My Kung Fu Is Weak

Running just hasn't been going well for me the past seven days, so to borrow a phrase from my bloggy/real-life friend Joel, my kung fu has been weak.

It started with allergies and antihistimines and decongestants. I forgot how difficult those medicines make running! Then the heat wave hit. We've had upper 70's and 80's (89 yesterday!) for about a week. It is like running through sludge. Breathing is labored, and it takes intense effort to get below a 10-minute mile. Now that I mentioned it, I don't think I have actually run a mile under a 10-minute pace in the last week!

I know I will adapt to warm weather running again. Last night in my running class, we just ran slow and easy on a not-too-hilly course. No Monday night hillwork, no speed work, just a slow, enjoyable run. It was 86 when we started, but there was a nice breeze. Apparently if you run above an 11-minute pace, the heat isn't so bad!

Yuck--I feel like I was just making progress at running sub-10-minute miles as my "regular," comfortable pace.

Last Saturday I made a big mistake with my training group, and I hope they will forgive me. We are training for a hilly race, and I planned a hilly 11-miler. Actually, I didn't think the run would be THAT hilly. We were running a 2.6 mile greenway with 2 huge hills coming and going. Well, by the time we did that twice, that is 8 huge hills! I advised them to walk up the hills, but I probably should have asked them to walk down, too. I think it was the downhills that got our toenails. Three of us (at least) now have one or more bruised toenails. Running steep downhills makes your foot slide forward and pound into the toe of your shoe, even when they are plenty big! I didn't have any sore nails in 26.2 a couple of months ago, but that darn 11-miler left me with two!

So, just in time for summer, I'll lose the 2nd toenails AGAIN. (I think you are more prone to that if your 2nd toe is longer than your big one.) Last summer, I sported only 6 nails, having lost the big ones AND the second ones in the April full marathon. It doesn't make for pretty feet, but WHO AM I KIDDING? They weren't that pretty before, either!

My toenails hurt when I walk, wear socks, or the covers touch them in bed--that's how sore they are. It almost feels like the toes are broken! I hope the soreness goes away soon because IT'S GO TIME!

I have a RACE this Saturday. I used to be a race-once-a-month kind of gal, but now I pick and choose. I have chosen a 10K since I haven't run one since October of 2008. At that time, I was being paced by a fast friend and didn't have sore feet, so I pulled out an unexpected 9:23 pace for 6 miles. How did I do that? Two marathons and four half-marathons later, I'm just not sure I've got a 9:23 in me. Maybe I can blame the toenails. :-)


Have fun at the race! Hope you can hang onto your toenails!
Kate said…
yikes!! i'm sure they forgave you. those are good battle wounds! ;) i currently have 1 purple toe nail. :) always hard to adjust to the heat. i am noticing that too. it seems there are just extremes here - cold and hot - where is REAL spring?!!
lawmonkey13 said…
Ouch! Sorry to hear about the toenails. And I know we'll adapt to the heat soon enough, because when the temperature dropped to 60 today, I thought it was chilly! I'm not running the Purity 10k this year, but I may drag the kids out there to cheer runners on. Good luck!