Running in France V - Holy feet, Batman!
Basically this was the first time I’d found a shop that actually took any notice of my feet, and how I run on them, and what kind of running I do. The result is that these are absolutely the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever worn.
Last week we were staying with my wife’s parent’s in France, and having flown Ryanair (“you wanna put any luggage in the hold? Oh, that’s extra.”), I couldn’t take my bike. And it’s too cold to swim at this time of year. So this ended up as a week of running - both in France, and in Kent while we were staying at my parents’, which is nearer to Stansted airport.
The trouble is that so far I’ve only been running twice a week, and even then only relatively short distanes - intervals on a treadmill, plus weekly (-ish) longer runs of around 5-6 miles. I know - not really pushing it. But I’ve been having such fun on the bike and in the pool!
So suddenly stepping up the distance AND frequency of my running was, with hindsight, probably asking for a little tiny bit of trouble.
My problem is that when I was running at school and while at university (a long time ago) (in a galaxy far, far away), shoes tended not to have arch supports. As a result, I have somewhat collapsed arches on both my feet. What this means is that every year after the rest season, I have a fairly hard time of it when I start to run again. This time is spent with my feet hardening up again.
And it’s not a pretty sight. If you really want to see, read on . . .
Now don’t say I didn’t warn you. Basically, what’s happened is the arch support in my shoes has rubbed a hole in the very soft skin on the arch of my foot. Actually, it’s worse than that - my right foot’s just the same!
Fortunately, this is a problem I get pretty much every year, so I know what to do. Here’s my advice for blisters (but remember, I’m not a doctor):
- Recognise when you’ve got a blister. That burning feeling on your feet isn’t normal!
- Take the short route back home. If you’re in a race, I know you’re gonna home via the finish line. But if it’s a training run, why punish yourself - if you end up with a really serious blister, you will miss more training than just the shortcut home you take today. So don’t be a hero.
- Make sure you wash the blistered area thoroughly when you shower, and pat it dry after - don’t rub it.
- Now clean the blister again with surgical spirit (a.k.a. rubbing alcohol?).
- Dip a sharp, clean needle in the alcohol, and set alight to it to steralise it. Hold the needle in a pair of tweezers or pliers when you do this, or you’ll burn your fingers!
- OK, now clench your teeth, and puncture the blister at one end with the needle. Apply gentle pressure from the other end of the blister to drain it completely.
- If you were one of the nutters who’s been through infantry training and enjoyed it, at this point you’d inject the blister with surgical spirit to speed the healing. But that really hurts, so I never do that.
- Clean the area again with the surgical spirit, and leave it to dry.
- The dead skin that forms the blister will re-attatch to the inside of the blister, and within a few days it’ll begin to harden off.
Now you could think that what I’m saying here is that the fitting service offered by SheRunsHeRuns is no good - I’ve still got blisters. But far from it. Usually when I start my base training right at the beginning of the season, I get these blisters when running only 2-3 miles twice a week. This year, it took a week in which I ran just over 30 miles to get the same problem cropping up.
So SheRunsHeRuns still gets my vote.