Wednesday, March 11, 2009
My feet have always been kinda gross. I was cursed? blessed? with my dad's big toe, a very manly looking fat toe, great for running but not so attractive on a girl wearing sandals or peep toe shoes. My feet are also kinda smelly (my husband argues for the word "very" instead of "kinda" but whatever) and I have a tendency towards big calluses. When I started running, my feet upped the gross factor.. I have struggled with blister problems on long runs from the get go, so taping and lubing my feet became part of the morning ritual. In spite of the taping, lubing, and sock experimentation I regularly lost toenails and learned to not flinch when lancing blisters. I also stopped wearing sandals and started painting all my toenails black and learned how to use nailpolish to "paint" toenails where there were none.
Rocky Raccoon took my feet to a whole new level. I know there were/are many people whose feet were MUCH worse, but holy crap my feet were hurting. I wore Injinji socks for the first 60 miles and after that I switched to Balega socks, but nothing seemed to help. I had to stop and tape up blisters a few times. My post race recovery would have been pretty quick if it hadn't been for the blisters and swollen feet.. I couldn't even get real shoes on my feet for about 5 days. Now, a month later my feet are still peeling and shedding ridiculous amounts of skin.. the other day I peeled off a flap of skin and a toenail came with it! It's beyond nasty.. and I will refrain from posting pictures. Lucky for me, a very nice man named Bob read my Rocky Raccoon race report, felt bad for my tales of foot woes and emailed me. Bob works for DryMax socks, thought he could help me and so very generously offered to send me some socks to try. He asked that I refrain from taping and lubing my feet while wearing Drymax socks.... and all I could think is "Woah! That means I could sleep in an extra 10 minutes!" YES! (Although at this point if someone told me goat's blood would keep blisters at bay, I'd be out back with a knife and a whetstone)
So on Saturday my mailwomen delivered a big box of socks to me... actually, I had to go to her truck to get the box since Otis (my dog) was outside and she was terrified of him. Unfortunately this delivery took place AFTER my long run, but it gave me a chance to inspect the heck out of the socks. I was NOT expecting the amount of stuff I got! I got trail running socks (which are NOT white.. yay!), hot weather running socks, cold weather socks (hoping not to use these for awhile), lite mesh, maximum protection running, and plain old ordinary running socks. I have very small feet and usually socks end up being too big for my feet, which is why I try and buy kids sizes when I can (no smart ass remarks Travis!) but these size smalls are actually size small!! I was so excited! No bunching up or the heel coming halfway up my calf! I checked out the book that I got with the package and it sounds like they thought of everything, moisture control from the dual layers, no seams on the inside, odor control (yes!) and the arch band which helps hold the sock in place.
So I'm going to use these Drymax socks exclusively for awhile to see if they really are as great as I have heard, I have the Rockin K trail marathon in a few weeks that should give them a good test.. some chest high stream crossings should get the feet nice and wet which is usually a recipe for blisters and then the FreeState 100K in April which is sure to include some mud and multiple small stream crossings. And of course lots and lots of long training runs in mud and, hopefully if the weather would co-operate, sweaty feet. I'm going to pack away my bag of blister care and tape and lube in hopes that these socks will save my feet! I will be back to report on 'em!