43 Days: My Nemesis – Trail Running with Wet Feet!

I have discovered my nemisis . . . wet feet. Every since the wet and muddy adventure at Peacock 100k with mud and rain, not only have I had a mental aversion to wet feet, but my feet just aren’t handling water the same as they did on that day.

It seems that after only 2-3 hours of wet feet, they are pretty much toast as far as prune toes go, and just on the verge of blistering. While the HURT guardians have tended to dry up the course the week of the race, it’s been a while since there’s been a wet HURT and I’m going to plan on how to deal with 36 hours of wet feet.

In my training runs, I’ve been doing a little experimenting and I’m still totally stumped how I went 18+ hours with wet feet, when I can now only manage a few.

What did I do differently? The only thing I did differently on that day was coat my feet with Trail Toes the night before, then again that morning. I read that helps. It was a little uncomfortable to have slippery toes right from the start and I did blister eventually, but I was able to manage until the end. At about mile 50 it felt like I was running on needles and then at mile 59-ish, I got a stabbing pain blister just forward of the ball of my big toes within 2-3 minutes of each other on each foot that crippled me to a stop until I could suck it up and finish. Could I have done 40 more miles on those feet, that day. Without, a change of plan, no way.

I’ve asked around what some other runners do, and the answers I’ve gotten range from changing shoes and socks as often as you can to . . . pray and hope for the best. Not very comforting.

So, what’s my game plan? Well I’m going for 40 miles tomorrow which I’m going to assume will be a little wet. I’ll coat my feet with Trail Toes again and see how that goes.

My secret plan, if Santa is listening, is to get a pair of Sealskinz or Dexshell socks, both of which are waterproof. They say that they breathe pretty well. Even if my feet get a little sweaty, it’ll be much more manageable than feet soaked all the way through. And if Santa is really feeling generous, I’m thinking a pair of Injinji sock liners inside the waterproof socks will help wick away moisture too. All that stuff sure adds up through.

Anyway, I’ll post again when I finally figure out what I’m going to do on race day. Got a tip, let me know!

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