One of the reasons we train is to make all our stupid mistakes during the training runs so that we have all the kinks worked out before race day.
This weekend I did my first long back-to-back training runs of the year. I was fortunate to have Doug along the whole way on Friday and part of the day Saturday.
Friday we did 7 Rock Repeats. That was 35 miles and 7000 feet of vertical each way. We kept a consistent pace and averaged less than an hour for each out & back. I could feel my quads on the last two descents but the only thing that was bothering me were two blisters on my heels.
I started a new pair of shoes Thursday and didn't think about it- I wear the same type of shoes all the time and usually breaking them in on most running surfaces is not an issue. Except I didn't think about that fact that I'd be running something steep for 35 miles with them before they were broken in. The blisters weren't too bad and I could only feel them going uphill. I took it easy the whole way and never pushed the pace with Saturday's run in mind.
Saturday I started out early on the bike path, met Doug when I was at 6 miles, and we continued for a full loop around the city. He stopped after the first loop. I continued on to do another out and back on the bike path. We made good time for a walking pace, and I was running mostly every other quarter-mile section of the bike path. After the first loop I could feel those blisters and my feet were hurting.
I was using my house as an aid station and when I got home at 37 miles, I decided I should change my shoes and socks. What I didn't anticipate was excruciating pain just to slip my shoes off over my heels. When I peeled my socks off, both of my heels were completely covered with huge blisters. The left one was bloody and the right one was clear, but they were both HUGE.
I popped them and changed my socks and shoes, and after a grilled cheese sandwich and some soup I headed back out the door, limping for the first few minutes until I got used to the feeling of the shoes rubbing against my heels. My orthotic edges were also causing some pain like I had at Across the Years. I need to cover those with foam tape or moleskin. It was getting dark and I changed to my neighborhood loop. Dennis came out for a while and walked 3 miles with me.
I was moving at a good pace but every step was painful. By the time I hit 43 miles I had already passed the minimum mileage I wanted to do for the weekend. I realized I wasn't accomplishing much fitness-wise by continuing to walk on my painful feet and altering my stride might cause me to injure something else. I tried some running and it was okay but every step was so painful it didn't matter.
I told myself I had to do at least 50. Once I passed 50 miles I decided to stay out until I'd been going for 12 hours. At 51 miles it was 11 hours and 55 minutes of running time since I started, and I decided that was good. I managed 86 miles for the two days, I got 100 miles for the week, and I was done before 10 pm.This morning it's snowing. I took my bike off the trainer and put it in the garage yesterday. I couldn't have planned it better.