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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

The puzzle pieces are slowly coming together!
25-Jun-2014 02:42:52 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

The puzzle pieces are all slowly starting to come together, and for the first time, I can actually visualize successfully completing this race! In the last two weekends, I’ve done a 50k (fairly flat) and a 48k (with 3 mountains), and it’s been amazing – no chafing, no blisters…. Even after falling into a river (the most disgusting slimiest, sludgiest, sewagy-stinkiest river imaginable!), and then walking for many more hours with wet feet, I still didn’t blister… I may yet come down with cholera or typhoid (I only wish that was a joke!), but at least I’m blister free :) And most importantly, my long days are all ending with a smile still firmly on my face! The secret to no blisters? Certain-dri antiperspirant on the feet the night before, tincture of benzoin swabbed where the tape will go, hypafix tape on the two littlest toes, KT tape on the inside balls of my feet, zeasorb powder on feet and between layers and a bit more in the shoes…. And then Injinji toe sock liners under CEP compression socks. Yes, it sounds complicated, but it’s really not. It’s certainly far less complicated than dealing with little toes rubbed raw when you’re 5 hours into a 12 hour day! I also have decided on the clothes – a short-sleeve Saucony men’s mesh-type shirt as I find that women’s shorter sleeve lengths cause chafing inside my upper arm. And short-sleeve is my only option as I can’t stand material flapping around my forearm… any long-sleeve shirt with a tight enough arm will be too unkind on the mommy-midsection for me to even begin to take seriously. I’ve found some great REI knee-length running shorts (tights?), which work fantastically well with Nike undershorts to minimize chafing (along with the ever-present Body Glide of course!). The only question now is shoes…. I’m so stuck. I like that the Salomon’s I’m wearing are 2 sizes big, and that they’re not making me blister (yes, I’m obsessed with blisters)…. But they have very little padding in the forefoot, especially once I put my rigid orthotics into them. My feet feel so sore and bruised at the end of a 12 hour day… I guess they would with any shoes, but I certainly don’t think the ones I’m wearing are helping me out at all…. I’ve been advised against Hoka’s because of the orthotics, and I find the toe box on my favorite Asics is just too narrow… I even tried Keen Marshalls because of the nice wide toe box allowing for swelling feet by Day 3 or 4, but they had virtually no padding at all underfoot. I feel the clock ticking and realize I have to make this decision in the next 3 weeks at the most. Any suggestions are most welcome!

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Ann HAle

Posted: 31-Aug-2014 08:32:44 AM

Very interesting reading Beth. Thinking of you and hope all goes well. Love you A ann and U peter xx

Ben Hekman

Posted: 08-Jul-2014 01:16:19 PM

Hi Beth, congratulations in your training runs and on this great goal! I'm no expert on ultra-distance running, but I have found Brooks to fit my feet the best so they may be worth a try for you. Brooks makes wide versions of most of their shoes which my wide feet need, and my orthotics fit well. Currently I have a pair of Brooks Ghost 7's and am very happy with their fit. Best of luck to you!

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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 competitor


Lived in Malawi, Kenya, Botswana, US and UK.
Education in Public Health: Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology

Lilongwe, Malawi

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Why are you competing?
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