Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Feet Gone Bad: My Feet Are Delaminating!

I'm off to a good start for next year. I have now blistered under all my calluses and they will all peel off soon, and then I can start giving myself pedicures and smoothing the calluses as they build again. It's like starting over with delaminated feet! I haven't had so many problems with blisters since Badwater in 2011!

I can look at the Boulder adventure in several different ways. As a race, it was a disaster, but then, it wasn't really a race race. All my foot issues came home to roost. And choosing to run a 24 hour race on dirt and trails when I haven't run 74 miles on dirt in probably the past year, was not the brightest of ideas.

I got plenty of sleep and everything was easy going into the run, when I woke up Saturday morning and got ready to leave the house, the girls sat in the living room and just howled. I texted my neighbor later in the morning before the start to ask her to check on them, hoping they wouldn't go out in the yard and do that. Dennis was on his way back from Gunnison and planned to stop off at the reservoir to see me run for a while on his way home.

Eddie and I met at the reservoir and set up our stuff. He had a canopy from a local running store and I just had my table.

Having the canopy from the running store was probably good for Eddie because he could tell his friends where to find him. I had my table set up in front on the edge of the road.

I found the canopy to be a bit of an issue because all afternoon every time I'd stop at my table to grab my stuff for the next loop, I needed to get what I needed and get going. And every time, some Boulderite dweeb would invariably stop by and start talking to me, asking me stupid questions about the running store or people who worked there. None of them were looking for Eddie. All of Eddie's friends knew he was there and didn't need to ask.

These other people were just being dweebs. And I wasn't even under the canopy, I was just another Joe Blow runner. I needed to pay attention to what I was doing since each loop was 7 miles long and if I forgot something I'd be screwed. Annoying. So I was relieved when it got dark, it was like dweeb repellent. Boulder...

The course has nice variation, a few rolling hills, some flats, some pavement, and some singletrack trail. The trail section is known as the "Certain Death" trail.

It was a nice afternoon, it did get warm for a couple of hours but the entire day was pleasant. At one point, Eddie came across a big snake stretched across one of the trail sections. Certain Death.

At one point, the wind got strong and blew my hat off and down the embankment, there was no way I was going down there to look for it.

I felt really good and I stayed at an even pace and according to a plan that would yield 107 miles, and if all went well I might even have time to squeeze in an extra loop. I hit 50 miles in about 10 1/2 hours and felt extremely fresh, except I could feel a few hot spots on my feet. I stopped once and pulled off my socks, and lubed the spots. I didn't see a need for tape anywhere else, and I had already taped over the ball of my left foot where I got the blister in Cleveland.

Shortly after dark Dennis showed up and I sat down in my chair to check my feet again and change my socks as he held the headlamp. I had the beginning of a blister on my left big toe, but the hot spots everywhere else were still just hot spots. I lubed them again and took off.

Another two loops later, I had at least five painful hot spots, the inside of both big toes, my right heel, under my toes above the Cleveland blister, and lower down on the instep of my left foot. Dennis had already gone home and I sat there in the chair with my headlamp, eating soup and yogurt and trying to patch my feet. I popped three blisters and taped over everything, plus it looked like most of my toenails were separating from the nailbeds. What the hell was happening? Then I saw in the light of the headlamp that my hands were swollen.

Too much salt, is probably what I did. I had been peeing and felt well hydrated all day, and my hands were not swollen, but then when it got dark and cooled off, I think I continued to take in too much salt. I didn't make the adjustment for cooler weather, as I haven't been running in cooler weather yet this year.

As I finished patching everything and put on clean socks, Eddie stirred in his tent under the canopy behind me. He had been napping. He got out and said he would do a lap with me to keep going. I wanted to get out there and see if my foot surgery made a difference. We took off and after a little over a mile, I knew I didn't want to hobble the whole 7 miles. It hurt too much, even after a mile of trying to get the foot pain to go away and distract myself. So I told Eddie I was done and I turned around and headed back to the table, told the race people I was done, then packed up my table and supplies and drove home to Fort Collins. I got home at 4 am, took a shower and crawled into bed with Dennis and the girls.

I did have a blast, it was fun, I enjoyed my time out there with the other runners and it was a beautiful day and evening. It was fun running with Eddie as he was doing his first 24 hour run and he got 85 miles and was 2nd in HIS age group, and he put in a great effort out there.
For me, I got 17 hours of running listening to music and enjoying the scenery and the night sky. So I can't complain. The sunset behind the Flatirons was spectacular.

I got 10 full loops in at 7.14 miles each plus and extra 2 and a half or so after my second foot surgery, so I ran about 74 miles. And Eddie tells me I won my age group. Grrrr. I hate winning my age group when it's a pathetic performance. But that's just me being silly. This is the longest low mileage winning streak ever.

Is this what happens when you get old? A few weeks ago my eyes suddenly took a dive and after going for years without needing reading glasses, suddenly one day I couldn't even read my running watch, and my arms aren't long enough. Crap.

The other thing is that I know I have mega endurance because if every few weeks I can go and hammer out a 70 or 80 mile long run with little impact on my body other than feet gone bad with blisters, I'm okay. It's just a matter of finding the right race next year and I'll get there. Next year I will benefit from this great base.

I am taking it easy the rest of the month and not going to do anything even resembling running training until Thanksgiving. I will start getting in the pool and on the bike sometime next week.
This morning I convinced Dennis to go out and bring Starbucks home. He did, and he also brought home pup cups for the girls. A family of princesses, that's what he has to deal with.

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