Monday, August 30, 2010

An Understandable Fail

I had a big weekend of running planned. I was going to run the 10M CRIM on Saturday and follow it up with a slow 22M run on Sunday. But first I should back up to last Tuesday to help establish some context for my weekend fail.

Last Tuesday I took a short 2M run/jog wearing my Vibrams. I’ve owned and used my Vibrams for almost a year now, but I’ve never run farther than 3M wearing them. The reasoning for this is twofold: first; I have the original (read: cheapest version) where there are no straps or material to secure the shoe (is it a shoe?) to the foot (see picture below);

and second, my foot slides in them. I’ve purchased the toe-finger socks to try minimize this, but it all results in the occasional blister on the direct bottom of my heel. And yes, they are the correct size, the foot just naturally slides in any shoe you run in.

When I ran in my Vibrams last Tuesday I nonetheless still got a tiny (dime sized) blister on the bottom of my right heel. No big deal, I’ll just take it easy and it will go away naturally, as they always do.

But during my tempo run I managed to aggravate that blister, and during the last mile of my tempo run I felt the bottom of my heel “squish” a bit. When I got home I noticed the blister had grown to the size of a silver dollar. Ugh…not so good. But it had a few days to recover before the CRIM. No problem.

On the morning of the CRIM the Redhead began inquiring as to my desired pace. I was figuring something conservative—around 75 minutes. Because of her injury, she was going to be the official Spike Cheer Team Captain and photographer.

So, facing 60deg temperatures and a forecast of a cloudless day, I lined up just after the 7min pace sign and slammed an 8oz bottle of water. When there are over 10,000 runners, even if you line up by the 7min pace sign, you are going to have to spend a lot of time playing the human version of Pushy Penguins. I hit the first mile at a 7:08 and felt pretty comfortable. I didn’t look at my watch again until after mile three, where I saw a 6:59 split. Humm I thought, if I keep this up, I could hit something close to 70. But I knew I had the Bradley Hills to deal with, and the temperature was quickly rising to 65+.

When I hit the hills I felt I was moving through several of the runners even though my pace was slowing slightly. Up up up, down, up up up up, down down, up up up up, down, up up up and up. Finally, I reached the top of the hills and the end of mile 6. I decided to focus and try to run 7min miles for the last four. The only problem is that the blister on the bottom of my right heel was getting more and more insistent that it was extremely displeased with its current situation.

Somewhere around the start of mile 8 the blister felt like it exploded, and I felt like I was running on a soaked sponge. To say that this is a painful experience is to understate the experience greatly.

At mile 9 I decided to drop the hammer and ran a 6:24 mile. Because I was so focused, I missed the Redhead cheering for me, but she did manage to snap a picture of my final approach. Despite my goal, I managed to sneak in under 70 min. After the race I hobbled over to join the Redhead and double back to cheer on other runners—including my cousin.

When I finally took of my shoe to look at the damage…well, I’ll just let you see.

Home, and after a shower, the blister had to be addressed. So the Redhead donned her nurse outfit and played running nurse, cutting away the excess skin. It was hands down the most disgusting thing she has had to deal with since the beginning of our cohabitation (three months today!). The blister was so thick that it was like cutting leather. The result is…well…below…

Needless to say, such a mere flesh wound made my attempt at 22M less than 24 hours later idiotic. So, I bailed. And I’ll consider giving it another go tonight. Unfortunately, I’ll have to adjust my long runs accordingly because this could take a few days to heal.



K said...

That Redhead must truly love you. Don't let her go.

Harold said...

ew ew ew ew ew!!!

Sun Runner said...


I think I should buy the Redhead lunch this week just to ease the horror of having to deal with that monstrosity.

And congrats on the race, too!

Morgan said...

1. You forgot to mention what I said to you when you finished; "Well Speedy McSpeederson was 75 minutes too slow for you?"

2. I still don't understand why you insisted I wore the naughty nurse outfit...

3. For the last time I didn't steal your socks. (Not that it has anything to do with this post but I just wanted to reiterate this!)

Katie A. said...

First, congrats on a speedy 10 miler ;)
Second, you MUST do everything in your power to keep that Redhead in your life - anyone who would deal with that is a KEEPER!
Third, I have a feeling - she didn't take the socks!!! Good luck with the healing ;)

Andrew Opala said...


Great run though

Viper said...

Eh, I've seen worse. Slap some tape on it and hit the road. Nothing heals better than long runs. Cheers!

Nitmos said...

You have ugly feet. Considering that, the race went pretty well!

Paul said...

Spike, it is downright annoying how p*ssy little things (or in your case, big things) like blisters can spoil an otherwise great run. Sorry to hear you suffered that fate here.

And don't worry about 'the Redhead' (does she mind being called that??) having to play nurse and deal with your disfigured foot. I've found chicks dig disgusting stuff like that - or maybe it is just redheads as mine seems to cope pretty well with it too!

I found that some Band-Aid blister cushions ( helped. After putting one on I could run straight away.

Cheers, PB

nrmrvrk said...

I found you through the Redhead. I swear you're all she talks about.

Anywho, If you're still itching to do your long run, patch the blister with some Moleskin or Compeed, tape it up and give it a shot. Here is a page with some basics:

Adam said...

OH MY LORD. Redhead mentioned your blister in a comment on my blog, but she TOTALLY undersold it!!!

I bow before you in your blister creation abilities. Time to saddle up and upgrade the hobbit shoes.

scarlet said...

Awww! that looks painful.. :(