Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pesky Little Details

As I mentioned, I got quite a blister on my toe after my terrible slogfest on the treadmill last Thursday. Oh, the agony. The blister is right by my toe nail, so every step is complete torture. When I try to sleep at night, my toe throbs and complains with every touch of the sheets. Isn't it funny how we can suffer terrible pain and mental anguish during a marathon and come out smiling, but walking around with a blister is unbearable and makes us snap at strangers and family alike?

After careful examination and experimentation, I have determined that my sock is the culprit. Either my feet have grown or my socks have shrunk because the end of the sock shwoops down and presses on my toe. Apparently, after 17 miles my toe has had enough of the sock pressure and revolts.

I went to my local running store yesterday to pick a replacement. This is dangerous territory. If I get a sock that is too big, then it will bunch up under my foot and cause a blister on the bottom of my foot... that would be a catastrophe. A sock that is too thin may not protect my foot from rubbing. I've tried the two layer socks and they are not for me. After 20 minutes, this is what I picked out:

They are Smartwool PhD Running Socks. At $12.49, they may very well be the most expensive pair of socks I have ever bought. They say The Highest Degree of PERFORMANCE on them, so I figured I would try them out. I ran 6 miles with them today and they were great! I was worried that they would be hot since they are Smartwool, but they seemed fine.

The real test will my 19 miler coming up on Thursday. The weather forecast looks perfect with a low of 28 and a high of 46.

I had figured that long distance running would be hard and painful. I didn't realize, though, how many little details had to be worked out. Does your hydration bottle jiggle up and down when you run? Does your GU fall out of your pocket? Does the iPod case you wear around your arm keep slipping down? Do your headphones make your ears bleed after hours and hours of wear? All of these annoying little things can take lots of time and money to work out. If you don't figure them out, they will slowly drive you crazy and sap all of the joy out of your run.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my toe and my new socks get along. 19 miles will be hard enough without thinking about my socks!


Melanie said...

hope the new socks work for ya!! earphones used to fall out all the time, drove me crazy, and I also had a belt that bounced up and down.... got rid of it and bought another. Blisters suck :(

Dori said...

Oh, sorry about your blister. I've been pretty fortunate in that I rarely get them. I love my Smartwool socks and run in them almost exclusively.

I see the Human Race is coming up on Saturday. Are you going to run it? I wore my shirt today from two years ago in honor of St. Paddy's day. Congratulations on your 17 miler.

Jean said...

Good socks make such a huge difference. Sounds like these are winners. I hope they do the trick for you!

Oh, and my solution to the bottle in my hydration belt bouncing up and down? I ditched it for a pair of hand-carry bottle that strap over my hands, and I love them! :)

Continued success, Beth!

Porkchopwi said...

Is the bleeding ear issue (iPod) from friction or volume? LOL

Good luck this weekend if you're doing the 8K race. Looking forward to reading about it.

Velma said...

Good luck at the race. I have ordered good weather in the StL for you!

Tom said...

How could you settle for anything other than socks with "The highest degree of performance" plus they have PhD in the name!!!... I bet they cure your blister and shave off 30 sec. per mile!! Best of luck on the 19.

Sunshine said...

Hope the Smartwool socks work for you. Our son who lives in Oregon and hikes in the Cascades recommended Smartwool socks, and my feet are pleased.