Friday, May 7, 2010

Cinderella's ugly step-sisters

are the two people I am most in sympathy with today - MY TOES ARE IN AGONY!

This is actually an improvement in certain respects on the feet of pain I had last week...

I followed Al's suggestion and got a pair of Specialized footbed inserts. My preliminary sense is that they have solved 90% of the problem - I felt some discomfort after about an hour of riding, but focusing on my pedal stroke (i.e. especially making sure while climbing to have a full smooth stroke, including the upstroke, rather than 'mashing') really helped. May still need to revisit cleat placement, but basically this is much better.

But I forgot what really I know already, which is that when you take out the inserts shoes come with and put in orthotics, they just take up more space! By mile 20 or so my toes were so squinched up and painful that I was not sure I would be able to continue for much longer - I stuck it out for as long as I could bear it, but in the end decided that I was risking permanent injury - it was compounded by the mental struggle that comes from the transition from park car-free hours to cars - it is not of course the cars themselves that are the problem, it is the congestion that ensues in the recreation lane...

I am still not sure if it was a cop-out or just common sense (probably a bit of both - seriously, those toes were KILLING me!) but I called it short - I had hoped to do 12 laps, i.e. 72 miles (74 with to-from park), but at 7 laps I was pretty certain based on toe issues that I could just about eke out one more lap and no more - that gives me 50 total, including the bit to and from the park, which is not bad.

I will go to the bike store tomorrow and get a half-size larger pair of shoes - it is a necessary expense, I think - there is no way now to squeeze in a really long ride between now and my SUPER-long ride next weekend, but I will ride enough this week to assess whether I have found an adequate foot solution (cleat placement may still be an issue also).

TRIATHLON IS AN EXTRAVAGANT SPORT. This will be my third pair of bike shoes, which given how little total biking I've done in my life is absurd - the first pair were road shoes with Look cleats that in the end I just couldn't get my head around, this pair obviously is just a hair too small. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a beautiful day, too - nicer than last week. But cycling is a work in progress...

48.53 miles (plus 2 uncounted), 3:05:35, avg speed 15.7, avg HR 133, max HR 152


Wendy said...

I hate swapping one problem for another! (Ice those toes!)

50 is a good number.

(Wordver: plot)

Leah said...

What size bike shoes do you wear? I have some extras kicking around.