They were the best of feet, they were the worst of feet, it was the age of smart training, it was the age of stupid training, it was the epoch of bandaids, it was the epoch of Neosporin….this is super hard to continue with, blah blah – season of blood blisters, season of long runs, spring of hope winter of despair, my feet freaking hurt, etc., etc.
When I first started this post, it was only a tale of two blisters. Since then (i.e. Saturday), the number of blisters has multiplied.
Blister #1 is the blister that nearly ruined my (running) life in 2008. Blisters 2-5 are the blisters that have mysteriously appeared on my poor sad toes over the last 11 days.
2008 was a strange year for me. I ran my first half marathon (yay!) and started training for my first marathon. But it turned into the year of injuries.
I fell off a crate & screwed up my knee.
I pulled my hamstring on a trail run when the screwed up knee did a bad weird non-knee thing.
But first – there was the blister.
I used to be part of a women’s workout group. The group met three times/week, and I paid to go twice a week. It was a pretty good group. First of all, I was one of the fastest women there – which, if you look at my race times in the sidebar, you know it’s pretty odd. Secondly, we did a lot of cool workouts – not just running, but yoga, pilates, plyometrics, stairs, trail running, hill running, speed work, etc. BUT, working out with that group made me push myself too hard. I was paying to be there, and I wasn’t going to NOT get my moneys worth.
So – one time, on a hill run through the NW neighborhoods, I got a blister. The blister grew & grew. I was over 3 miles from my car. I was part of the ‘lead’ group, which meant that I was doing the longest, fastest distance.
As the blister grew, I could tell that the pain was affecting my gait. So I slowed to a walk. And was gently mocked (honestly – if at this point, someone gently mocked me for walking off a big-ass blister, I’d just laugh & ignore them – I know myself so much better now). So – I ran the last three miles. By the time I got back to my car, I was limp-running. And my knee hurt.
My knee never really recovered, and I’m pretty sure that was the beginning of my summer of knee-problems, which lead, inevitably, to my fall of knee-hab.
So – last Sunday, when blister #1 was so awful & painful that I had to wear the flip-flops in PUBLIC, I knew it was bad. The next day, I couldn’t even get a pair of high heels on! I had to wear my running shoes to work. But I knew it would be fine by Tuesday. Tuesday – I still couldn’t wear anything but my Sauconys, and even that was painful.
So I skipped my run. And although that led to a big FAIL on my training schedule, I have no doubt that I made the right choice.
Currently I have 1 mysterious blood blister on the 4th toe of my left foot, 2 mysterious blood blisters on the 4th toe of my right foot, and 1 blister on each arch. This is not an auspicious beginning to marathon training – but at least I know myself well enough at this point to know when to take it easy & not screw up the remaining 11 weeks of training, right?
It is a far, far better training than I have ever done, it is a far, far faster marathon that I go to than I have ever run.
(I’d apologize to Darwin Dickens [my cat, Darwin, was helping me type this, but as far as I know he didn’t actually write “A Tale of Two Cities], but I was never a big fan to begin with, so he can bite me.)