Thursday, October 27, 2011


I promise, I am still working on my review of Gore-Tex Trans Rockies run. I want it to be just right prior to posting and there was a lot to write about.
On another note, blisters have been a prevalent part of my existence for several years now. In high-school, I experienced the regular runner’s blisters on my feet. When I rowed in college, blisters were as common as eating breakfast. They formed on our hands, popped (or we popped them with needle and thread to dry them out), calloused, blistered, popped, and calloused again (you get the idea). With recreational running, blisters are common; however, now that my running consists of longer, more frequent training runs, blisters are more than common. It is not unusual for me to have only nine toe nails- a common result of under the nail blisters.

Recently, I added orthotics to my shoes to provide some support to an obnoxious injury. I then put them in a pair of shoes that did not fit right and developed massive blisters bilaterally on my arches. Gross. These blisters have followed the same path as all my others- blister, pop, roughen, peel, re-blister. During a long training run recently, I felt them go through a good portion of this cycle. Yesterday on my run, I realized how irritated my feet were, as they got ready to blister again.
In a weird way, I am proud of my blisters. They are battle wounds and tests of mental fortitude. They reflect hard work and perseverance. Each new blister brings a story that almost always involves a fight through the pain. It seems like blisters open communication between runners (probably while grossing out everyone else). Running through the pain of developing blister and pop takes a lot of focus and determination, especially when every step is met with pain. I do not complain about my blisters, rather, I boast about them because they were earned while doing something I love, something many think is weird.
I also found myself thinking about my dad.
I know, weird that blisters make me think of my dad. While growing up, any time I got a blister, my dad would become very concerned and would check to make sure I was taking care of it and preventing the possibility of infection. He told me his reaction is prompted by the fact that a president’s son died as the result of an inflected blister. Because of this concern, every time I blister, I think of my dad.
In addition to this, yesterday my thoughts went even deeper. With every step, I had pain in my right foot. My dad has a neuroendocrine cancer that is impacting his every day. Prognosis is questionable and there is really no great treatment. I realized that my blister pain is nothing compared to the discomfort my dad experiences because of his cancer. It is nothing compared to the pain people fighting cancer experience or compared to the pain experienced by family members of individuals with cancer. Blisters are my reminder to think of him and pray for him while running and when I feel the pain. Blisters are more than a sign of strength for me. Blisters will always serve as a reminder of my dad, while he is still here with us and one day (hopefully not soon) when he is gone.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.

    I believe those may be the craziest running blisters I have ever seen. Since we are birthday/anniversary twins, do you think your exercise counts for the both of us?

  2. Becs:
    don't forget - I do splinters, too! Love you lots!

  3. Christine- I am sure my running can count for you! How have you guys been doing?