Photo credit: Nate Cooper

Photo credit: Nate Cooper

For the last few months, I’ve been training for the Boston marathon, which is now only days away!  A few Saturdays ago, I met some friends for a marathon simulation workout on lovely Sauvie Island just outside of Portland, Oregon.  The plan was to run 20-22 miles with somewhere between 10-16 miles at marathon pace, depending on how we felt.  The workout provided an excellent opportunity to test my pre-race breakfast, practice taking UCAN before, experience marathon pace, feel the very real lift gels with caffeine provide through low spots, practice drinking while running (small sips so I don’t choke!), and break in my marathon shoes.

Photo credit: Nate Cooper

Photo credit: Nate Cooper

That Saturday was one of those rare dry, glorious, sunny spring days we Portlanders rarely see and crave every day.  The sun was shining, the air was calm, the trees were budding, the company was fantastic, and my husband even came out as water crew, DJ, and photographer.

We nailed the workout.  21 miles with 15 miles in 6:40 pace, and we felt good doing it.  Of the hundreds of workouts I’ve done in my life, that day will always stand out as one of the best and most beautiful.

While we were triumphantly stretching after the run, I pulled off my shoes and socks to find a big blood blister on one foot, and a raised, black toenail on the other foot (total marathon simulation!).

My gross runner feet

My gross runner feet

This photo (super gross, I know) was actually taken a couple weeks later, after a little healing.  The blisters and raised toenail served as the perfect reminder that I always have blister and toenail issues in marathons. The last thing I want is for a little blister, hot spot, or sore toenail to cause problems at Boston.

Since that Sauvie Island marathon simulation workout, I’ve been putting Band-Aid Friction Block on my feet before long runs. It looks and feels like a tiny deodorant stick for your feet.  My old blisters are healing and no new blisters have appeared.  I know there are other products out there that work great, too.  A friend said she uses Body Glide all over her feet before marathons, and she has yet to get a blister.

Band-Aid Friction Block

Band-Aid Friction Block

Whatever product or method you like, remember to prepare your feet for 26.2 miles to prevent blisters, and have a great race!