Health & Fitness.

A new language

Way back in July, when I started running regularly (on a treadmill, 2 miles at a time, 2-3 times a week, nowhere near what I’m doing now) I bought some running socks at Target.  They weren’t any brand I recognize, something generic like Pro-Spirit or something. That had several inches of material above the shoes (HATE ANKLE SOCKS. HATE.) and they were so thick and soft that they felt like pillows under my feet. For the first time with any running phase I went through, I didn’t get one blister. NOT ONE. Those socks became my new best friends.

I have worn of the pairs from that 3-pack with every run since. My 2-miles 3 times a week has upped to what was last week: 25 miles in ONE WEEK. I noticed with my last two long runs that I was starting to get tiny blisters. They weren’t painful and I didn’t even noticed them until I looked at my feet. I decided I must be wearing out my awesome socks, so I decided to get more.


Of course they don’t. That’s my life. So, I bought the pair that looked to be the current version of my favorites. They were ankle socks (HATE.) but they seemed kinda soft and thick. Not as soft and thick as my others, but I bought them. And like a TOTAL DUMBASS, I wore them on my long run. No, I didn’t give them a try on my 5-mile run or my 3-mile run. Nope. I put them on during my 11.6 mile run. I’M A GENIUS.

At mile 8? I started really feeling like I was getting blisters. So, by mile 11? I was having to FORCE myself to keep running to the end of my route. I was in a lot of pain in general. I guess running and menstruating don’t go together well…my uterus took out it’s anger on my back, my thighs, my knees and every other part of my body. I really had to push myself more than I’ve ever had to. The last two miles of my long runs are usually easy, but yesterday? Every time my foot hit the ground I thought I was going to cry. IT SUCKED.

So. I decided to do what I should have done all along. Ask the professionals.

I ended up going to Fleet Feet because I really like talking to them. They are all either distance road-runners (beep beep) or trail-runners. They also keep tons of staff in the store because they like giving everyone personal attention. They even have a treadmill they’ll get you to run on and they’ll video your run (feet only!) and play it back slowly to see if there’s a special type of shoe or insert you need for your running style. I love them there.

The girl working helped me out by saying, “This is our best seller among women long-distance runners.” That was enough for me. But do you want to know something? For you non-runners out there, this will probably shock you as much as me. You are not supposed to WEAR COTTON SOCKS. Seriously! Who knew? Evidently, cotton retains moisture which increases the occurrence of blisters over long distances. AWESOME. Fleet Feet doesn’t even carry any socks with cotton in them. Isn’t that weird?

OH. And do you know what else I learned? You aren’t supposed to wear the shoes you run in when you are just out strolling or shopping or whatever. Evidently you have a different style with walking than running and you’ll wear your shoes in two different ways which will be bad on your body when you run. Or some-such technical speak. FASCINATING.

I’m learning so much. Like, don’t be a dumbass and wear brand-new (cheap) socks on an 11-mile run.

11 thoughts on “A new language”

  1. I’m glad to know I’m not the only person that hates ankle socks. I cannot wear them!! I really was beginning to think I was the only person!

    I think the miles you are running is awesome. I can barely do 1.5 miles on the treadmill.

    Keep up the good work and do something good for your feet!

  2. This is why you stock up on things that work 🙁 I like ankle socks but they sometimes give me blisters. Also, that surprised me about not wearing the same shoes to run as you do to walk. Hmm…I need to get more shoes…heehee.

  3. I discovered that if you will cover the area that already has a blister or you think may blister with Nexcare Flexible clear tape (it has little holes in it) a blister won’t form. My son used it when he ran cross country and it really works. It even works with “regular” shoes that you have no intention of running it….most of mine.

  4. I have some comfortable non-cotton running socks that are the C9 brand that Champion makes for Target. I bought them a couple years ago when I was training for a half marathon and was very happy with them. I also used to put a bit of Bodyglide on the parts of my feet more prone to blistering before a long run.

  5. Congrats on your 11 miles! Sorry about the socks. Two other bits of advice: don’t wear new shoes on a long run, and make sure you break in a pair of shoes sufficiently before the actual marathon. Also, keep your toe nails clipped pretty short. Otherwise you can get blisters underneath the nail and the nail will eventually fall off (and take forever to grow back). Probably just in time for you to wear open toed shoes to your brother’s wedding – or 10 year class reunion.

  6. It’s so true about not wearing your running shoes for every day use. Besides, you wear them out quicker as well. I am so impressed, Miss Zoot. And don’t worry- we all have to learn things the hard way sometimes. That makes you a better person- and a better runner!

  7. Yeah, cotton doesn’t work so great. I learned this a while back, but thought I was the last one to know, so I didn’t make a big deal about it. I am SO sorry. I could have saved you some pain.

    I am a huge (HUGE) fan of Smartwool socks. They make about a zillion varieties, so I bet you can find ones that aren’t ankle length. I have never had issues with blisters when wearing these, but guess what? I have two pair, and one sock has gone off on a walkabout, so now I only have one and a half pair of socks to run in, and I’m running 4x a week, and well, I’m not good at math but it seems I’m gonna wear them out faster.

    Time to order socks. (Froogle is my friend )

    Good luck, and stick with those Fleet Feet people. They seem to know stuff. That must be cool having a running store that you can visit. I have to do all my shopping internetly.

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