Week 12 – If the shoe fits….

Waaahooo! Back running!

Training Schedule – Week 12

  • Mon – 5 miles easy
  • Tues – Rest
  • Wed – 8 miles marathon pace
  • Thurs – 5 miles easy
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – 13 Miles Long Slow
  • Sun – Rest

I started the week super cautiously. It was a bit like that feeling you have after lying in bed sick all week. You get up, a bit unsure of how your limbs should work, unfamiliar with gravity, that sort of thing. Except I could walk fine, but running felt a teensy bit odd. It took a while for my heart and lungs to kick into gear and my right leg was really tight (but not sore). I was able to do my stint volunteering with the Couch to 5K group first of all. I tail ran with Jo, keeping Neil C company as he worked through week 6 of the program. Suitably warmed up, I went ahead and did the Monday social run too…initially lost with Jo as we finished C25K last…then eventually catching up with Brenda, Graeme and Neil’s other half Jillian C, who are all training for a half marathon in April. All are doing really well! Running home afterwards and picking up my pace a bit, I realised my leg felt fine.

Wednesday and Thursday’s runs were a success from the point of view of keeping to an easy pace. I had Jane and Emily C keeping me company on Wednesday and Thursday evening was a return to the Flyers mixed road and trail route we did back in Week 2. A great route for getting away from light pollution, I spent a fair bit of the run looking up, plotting a potential astrophotography adventure.

By Friday, I was happy that I would be able to do my long run at the weekend. I would have preferred to choose the day and time, but in what now seems to be ‘storm season’ I had to find a window where I wouldn’t be fighting with gale force winds. That window was early Saturday morning. Dammit.

Up and out the door at 7.30am, I ran 13.2 miles in just over 2 hours, close to my half marathon PB, with a few stops for water and stretches. Towards the end, the wind really picked up. Glad I got it out of the way early.

My pace seems to be back on track and my leg sufficiently healed. My old nemesis, a blister on the side of my right toe/ ball of my foot was back though. It had only just healed from my last long run, and I now had a whole new one, on top of the remains of the old one. Double blister. Normally, I just leave it and it goes away in a few days. But it burst during my run, and it was bloody sore. I was hobbling most of Sunday because of it. I’ve heard about ultra runners DNF’ing because of blisters. There is no freaking way I am letting a blister sideline my training, and heaven forbid, stop me finishing the marathon!

I got to thinking about why I was getting this persistently annoying little bugger in the same place after every run longer than 10 miles. I know it’s friction that causes a blister, so that particular part of my foot/toe is a hotspot. I’ve tried all manner of blister plasters, but they invariably detach during the run, and cause more friction. Is it my shoes? My socks? Both? I have pretty decent blister preventing, wicking running socks that fit well. So my shoes?

After a bit of research, I raked out my last pair of retired running shoes (not binned yet, I still wear them for dog walking) and had a good look at the wear pattern. Well, lo and behold…distinctive holes in the upper mesh where my pinkie toes live. Hmm. I removed the insoles and stepped on them. Ha! My feet don’t actually fit. They are much wider at the toes than the insole allows. So, my trusty Saucony Ride’s are too narrow, and possibly too small – hence the black Morton’s toe! While I’ll get away with that for short runs, on longer runs they are literally chewing up my toes.

Well that’s certainly the most logical, well thought out argument for new shoes I’ve made to date.

I won’t bore you with the laborious detail of how I chose a new shoe to try. It’s 5 weeks until the marathon, I don’t have time to fanny about here. They’ll need broken in. Let’s just say they arrive tomorrow, in my favourite shade of erm, black, and they have a wide toe box, and they are pretty well cushioned. More to follow next week!

Thanks for reading, sorry for the icky foot and blister talk. The struggle is real.

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