Monday, September 23, 2013

Shoe Dilemma

So how has training been the last couple of weeks?  I had mentioned last time that I was tired and feeling sluggish. I know in my head that humidity does make a difference and that it's normal to not run as good in it but I still get disappointed by my runs. I know I shouldn't but they feel so hard and so slow. The last couple of weeks the humidity has gone away again and wow my runs have gotten exponentially better! I just feel GOOD and in my long weekend runs of 18 and 20 miles my pace was really good. It was the type of runs where you just want to keep going, not the kind when you are staring at your watch just waiting for it to hit that target amount of miles so you can stop. It has just made me feel so happy :-) I'm starting to feel like I can really beat my PR of 3:59 in the marathon, well hopefully ;-)  I'm also really proud that I am now sporting multiple blisters on my toes and a nice chafage wound under my left arm from my hydration pack.  That was totally my fault for not having it adjusted properly for the 18 miler.  But I wear my wounds proudly as they are an indicator of hard work!

So I was bored at work one day and browsing the internet.  I don't want you to get the wrong idea that I often don't have much to do at work because really it's quite the opposite but currently I have a student so the last hour or so of the day I am just waiting for him to finish documentation so I can read it and sign it.  Anyway I decided to look at the Blues Cruise 50K website since we are running it in 2 weeks! I've been so focused on trying to PR at NYCM or Philly that I kind of almost forgot about this race. So I wanted to read about it and get myself pumped up. Emir is the one who signed us up for this race because being the IT man that he is, he is on the computer way more than me especially at work. He seems to know everything about everything that is out there on the internet especially when it comes to running and races. He's always so full of the details etc about things that usually I just trust him and what he says. I don't have time nor do I usually care to read all the minutia ;-) I mean that's why I have him, right? So anyway I'm reading the course description and I come across this just casually in the middle of the paragraph:

 "Mile 19 Major stream crossing. Stream is about 55 feet wide and water is usually knee deep"

  My first reaction was " what?!"

My second reaction was "Emir probably told me this while he was blabbing endlessly about the details of the race last month but I wasn't listening as usual. hmmmm should I ask him if he knows about this stream crossing??"

  Of course I'm used to being scolded for not listening so I went ahead and sent the email "Did you know there is a major stream crossing in the 50K??" The reply back "No!!! where did you see that?!" Me: "Ummm the race website. I can't believe you didn't notice that!"

HAHA I had to give him grief for missing that SMALL detail as he always gets on my case about not noticing the details about things. Anyway after the initial shock wore off, I am actually pretty excited to have an added adventure thrown into this race. I love getting wet and dirty, makes things even more fun. But now we have some logistical issues to figure out. The race people are kind enough to have the drop bag pickup right after the stream crossing. So we can easily switch into dry socks and shoes. My issue is more which of my shoes am I ok with getting completely soaked in a stream but also ok with running almost 20 miles in? I have a bunch of shoes in my collection due to my awesome sister-in-law's help but some of them are definitely only ok for half marathon or less distance. Also this is a trail race so while I love my Saucony virratas and will do any distance on road in them, they are thin and flimsy, not good for trails. I have two pairs of trail shoes, Salomon XR Mission and Brooks Cascadia 8.  XR Mission I totally cannot do more than maybe 10ish miles in as I get HUGE blisters in the instep of my feet. I have tried several different insoles in these and nothing has completely gotten rid of this issue. At least it's better than the original insoles that tore up my feet with gaping holes after only 1-2 miles!!! The Cascadia 8's may be a possibility as I am not very attached to them so soaking them would not upset me and I did run my previous 50K in them. However I did have to stop to get my big toes taped up as they were giving me painful blisters. I could just tape my big toes up ahead of time. Then there is the issue of what shoes do I change into for the last 11 or so miles??? I definitely don't want to do my last 11 miles of a trail 50K in my flimsy virratas or Kinvara 3's, that's just asking for injury. I do have a pair of Altra Torins which while they are zero drop they do have a lot of cushion and are not even close to being as flimsy as my virratas. However, I seem to have a problem mostly with my left foot really inverting alot when I run in them. Over the course of a 10-12 mile run I usually develop some significant pain in the instep of my foot. So I don't think I want to do that and I don't think I want to risk tearing my feet up in the XR Mission's with so many other races coming up after this one. My last option is I do have a pair of Mizuno waveriders. These shoes have much more support than any of my other road shoes which is what I thought I had to have in running shoes due to my chronic left shin splint. It probably did help when I was healing from the major episode but now that I consistently wear my shin wrap and that my legs are used to the higher mileage, I have been fine using other shoes. While I originally really liked the mizunos because of the support and they were comfortable now that I have broadened my horizons to lighter shoes and 0mm shoes, I have decided they aren't my preference anymore. However I think they would be suitable for the last 11 miles of this 50K as they are supportive and they are much sturdier with thicker soles than any of my other road running shoes. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!!!

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