When I walked Bennie on his long walk this morning, I knew it was going to be a tough day when he turned around at the lower gate. It was pretty muggy and he doesn’t do well with high humidity, so we did the mile and he got back to relaxing with our doggie-day-care guests.
Which meant that I got to head into town early for my long run today.
I figured that I would head outside for 4-5 miles and finish up on the treadmill. When I got to Planet Fitness, the sun broke through and it warmed up too freaking quickly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill and doing a lot of miles this morning, so I headed outside and figured that I would decide on the course when I got to the 1.0 mile mark.
By the time I got there, I had already started to sweat, but as long as I stayed in the shady sections, it wasn’t too miserable, just passable miserable. Once I got there, I decided to do the Colby Loop, but do it backwards. Which was a pretty good decision.
I prefer to hit the hills a little earlier in the run and going up Lincoln Street at the end of mile 2 was better than the long uphill to go up Mayflower at about mile 4. Everything was going along nicely until I got to the Colby construction area and came up on a slow moving crane in the road. The only safe place to pass it was on the side of the road by the pond and it is pretty canted in that area.
Back up for a minute, the Reebok Grasse Roads were doing really great, I love the feel and they were comfortable, but I had stayed primarily on the wrong side of the road for running and the cant of the road made the plastic heel cup in them rub against my lower left ankle just a little. Not enough to blister, just enough to know it was there. I had forgotten to get the pliers out to loosen up the plastic heel counter – something I have learned the hard way to do with that kind of heel cup.
So when I hit that severe cant by the pond it drove the heel cup just below my left ankle each time I stepped until I got by the crane. Once I ran on level road again, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I had removed skin from below the left ankle. Luckily, the FieldHouse was just up the road and I needed to do a pit stop anyway, so I figured I would be able to do a little repair work on the ankle at the same time.
I asked the desk attendant for a band-aid, did my business and then went outside to survey the damage. Not quite as bad as I thought, running on that angle had caused the heel cup to move some skin upwards towards the ankle. I put the band-aid over it for some cushion and got back to running.
Unfortunately, during that break it felt like it had warmed up another 5* degrees and with the way my ankle felt, I just wasn’t into the run any longer. The ankle bothered, but not enough to stop and of course the other ankle had to start complaining, even though the heel cup didn’t wear through the skin.
When I got done, I had over 7.0 miles total and a soaked hat/shirt that needed to be wrung out in the sink before I put it in the gym bag. With the ankle biter going on and 7.0+ miles on a hot/humid day, I decided that I had done enough and went into the stretching room and wound down from the run.
Normally, if a pair of running shoes do this to my ankles, I just move on from them.
So when I got home, I checked out the heel counter and I couldn’t bend it with my fingers, so no wonder it bit into the ankle. I got out my trusty leatherman and bent, doubled-over, and did everything I could to loosen up the plastic enough so that it wouldn’t bite anymore.
However, even though I got a little ankle biter from the Grasse Roads, there is something about these shoes that I really, really like and want to see if I can get the heel counter softened up enough so they it is no longer an issue. I just like the way they feel on my feet and how I run in them.
Who knows if they are still bothering after using my leatherman on them, the next time I run in them. I might get out the scalpel, scissors and a little needle/thread action. Then surgically reduce the outside of the plastic heel counter.
Yeah, I like the Grasse Roads that much.
Actually, I was surprised at how well I did run despite the heat/humidity levels and then to deal with the ankle biter stuff and still do the 7.0 miles at a sub 9:00 pace without pushing the pace. Everything else felt pretty good today.
Now to enjoy the sting of liquid skin a few times tonight and build up a little callous under the ankle. 🙂