Monday, April 26, 2010

Peak Week No. 1

I'm getting a kick out of these pictures that were e-mailed to me from the race on Saturday. Don't be fooled -- my enthusiasm for the camera isn't representative of how I was feeling during the actual run. And yes, I totally raised the roof as I crossed the finish line. The cameraman was standing right there ... what was I supposed to do? Stare blankly like a fool? Hell no. Raise the roof! I just ran 13 miles in the rain!
This week is one of two "Peak Weeks" in my marathon training. It's tied for being one of the two highest mileage weeks I will have during this entire 18-week process. To start off the week, I had a 7-mile run yesterday (following my half marathon the previous day), today was a cross-training of my choice kind of day, Tuesday will be a 5-mile run, Wednesday will be an 8-mile run, Thursday will be a 5-mile run, Friday will be a carb-load/hydration day, and on Saturday I will be attempting my very first 20-miler.

As if my joints weren't already being tortured from the incessant pounding my body has been taking, my second toe has also been giving me a lot of attitude. It was already pretty calloused to start, and then a blister formed on my long run a few weekends ago, and then the blister popped and started taking the callous with it, and then running for 2 hours in the rain sort of turned my foot into a wrinkly mess as skin starting dissolving inside my soggy socks. Not giving your imagination enough, am I? I'll let you look at it instead. Ouch!
My main concern was to give my toe a bit of a break during my cross-training today, or else break down and buy some toe caps. I debated a few options I had for cross-training tonight that would give my tootsie a nap: an hour of Spinning? A half-mile swim? A Latin Dance class? Some time on a rowing machine + weights? Oh, the possibilities LA Fitness brings.

I got home, checked my mail, and realized I had the best present in store for me: Brooks' upcoming Defyance 4 shoe!

The wear tests I do for Brooks asks that I run "as many miles as possible" in the shoes... so is it really that bad to skip my cross-training day and tack on a few extra miles to my already-heavy week of running? Does my toe really need a break? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Look at these sweet little babes -- given to me just for the sake of running in them and giving some feedback on how they feel on my feet and how my body feels after I test them. Pretty sweet deal!

I ran to the gym (no really, I ran), jumped on an elliptical glider to mimic the motion of running, and ran back home. I treat the elliptical machine like a treadmill without all the stress on my joints, so I'm moving at a fairly good speed and don't slack off. Thankfully, the Defyance 4 has more wiggle room in the toe box, so I felt like I was running but without the pain on the Little Piggy That Stayed Home. The shoe is snug in my heel and offers a tight hug of support in the mid-foot and arch, but there is definitely space for my toes to move around. This is a lot different than what I'm used to wearing -- I'm a fan of not giving anything on my foot any room to slide around in my running shoes -- but this could be the perfect break The Toe With 'Tude needs. There's just enough space where she's not throwing a hissy fit inside my shoe.

I'll be wear testing this shoe until May 5, so I'm sure I'll come up with some more productive things to say after I get a few more -- nay, a lot more -- miles in during the coming days. Right now my only gripe is the white color I like to call "Grandma's Walking Shoes White", but the sweet silver accents and bright yellow logo can maybe make up for the white in the meantime ... until I pick up a can of bright spray paint to liven things up.

Enjoy your week! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get back to mine.


  1. New.Free.Shoes. Does not get much better than that, does it? You'll have to write a review. I have a pair of the Ravenna but it is a little too light for long runs. Cool pics from the race too!

  2. Trust me, your pictures look 100 times better than mine!! BTW, I spent so much time going through the pictures and there is just the one of me looking dorky as all get out:)

    I love your shoes:)