October 12, 2008

Two lessons

Don't do long runs in cotton socks.

If you do, you will rip the hell out of your feet and toes. All of a sudden, you will understand why people claim that running ruins their feet. It will not be a pleasant revelation. If you do not already own specialized running socks that you love, I highly recommend investing in some Balegas: No seam; Thin on top for breathing, Padded on the bottom for cushion; Made of material that does not cause chafing.

I had no idea how much my Balegas were contributing to my overall foot comfort (I haven't really ever run a long run without them) until I ran out of clean ones before this weekend's long run and just packed a pair of short cotton athletic socks.


Now, I'm going to order some more. Also, I think I'm going to try a pair of the Injinji toe socks. Now that I realize how much of a difference my Balegas have been making, I figure, what the heck? I'll spend $15 and try the wacky toe-socks that some of the ultra-marathoning folks swear by.

72 hours is a solid maximum full-throttle period

In the last 72 hours, I fit in entirely too much.

I'm not sure I can recall the last time I did 3 nights in a row out on the town. But, we just did it again: Thursday, drinks in our hometown at a local restaurant while visiting friends had a late dinner after their arrival from their California road trip; Friday, a delicious dinner at Delfina followed by drinks 'til midnight with a large group; and Saturday, a shopping trip, a hair appointment, and a wedding. Add in all the associated ordinary life stuff like work, a professional lunch on Friday, running, and a quick 'bout of food poisoning from our dinner on Thursday before the out-of-towners arrived, and well... I'm spent.

Tonight, I could not bring myself to attack the todo list. It will have to wait 'til tomorrow. Sleep is coming very soon.


Arvay said...

I cannot wear cotton anything now, except jeans. It's all wool or synthetic for me. I run in a cotton T-shirt when it's very warm and I know I will end up shedding it within a few minutes, because then it makes a nice towel to carry with me. But anything that actually stays on my body can't be cotton!

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised to hear that you know the material properties of cotton, because you are wise and learn from things like that. If only I had asked you whether I should spend $8 for new socks or just suck it up and use whatever was clean...

This was my first real lesson on fibers, and I could not believe just how much of a difference it made. I am not kidding--I lost months of callouses from the balls of my feet, not to mention soft un-calloused skin from the tips of my toes. All of this from a 14-mile long run in shoes that fit perfectly at a reasonable pace on a mellow-temperature day (lows of high 50's, highs in the low 70s) with maybe another mile of walking.

Absolutely nothing compared to the marathons and marathon training I had subjected my feet to in the past.

I had no idea how much difference the fibers could make. And now, I can only imagine the pain of doing a marathon in cotton socks... horrid! I think all those stories I heard about lost toe-nails, blisters, etc. should at least be 50% attributed to socks. Why do more people not discuss this?

Anyways. A lesson well-learned.


Arvay said...

I hiked up and down Mt. Diablo by the steepest trail, in the crappiest hiking boots, with nary a blister thanks to my Smartwool socks! :) Not that that is a good idea, but it just goes to tell you.