Friday, May 22, 2009

The Difference A Shoe Makes

So I recently had the pleasure of visiting the doctor. You see, my foot is starting to hurt when I walk on it, especially barefoot. There is a growth on the bottom of my sole, almost directly in the front center. I presumed it was a corn, and I presumed correctly, but I had to be sure just in case. Perhaps a little background is in order.

A little over a year ago I noticed some tough skin. Nothing much, in fact thought it was a blister at first. It slowly grew. I figured all the miles I had been running were acting up. About that time my parents bought me a new pair of shoes, really nice ones fitted to me. Very comfortable. But then I took a new job and for the first month or so it was continuous walking, 8 hours a day, roughly 10 miles a day. My feet took a beating. But I wore my cheap pair of shoes that I had originally had before my parents bought me a nice pair. You would think that I would at least invest a little bit of money in shoes, but no, not the case. I bought a cheap $50 pair. I didn't know the difference. Anyways, I wore the cheap pair to work because I didn't want to ruin the new pair. I paid the price.

Apparently corns develop over time and are an inverted triangle: tip on the surface as it widens into your foot. The pressure and what hurts is that hard skin build up pressing in to the foot. It hurts especially at home when I am barefoot. So I sit down and the doctor walks in and immediately says it is a corn. Then she proceeds to tell me that corns come from improper support of the feet, oftentimes because the shoe itself is not cushioned. Doh! So all the running with a cheap throw away shoe and all the working, 8 hours a day, on a cheap throw away pair of shoes, grew a corn that hurts to walk on.

Who knew it would have that kind of effect? I should have guessed, but I didn't think it would be that drastic. The difference a shoe makes. Invest properly and spend the money for a good pair of shoes. I will never go back now...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shall I try this running thing again?

Strangely conflicting feelings. I miss running. A lot. The sheer joy of finishing a marathon or 50k. The sense of accomplishment. And yet I am also content not running at all, virtually. Strange feelings are a brew.

It all started with the new job. Waking up so early and being so tired by the time I finish my day. I have good intentions. Go home, change, run, come home and eat and feel good. That is what running always does for me. Finish a run and you feel revived. And yet the minute I get in the car to drive home from work, or sit down for a minute, I lose all motivation. It happens. I'll have to change that.

The last marathon I ran was at the end of October. Ran two that month. I've hardly ran at all, some months no running at all. This month only 6 miles. I know I am not in shape to run a marathon the way that I want to run. But it was a marathon that kick started me in the beginning, my first marathon, the one I ran with zero training, repeat zero, and then got me in to running whole heartedly back at SF in 2006. So why not try the trick again? I know I am in better shape then I was then. I mean I am almost 30 pounds lighter now than I was then.

So I signed up for the Forest of Nisene Marks Marathon, one I ran last year, my second fastest ever. No illusions. Figure, since it is 13.1 up and then 13.1 down, it will be tough. But I like the concept of knowing that I have to get to the turn around point to come back. That was my problem with the Sequoia 50k that I dropped to 30k earlier in the year. It was a loop course and I had an excuse to drop because my car was right there. Not this one. So I bit the bullet. Will train some hopefully, putting in a decent amount of miles the rest of the month. At worse, I jog walk a beautiful race in Aptos, getting a full days worth of exercise.

And of course the great high I usually get after finishing that oh so coveted distance of 26.2.