TMI – Cross Country Skiing and The Worst Blister Ev-ah

Holy cow!  I had a double bunionectomy that hurt less than this blister.  How long do blisters last?  Guess who will be wearing clogs to school this week?  Here’s hoping my clogs don’t aggravate my plantar fascia.

Me, in my cozy cocoon

Yesterday started off well below freezing.  I believe it was around zero degrees.  The Major coaxed me out of my snuggly warm cocoon to try cross country skiing.  He has been trying to get me to go for quite some time.

I graciously declined his offer to purchase me cross country equipment for Christmas.  TM does not tread cautiously into new sports.  He leaps whole heartedly and sets himself up with the latest duds.  To be fair, he does stick it out with whatever his interest happens to be.

I wanted to try cross country skiing before purchasing the equipment.  We drove down to Byrncliff where I was able to rent skis.

We headed out to the practice loop.  The Major had given me advice in the car on our trip down.  Immediately, TM was zipping ahead of me.  I kept my head down and worked on staying relaxed.

I am not much of an upper body strength person.  I swim in the summer and that’s about it.  It was pretty tempting to jab my poles into the ground and try to keep up with TM.  I decided I valued the up and down motion of my arms too much to go all out.

RG in red & TM in blue

The first loop mostly felt like I was walking.  I didn’t feel like I was getting much glide in my motion.  I almost lost sight of TM as he turned off of the loop.  At the intersection I passed a man who was taking the other path.  I told him it was my first time out.  He seemed surprised, which I took as a good sign.  I knew I most certainly looked like a beginner, but at least I didn’t scream “first timer!”

TM waited for me and said he was giving me my space to figure things out for myself.  There sure is a fine line between, “Why are you hovering?” and “Stop pestering me with your tips and advice” and the feeling of being abandoned.  TM knows best.  I think I preferred the room to work things out on my own at first.

Green means go!

We stayed on one side of the trails that was marked “easier”.  I kind of got a rhythm going, I think.  TM waited for me at the top of the first hill and gave me advice on how to navigate hills on these skis.  I didn’t fall…yet.

We made our way up several hills.  TM was apologizing, saying we would be at the top soon.  I wasn’t complaining.  It felt like a good workout.  Not so much “fun”, but it was fine.

Mis-marked trail!

We got to what we thought was the top when I pointed out that the signs no longer were green with the word “easier” on it.  They were blue and said “more difficult”.  Still, I was game.

The rest of the loop was uphill and down.  Not many flat portions.  I fell three times.  All three were going downhill with turns at the bottom.  I did well with all of the downhills. I let the tracks do the work.  I relaxed my upper body and kept my weight forward.  The problems were the turns.  I understand how to turn, but I never quiet navigated the turns completely.  I ended up running into the powder and toppling over.

At some point towards the end, I mentioned to TM that my heel was going to have a blister.  I had my running socks on, which are wicking socks.  I wore ski socks over them.

When we got home I treated the blister with some gentle cleaning.  I put on an awesome blister band aid.  I thought I was all set.

I went to school today.  My foot was sore.  By lunchtime I was in a fair amount of pain.  In the afternoon I tried to stop walking around the classroom.  I was looking forward to going home.  I figured I might need to relieve the pressure to get some relief.  After my last class, I took my sock off.  It wasn’t pretty.  Clearly the pressure had already been relieved.

I switched to my boots and hobbled down to bus duty.  I stayed with my bus line until my other bus line co-workers got down to me.  Then I hobbled back to my room.

Driving home was nauseating because of course it was my right heel.  I currently have some antibiotic ointment on it.  I’m giving it some air.  Tonight I will soak it in a hot tub, along with the rest of my bod because I love hot baths.  Then I will bandage it back up and hope for the best.

I will try cross country skiing again.  I will say I am extremely aggravated that I can’t run my hill work today.  The weather is perfect today.  Mid-40s and a bit of drizzle.  The rest of the week goes back to arctic temperatures.  I am keeping my toes crossed that my blister heals quickly!

Ahhh, I think the advil is kicking in.

–Running Girl


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa N. on January 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I just wanted you to know that I strongly hesitated about reading this blog, after I saw the title. But i figured I would be supportive of my friend- braving the cold & whatever pain she was in, to read about her nasty blister on her foot!!
    I personally would have stayed in the cocoon. 🙂


  2. TM wanted a photo of my blister, but I thought of you and said no. Okay, I would have said no anyway, but I did think of you.



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