Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 Burning Questions (about running, fitness, spelling errors, and other things)

1. Why do some runners swear by greasing up their feet before a run?
When I coated my feet in BodyGlide, as a Runner’s Depot salesperson had suggested, they slid all around in my socks like a pinball in a pinball machine and I ended up with two wounded baby toes and blisters galore. My friend Kelly suggested baby powder instead and that seems to make much more sense—no new blisters since I treated my feet like a baby’s bottom. But I’d still like clarification on the lube because I just don’t get it.

2. Does being frightened burn more calories than staying calm?
My heart sure starts racing whenever I see the bushes move, an iguana cross my path or a frog leap out at me during my solitary pre-dawn runs. Maybe that’s a good addition to my training routine—it certainly does inspire me to run faster. (Just trying to find a silver lining to the whole scary Everglades wildlife thing I have to deal with every morning.)

3. Speaking of wildlife, would you say I’m increasing my life expectancy by running outside (because it’s good for my health) or decreasing it (because of the potential for an alligator, iguana or frog to assault me)?
Perhaps statistically, it’s a wash…

4. Do spelling errors on Top 40 hits bother other people as much as they bother me?
I like to listen to “Fergielicious” when I’m running because I can really groove to the part where she says, “I be up at the gym, working on my fitness…” (Hey, Fergie, me, too!! At least when it’s raining too hard to run!) But it makes me NUTS when the back up singers chant, “T-to the-A-to the-S-T-E-Y girl you’re tasty.” No, people! It’s T-to the-A-to the –S-T-Y you’re tasty!”

5. Am I making you run faster?
Because you’re making me run faster, if I spot you on my path. I could be trudging along at a happy, mellow pace, and then I’ll see another human being—someone running, someone walking, some cleaning up after their dog or slowly pushing an infant in a baby stroller, it really doesn’t matter—and I will automatically speed up. I’m not sure if I’m being competitive, showing off, or both.

6. Is there some secret to not becoming absolutely disgusting while working out intensely?
I seem to be more repulsive than the average runner. I can actually smell pleasant odors like shampoo and cologne when I pass some morning “regulars” on the sidewalk. I, on the other hand, smell like a cross between an armpit and a mildewed shower curtain. I wear Secret, shower daily, use Oxy Clean on my workout clothes—and yet I reek, as do my clothes, even after they’ve been washed. It’s not just running—it’s spinning, the elliptical—any activity that causes me to perspire. All you good-smelling gym rats: please share your secret! (For your own benefit, I might add.)

7. Is it inappropriate, during a pedicure, to request a deep-tissue calf massage instead of what they normally do where they just squirt some cheap moisturizing lotion on your legs from Sally Beauty and kind of pat it in?
My calves are just so tight these days and it seems to me that if they are going to claim “relaxing massage” is part of the “spa pedicure” package, you should be able to get them to give you a small courtesy upgrade. But such a request does make me feel a little sleazy…I sat in the pedicure chair once next to an old woman who was enjoying her pedicure a little too vocally and I don’t want to emulate that. I promise I won’t get all “When Harry Met Sally” (diner scene) on my pedicurist.

8. How can I convey to people who don’t like running that I’m not a sadist, an extreme dieter willing to put myself through torture in order to stay slim—or, by that same token, someone “above” them who should be admired?
If I could just get them all to run for more than 28 minutes, they, too, would hit that “runner’s high” and understand immediately that, hello! I’m not a sadist! I’m not a saint! I’m just an adrenaline junkie, pure and simple. That 28 minute mark feels soooo good.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Calorie Queen

Have you ever heard of anyone who became fat from running too much?

I haven't.

I have to remind myself of this often, as I inhale pots of couscous, sink my teeth into raw avocados and reduce buxom shiny red apples down to their shriveled bony cores.

"You're eating too much!!" says the neurotic former body-image-obsessed person inside of me, the Calorie Queen, whose favorite thing about running is the amount of calories it burns, and least favorite thing is the amount of calories it inspires me to consume.

"I refuse to run on empty fumes," retorts my newer, stronger, fitter self, who is much less interested in calories than she is in running performance. Food, after all, is fuel.

These two parts of me were at particular odds with each other on Saturday, when I had my long run with Team in Training. A few statistics from this run:

Miles completed: 7.01
Time of run: 57 minutes (my new personal best)
Calories burned: 699
Calories consumed at post-run breakfast sponsored by the Whole Foods: about 775 (pancakes, chocolate milk, turkey sausage, fruit salad)

Now, I normally don't consume 775 calories after a workout; my usual post-run meal is fruit with a teaspoon of peanut butter or an egg white on toast. It was a special occasion thank you breakfast for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where we got to interact with the cancer survivors who we were running in honor of, and breaking bread with them (or at least pancakes) was inspiring. So I can't say I regret the meal; plus, I know an occasional 775 calorie meal isn't going to make me gain weight, especially since I really did burn all but 76 calories of it moments earlier.

What scares me, though, or at least the neurotic calorie counter still lurking inside me, is that two hours after consuming this mega-meal, I was hungry for lunch. Not hmmm, it's noon, I'd better eat something--but if I don't eat right now I am going to become violent.

Under the Calorie Queen's watchful eye, I ate moderately the rest of the day and haven't had a big chow-down since, but I think that if I wanted to and wasn't paying attention to my food intake, I could easily consume five times the amount of calories I am burning by running because that "full" signal most people get after eating a lot seems to be on the fritz since I became a runner.

I'm never "full" anymore; I'm just no longer famished.

And I should point out that pancakes and sausage aren't exactly stapes in my daily menu. I know how to eat well: fresh produce, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats--all those things any veteran dieter knows is a necessary part of feeling full and staying that way for a long time.

Today, for example, I had oatmeal made with milk, strawberries and walnuts for breakfast, whole wheat cousccous (prepared with olive oil) with black beans and avocado for lunch finished with a Greek fat-free plain yogurt sweetened with honey--and I was still hunrgy. So I just ate a Fiber One bar. The Calorie Queen, of course, is absolutely horrified by this completely unnecessary addition to my lunch. "And you need an extra 130 calories because...why, exactly??" she demands.

But that Fiber One bar is not going to make me fat, I reply defensively. People just don't become enormously overweight from running marathons; the world just doesn't work that way. "I doubt the ones who become skinny from running marathons are eating with wild abandon," she rolls her eyes in response.

Do we need to take a field trip to the closet to examine the size labels on the clothes I'm wearing these days? I ask her. The numbers are going down, not up.

"I have an idea," I tell her. "How about if you go make someone else neurotic while I'm training for this marathon? Then you can come back and visit me. And if I've become really fat, after completing a 26 mile race, then we can talk."

The Calorie Queen didn't respond, but I'm going to do all that I can to make her stay away as I continue my training. Because she's very annoying, and I'd really like to eat my Fiber One bars--and even my occasional gluttonous breakfast--in peace.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yoga to be kidding me!

I have been brazenly anti-yoga for years, ever since I was pregnant with my oldest child and tried to do a "Mom & Baby" yoga DVD in which the instructor had suggested in a calm, drugged-sounding voice, to "imagine myself giving birth in an open field, surrounded by beautiful animals."

Open field? Beautiful animals? Birth?? Um, excuse me, but where would the epidural drip be in this picture?

Since then, I've given it a few other shots, but I generally found that yoga just isn't "me." I've been saying ever since then: "I'm too Type A. I get bored." (Usually in response to people suggesting I'd be a more balanced, relaxed person if I just spent some time on the ground with a mat.)

So while I did put in a little time in yoga classes over the years, enough to know the difference between Warrior I and Warrior II, at least, I always felt like a bit of an imposter, barefoot with my little square pillow under my hips.

Yoga seemed like the type of thing you did for exercise if you made your own baby food, and my kids were Gerber babies; I worried I just wasn't "granola" enough to be a yoga regular--and besides, it drove me crazy to think of how many calories I'd be burning if I'd just taken kickboxing instead!

But my running mentor, Kelly (hi, Kelly!) is both a yoga babe and an experienced marathon runner, and has been urging me to try at the very least some yoga poses like Downward Dog to relieve some of my running-related injuries. (PSA: Downward Dog feels great if you have tight calves and/or shin splints!)

Seeing yoga as a way to aid my running rather than as a substitute for exercise has really changed things for me. This morning was supposed to be my day of rest before my long run tomorrow, but when I woke up at 5:30 all wired and ready to work out, I decided to do some TV yoga instead. (We have cable on-demand and there are about 20 different yoga taped sessions available at any given time.) It was just 30 minutes of some pretty basic poses, but you know what? I feel like a new woman! For the first time in weeks, I'm sitting here without sore calves and I've felt positively zippy all day!

I guess when you're Type A like me, you get zippy, not zen. But that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If you don't like the way I'm running, stay off the sidewalk!

Dear Madly Besotten Elderly Neighbors,

Congratulations on your romance! Because we don't know each other, I am not sure whether you've been happily married for decades and just can't keep your crepe-skinned paws off each other, or if you steamed up each other's spectacles from across a crowded bingo parlor only recently.

However long you've been together, clearly you can't get enough companionship. Clearly, when you're together, the rest of the world doesn't exist. Including me.

When you're together, I don't exist; yes, that must be it. There's no other explanation for how you completely ignore me every single morning when I come charging towards you like a bull during my run.

I'm usually in the middle of my speedwork on the return trip home just as the two of you slowly amble from your home towards wherever it is the two of you are sneaking off to at 6 a.m.

Because you just can't stop squinting amorously at each other, you never notice the heavily perspiring woman wearing an ENORMOUS BLINKING HOT PINK SAFETY LIGHT racing quickly in your direction.

You don't hear the, "Excuse me! Coming through! Excuse me! Could you please MOVE???" because the sounds of your hearts beating in true, passionate love drown out everything else.

Speaking of your hearts, I really hope I didn't seriously damage either of yours this morning (like cause a coronary or anything) when I screamed at the top of my lungs, "ON YOUR LEFT!" I don't mean any offense, but you both surely have ample amounts of love for ample amounts of food, as well as ample amounts of love for each other (do you dine by candle light at The Melting Pot every night??), which means the two of you walking side by side takes up ample amounts of the sidewalk, if not the entire width of it. So this morning when we happened to cross paths where the sidewalk was surrounded on both sides by mud puddles, I really had no choice but to run in between the two of you, as I could not get my beautiful Nike Lunar Glides dirty. (The love you have for each other reminds me very much of the love I have for the one pair of sneakers I've ever owned that have treated my feet with the dignity they deserve.)

It was like running in between two overstuffed armchairs; it didn't hurt me, and I hope it didn't hurt you. But still, I do worry I might have given you quite a shock. So I hope those hearts of yours are pumping as steadily as they always have.

I hope you've also now become aware of my presence.

Maybe this is a good time to formerly introduce myself. My name is Jorie, and I run almost every day on the same path where you take your love-struck promenade. We're going to have to share the sidewalk, you and I, for a long time. I know you want it all to yourselves, but it's simply too dark for me to run on the street and there are too many iguanas, frogs, bugs, lizards and rodents in the muddy greenery flanking the sidewalk for me to run in the dirt.

So if you see an ENORMOUS BLINKING HOT PINK SAFETY LIGHT and hear someone shouting loudly "ON YOUR LEFT!!!", just snuggle a little closer together and let me by.

For lovebirds like you, surely an excuse for even more snuggling has got to be a welcome thing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just another manic Sunday (my "Spin or sleep in?" update)

I did it. I slept in. But, I also took my spin class. (Although, I had every intention of skipping it! Really, I did.)

That's because when you set your alarm for 5:30 a.m. every morning, "sleeping in" (not setting an alarm clock) means you wake up, fully rested, at around 7 a.m.

I'm pretty sure it was 7 a.m. on the dot, in fact, when I opened my eyes to hear the sounds of my 3 year old daughter scraping her Parking Lot game across our already scratched up dining room table. Very nails-on-the-chalkboard if you've never heard what it sounds like when rough-edged hollow plastic cars are being pushed across waxed rubberwood.

I stumbled out of bed and was groggily explaining to her (pleading with her, to be exact) that she needed to do that on the floor--or perhaps, sweetie, not at all?--when my 6 year old son jumped out from behind a dark corner and yelled, "Boo!" startling me awake more than my alarm ever had.

Well, good morning indeed! I gave them both kisses on their shampoo-scented heads and into the kitchen I went to make us all a big Sunday breakfast.

OK, time for the yummy spinach feta omlette I daydreamed about yesterday. I drizzled some canola oil in my skillet, eased open an English muffin and placed it in the toaster, and was all set to enjoy a morning of leisure, when the onslaught began:

"Mommy, I don't want a pancake, I want a strawberry muffin."

"Mommy, this apple juice is cold. Can you make it warmer?"

"Mommy, 'My Friends Tigger & Pooh' is for babies. Can we watch 'SpongeBob' instead?"

"Mommy, can you go to the store right now and buy me three strawberry muffins?"

"There's too much cream cheese on my bagel!"

"My apple juice is HOT! Ouch, Mommy! Can you make it colder?"

"You scraped all the cream cheese off my bagel and now it's too plain! Can't you just get me a strawberry muffin? Why are you always out of them?"

At this point, I was beginning to think my planned "day of rest" had not actually off to such a restful start.

I was also beginning to think that pedaling in a dark, damp room to the sounds of blasting techno music and hard-core Sue shouting, "Come on, PUUUUUUUSSHHHHHHHHHH!" sounded about as relaxing as a cup of herbal tea. And fortunately, around that time my husband woke up.

So as soon as that English muffin was out of the toaster, it was tucked in my gym bag and I was out the door, speeding to grab one of the last available bikes available in the studio.

Oddly enough, I felt pretty relaxed as soon as I locked into those pedals. (Do other people feel more relaxed when their heart rates are elevated??) In fact, I felt sooooo good by the time Sue had spun me into a sweaty mess that I went home to happily enjoy the rest of my Sunday with my family (the fact that breakfast was no longer up for debate certainly helped.)

I think I'll take Monday off from exercising instead this week. I know I should have taken it easy today as I'd honestly intended to do, but I can't say I regretted one second of this fabulous cross-training session.

Although I definitely still have a hankering for a spinach-feta omlette...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spin or sleep in?

So this is my dilemma: Should I take Sunday off, sleep in as late as my kids will let me, laze around bed with the newspaper and then treat myself to a crispy-around-the edges, gooey-inside spinach feta omlette? Or should I get up at 7 am, throw on some Spandex, speed to the gym and elbow my way to the front of the reception desk at the YMCA to get my spin bracelet, and then sprint up the steps in time to claim one of the bikes that isn't broken?

I know, it's a tough call. The spin class sounds so tempting, doesn't it?

My Team in Training marathon training schedule suggests I work out 5 days a week, not 6. (I used to do 7--until someone told me that never taking a day of rest was a clinical symptom of insanity.) It also suggests I cross train. Unfortunately, cross training with my schedule is really hard (well, maybe my logic's a bit warped: running 6 days in a row=easy; driving to a gym 3 miles away from my house to do a less grueling workout=hard). So I thought I'd skip the second day of rest and make it a cross-training day instead by sweating it out with hard-core spinning Sue, who is the West Broward YMCA's answer to Jillian Michaels.

But I have to say...the past week, I've pretty much been following Team in Training's suggestions instead of just running myself into the ground, and I feel pretty good. I ran between 3-4 miles on the weekdays instead of 5-6 and did the team long run (6 miles) in 55 minutes. Right now, nothing aside from a few toe blisters hurts and I'm not starving, exhausted or hallucinating due to dehydration.

Which makes me think maybe I should let someone else elbow their way to the front of the line to claim the unbroken bike.

The fact is, I don't need Jillian Michael's help to run this marathon, as I am not, contrary to how I bloated might feel when the occasional bad case of PMS strikes, a contestant on "The Biggest Loser." The friendly cancer-fundraising mentors at Team in Training have been doing this for years, and they seem to know what they're doing.

So maybe I will sleep in tomorrow. True, I'll miss Sue screaming, "If your quads aren't on fire you're not working hard enough!" but seeing my kids standing bright-eyed in their PJs by the side of my bed does seem like a nicer way to spend a Sunday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You know you’ve become addicted to running when…

1. You bought nine different varieties of moisture-wick socks before finding a pair that worked for your feet—and then bought a big lot of them on Ebay because you cleaned out your local Sports Authority’s supply of them.

2. You can’t listen to songs from your running playlist without your heart rate becoming slightly elevated.

3. You keep wondering why everyone in the mall walks so slow, why you managed to amass a huge collection of "tummy control body slimmers" over the years, and why you ever needed your husband's help to open a jar of spaghetti sauce--and then it dawns on you: you're faster, leaner and stronger than you've ever been in your life.

4. Instead of worrying about calories or even taste, you worry about whether the item you’re considering eating will make tomorrow’s run a zippy or a sluggish one—and what, if any, bathroom implications there might be.

5. You’re not a wimp anymore. Once you’ve had to pop a blood-filled blister with a needle or slipped on a puddle of your own sweat, standing up to bullies suddenly becomes a lot easier—maybe even natural.

6. You’re more excited about the day of your long run than your day of rest.

7. If you’re being really honest with yourself, you might admit that used to be a little bit envious of The Beautiful People, with their white teeth and expensive hair extensions and their Louis Vuitton purses. Now you don’t want all that. You just want a Bodybugg. And a faster mile.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Confessions of a Type A runner

As a runner, my biggest accomplishment thus far was having the sense to stop running after completing 8.5 miles today; I'd planned to do 10.

I stopped not because I had to stop--I am sure I could have dragged my madly protesting body another 1.5 miles and made it to my front door step (my makeshift finishline) before collapsing in a sweaty, dehydrated heap in my foyer. I stopped because feeling miserable didn't seem like much of an accomplishment after 1:30 minutes of hard work.

Being the intense, Type A runner that I've become, this decision was incredibly hard to make. "What are you doing??" my will power screamed in disbelief. "Fifteen more minutes of running is nothing--hup! hup!"

But I did not hup! hup!  From stores of wisdom and balance I had no idea I even possessed, I had the sense to stop when I began to feel weak and nauseated--feelings I really haven't experienced thus far in my running adventures, because thus far my body has generally cooperated with the goals I've set for myself.

It was a long 1.5 mile walk/trot back to my house, but it was no walk of shame. The next time I try for 10, in about a month when it's much less humid here, I'm going to do it with my Team in Training teammates by my side and my running mentor cheering me on then.

Until then, while running alone I'm going to stick with long runs I can do enjoyably--7, 8 miles max--so I don't burn out or overtrain, as one of the mentors had warned me.  She told me she ignored her exhaustion and ran anyway once, only to collapse and fall and badly injure herself, delaying her running for almost a week. Another mentor had warned me that she'd once been hospitalized for dehydration from running in the heat.

Both of these mentors assured me that if I just followed their marathon training schedule (we're supposed to be up to 5 miles by this point, not 10), I could easily do 26.2. I think I'm finally at the point where I trust their advice--and trust in myself.

Which, being the type of intense, determined but occasionally unwise runner that I am, is quite an accomplishment indeed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm no expert, but I do know this...

Considering how little I knew about running before I just jumped into my sneakers one day and took off, I think it's kind of funny that people actually ask me--me!--for running advice. I'm definitely still in the novice phase myself.

But I do have a few words of wisdom that might be helpful to anyone who actually knows less about running than me:

1. If you can't breathe, slow down. Your lungs are sore, you're out of breath, you just want to stop running and lie down on a couch? That means you're going wayyyy too fast. Go a lot slower. You might not win a race or outrun a tiger, but if your goal is to be able to run for more than 10 minutes, you need to find a comfortable pace and stick with it. You can worry about increasing your speed later--and the more you run, the faster you'll get. Eventually.

2. Don't eat rabbit food or junk food. If you aren't getting in enough calories, you won't have the energy to run. If you eat a giant Big Mac, all that fat is going to be jostling around your stomach with every step you take. Think sturdy combinations of carbs and lean proteins. The good news is that you don't need to eat rabbit food if you run regularly; the average person burns about 100 calories per mile. The bad news is you can't eat whatever you want, either; the average person, again, burns about 100 calories per mile. (Not 1,000.)

3. Don't bring out all your new goodies from Runner's Depot during one run. So you stocked up. You might be excited to try out your new Body Glide, sneakers, orthodics, Fuel Belt and running gels--just don't try them all out in one day. I have a funny story about making that mistake myself.

4. Listen to yourself. I can't even tell you how much advice people have been generous enough to offer me, much of it unsolicited--on everything from weight loss tips ("You should have gone on a diet before you began running; your calves wouldn't be so bulky if you began running when you were thinner") to what to think about while in motion ("Think about your form only, not what errands you have to run or about your aches and pains"--yeah, that'll work for five minutes, not five miles). In the end, I had to figure out what worked best for me.

So with that in mind, feel free to disregard items #1, #2, #3.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In case you didn't notice...

Psst...I've changed the header on my blog from, "Follow my quirky column as I train for my first half-marathon" to "Follow my quirky column as I train for my first marathon."

Before you declare me crazy, delusional or just plain stupid, let me offer the following explanations:

1. Runners have been telling me for months, "If you can run 10 miles, you can run a marathon." Well, I can run 10 miles.

2. The people I pace with at my Team in Training meetings are all training for the full marathon. It would be fun to complete the race with them.

3. If I can't complete all 26.2 miles--even if I can't complete 13.1--it's not like the Marathon Police would throw me in jail. There's no negative consequence awaiting people who don't run the full thing. In fact, plenty of people walk/run it, and I think that is a terrific accomplishment.

4. I've decided that I don't look miserable enough in my current race photos (see my Run for Row 5k glamour shot above) and figure that after a 4+ hour run, I'll finally perfect the "miserable grimace nausea" look.

5. Miserable looks aside, I simply love to run.

In addition to increasing my mileage goal, I've increased my fundraising goal. To read about WHY I'm running and WHO I am running for, please visit my fundraising page by clicking here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Great White Hope

The Nike Lunar Glide: Be still my heart.

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince, and I think that after countless painful, blistering make out sessions with shoes I was told I should have loved, but instead rubbed me the wrong way (literally), I've finally found The Ones. At the very least, my new Nike Lunar Glides have given me the gift of several long, delightful, injury-free runs. (Even with my foot taped up from last week's injuries, I felt good in them.) The shoe is light, springy--and yet it cares about my shin splints, too. Running in them makes the road below feel like marshmallows instead of asphalt.

It's early to say whether these newfangled Nikes (with the tagline: "It really is rocket science") will be the white horse I'll ride all the way to the finishline of the Miami ING. But I've got every finger and toe crossed that we make it to there together.

You can find all the hype about Nike's hot new running shoe here, and in case you were wondering, I really am not a paid reviewer--I'm just a grateful runner. I'm just a grateful, accident and injury prone flat-footed runner whose insteps have been used and abused by nearly every running shoe out there. All of that changed, I think (I hope!) last week when I spotted the Nike Lunar Glides from across a crowded room at The Sports Authority.

That's actually not quite true: I guess you could say my first love was the Nike Air Zoom Road Explosion IIs, which also felt marshmallow-light and spared my insteps of blisters. But our love burned out fast: given their flimsy construction, they had to be replaced every 100 miles (quite a feat given that they were discontinued in 2008) and did nothing to protect my shin splints.

Plus, I took a lot of flak for my Nike Road Explosions from real runners and shoe fitting experts, who couldn't believe I'd racked up as much mileage as I had with so little protection. Honestly, after about 50 miles it wasn't much better than running barefoot.

Nevertheless, the feeling of running barefoot is still a lot better than the feeling of running in overbearing, thick, clumsy Brooks Dyads with ill-fitting orthotics. The Foot Solutions people did reconfigure my orthodics (for free!) so they supposedly will no longer cause blisters--though I was again told to wear them around the house for two weeks before attempting a run in them. And quite honestly, given that the last time I ran in my Brooks with their orthodics, I ended up with blisters that took more than 8 days to heal and forced me to take off two days of my training, I'm in no rush to give them another shot.

Also, the Brooks are so heavy and boxy and...okay, I'll say it: unsexy. They remind me of the kind of clunky, multiple-clasped and wired bras that elderly women call "brassieres." I'm more of a "bra" kind of girl.

And I guess I'm a Nike kind of girl, too.
"Just do it" sure works for the kind of person who became a runner just like that, one day on the Carnival Imagination cruise, when she just got an a treadmill after eating too much at the buffet and ran for an hour and 12 minutes until the gym personnel told her it was time for them to close. It had been more than a decade since I'd last run, and just like that, I just did it.

Again, I have to emphasize I'm not a Nike shill. Really, they are not paying me anything (though if they'd like to, they can pay me in free products.) I'm just a little bit infatuated right now. Jorie and Nike sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
But the last time I was really and truly in the throes of infatuation, I did end up marrying the guy, and eight years and two kids later, I have to say my instincts were right.
I just hope my sneakers and I do end up running off into the sunset together. (With my husband and two kids cheering me on from the sidelines of course.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is there a way to run comfortably with blisters?

This is probably a stupid question, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

My poor, poor insteps. It took four weeks for my last set of blisters--from my orthodics ordeal--to harden and turn into scars, and now I've got fresh ones on top of them that have the exact same punctured-grape appearance.

The shoes I've been wearing all along, my Nike Air Zoom Road Explosion IIs, have never hurt me but don't offer my shins or flat feet any support, which has become a problem as I've increased my mileage.

So this weekend I went to Runner's Depot and bought a pair of "real" running shoes--the Brooks Dyad--and wore them around the house with the orthodics to try to break them in, as the Foot Solutions people had suggested. After a few days of indoors-only, around-the-house orthodics wearing, I laced up the new shoes for a quick, 3 mile jog...and has happened before, 1.5 miles into it, I realized what a mistake I'd made.

So I'll be stopping by Foot Solutions this week to bleed all over their carpet--or at least get my custom orthodics re-customized; the owner of the store, who is very nice, actually called me up when the company's PR folks web-crawled my blog to see how he could help, and I'll definitely be taking him up on his offer.

But in the meantime, my feet are a mess. I hear runners complain all the time of bad hips and knees; try running when your feet are the problem part of your body!

So is there anything I can do, until I'm all healed? Run with my feet wrapped in Ace bandages? Inject my insteps with a local anesthetic? Do I need to page Dr. Scholls? Any suggestions would be appreciated. As it is, I'm sliding around in my shoes since I've embalmed my feet in Neosporin.

That being said, is it crazy that I'm still looking forward to tomorrow's run?