my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

Countdown to my next race OR an admission of my bad habits!

Compeed blister plasters - they are AMAZING!

Compeed blister plasters – they are AMAZING!

Last week I blogged about a new pair of running trainers I bought – the Saucony Hattori LCs. Despite all advice, my own experiences and wariness about running too long in a new pair of trainers, I obviously did run too far in them on my first run. I ran 6km. Not a big distance, but long enough for me to develop a mother of a blister on the ball of my right foot. Despite the picture above, I haven’t bothered, or felt the need to use blister plasters this time round (but check out this time when I really needed to use some!

I tried leaving it to heal itself, but nearly a week later, I was still aware of a bubble separating my foot from the outer layers of my skin. I tried siphoning out the liquid a few days ago, but I ran out of patience. I kept gathering the thick skin in my fingers, thinking how satisfying it would be to get rid of this skin that is, at some point, going to come away anyway. So, at 20 past midnight last night, I took the plunge and crept to the bathroom, wielding a tiny pair of scissors to cut the skin away from the underside of my foot, while my wife slept blissfully unaware in bed.

I’ll let you into a secret here. I LOVE picking things! As a sporty person, I’m always getting grazes that turn into scabs (and have had since I was a little boy), and I enjoy nothing better than picking at them. I have a horrible habit of biting my fingernails or skin around them too, that I even do without knowing I’m doing it, particularly when I’m watching something tense on the TV, or even just concentrating on what piece of work I’m marking. I also get a deep sense of satisfaction in picking my toenails off. So, it doesn’t seem to matter what I pick, I just like picking. No orifice is left unpicked, from my nose to my ears, I am like a baboon – I love to preen!

Now, I can see you with your face all screwed up, but really, come on! I bet you have some bad habits too! Feel free to let them out to the world on my blog – leave a comment below about your bad habits – believe me, it feels good to have them off your chest!

Barack Obama

It feels good to get things off your chest!

Anyway, I now find myself with very sensitive skin on the ball of my right foot, with my ten mile race less than three weeks away. I have two ‘time trial’ parkruns these next two Saturdays as well and I was planning on running home tonight and on Thursday this week too. I was hoping to get a longer run in tonight but I’m really thinking that won’t be a great idea now – so, I’ll probably cycle AGAIN! Indeed, since writing this initially, I have ridden home. The feet need a bit of TLC I think.

So far this month I’ve managed the incredible(!) feat of cycling 250km, thanks in large part to this ride:

However, my running this month has taken a nose dive for a few reasons:

  1. The weather has been atrocious at times, meaning that I’ve cycled rather than ran, as it is quicker to get home/to work.
  2. I’ve been needed at home a lot and earlier than usual this month as my wife has been finding it hard dealing with being pregnant in her first trimester, plus looking after two young, needy children! Therefore, I’ve cycled rather than ran as again, it is quicker.
  3. I cycled a lot more than ran last week because I wanted to protect my developing blister.

So, in the same period that I have ridden 250km, I’ve only managed 67km of running. I know. It’s almost embarrassing – and I call myself a runner!

So, my working plan is this: cycle home tonight, complete rest day tomorrow, and then cycle in, run home on Thursday. This should help me see if running a fast 5k parkrun on Saturday is doable or not.

I reckon the skin on my foot should be toughened enough by Thursday to run on it, don’t you?

In other news – I’ve been given a pair of cycling shoes! A colleague of mine has dug out an old pair he was going to chuck away for me to give them a test. He reckons once I try them out, I will never go back to toe clips and trainers for riding a bike! I also have access to some SPD pedals too, so I’m excited to try these out and become even more of a cyclist. It’ll help me in my competition with friends who cycle and use Strava too! Bring on more segment leaderboard positions! This is the one I have been competing with a colleague at work most on:

So, in summary this post has shown you that despite all best laid plans, new trainers will still give you blisters if you don’t break them in really gently (i.e. run less than 6km in them on your first run!). Two, you now know I am actually human and have bad habits like everyone else. And finally, three, I have a plan to rectify the current big imbalance between cycling and running currently well in favour of cycling.

For news on how I get on with this plan, keep coming back for regular (weekly) updates on mah blog!

Enjoy your run or ride, and be safe!



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