Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

Revenge of the Feet

I’m convinced that my feet are long dead.  After all of the 4″ heels that I’ve propped them up on, all the rock shoes I’ve crammed them into, and all the hiking shoes that have made callouses thicker than rawhide – yes my feet have long since died and gone to purgatory.  I’m not sure what they did wrong but this weekend those poor feet of mine slipped into the 5th circle of hell.  My feet are very angry at me, they’re paying for it and so am I…

Saturday morning I met up with some girlfriends to run the local Haggen 2 Haggen 5K!  This was the 19th running of this event.  It starts at a local chain grocery store at the south end of Bellingham, runs through the downtown area and ends at another location for this same grocery chain.  There must have been around 1,500 participants this year with walkers starting a half hour before the runners.  I just wish it didn’t start so darn early in the morning!  Okay, maybe it’s not that early.  But I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m not a morning person and had it not been for the motivation of going running with friends, I may not have swung my doomed feet out of bed that morning.

Barefoot shoes are great!  If you like to run trails in the summer they are dream come true!  Super lightweight, decent traction, ultra breathable, and allow your feet to build muscle and run as nature intended.  I’m a fan.  But barefoot shoes are best eased into, a key point that I neglected to recall on my beautiful Saturday run…  It’s been so cold in these parts that I put my barefoot shoes away in October and my toes haven’t heard tell of them since.  So when I busted them out of the ol’ closet on Saturday I probably should have done some walking in them before taking them out for a 5k.

Us girls met up bright and early, shivering in the chill morning air, looking at the clouds overhead and hoping the skies wouldn’t open the floodgates on us.  We waited with hundreds of others near the finish line, getting anxious when our cellphones declared that we should have started minutes ago.  But soon enough the crowd ahead started to shuffle forward, then to walk, and finally to break into a steady jog.  The uber-runners streaked past on the outside like greased lightning while the rest of us huffed our way up and down the steady hills.

Traffic downtown was at a standstill, for us!  I don’t know why, but a part of me loves doing these races downtown when the streets get closed down.  Running along a car lane and “owning” the road like that is a bit of an ego rush, I suppose.  Normally I’m trying NOT to get run over when I run or ride my bike.  But this time, the runners ruled the road!  I’ve been that car waiting for the runners to go by too, so I know there are two sides of it – I just like being on the side that gets road rights.

By this time my left foot felt like it was being poked with needles, centralized but multiple needles.  There had been some tiny pebbles in my shoe apparently, I felt them during the first mile but thought it was a small thing and I didn’t want to have my friends wait for me if I could tough it out.  So I ran.  And I ran.  And the needle sensation increased with each footfall.  During the last half mile of the race I finally gave in and stopped to clean out my shoe.  And there it was, the beginnings of a not so lovely blister.  Back on the shoe went and we pounded into the home stretch with everything we had left in us.  A great run wrapped up!

Back home and hobbling around, I decided to figure out just why a little blister could have my foot so angry with me.  Under the main blister I discovered 4 mini blisters, each no bigger than the head of a pin.  It’s day two of recovery and my foot is still vengeful of how I mistreated it.  I’ll be gimping around for another few days, including the hike that I’m supposed to do tomorrow with a friend.  The moral of the story, children, is this: be kind to your feet and they will be kind to you.  Oh, and run lots with friends because it’s way more fun!


16 comments on “Revenge of the Feet

  1. The Byronic Man
    May 7, 2012

    Aren’t barefoot runners awesome?? I can be, well, vain, but I even took the plunge with those hideous Vibram Toe shoes, because they’re just so damn comfortable and effective. And my feet just keep getting stronger and stronger.

    And climbing shoes sucks.

    • Audrey
      May 7, 2012

      YES! Barefoot shoes rock. How do you the Five Fingers? They don’t make them small enough for me so the toes just don’t work… it’s awesome how they strengthen your feet. Ha, we’re SUCH NWers!
      I love rock climbing but yeah, the shoes are miserable. Especially if you like having a really aggressive stance…

      • The Byronic Man
        May 7, 2012

        Oh, that’s right – I remembered a couple days ago “Someone asked me where in the NW I live… hmmmm…” So, I live in Bend (hopefully that means something to you).

        The Five Fingers are just so, so ugly, but they’re very snug, so my feet don’t slide like they can in closed-toe minimal shoes. It’s surprising how well you can go over rough terrain, though. You have to stay “light,” and stray twigs can hurt, but I think they’re great (they’re also fairly new, though, and I love new toys, so ask me again in 5 months).

      • Audrey
        May 7, 2012

        Bend? As in Smith Rock is your backyard? So very jealous, I’ve turned a lovely shade of emerald! Please say that your rock climb every weekend?
        Haha, I hear ya, the Five Fingers aren’t the greatest fashion statement. Keep me posted on how you like them through the summer. I’ve had mine since last summer and am hooked now!

  2. Robyn Burke
    May 7, 2012

    “my dogs are barking” is a phrase I utter on many occasion. I have suffered through several episodes of plantar facitis (sic) and it is.no.fun. but it usually comes on from frivolous things such as living in flip flops all summer rather than amazing fun things like running marathons!! Go Audrey!

    • Audrey
      May 10, 2012

      Breaking in those new flip flops can be brutal! I feel my foot issues are kind of similar though – totally avoidable if I just used my noggin. 🙂 Hopefully you will have a lot less foot pain this summer as you ease into those lovely flip flops!

  3. ethelthedean
    May 7, 2012

    Urg, blisters are the absolute worst! Take care of those feeties of yours – give them some TLC and they’ll be right as rain in a jiffy. 🙂

    The most brutal blister I have ever had was when I ran my first half last year. I had made the HUGE mistake of getting a pedicure two weeks prior (I told the woman all I wanted was the massage and my toe nails painted, but she insisted on working on my callous!) and about two-thirds through the race my big toe started to feel really hot. By the end, I had a blood blister the size of a half dollar on the side of my toe – it as hideous and scary and ridiculous!

    Glad you has such a lovely time with your mates. Running with others is always such a great pick me up!

    • Audrey
      May 10, 2012

      The feets are feeling much better now. 🙂

      Dang, Lady! Sounds like you’ve survived some gnarly blisters! You must have been miserable, it’s bad when you can feel it happening but aren’t able to do anything about it really. Not running is just not an option, right?! 😉 And your poor hands, how are they healing up??

      You and Mr. M seem to be knocking out some rad training for the TM! So excited for you guys!

  4. thingsmybellylikes
    May 7, 2012

    Oooh congrats on making it through the long run without falling over. I’m sure your feet will forgive you…eventually. I find the best thing for blisters is to soak them in warm salty water. It shrinks them and reduces the inflammation. Either that or enlist a willing friend/slave to carry and fetch while you put your feet up for a few days 🙂

    • Audrey
      May 10, 2012

      Thank you! It was a blast and definitely helps to do it with friends. I tried the salt water and it did wonders, thanks so much for the tip! The slave was a difficulty to track down, but that was my favorite of the two options… 😉 Your walk is coming up soon right? Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  5. whatimeant2say
    May 7, 2012

    Was that beautiful picture taken before or after the run? Because I am totally impressed that you looked that good if it was after!

    • Audrey
      May 10, 2012

      This was taken after the run, surprisingly! I’m sure the one taken DURING the run has windblown hair and beet-red faces… 🙂

  6. captainariel
    May 8, 2012

    You should help me pick some trail runners :]

  7. Worrywart
    May 11, 2012

    You are way too young to have dead feet. The worrywart in me feels compelled to tell you that up until a year ago I was a crosscountry coach. I broke my toe running in trail shoes (but stupidly on pavement) about four years ago. Hello, 50 pounds! So, now I’m easing my way back into running (I had to bike with the kids instead of run after the toe break and it’s still broken). Anyway, TAKE CARE OF THOSE FEET! :-)Coincidentally, I’m off to buy a new pair of running shoes right now since I’ve committed to the triathlon. I love the teal!

    • Audrey
      May 17, 2012

      Yes, I better start looking out for them a little better – lesson learned! It’s amazing what a little broken toe can do… I’m glad you’re back to running!! A broken took me out of commission for volleyball season back in high school. Take pics of the running shoes (I’ve mentioned I love shoes, yes?)! 🙂

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