Hoka, Round Three

I’ve been absent on here for a while, but I have not been absent from running. On the contrary, I have stepped it up a notch and signed up for my first races of the year: a half at the beginning of October, The Urban Cow Half in Sacramento, and a 10K in neighboring San Francisco. I mostly signed up for the 10K to fundraise for the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 campaign. This is a great fundraiser, as it provides meals for hungry people right in our own communities.

I am also thinking of doing another half marathon at the beginning of November, but I have yet to sign up for it. Tick tock… in a few days the price will be increasing.

Yesterday I had my third long run in my training plan, 11 miles. It was pretty good, except for my chronic problem of blisters. I just can’t seem to get away from them when I start to increase my mileage. After 4 weeks of ramping up my mileage, they have returned, tenfold. Check out this nasty little blood sucker.

i know... gross!
i know… gross and OUCH!

It actually looks a tad better today. And in some ways, this blister was a wake up to stop running in pain and do something proactive. That made me take my shoes back to the awesome running store, The San Francisco Running Store, located in Mill Valley, to get refitted and to return the Hoka’s I’ve been wearing. Not because I don’t like them, because I do—I love them! But, the model I have been wearing seems to have a slight defect, the side stitching tears apart. And since this was the second pair I have had this happen to, (yes, the SF Running Co. replaced that first pair free of charge!) I decided I needed to get a different model altogether.

tearing apart
the bondi shoe tearing apart

The guys who work at the store are so incredibly helpful. They refitted me and I actually went up another half size and in another model, the Stinson Tarmac. They guys admitted that Hoka has had a few problems with the Bondi shoe that I was wearing and so, they replaced my Bondi’s with the Tarmac, free of charge. THAT IS AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

stinson tarmac, pretty color too!
stinson tarmac, pretty color too!

I also picked their brains and ended up buying these toe socks! I would never have thought I would buy such a sock, but at this point, I will try anything to get rid of the blisters. It really makes for miserable long runs.

so 70's!
so 70’s!

Then they offered to let me try a new product, this WalkGoo.

that said I should give them my feetback... get it? feedback...
they said I should give them my feetback… get it? feedback…

They said it’s also supposed to help prevent blisters and they asked me to be their test person and to let them know how it works. They are not selling it yet. That was pretty cool. I love that store! And, I was so happy to find this item too:

my perfect solution
my perfect solution for long runs

When I did my long run yesterday I was nervous setting out because of my ugly painful blister. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to run the distance and wanted my phone with me in case I needed to get a ride home. (although, I am a pretty determined gal and hate to quit.) I hate wearing a waist belt, and I hate wearing an armband, both items which I already own. I was thinking on my run that I wish I could hold my phone and water bottle together, and voilà! I see it today in the store. This is a case of putting it out there in the universe and having it happen! I love that too!!

Yesterday I got lucky and somehow was able to stuff my phone in a waterproof pouch in my skimpy shorts back zip pocket. I’m also happy about having the phone on that bottle because I can now use my running app, Endomondo, even though I have a Garmin, which is what I usually use on long runs because I don’t want to carry my phone in my hand like I do on short runs. The Garmin, like the other constricting items make me uncomfortable. I don’t like stuff wrapped around me when I’m running. I tolerate the Garmin and wear it loosely, like a braclet. I’ve never worn watches because of this.

Despite the painful blister, I was able to complete my 11 mile run yesterday without too much pain. Only in the last 2 miles did it really become more difficult to carry on. But then I remembered this cool sign I saw once.

my blisters were kicking my ass too!
my blisters were kicking my ass too!

I like to think I’m kicking ass. I like to think I could run so much further and faster if my darn toes and feet didn’t hurt so frickin’ much. The good news is, I ran an average pace of 9:46. My training plan had called for a 10:10 pace. My goal for the half is to PR and that means that I have to run under a 9 minute mile the whole race. I think I can do this. I know I can! So I just need to get my feet happy and make it happen.

Yesterday after I got home, I could hardly walk my blistered feet hurt so much, so I’m gonna give my feet one more day of rest from running to get my bloody blister feeling better, then back to my training. I’m pretty stoked to try out my new shoes, which I will do tomorrow with an easy walk. Hopefully that won’t hurt them too much. Most of the pain has subsided by now. Plus I want to test out the new socks and Walkgoo. That will start on Tuesday for a short run. It scares me a tad to change things up while training for a race, but I can’t continue on with the blisters. So, hopefully this won’t cause any other side effects. One thing I have learned is to listen to my body. That I will do for sure. Injury and pain is not worth it in the long run, or on a long run. 😉

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2 thoughts on “Hoka, Round Three

  1. Definitely give it a rest!! I was going to run the Urban Cow half but am doing the Folsom Blues Breakout half instead. Have fun & good luck!

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