Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Got The Point

I haven't run at all since last week's race so I wanted to go for a nice, easy run around town today. Instead of the relaxing run I was hoping for, I got a painful lesson in heal-striking.

After the race last weekend, I noticed my left heel was bothering me. It felt like I stepped on a rock and bruised it. I had a small spot of roughed-up skin on my heel and what looked like it could be a splinter. I poked around at it for a while and had Liz take a closer look (poor Liz) but couldn't figure out what it was or what could have caused it. During the week, it didn't bother me and I forgot about it.

My plan for today was to run down into town and run a lap around the neighborhood from the Harvest Moon 5K before coming home. At first, everything was fine and it was a great day for a run.

About two miles into the run, I started to notice my heel again. It didn't really hurt, but it felt like I had a very small rock in my shoe. It was the same spot as last week so I made a mental note to shake out my shoe when I got home.

Over the course of the next mile, that annoying little rock really started to hurt. I finally stopped to clean my shoe out but when I sat to take it off, I caught a glimpse of something shiny on the bottom of my shoe. I looked closer and there was a large safety pin between the treads stabbing into my heel. I tried to pull it out, but couldn't get my fingers in far enough to get a grip. I looked inside my shoe and the pin must have been just beneath the insole and only poked through when I landed on my heel. I was about halfway through my run and still had over two miles left to get home so it was shaping up to be an annoying finish.

I got going again and found that as long as I was landing on my mid-foot or fore-foot, my heel didn't hurt at all. Unfortunately, Eureka is a hilly place and I apparently land on my heels when I run downhill. I also seem to put pressure on my heel when I turn a corner. So for the trip home, I focussed on my form more than I usually do and tried to lean forward to stay off of my heels.

The longer I ran, the less it seemed to take for the pin to dig into my foot. By the last mile, I was basically running on my toes and that still didn't help completely. I tried stopping to walk but that wasn't helpful either. By the end, it felt like the pin wasn't just poking me, but was actually tearing at the top layer of skin.

When I got home, I pulled my shoe off to find a bloody spot in my shoe and a bloody hole in my sock.

I checked the pin again and saw why it was getting worse late in the run. A rock got wedged in right on top of the pin. Every time I landed on my heel, that rock probably pushed the pin in even deeper.

I grabbed some needle-nose pliers and yanked the pin out of my shoe. It's funny that something so small can make a run so uncomfortable.


That's definitely a first for me. It's a good thing I had to get a tetanus booster as part of the vaccines required to meet my new niece!

Goal For The Day: Easy Run.
Distance: 4.93 Miles.
Time: 35:00. 7:06 Avg. (6:50, 6:48, 6:59, 7:19, 7:00*).
Route: Old Town Eureka Loop with Harvest Moon Extension.
Conditions: 45 degrees. 1:08PM.

Notes: I just kept thinking of Gary Shandling's line at the end of Ironman 2: "It's funny how annoying a little prick can be."

Daily Miles: 4.93 Miles.
Blog Totals:
  Run - 614.55 Miles.
  Bike - 144.45 Miles.
  Swim - 14,350+ meters.

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