Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hills, Toes and Tofu

Rob, Sonya and I tackled the hill run again today - that's the "infamous Crystal Ridge Hill run" mentioned by Rob a couple of days ago. Let me just say, I am definitely a "mere mortal" because it is challenging for me. Sonya and I were both sucking wind on the big hill, doing the "uh-huh" thing again ( though actually Sonya was getting out an occasional "right", or "okay", while I just tried to breathe), and Rob was just chatting away. He wasn't even breathing hard! The six mile version of the run starts and finishes at our house - leaving out one big hill that is included when the run is to/from the Y. In exchange, we get two small hills - one in the neighborhoods reroute, one on the way back to my house. Sonya and I are planning to give it a try from the Y - if we can fit it in to our busy race schedule.

So, blisters. I caused quite a furor in the Running Club last year when Emily asked for blister advice. I told her what I did - cut it open, cut all the skin away and keep running on it till it bleeds. I was half joking - the run on it till it bleeds part is not intentional, but I'm not giving up a run for a blister. Anyway, I got all the lectures about infection. It seems to me that if I just lance the blister, it just refills by night fall. Cutting it open takes care of that. I know it's bad, and I've been trying not to do it.

I have three places I typically get blisters - on the end of each of my second toes (which are NOT longer than my big toe, so I don't know why they blister) and on the outside ball of my left foot - on a developing bunion. I usually get these blisters right about this time of year - when it gets warmer. I can only guess that my feet swell a little and sweat a lot when it's warmer. I also have sensitive toes (Eric would say I have toe issues) so though I wear cool-max socks, I won't wear toe socks. I'm bringing it up today because I've had chronic blisters on those toes ever since I started back to running after surgery. I've been really good. I've swabbed them with alcohol, then cleaned the needle with alcohol, then lanced, neosporin and bandaids. They start to heal, then a day or so later, they are back. I've run with bandaids over them - that works for about four miles, then the bandaids start to slip off. Last week I gave up and cut them open. Everything was good till Sunday's rainy run - it was too wet and the blisters were back. I took care of them again, then yesterday afternoon, the hot run brought them back - plus the bandaid slipped on the left foot and caused a blister on top of the toe, just below the nail. Oh, and this is the toe that I lost a nail on about seven years ago (during a hot STN with bad shoes). So the toenail is thick, ugly and probably fungus-y.

Help! Advice? I've heard (and seen) duct tape. I'm willing to try it, I was hoping I could get them healed first because duct tape on sore toes sounds bad. I'm thinking about trying those toe cap thingies - though with toe issues I don't know if it'll work. Any advice is appreciated.

Toes make me think of tofu. I don't want you to think that I've given up on tofu jerky. I'm actually on my third batch - I've been experimenting. I'm liking it better and better, Eric is liking it less and less. That's okay though because he can eat real beef jerky or turkey jerky, he doesn't need mine.

That's probably enough with the toes and tofu. I'll post my runs and be finished.

Tuesday am: 5 miles, 1:00:11
Tuesday pm: 5 miles, 58:48
Wednesday am: 6 miles, 1:15:14

Thanks for checking in!


olga said...

Michelle, I don't have much advice for dealing with blisters besides the one you gave:) But check out this guru ( and browse his posts or ask him direct - he is a "foot man".
Good runs!

TryAthlete said...

My tip on dealing with blisters is to apply Vaseline on the blister-prone areas before you run. I used to get blisters on runs exceeding 10 miles, but when I applied Vaseline to run 30K my feet were not affected. (My second toes are not longer than my big toes either.)

robtherunner said...

Two words. Super Glue!

Anne said...

I'm plagued by blisters on the sides of my big toes when it's warm and I sweat more. I've never tried duct tape, just because I think removing it might be too painful if the blister hasn't fully healed. I use white medical tape. I wrap my entire toe in it and cut a notch at the top of the toenail so it adheres well. So far, so good. Oh, and I use Bodyglide on all other areas.

backofpack said...

I've heard of Superglue too, but I'm not sure what you do with it - explain, please!

Donald said...

I don't have the pleasure of first-hand experience here, but at Western States they lance the blister, put super glue in it, and duct tape on top.

You really should check out aquaphor, too...

susie said...

Hehe, I ran today with someone who talked the entire time without breathing hard...and I could hardly get a sentence out without panting. Oh well.

Dori said...

Jeanne posted some pictures of her bunion-blisters and you might find some of the comments helpful. Superglue on your skin just seems wrong. I've never had problems with blisters, though I'm not sure why.

Liv said...

Ugh, everybody's crazy, cutting and supergluing and ew. ew. ew!!!

I've heard a lot of people put Bodyglide on their toes, and that stops the blisters before they start. Which, in my opinion, is definitely the best way to go!

PuddyRat said...

Another option I've heard of is a product called "moleskin." I don't know if it will work, but here's a link:

angie's pink fuzzy said...

moleskin = wonderful!

I get blisters on my second toes too, even though they are not longer!

good luck with the blister prevention, check out