"My feet are dogs." - Rudolf Nureyev
With the Orange County Marathon less than two weeks away, I've started to taper my training so I'm reasonably rested and ready on race day. On Sunday (4/21), I ran 12 miles, and from there it's going to be mostly 5K and 10K training runs between now and the marathon. I've also modified my diet somewhat, increasing my protein and good carbs while eliminating sodas, most fats, and pretty much everything else. It's going to be a lot of cereal, bagels, turkey subs on wheat, and chicken-rice bowls for a while.
Meanwhile, my left foot looks like something that you'd find in a butcher shop.
I'm not injured, per se, but my new pair of ASICS Gel-Nimbus 14 running shoes seems to cause a nasty blister on the instep of my left foot. I'd never had an issue with blisters until the San Diego Half Marathon, where I first developed the wound in question. I wore my ASICS in that race and they'd only had about fifteen miles on them -- a rookie mistake, and I knew better -- and I assumed that the problem was due to running a half marathon in poorly-broken-in shoes. So after the race, I went back to my Brooks Glycerins, and the blister went away. Well, I've since retired the Brooks, and switched back to the ASICS pair, and lo and behold, the blister returned in precisely the same spot. This presents a problem because if it's indeed these particular shoes that are causing the blister, I don't have much time to break in a new pair before I run the marathon in twelve days. I ordered a pair of Saucony Kinvara 3's that should be arriving any minute, and I know these will work because I've run in them before, but still . . . best case scenario, I'll be running in Kinvaras with thirty or so miles on them. Not optimum conditions. Of course, I could take my chances with the ASICS and maybe cover the tender area of my foot with duct tape as I did yesterday for my 12-mile training run with only minimal discomfort . . . decisions, decisions. If I had to run the marathon tomorrow, I'm sure I could do it. But let's just say I'm glad I don't have to run the marathon tomorrow.
|Not my toe, just a reasonable facsimile.|
And it's not just the blister. The pinky toe on my left foot has lost its nail, and the second toe (whatever the one next to the big toe is called -- my index toe?) is truly a sight to behold. I considered including a picture of it here, but then my better judgement kicked in and I decided to spare you the horror. Basically, the tip is puffed up and calloused over, the nail is surrounded by swollen skin, and the rest is slightly misshapen. It more or less looks like the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones.
Foot issues aside, though, the reality is setting in. Less than two weeks from now, I'll be running in my very first official marathon, an endeavor that would've been completely laughable fourteen months ago when my weight was right around 300 pounds. I'm excited, and also a little nervous. Originally I had no thoughts of setting a goal time, and even now I'll be happy just to finish. But I can't help myself . . . I'll consider anything under five hours a victory, and I seriously think I have a shot at 4:30. But given what I know about myself and about the course, here's my prediction (you heard it here first, folks):
I'd be more than happy with that, to be honest.
COUNTDOWN TO THE ORANGE COUNTY MARATHON = 10 Days