Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Big Bad Toe and Ponderings

Thank you everyone for the words of encouragement, I honestly have needed this the last couple days. My wife hung my “finisher” medal on the side of my computer monitor to remind me that I am her finisher, that I didn’t quit when the going got touch. Kind of leaves me choked up somehow…

I tried to sleep longer this morning, but the big toe on my right foot was hurting. So I got up and checked it out, it looked kind of funny, a little white, really strange. I thought maybe I had an ingrown toenail or something so started to trim the side away a bit. Hallelujah with a high-C! It seems I had a most amazingly blister under the big toenail, and when the clippers hit that a big burst of water, blood and whatever came gushing forth accompanied by such a wave of pain...oh yeah I’m awake now. I bandaged it up but its still throbbing – yee gosh. What did Dianna say about getting blisters in new and interesting places during a marathon…yep!

The sun is shining it is supposed to reach 24C/75F today. I want to go out in the garden and start pulling weeds, I’ve neglected this task the last couple weeks. I may go for a walk later on too, I am getting pretty stiff.

Other than my big toe I am feeling surprisingly good, there is a little soreness in my legs, but no pain. I stretched a little bit last night and could really feel the muscles that were giving me so much trouble on Saturday night, they were tender.

I have been looking through my running books and doing a little surfing trying to find a logical reason for my trouble on Saturday. I feel it is important to try to find the root of the problem so that I can adjust my training or marathon strategy for future events.

I like lists, so I am starting one. Here are a few things that I came up with that either I might have done wrong, or could have had an effect on my performance (no particular order):

- Maybe my cold was more established than I realized.
- I wasn’t used to running so late at night.
- The humidity was high.
- I wasn’t used to running on the hard streets.
- Maybe I ran the first half too fast for weather/body conditions.
- Maybe I didn’t stretch sufficiently before the race.
- Maybe I had a calcium/magnesium deficiency.

In any case I am researching this in the interest of improving my training program for the next marathon, which is in September. A couple things that I have already decided to change or implement:

- Add some weight training.
- Add some hill training.
- Do my long runs on mostly asphalt or roads.
- Decrease my shorter runs somewhat, increase my long runs up to almost marathon distance.
- Add some planned cross-training (weight training, swimming, biking).
- Gradually increase the speed of some of my long runs to almost marathon tempo.

I probably don’t have time to implement everything completely, as my next marathon is on September 18th, but I will concentrate on improving strength, endurance, and overall fitness.

I live in a pancake flat area, the only “hill” that I have within practical running distance is a bridge over the highway – sandbox stuff! But, when I am at our garden club, which is 11K/7M from our house there is an entire Vineyard on the hills of that town about 3K/2M from our garden. I only have to bring my running stuff when I go to the garden and head for the hills;-)

Jack, Low calcium, magnesium, or potassium can all contribute to cramps. I find that as the weather warms up, I have to up my dosages to prevent cramping. Thanks to those supplements, I almost never get cramps, even in hot weather. That is a good observation.
Wow, I'm glad you are digging this stuff up, Jack because I have NO CLUE about where I stand for those things. Haven't gone farther than 14 miles yet so I don't know how I am going to do. If the weather changes or something like that, I may just run into trouble.

From what Neca says, it sounds like the electrolytes are on the right track.
Jack! I'm back from NYC and just catching up!! Your blog was one of the first ones I checked...and HOORAY! YOU FINISHED!! You're a marathoner! How cool is that!?

And you stayed strong when other people would have quit...what an accomplishment. I'm so excited for you and proud OF you!

I think the plan to run on paved roads and to run your long runs at race pace will be helpful for your next marathon.

But keep basking in the glow of this one first. You earned it!
Yikes! That toe sounds like a nightmare. God, it really makes me realize what a *whimp* I am about stuff like that!

It's funny, because when you break down all your numbers like that, it's even MORE amazing, what you did. You were so disappointed with your time, but those stats are ones that anyone could be proud of.

I for one can't wait to see what you do in the fall! Take no prisoners.
- Mia
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