Clarkston Backroads ½ Marathon

Quick updated on my race – my toes didn’t hurt! I used the Band-aid blister thingys and was okay for the whole race.  They still aren’t healed and hurt if I press on them, but I’m not obsessing over them now.

The rest of the race went alright.  I beat my time from last year by 10 minutes, and this course was rougher – lots of hills, lots of running on trails with gravel.  I had thought about running with a pace group, but at the start I ended up in front of the group I wanted to be with.  Since I was feeling ok with my pace, I just kept going.  Ran my first 6 miles at what I would consider my “race” pace, 7 through 10 at “training” pace, and 11 though the finish I was just trying to keep moving.  I’m not sure what happened, but right around mile 9 I started, not totally falling apart, but slipping for sure.  I couldn’t get into a rhythm and the rest of the race was a struggle.  But I was determined to beat last year’s time and there wasn’t anything that went “wrong” so I’m pretty happy how things turned out.

I took a 2 hour nap after I got home, which is less than after my 1/2 last year – however, I got up at something like 5am for that.  My knees hurt like crazy last night, but they already seem to be better with a little ice and ibuprofen.  Today I’m sore, but nothing too bad.  I do keep doing things like sitting at my desk for hours and then jumping up to go to the printer and being surprised by the pain.  But I think I’m less sore than last year.

Up next – I’m going to look at some 5k programs that focus more on speed.  I’m definitely slower than I was at this time last year and want to see if I can remedy that.


Toe status: not good

Things are not good in running land 😦

I ran 4 miles on Wednesday morning.  My blisters weren’t too painful, but I could tell I was making them worse.  So I decided no more running till either the race or they were much more healed.  I only had 5 more total miles to do for the week and that isn’t going to make or break the run on Sunday.

I got advice (thanks Randi!) to use the Band-aide blister thingys, so I decided to give them another try (they were what I used on my run on Sunday).  They worked awesome on my terrible toe (the left one).  I still have some pain when I press on it, but it is pretty minor.  Unfortunately, the small blister on my right toe must not have been clean when I sealed it up with the blister thingy.  I woke up super early Wednesday morning with a throbbing toe.  I’m not sure if it is infected (still clear fluid, no pus) but it doesn’t look happy. I’ve been slathering it with antibiotic ointment and soaking it in epsom salts, and I think I’m seeing a bit of improvement.  At least it is no longer throbbing and only hurts with pressure.  Like the pressure of wearing shoes…

The current plan is continue with the soaking and ointment, and possibly layers of mole skin around the blister on Sunday to reduce pressure on it.

I’m pretty upset about all of this, but I’m bound and determined to finish this race.  I was so happy with how well I had been sticking to my running and it will suck if this is derailed by blisters 😦

Oh noes, my toes

The other day I was reading some silly list of things only runners understand, and it insinuated that you aren’t a real runner if you aren’t losing toenails.  I’ve never had toenail problems, or really any of the foot problems that I hear runners talk about.  I view this as being the only good thing about having slightly wide feet.  Most of the time the wide feet just mean I can’t wear certain styles of shoes if I can’t find them in a wide width (and all Nine West shoes are out for me – their shoes are terribly narrow!) But being comfortable in running shoes means going a size up, so I always have plenty of room for my toes, and too tight shoes at the toe seem to be one of the big causes of toenail issues.  And for whatever reason, blisters from running have never been a problem for me.  Until this weekend…

Out of the blue, I have developed blisters on the inside of both of my big toes.  I noticed one on Saturday night – it hurt a bit but was pretty small, maybe a ¼ inch diameter.  I put some mole skin around it for running errands on Sunday morning and then switched to a blister pad for my 10 mile Sunday run.  I could feel the lump for my entire run, and if I stepped a certain way it hurt.  When I got home and took a look, it was huge.  The entire side of my big toe was one big blister and was pretty painful to touch.  And then I noticed another small one on my other big toe.  After reading a bit about the best ways to deal with blisters, I ended up deciding to pop and drain both of them.  So, I now have 2 taped up big toes to protect them and keep things from getting worse.  I’m planning on closely watching them and possibly keeping them taped all week.  I’m definitely going to tape them up for the race – blisters are not going to get in the way of me finishing this ½ marathon.

I’m not really sure what changed to have this happen now.  I do have a new pair of shoes (same brand, similar style to my other shoes), but I’ve run a few times in them with no problems.  I have decided that I’ll run in my other shoes next weekend.  Maybe I have just reached the limit of weekly mileage that my toes can handle?

Update: 9 Miles

I ran my 9 mile run on Sunday, and it was uneventful – yay!  I really wanted to go up to Stony Creek and run around the lake, but the day got away from me.  By the time I was ready to go, the 40 minute drive would have eaten up too much of the remaining daylight.  Instead I ran down one of the “1/2 mile” streets by my house – a nice fairly straight stretch of road, but much less traffic than a mile road.  I like this route because I can get to 4.5 miles with only crossing 4 major cross streets.  What roads to run on is something I spend a lot of time thinking about – I get really sick of running in my neighborhood, but I find crossing the larger roads around me to be a pain.  Plus, I really don’t like running along streets with much traffic – it puts me on edge.  So this one is nice, I skirt the edge of downtown and then mostly run through nice neighborhoods.

I ran, I ate my Gu, I had one guy of questionable sobriety pretend he was running too when I ran past.  My last mile and a half, I felt like I was absolutely flying.  I was not.  Looking at my splits, the first 3 miles were probably too fast, but the other 6 miles were pretty much right on my training pace (which is slow, so slow)  So, I feel good about where I am for the race – this weekend is 10 miles and then the race is the weekend after that!

Wow, it has been awhile, hasn’t it?  I kept intending to blog about my adventures in TX, but somehow I just didn’t.

Instead I’m going to tell you about running.  I’m training for another 1/2 marathon, and just recently I had what has got to be my worst run ever.

It was two weekends ago, and according to my training plan, I needed to do a 7 mile run.  I didn’t feel like driving all the way out to one of the metro parks, so decided to check out the Clinton River trail.  There is a trailhead just about 20 minutes from my house, which is pretty convenient.  For longer runs I really like to either do an out and back, or a set loop – even thinking about what route to run can be too much decision making for me when I’m running – so I was going to run 4 out and 3 back and then walk the last mile.  I started out feeling pretty good.  It was a bit warm, but nice to run in the sun after all the pre-dawn dark runs I’ve been doing.  The trail is nice – a mostly paved rails to trails, few street crossings, lots of trees.

I don’t remember when I started to feel less than great,  but by my turn around point I was seriously dragging, tired and super sweaty.  I had convinced myself I was running slightly uphill, so it was a really big letdown when I turned around and realized that, nope, I had been running on a slight downhill grade and now it was time to run back up.  By 4.5 miles I had to pee.  I had passed a bathroom at 3 miles, so knew I’d hit it at 5 and kept on chugging away.  At 5, I got to the bathroom, one of those permanent port-a-potty types.  No toilet paper.  I considered just trying to hold it, but was pretty sure that was going to be a recipe for either peeing in my running shorts or walking most of the rest of the way (it is surprisingly hard to hold it and run at the same time)  Unfortunately, between the no toilet paper and being super sweaty, I had some chaffing issues on my inner thighs not long after I started running again.  And I was so tired.  And all I wanted to do was walk. Or sit – I really, really wanted to sit down.  I kept pushing – mostly running, but I started taking walk breaks.  I had less than 2 miles to run and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it.  The chaffing was getting really painful and looking pretty raw.  But running was a faster way to get to the car than walking, so I kept chugging along.

Then finally, I hit 7 miles, I could walk.  Suddenly I was dizzy, hyperventilating, felt like my skin was shrinking – pretty much the beginning of the panic attacks I get on planes. All i wanted to do was lay down somewhere and cry.  Unfortunately for me, this last mile of trail was thick brush on both sides, right up to the edge of the path.  There was no place to stop and rest.  I was cursing my idea to have a 1 mile walk at the end of my run, but there wasn’t much else I could do other than keep taking deep breaths and putting one foot in front of the other.  Finally, I made it back to the car – where I smartly had food and water (a lesson I learned earlier this summer)  Thankfully, it was a short drive home and dinner was waiting for me.  Unfortunately, I could only stomach rice.  And I spent the whole evening shivering with a fever (this is apparently pretty common with over exertion)  I went to be early and by the morning I was pretty sore but otherwise back to normal.

So, what happened to me?  Most of my longest runs have topped out at 5 to 6 miles – this was probably only the 3rd time I’ve run as far as 7 miles.  (My training for the 1/2 last year fell apart around the point I reached a 6 mile long weekend run.  I did manage to get one 8 mile run in before the race, so after that and the actual 1/2 marathon, this is my next longest run.)  I haven’t done enough longer runs to really understand what I need to do to make sure those are good runs, but I think I didn’t eat enough during the day and then tried to run to far with no refueling and my body just crashed.  Going forward, I’m taking Gu with me on my long runs (I tried that out on my long run this week – that went much better, no issues at all.) and I need to pay more attention to how much I’ve eaten during the day.  We will see how this weekend goes – 9 miles!!!

Actual Pavement

Actual, completed pavement on our job!  (however, I didn’t really work on this section other than doing some minor adjustments) IMG_1417

Fun with Facebook

I have so many more interesting things I could write about, but instead I’m going to write more about the ex.  I honestly barely think about him anymore.  Especially when I’m in TX, the most will be an occasional fleeting thought.  But even when I do think of him, it is only with a ghost of emotion.  I did have a small sobbing fit while watching the Grammy’s, brought on by thinking of how unhappy I was watching the Grammys last year and Taylor Swift singing a song about a break-up and just generally having a stressful week.  But that was 10 minutes of crying followed by a feeling of relief and then getting back to whatever it was I had been doing.  So, all in all things have been good on that front.

Then Facebook changed things.  I have 2 friends on Facebook that are also still friendly with him through work.  A few weeks ago one of them posted a picture of a night out in RO.  He was in the photo.  And so was one of the women that went on the cruise with us last year.  I knew then that he left me for her.  I had always wondered, but never had any confirmation.  And then, because I can never leave well enough alone, I logged out of Facebook and searched for both of them (I have them both blocked, so I can’t see them if I’m logged in) and sure enough, they both have profile pics of the 2 of them together.  Hers was posted on June 3rd.   26 days after he left and my first official day of work in Texas.

I’m not actually that upset about them being together, more slightly annoyed, if that makes any sense.  Like I had been working so hard on trying to figure out how to fix things, but he was just hanging out waiting for his next girlfriend to show up.  And I kind of wonder about one night on the cruise when he was acting really weird – I don’t think he slept with her or anything, but now I wonder if things started then.  The bit of doubt I had about them being together was mostly that he was definitely not her type.  But the people that knew him before he married his ex would have said the same thing, and she would have said that about me, so I think this is just what he does – reinvents himself for the next person who he thinks will make him happy.  I guess that is kind of sad.

And I know this make me such a stereotype, but god do I think she is a total skanky bitch now.