Today was an 18-mile run and it went way better than last week's 17. Funny how much slamming carbs can make a difference. Amy made this last night (with farfalle instead of spiral), of which I ate a heaping plate with most of a huge loaf of bread from Whole Foods. This morning I had my usual hot cereal AND a bagel with a little peanut butter. I think it all helped. After about nine miles I felt pretty good coming around a corner, so I picked up the pace for pretty much the rest of the run. I brought my time down from 9:45ish to finish with a pace of 9:24. I would not have thought that possible after last week. When I got home I did not in fact feel like curling up on the couch and dying. I had a smoothie and actually felt like eating lunch.
That's the good news. The bad news is my feet are trying to abandon ship. I believe two nails are going to come off my right foot, and the blister situation is atrocious. If you're really interested, I have gross pictures: one from last week, and some from today (if you're questioning whether to click them, then just don't). Sorry. So you can see why I'm heading to a running store tomorrow and making them give me the full gait study to find the right pair of shoes to finish out this program and do the marathon.
I figured out that the blistering, while probably not helped by the fact that I was wearing cotton socks, is happening where my foot sits on the meeting of the insole and upper of my shoe. I guess they're too narrow right there.So for my eight-mile run Wednesday, I got some moleskin and put it on my feet. Did not really help. Today, I put moleskin over the area where the blistered part of my feet sit in the shoe, and also on my feet. It helped, but after five miles or so I could tell it wasn't a total fix. I think by mile 10 or so, it was full-on painful. When I start out, I'm mostly focused on keeping my posture right ("running tall," as I saw it called at Runner's World; I like that), keeping my stride rate up, and just being efficient. For the last few miles of these long runs all I can really think of are the hot needles stabbing my feet and the pieces of dry rubber sitting on my eyes that I used to call contacts.
I'd mentioned this in my last post, and I have been able to wear my contacts more during the week by drinking a ton more water. But there's nothing I can really do on a three-hour run to keep my eyes moisturized enough, short of eye drops. There's no way I can do that while running, and it's really not something I want to stop for every couple miles. I guess it's something I can deal with.
But really, that stuff is overshadowed by the fact that I ran 18 miles today with a 9:24 pace and I don't feel like dying. It makes the idea of finishing a marathon with a time I'll be proud of seem completely in reach, and it helped me realize that one tough long run does not necessarily mean you're in trouble. This is why I enjoy running. It's really simple, and to get better really all you need to do is put in the time, if you're so inclined. Problems arise, you can usually easily identify the source, handle it, and move on. If only acting were so simple.