Flat Tires…or, Paranoia Runs Rampant

It should come as no surprise that Husband and I have been running a carpool this week. Since he’s (1) not allowed to put weight on his right foot and (2) the proud driver of a car with standard transmission, he must rely on the other member of our household for transportation. It’s really not a big deal — his work happens to be on the way to my work and isn’t too far off the Interstate…but, of course, even after a mere three days the loss of his independence is annoying to us both (9 days until the stitches come out…). Annoying to me because I’m easily annoyed by changes in routine, annoying to Husband because he gets to deal with my driving.

Yesterday, after I dropped him off, I started to exit the parking lot when I heard a strange sound. “Womp-womp-womp-womp-womp,” said my car. “Boy, that doesn’t sound right,” said I. I pulled into a different parking space and got out to inspect what I assumed would be a flat tire. Um…nope? All of the tires appeared to have air and I couldn’t see anything protruding from or near them that could be making that noise. Maybe I’m imagining things. I started the car again, intending to do a lap around the parking lot for testing purposes before heading back out to the Interstate. “Womp-womp-womp-WOMPWOMPWOMP!” shrieked my car. “Ok, Rambo, I hear you. That’s not normal. It sounds like it’s coming from the back left.” Out of the car I go again, and this time I see the hexagonal head of a quite gigantic screw protruding from the tire. Yahoo! (sarcasm) I call Scott and ask him to check the store hours of the nearby tire place. According to their website, they opened at 7AM. It’s now 7:30. Perfect! “I think I can make it there from here,” I tell him. And away I go…only to discover that they don’t open until 8AM. Perfect. Well, at least I’m first in line.

Forty minutes later, Rambo is all fixed up and ready to go. Now, I’m fighting through the paranoia that says that there are sharp objects hiding around every corner just waiting to puncture one of his tires.

There’s a “flat tire” of another kind that’s been requiring my attention lately, as well. Over Christmas, I bought a new pair of shoes to replace the stinky, worn-out Mizunos. In what was probably an error of judgment due to the marathon’s proximity, I went with a different shoe brand. My main thought was trying to keep my feet from molding to a specific shoe, which can always be discontinued. (I’m still a little broken up over the loss of my Adidas Bostons…sniff…we had a good run, guys.) I’m sure I was also influenced by a week of running in gravel and snow in Mizunos. The annoyance level at having to fish out various debris was HIGH. I tried on and ran around in a different pair of shoes and decided they were worth the gamble.

Sigh. The shoes are fine, really. For anything under 6 miles. Once I get over that, there’s this piece of padding in the upper that starts to press uncomfortably on my foot. The first week, I thought it was a part of the “breaking in” process. The second week, I definitely had a tender place on my foot, so I started experimenting with different tensions and styles of lacing my shoes. Maybe they’re too tight? Maybe I should skip a hole? No matter what I did, it still hurt. The third week, the pain during the 22-miler was significant and I started considering drastic measures. Surgically remove the offending piece of padding? Buy a new pair of shoes and demote the others to “casual” wear?

I went with the second choice. I figured the odds were in favor of me destroying a pair of shoes instead of making them better. As much as I hate the extra expense, I couldn’t stand the suspense of wondering what I was doing to my foot. If nothing else, I can donate the others. There’s got to be someone out there who would love a lightly-used pair of running shoes.

I’m now back in Mizunos and giving my foot ice baths mostly out of paranoia. Logically, I don’t think it’s “injured,” just tender. Illogically, I’m pretty sure it’s broken beyond repair. I guess this is the point where I start worrying about random things that could go wrong and disrupt all of my training, huh? Sharp objects lurking around every corner, indeed.

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