Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Blistering Pace: The Perils of a Sockless Runner

Distance: 10 Miles
Time: 1:14
Days Until Marathon: 45

According to my marathon training plan, I was only supposed to put in 6 easy miles today. BUT - from the second I woke up, I was full of energy and I knew I would run longer. I like to eat breakfast about a half hour before I head out for a run and 90% of my breakfasts are this concoction here:

Plain greek yogurt plus a variety of berries and fruit. I would add honey, but I don't have the words to explain how much I hate honey. Did I mention I'm a vegetarian? Well...sort of.

My plan for today was to run for as long as I felt like keeping up a half marathon pace. I decided I would take out my new Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3s for a spin. I've only worn these bad boys on a handful of shorter runs, like 6 miles at most. I refer to them as "the Patriots" for obvious reasons.

They are as blinding in person as they are in this photo. Nothing about them says, "I move slowly." I believe that function and fashion are on equal ground when it comes to shoes. Let's be honest, there are some really lame looking running shoes out there.

I got the new Kinvara's from Foot Locker after I got the gift card for winning the Lighthouse Run. They are different from what I would usually wear, since I'm into super-light, minimalist shoes. Don't get me wrong - these are actually very light, but they offer a lot more support than my New Balance Minimus or Nike Frees. Therein lies today's problem.

You see, the back of the Kinvara has a taller rise on the ankle than any of the shoes I have worn over the last several years. This matters when you count in the fact that I NEVER WEAR SOCKS WHILE RUNNING. EVER. In fact, I don't wear socks in life either. On the rare occasion that I have a deathly flu, maybe I will put on some wool socks but otherwise - no socks. I hate 'em. They feel disgusting and do not get me started on when they fall down into your shoe. (To answer your question: no, my feet are not rancid because of this habit. One would think so.)

So, today's run started off pretty fast. I ran the first four miles around 6:50 pace, but I felt great. My legs were light and responsive, so my splits were fast. Around mile five, I noticed the dreaded burning sensation on my ankle - you know - when your skin starts to peel off with every step. BLISTERS! Grrr. Inevitably, my pace suffered. I ended up running 10 miles at about 7:24 min/mi. Towards the end of the run, I decided it was better to sprint through the pain rather than suffer longer with lumbering, strides.

This is a frequent occurrence because of the whole "no socks" thing. I have a theory about it though. The more blisters I get, the more I am toughening up my feet. Eventually, I will have an entirely custom skin sock of protection, right? I must be pretty close to that point, because I barely have any feeling in these puppies. Good thing my boyfriend doesn't have a foot fetish and I have stock in pumice stones. No socks fo' life!

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