Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Joy Of Socks

The blister on my right foot seemed to be responding nicely to the Traumeel. It wasn’t painful to walk and its color was looking better than I thought it should. The rocket science department deemed it appropriate for me to investigate the properties of a new pair of socks for Tuesday night’s 6km tempo run. I grabbed a brand new pair of Thorlo Experia’s from the sock drawer hoping the heel cushion would help protect the blister from any further aggravation.

The first thing I noticed is that, I’m not a ped sock guy. Nothing against the sock itself, my body tells me a sock should cover the ankle, which is bizarre because I never wear socks during the summer. I would have guessed that I’d be a less is more aficionado. This seems not to be the case.

While the temperatures were much warmer than average during the day (I think we reached 50F), I still find it quite cool after the sun goes down. Most of the guys were wearing running shorts. I’m still in a full length track pant, two long sleeve shirts, and a running jacket. I didn’t cover my ears or wear gloves so I made a couple of concessions to the warmer weather but I’m not calling it spring yet, perhaps by July.

I adjusted the lacing on my shoes a couple of times, I couldn’t get my foot and heel comfortable. The socks weren’t fitting quite the way I hoped. The heel cushion and arch support met at the blister and being back in the shoes that I ran the 26km in Sunday wasn’t helping.

Heck, its only 6km, less than 30 minutes of running.

We took off along Hyman, and immediately I felt how tired my calves and shins felt. It wasn’t really running, more like a glorified shuffle. There was no way I could even think about getting enough speed up to stay with the lead group.

Karen and I stayed just off the leaders, which seemed to be most of the same group Nicole and I followed on Sunday. We alternated between the dryer road and puddles on the sidewalks. It took most of the way up Waterloo before I loosened up enough that I would call comfortable.

I got confused on where we were supposed to pick up St George Street, last week we ran the same route in the reverse direction and I was sure we ran all the way down St George. No matter, we were able to cross Richmond before the lights at Huron and start up the hill on St George.

I was doing ok along St George, the hill didn’t seem to both the ankle too much. I could stay with Karen up the hill, but on the slight downhill towards Oxford she was able to outpace me without too much difficulty.
As soon as we turned on the Oxford to head back to the store the blister really started to throb. I’m making all sorts of “adjustments” to see what would stop the throbbing, which is now becoming quite painful. Nothing is working too well. I’m not holding the pace very well at all now and we’re dodging pedestrians who aren’t paying any attention to anyone else on the sidewalks with them.

We finish at the store, sub 5minute pace, but I’m feeling it way too much. Almost immediately I start to tighten up. Nothing feels good. When asked about how my run went, I commented that “If you’re supposed to feel awful after a tempo run, then I just had a great one.”  This run was actually slower than last week's when my ankle flared up. All I can think is that 26km takes a lot out of you.

Once home, I inspected the blister. Good news, I didn’t rip it open. Bad news, it’s now extended past my instep and in to about a third of the heel, just enough that no matter what I do, I have to put some pressure on it to walk.

I Traumeel’ed it and left it uncovered for the night.

This morning, I taped and wrapped and taped some more the ankle and heel. I’m not convinced that I’m going to attempt hills tonight. This will be the third week I’ve missed a Wednesday night hill run, I will hit the gym. I’m debating stationary bike or stair climber, leaning towards the climber. I won’t know if I’ll be able to do it until I try. Then I figure out my training schedule for the remainder of the week.

Just to cover all the bases, I placed an order on Sock Geek for an additional 6 pairs of socks. I think doing my longer distances with heavier cushioning in the sole and heel of my socks might help the problems I’m experiencing with my feet. I’m giving Thorlo another try with their thick cushion mini crew and a couple of different styles of Wigwam Pro Quarter Socks. I couldn’t find anything from Thorlo with thick cushioning in a quarter sock.

Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll have something to say about whether it works or not. Although shipping via USPS to Canada can be excruciatingly slow. (like me)

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