Monday, April 22, 2013

My Left Foot

 "My toes are all squished.  During an operation, they had to take nerves out."  - Steven Tyler

"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.



  1. I feel for you on that blister. I've been there and it's MISERY!

    I'm glad to hear that duct tape helped protect the tender area. I did not have much luck with that.

    It sounds like the taper is going well. Don't go to low on the fat. Your body needs it.

  2. Yeah, I eat a lot of almonds and peanut butter (not together) to get the fats I need. And I'm really hoping going back to a trusted shoe will cure the blister issue. The Asics are really comfortable and cushioned, but that one spot is killing me.

  3. Geez - you LOST the nail on a toe? That's nasty. I don't even know what to think about that. Do you expect it to return? Geez.

  4. And amazingly enough, Jim, there's no pain whatsoever. It's just gone. Apparently this is a common issue for runners. I'm also starting to worry about the nail on the Gazoo toe. Seems to be pulling away a little bit. Ah, the joys of running.

  5. Let me say that I have been following your blogs for a while now and always get a laugh and some enjoyment during my day. While I never commented I cannot express my excitement at the fact that you not only started running but blogging about it. Being a "runner" as well your posts are a great read.

    I wouldn't suggest you run in the bad shoe. I use Asics and currently rotate about 4 pairs for different purposes. I have one pair that gives me a similar blister whenever I use it to run. It simply never stopped even though I have it for almost a year so I just use it to train at the gym. I read somewhere that shoes are supposed to feel comfortable from first use and that is the expereince I have had with every other asics I own. I hope your new shoe does the trick and fits perfectly.

    I'll be running my very first half-marathon all the way in Barbados on the same day as your marathon so pity I can't make your race but I'll be cheering you on in spirit and please don't make me wait too long for the write up!

    1. Thanks, I appreciate the tip! The thing is, I really like the feel and comfort of the Asics, aside from the blistering. Which, I suppose, is sort of a "besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" type statement. I loved the Brooks Glycerins I'd been running in previously, so I'll most likely go back to those next (the new generation of them is due in June . . . and in orange, my "go-to" color!).

      Half marathon in Barbados, that is awesome! And I will most definitely post a full report on the OC Marathon right afterward (well, maybe not RIGHT afterward, but a day or two later).

      Glad you're enjoying the blog, I appreciate your feedback and advice.

      Happy running!

  6. Congrats on your stellar weight loss! That is amazing and very inspiring. Sorry to read about your foot! Hopefully you'll heal enough in the next 2 weeks, but you may have to really talk to that quit monster in your head during the race! BTW, added your blog to my blogroll. It's a great read. Countdown to marathon!!!

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