I did take advantage of a spare hour this morning to visit a chiropodist, painful patches on my feet, maybe it would help. It was worthwhile, I have a callus (callous?) on my left foot on the pad below my little toe which feels like it's on fire during races, especially if I don't use my morgan ice, my second toe, the tip of which fell off during the 2007 parish, is officially callused which sends pain down the nerves so feels like pain in other parts of my feet. calluses are also developing on other areas of my feet which just feel like tough skin but can develop painful patches. So, after she got out what looked like a potato peeler and leaned in, and I quickly declined, she sorted out some creams and a freezing applicator which should start sorting them out within the week. It's not really bad, just a precaution against future foot rot, and hopefully getting rid of hard and dying skin will prevent blisters that have dogged my right heel every year.
Would you let someone take this to the soles of your feet, 6 weeks before the Parish?
No, me neither...
One small thing, someone asked if I used surgical spirit to toughen my feet up, I must admit I did in 2008, to no avail. It seems that far from toughening feet up, it's just absorbed into the outer skin, then evaporates, unfortunately taking all essential oils with it, leaving the skin dry and unprotected against cracking and any surface bacteria and leaving the outer layer of the feet prone to rotting. True, the feet have to be toughened by constant use, one of the reasons we train so often, but they also have to be supple to take the constant movement. If you apply anything, a good moisturiser, one especially for feet if possible and always try to remove dead skin. I do 30 minutes on my treadmill in bare feet occasionally to toughen the skin up, and during a long walk I might occasionally do 15 minutes barefoot on smoothish tarmac for the same reason. One of the best ways to toughen feet up is walking on a hot beach. The tarmac or sand wears away dead skin from around the soles and dry the surface without destroying essential oils. The 3 main causes of blisters are badly fitting shoes or socks causing friction - new unbroken shoes and old knackered footwear comes into this category, an uneven walking gait causing bad pressure distribution, and wet feet, whether from excess sweat or rain/damp as the skin absorbs water and the footwear loses stability.
I'm still feeling a little tired so taking it easy. I did a quick 10k around a moderately hilly course on Saturday before stopping at the crossroads up the hill to encourage the Keswick to Barrow walkers. They didn't look well, it's about 32 miles in at the crossroads after a very steep hill ar Kirkby, nearly a mile at 30 degrees and one I use for Cardio training, after heavy rain and then hot sun, not nice conditions, and best of luck to them. There were still plenty of tough souls persevering the last 8 miles though, good to see.
On Sunday, up bright and early for my 8.5m circuit, which went well, I was tempted to go for another circuit, but I think light walks and rest are in order so protein shake and some stretching. Got to be disciplined...
Saturday here in Ulverston was the busiest of the year, it's flag week, where every house and business has it's own signature flag, which always bring in tourists, and the Duke of Lancaster regiment paraded through the crowded streets on their way to receive the freedom of the town. They were just back from a 6 month tour of Afghanistan so were expecting a nice reception, but, despite the rain, the thousands who turned out spontaneously started clapping and cheering which was almost deafening, a truly heartfelt welcome for some true heroes.
A sight to be proud of.