 2009 09:44 PM

Ted- Holy crap! Whodathunkit? Her site is down right now, but Iooked on other sites and it hammers home I'm not the only one who has this issue, although I get teased about it most. I'm looking into those...

DDP- I decided when I get my lap top up and running tomorrow I'll post a picture. I can't believe how bad they are. A race starting out so very right, went... so very wrong. I am telling you, it added time to my finish, not like my having blisters kept me from finishing like a Kenyan, but still.

I had not heard of the antiperspirant... but I'm going to try that. It kind of make sense. And hey, next race, nothing worse can happen than what happened today. I can try it and if I still get the bulging blisters... it's another check of something I tried, and if it works, whoo hoo!

Posted by: Bou at September 6, 2009 10:08 PM

I don't know, Bou, you could still suffer diarrhea throughout your race. That's pretty, um, shitty!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 7, 2009 10:19 AM


Feet clean and dry and non-blistered first! And any bandaids or taping that needs to be done should be in place before applying the vaseline.

In other words, instead of going for drying everything out (something that isn't working) try making it so things slide easier without causing friction. Once you have the blisters healed of course!

Do some test runs to see if it works well on a shorter route then increase the distance. If it doesn't work on a short route it will not work on longer. But it's worth a try. At the very least if it fails on a short run, you won't hurt your feet too much. Especially if it's a run you can quit easily that one day.

Posted by: Teresa at September 7, 2009 11:34 AM

Writersblock- That would so totally suck. But I will say, they did have a lot of port o lets.

Posted by: Bou at September 7, 2009 11:34 AM

Drat - forgot to say - make sure you get a nice thick coating between your toes!

Posted by: Teresa at September 7, 2009 11:35 AM

No pics? C'mon...

Posted by: T1G at September 7, 2009 01:07 PM

When playing soccer I used to get nasty blisters all the time. The best stuff I have used is called moleskin. Comes in little squares that you can cut down to size and have a glue backing to attach to the foot. It basically keeps any friction off your skin and no blisters.

Posted by: AJ Hafner at September 7, 2009 07:48 PM

...done the lube... done the moleskin..... never walked more than 24 miles in a single day before, but 26.2?...... good god.....

.... but I read once - in a book- many, many years ago the very best way for never getting blisters........ the answer?..... don't do marathons and half marathons!.... ha!....

... seriously, though.... congratulations..... you really are an inspiration....

Posted by: Eric at September 7, 2009 08:15 PM

Just thinking about 26 miles is making me tired. I think I'll take a your honor.

Glad your toes are intact. Congratulations!

Posted by: Jerry in Indiana at September 7, 2009 09:02 PM

Bou, I'm in awe of your drive and your times, esp. given the pain you've endured on a few occasions!
As you know, Mr. Mo K. did this Half, too, and neither he nor his running partner had blister issues this time. They also wear the double thick running socks, (but rain during the Historic Half in Fredericksburg made blisters unavoidable that race) and never have pebble issues.
You may have commented on this before (I'm new to your blog) but were you specially fitted for your shoes? Hubby used "VA Runner" that set him up with the pair of New Balances that he's used on his two Halfs. They had a trial period, and he took advantage of that, b.c. he needed to go up a size. Is there something like that in Fla. where you can get a custom fitting? (e.g. they analyze your gait, etc.)

If yes to the above, have you checked with a podiatrist?

I hope you get some answers soon, cuz that is no way to be!!

Feel better soon, hon.

Posted by: Mo K. at September 7, 2009 11:24 PM

MoK- Yeah, I've done all that. :( This is probably my 5th pair of shoes as I search for the ultimate pair. I've done the socks, the fittings, seen a doctor. My doc is an Ironman. He said I need to find the right shoes and then buy 50 pairs in case they quit making them. Until then... I have to figure out how to minimize.

I'm up for a new pair of shoes now. These have too many miles. I'm back to the fitting store to figure it out...

Posted by: bou at September 8, 2009 05:34 AM