Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Little Rain, a Few Blisters

Friday workout: 5 miles, 10:52 average, Connects
Saturday workout: 8 miles, 12:00 average (treadmill), socks
Sunday workout: 10 miles, 10:15 average, Pace Gloves

Sometimes a run in the rain is just what the doctor ordered. There is something so peaceful and so solitary about running in the rain. As someone who's been deprived of rain literally since I moved back to Alaska nine months ago (hello, snow!), I had a blast during today's run. I felt like I was in a video game! Good thing I like rain, because word on the street is it rains a lot in Eugene.

Can we talk about how thrilled I am with Instagram's latest update and the addition of a contrast-upper (contrast-upper = official name)? SUPER thrilled. I obviously love Instagram, but it ALWAYS washes out my photos. No longer! You can actually see buildings now!

I'm happy to report that my crampy leg is behaving itself. Looking back, I feel a bit silly about the whole thing. I mean, really? A cramp had me convinced my (running) life was over? Get over yourself, Jeano. So dramatic.

However, the moment my leg started feeling better, I encountered another new-to-me pain: blisters! Blisters everywhere! I'm not sure where they came from. Actually, yes I am-from my Connects, damn them. You would think that if shoes were going to give you blisters, they would do it from the get-go, right? I've suddenly got three blisters the size of Alaska on my feet, one of which is under my middle toe and hurts like a mofo. Ouch.

You always read about blisters being serious shit, especially if you're obsessed with ultra runners (like I am), for whom a bad blister can easily be a race-killer. But to me, blisters are like stomach pain or being really tired-unless you're experiencing it at that moment, it's hard to know just how much it sucks. So when I read about blisters, my immediate reaction is, "Can't they just keep running? It's just a blister." Ummm, no. Blisters really hurt. I've been able to prevent mine from getting worse by lancing them (ewwwww) and running in my good ol' reliable Pace Gloves, but I was concerned about today's longer run, especially since it was drizzling out (or as an Alaskan would say, "pouring." Alaskans don't know what real rain is). Therefore, I decided it was time to invest in some blister care products.

I don't know anything about blister care (during the dark ages of my college career when I woke up at 4:30 every morning to row, our approach to blisters was simple: suck it up. Have I ever mentioned how much I despise rowing?), so today I pretty much bought everything with the word "blister" on it. Just before my run, I slathered some "liquid Band-Aid" on the affected areas and covered them with white athletic tape. It seemed to do the trick, so I'll pretend I'm an expert and recommend you do something similar with your blisters. Actually, don't do that; I have no idea what I'm talking about. I can say that this was better than nothing, though. How's that for a glowing recommendation?

The Sleeping Lady. What a dame. Selected focus: another new Instagram feature.

Don't let anyone try to tell you Anchorage doesn't have a beach.

Because I had the time, I hit up the Coastal Trail, which is now totally snow-free. Can I have a hallelujah?! This is great news. The not-so-great news, though, is that the moose also figured this out and I ran into no fewer than seven. I had planned to do a five-mile out-and-back that would allow me to see some new terrain (which I was super pumped about), but after only two miles I stumbled across a mama and her babies right in the middle of the trail. I stood stock still for literally three or four minutes contemplating whether I should try to hike around them, but because I'm boring and safe decided not to risk it. You don't mess with a mama and her babies, especially on Mother's Day. That's bad voodoo.


I managed to make it through week whatever (twelve, maybe?) of marathon training! Let's take a look at what was up this week.

Tuesday: I stupidly convinced myself I could do my planned strength workout, which was downgraded to 3 slow and painful miles
Wednesday: planned rest
Thursday11 miles with 9 tempo
Friday: 5 miles, easy
Saturday: 8 miles, easy
Sunday: 10 miles, easy but less easy than easy (if that makes sense)

Total: 37 miles

This week started off craptacularly and kind of sucked even once I started running again (so many strange aches!), but today's run totally made up for what had been a ho-hum week. My legs were pain-free and strong. I hope I can keep this momentum going because this week I'm going to run 54.5 miles. I'm sweating just looking at that number.

Here's to moms! And, because I'm so crazy, dads too! Or anyone who's ever spent any time with tiny children. They're exhausting.

  • Do you have any experience with blisters? What have you done about them? Have they ever made you miss runs?
  • Thoughts on running in the rain?


  1. I never get blisters while running, but this week (in Eugene!) was terrible because I had to walk around the gorgeous campus a lot in dress shoes. And I wear comfortable dress shoes, but both pairs gave me blisters? What? Someone suggested my feet were swollen/bloated because of the travelling. I was with smart people. One night for our walk to dinner, I had to switch to hiking shoes and because they looked bad with my skirt, jeans, too. The next night, I decided I could suck it up and wore the blister-delivering shoes. Luckily (?), copious amounts of wine were bestowed upon us and my feet were the least of my problems. So. Yes. I get blisters. But not from running. I still managed to run just fine with my running shoes on.
    And I love to run in the rain. It is difficult to head outside when it is already pouring out, but if it starts to pour and I am running, I love it. Drizzles are lovely ways to run.

    1. Ahaha yes, alcohol is a very effective pain-killer! You're right-it's hard to head out when it's raining, but if you're already out there when it starts it's amazing! It's also nice because I get so damn hot when I run, and the extra coolness is always appreciated.

  2. Yep, I get me some foot blisters - usually in unexpected and new places. [Since I Body Glide the "usual" blister spots. I was thinking I might just dunk my feet in BG from now on, except it's *really* annoying to apply in between my toes, and I'm usually in a hurry to get out for my run, so I don't know if this is a sustainable plan.]

    My usual treatment = Run through it until I get home. Lance it (along the edge), drain it, sterilize it, leave the skin on top. Go barefoot as much as possible to dry it out. Apply New Skin stuff if it's getting nudged/rubbed/aggravated. I try to avoid bandaids, because I think they make things wet and delay healing. The end.

    Rain? Depends on the temp. 60F + YESSSSSS. Love it. A run in the rain out here is a real (cool) treat! Less than 50F: UGH. Cold, wet, ugly mess - I'd rather have snow. 50-60F: Could go either way.

    1. I've actually never used Body Glide. I always read about people who can't run without it and have never understood that. I just don't seem to chafe that much. I hadn't thought about using it on my feet! Maybe I should try it... I feel like that would be a very uncomfortable experience though (in my mind it's the same as Vaseline). I imagine lots of sloshing.

    2. No, there's no sloshing, and it's waaaay less mess than Vaseline. It's MORE like a stick of deodorant. In fact, that's exactly what it LOOKS like - although it feels a bit more friction-reducing when applied to the skin. If blisters are a continuing problem, I highly suggest giving it a shot. It's not messy at all, and you don't even notice that you're wearing it.

      I also have some friends that swear by a similar product called...Monkey Butt. Never tried it myself, though. ;)

  3. So sorry you're having to deal with the nasty blisters, but glad your calf is feeling much better! I don't have a ton of experience dealing with them, so no big suggestions. I think BandAid does make little bandages to cover blisters--maybe try those? Pro-tec also makes some if you happen to live near a running store that carries Pro-tec products. Do you have an iPhone? I don't know if the Android Instagram has the contrast filter yet, but that sounds like an awesome tool!

    1. Yep, iPhone. I had a Droid until it kicked the bucket (that may or may not be the proper expression. Basically, it died) and am SO much happier with the iPhone app. I'm not sure how new this update is, though, because I never update my phone. It could have come out ages ago. The contrast is definitely a nice feature because it makes the pictures look more real-to-life (you can actually see the mountains in the background!).

  4. I HATE BLISTERS! I usually pop them, then run through the pain, complain to anyone who will listen, try and get sympathy. By then they are usually gone. Maybe not the best approach, but its mine.

    1. Ahaha, I've definitely got the complaining part down. If only it came with magical healing powers...

  5. The only time I've ever gotten a blister was during the half-marathon. I felt it around mile 12 and did the "shut up and keep running" approach. I was actually scared to take off my sock when I get home and for good reason...that shit is ugggggly! 3 weeks later and it's still there. Not painful, just ruining any hope I ever had of foot modeling.

    Also, I love running the rain. You're so right. I always feel like I'm in a bad ass music video when I run in the rain. And I love that I'm usually the only wackadoo's very solitary and peaceful like you said.

    1. Daaaaymn, still there three weeks later? I'm really hoping mine will turn into callouses so they look vaguely skin-like (and because huge callouses are so in right now). Although my feet are heinous (my toes are, like, the shortest little things ever) so I guess this doesn't detract from their "beauty" all that much.

  6. Chronic blisters over here. I agree with Holly - body glide works really well. I also use vaseline because it's cheaper than body glide, but also super messy, ha. Works great, though. My socks also made a big difference - I use only smartwool and wright socks now. Annnnd I hear lacing different can help, but i've never tried that.