Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Maine Marathon

This coming Sunday (Oct. 2) is the Maine Marathon. I'll be running it with Jessica, and my Dad (a vetran of several marathons) is flying in to run it as well. I certainly won't be going fast, but hope to make it in under 5 hours.

According to the race info, there will be a "Medical tent located at finish line, with additional medical personnel patrolling the course". Here's hoping we won't need that! :)


Blogger Justin said...

1) Good luck!
2) I hope you don't need to see the insIdE of the medical tent
3) 5 hours seems quite fast to me

9/28/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Qian said...

I wish you guys good running as well. Ben, you should weigh yourself before and after the race and see how much water you lose in the course of a marathon. I think a couple of years ago when Lance Armstrong suffered dehydration during the tour he lost something like 15 pounds of water in one day. Now that's dangerous.

9/28/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I'm curious-- how have you been preparing for this? How many miles a day/week do you have to log?

9/28/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger acg said...

Good luck! :)

9/29/2005 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Yeah, I remember reading some about Lance's dehydration. He went through all the water he carried early on, and time-trial rules prohibit getting more during the race. It's amazing he didn't loose the tour that day.

I've been following a fairly typical training schedule. I'll do a long run every other weekend, making it a few miles longer each time. (My last long run was 22 miles two weeks ago.) Throughout the week I'll be doing shorter runs. The nice thing about running a marathon is it doesn't require any special talent (or speed), just building up lots of endurance.

9/29/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

This may be a dumb question...

If I get close to about 5 miles on the treadmill, I find that my feet have been turned to hamburger with 3 or 4 good-sized blisters. If I try to do that a couple times a week, I end up with blisters over blisters, which pretty quickly forces me to consider treadmill alternatives.

Other than attempting to swathe my feet in moleskin evey day, is there some obvious thing I'm supposed to do to build up the skin on my feet? Note that I have tried buying new shoes without luck.

9/29/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Qian said...

Justin, IANAR (I am not a runner), but I do get blisters from tennis. I assume that your shoes are the right fit for you. Shoes that are too large tend to cause more blistering. I have found that for me, not doing anything to my feet when I get blisters helps them turn into calluses more rapidly. So if you're treating them or waiting until blisters go away completely before resuming your running, you might be missing the chance to turn them into calluses. Of course I don't know if any of that applies to you and runners such as Ben probably have better tips on avoiding blisters.

9/29/2005 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger acg said...

I am not a runner either, but I've probably tried on more shoes than you guys! I'll bet your shoes are not the right size! I see many people (men and women) wearing shoes that don't fit and then complaining how their feet hurt. They always have some other excuse for why their feet hurt, but the explanation is really simple. Their shoes don't fit! You shouldn't be getting so many blisters! If your shoes are the right size, but your feet sweat too much (and that's why you are getting blisters), try buying some special socks. I managed to find cute ones that are blue with little clouds on them. I think they were by "Sock Guy" socks? Where did you buy your shoes? Did they measure your feet? Did the person who sold you the shoes know what a shoe was? I've had many incompetent shoe sellers claim that my shoe size was 7 (it isn't).

9/29/2005 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger acg said...

Maybe I should have mentioned I have wide feet. I can often tell that the salesperson wants to say "But you're not fat!" when I tell them my shoe size is wide. Idiots. It's not related. Some thin people have wide feet and some fat people have narrow feet.

9/29/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger acg said...

Did I mention that I hate shoe shopping? Or clothes shopping? Nothing fits! :(

9/29/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I generally take the standard male approach to shoe buying-- I walk into the nearest athletic supply store, tell them what I need (i.e. shoe to run in), look at what size my current shoes are, and get the recommended style in my size. I take it that your suggestion is that I reconsider this particular approach...

I recall having my feet measured, but that was when I was rather little-- I'm sure no one has measured my feet in a decade. I settled on a size that felt reasonable when I walked (and if I run a mile or two). Where does one go to get a properly fitted shoe (other than a children's shoe store)?

I'm not sure that cute blue socks with clouds would quite do it for me in the masculinity department... Googling "Sock Guy" takes me to a bunch of pages with socks for various teams, which I assume is not what I'm looking for...

9/30/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

If there's one piece of equipment runners are obsessed with, it's shoes. Having the right shoe (accounting for pronation, arch, width, etc.) can make a huge difference.

That said, I still get blisters when I do something out of the ordinary. For example, for the first few days in wearing a new pair of running shoes (even those that fit well), or if I play my first game of soccer of the season. Like Qian commented, there is an adjustment period where your feet toughen up.

Also, I've found that a breathable adhesive tape (like zonas tape) is helpful as it can be applied in areas where you're likely to get blisters, or to prevent further damage.

9/30/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Qian said...

Like Anne, I have feet that are relatively wide. I usually wear size 11-1/2 but if the particular shoe is cut narrowly, I would have to go up to size 12 and sometimes certain brand's size 11 will fit me. The thing is, every pair of shoes is cut differently, even when they are the same brand. So buying purely by size is definitely going to give you ill-fitting shoes. Most shoe stores have a foot-scale (if indeed that's what they are called), but I've never used them. Think of your current size (or if you get your feet measured) as a first-order approximation and then you need to try on a few pairs. My usual algorithm is to ask for a half size larger and smaller and also in wide sizes if they have them. Put on both shoes, lace up, and walk around the store. See if all parts of your feet are supported (especially the arches) without being pinched. Your feet should not slide around when you walk or jog. Iterate until the shoe fits. If your feet are between sizes, at least make sure that the activity that you're most likely to engage in doesn't result in too much sliding. For tennis, which has a lot of lateral movements, I first make sure my feet don't slide from side to side.

Most big box retailers have fairly ignorant sales people *cough* FootLocker *cough* so you have to rely on your own feel. If you need a bit more guidance the first time around, you might try a smaller store that caters to runners. They should have more knowledgeable sales people since as Ben says, runners are obsessed with their shoes.

9/30/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

So, at the risk of asking the obvious question, how was it?

10/02/2005 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

We made it! Jessica had an amazing race, and powered through it with no problem whatsoever.

I started feeling nauseated at about mile 16, and by mile 20 it was all I could do to just walk. I completely "bonked" around mile 23, but after sitting down for awhile and eating a bit I was able to get back up and made it to the finish line. I don't think I've ever felt that awful during a run.

But, we both made it. Ironically, this experience has made me convinced I need to run one again sometime. After all, surely I could do better on another one... :)

10/03/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Well done! You finished and, unless you're leaving out part of the story, avoided visiting the medical tent. That looks like a double-pronged victory to me.

10/03/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mwal said...

Wow! Congratulations!

10/03/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger finou said...

Congrats you crazy running people!

10/04/2005 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Qian said...

Yeah, congrats! So running really is addictive?

10/04/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Apparantly running is addictive... My dad was chatting with another runner who was a former alcoholic and crack addict. He kicked the habit and this was his 120th (or something like that) marathon. According to him, running costs about the same, it's just more healthy. :)

10/04/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Congradulations on finishing safely. And thank goodness you made it back safely. If you do it again, please be very careful. When your body tells you to stop, pay attention. It's much better to walk, take a break, go for a sit-down dinner, or just stop than to push your body too far. Marathons can be dangerous!

10/05/2005 04:32:00 AM  

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