Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blisters and puddles: A running saga

Tools of the trade.
The forecast called for a high temperature of 54 today and I was looking forward to my 8-miler all day. I had some errands to run earlier, and since the snow was melting and creating puddles everywhere, I decided to wear my beat-up rain boots.

Bad idea.

By the time I got to where I was going, I could barely walk because of the blisters forming on my heels. When I finally got back home, I inspected the damage -- a hot spot on my right heel, and a full-on blister on my left.

This was NOT happening. I was going to run today, come hell, high water or some dumb blisters!

I came up with a plan. First was to perform minor surgery to drain the blister. Then I added bandaids and medical tape to cover the area. I gave my foot a test walk taking the dogs out, and it was still painful enough that it was affecting my walking. Time for Plan B.

I dug up some old moleskin from my dancing days and layered that on top of the bandaids and tape. Then I dug out some thin nylon sock liners. I finished it off with the thickest running socks I own, crossed my fingers, and slid into my running shoes.

It was tender, but I could tell the shoes weren't rubbing on my blister. I ran up and down the hallway for a minute (much to the amusement of my dogs) and decided to give it a go, promising my husband to turn around if the pain got too bad.

I set off feeling OK, but not in any real pain. The sun was shining! It was warm! Spring is coming! I was out running! Hooray! Then, at 0.1 miles into my run, I misjudged a puddle. What I thought was a thin layer of water on the sidewalk turned out to be deep enough to submerge my entire right foot. I seriously almost started screaming at that point.

But I kept going, and my foot dried out well enough by the next mile or so. Verdict: 8 miles done with a bit of tenderness but no real pain and, eventually, two dry feet. Score!

Lessons learned: Throw out the crappy rain boots. Never trust a puddle. And a warm, sunshiney spring day will make your run a million times better, so get out and enjoy it.

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