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Wednesday Workout Update - Tongue Pads!

Posted Aug 01 2012 6:00am
Even though I didn't get my standard four weekly runs in while I was on vacation (I'm not counting my walking and hiking miles), I still managed to run about 41 miles for the month of July - not bad, not bad at all!  Running is going well for me, even with the ridiculously warm temperatures at 6:00 am, and the humidity that makes you get as sweaty as if you'd taken a shower - and that's just after the first quarter mile!  Plus, and I hate to admit this, but doing the hill repeats (for the third week in a row, GO ME!!!) is really making a difference in my stamina, and while I still don't like encountering hills on any run, I'm more likely to just put my head down and run it rather than stop, walk, bitch and moan my way up.  Who knew all the experts were onto something when they would throw hill repeats into a training plan?!?

While my ankle is OK with running, in the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, it's always something.  And for the last couple of months, a pointy bone on the top of my left foot has been hurting me.  A lot - enough to make me grumpy after running.  I checked in with Dr. Google, and concluded that it's a by-product of having really high arches, combined with aging - argh!  I swear, every time I hear that some ache or pain is related to aging, I just want to slap someone.  Not fair, universe!!!  Anyway, along with suggestions of tying your shoes differently (I already do that) to having the bone ground down surgically (um, no thank you), was one for getting a tongue pad, cutting it down the middle, and sticking it to the underside of the shoe's tongue, to create a bit of space between the bone and the top of the shoe.  I tried this a few weeks ago, and so far, it's made a big difference.  I no longer want to chop off my foot partway through a run - in fact, I don't actually notice my foot throbbing in pain, which I appreciate.  The other thing that I've started doing is bringing my flip flops to our long runs, and as soon as I'm finished, I take off my running shoes and pop on the flips, so there's no pressure on the top of my foot at all. 
Tongue pad, top view (and with that close up, be thankful this isn't smell-o-vision!)
Side view - you can see the thickness of the pad here.  I can always layer an additional pad on top if I want a thicker layer, too.
You can order the tongue pads on Amazon, but I went to a local shoe store (one that sells a lot of ortho and comfort shoes) and they just gave me some, which was so nice. 

Along with my shoe fix, here's a couple of other things that are making running more enjoyable for me.  First up are new liner shorts - I've been wearing some Academy store-brand 5" liner shorts under my running shorts (works better than Body Glide when it comes to avoiding thigh chafing - and I'll never be so thin that my thighs won't rub together, so this is my solution), and they have been rolling up on my thighs for months now.  I knew that the Lycra in them was probably worn out as the shorts are around 3 years old, but I just kept tugging them down, over and over, as I ran.  I finally sprang for a few new pairs and wow, what a difference.  I wear them 4 times a week for months (until it gets cold enough for capris), and why I was putting up with that rolling nonsense, I don't know.  A simple $9.99 purchase made a huge difference in lessening my annoyance factor as I run - what I was thinking in not replacing them sooner?!

Another thing that was bugging me was my handheld water bottle (which is a necessity when you run in our hot temperatures) - my old Amphipod was leaking, so I tried a Fuel Belt bottle, but the hand strap wasn't very tight and I had to grip the bottle the entire time I ran, and just as I'm a tight knitter, I hold the water bottle tight, which made me tense and annoyed.  (How fun am I to run with, do you think, with all of my annoyances?)   I saw a couple of my running club peeps with a Nathan bottle and I was intrigued by the way it held your thumb as well as the rest of your hand.  So I tried it, and the grip issue does not exist anymore - once you slip your hand and thumb into the strap, you do not have to hold onto it as all.  Loving this!  Plus, it has a nice big pouch for my necessities (chocolate GU, Burt's Bees lip balm, emergency $5) - and it's pink, which thrills me to no end!
"Look Ma - no hands!" (well, sort of) This is a staged photo, as I really wear it on my right hand, but that's my camera hand, so old lefty had to step in. :)

While things like liner shorts and a water bottle might seem trivial, they can make the difference in what I focus on during a long run, and anything that helps to make those miles go by easier is worth it, in my book.  We will be running 5 miles this coming Saturday, and I know I'll need all the help I can get to make that run a good one!
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