The government of the United States of America, in its wisdom, has decided to furlough many of its civil service employees. Monday was my first of 11 furlough days, amounting to a 20% cut in pay for the next three months. The silver lining about being on leave without pay for a day is it gave me the opportunity to ride, which I took.
I’ve been doing a lot of sprint workouts in preparation for next month’s triathlon, but it is not lost on me that I will be riding a century two weeks before that. So I stretched my legs a bit and went for a 43 mile jaunt across Route 29 and into Fauquier County. This road has always been something of a boundary for me. Way way back in 2010 when I started cycling again, it was a barrier that was not crossed due to its length from my house (about 17 miles). There are so many good rural roads east of this highway that I only occasionally slip over it to the west. It’s been several months since I made my way to the wild and wooly lands to the west of the highway and I was excited to see if anything new was happening.
In short, nothing new was happening. But the roads were in good shape and the weather was cooperating, so it was a good ride.
The big news remains my feet, which have continued to worsen over the past several months. I have concluded I am suffering from significant nerve pain which first made its appearance while running. The pain has since joined me while cycling and even when wearing dress shoes.
However, I believe a breakthrough is at hand. I have discovered the importance of insoles.
At work on Friday, I wore a more casual pair of shoes and noted the absence of pain. When I sported a pair of deck shoes this weekend (stylish but with virtually no padding) the pain returned with a vengeance. In desperation (and my wife’s urging) I bought some gel insoles and they almost completely eliminated the pain. Perhaps a solution was at hand!
It then occurred to me that the insoles in my old cycling shoes could be removed and placed in my new shoes. I realize that most of you would have hit upon this idea after one or two painful rides in the new shoes. It only took me six weeks. I tried the new shoes today and made a determined effort not to mash my pedals. This resulted in a decrease in about 2 mph off my usual pace, but I am happy to report that the pain, while still present, was significantly less and at no time did it feel like anyone was attempting to drive a nail through the ball of my foot. I think we can all agree that is a nice thing.
I’ve ordered a pair of gel insoles designed specifically for road shoes and look forward to giving them a try. If this doesn’t work, my only solutions will likely involve copious amounts of motrin or simply resting for many weeks.
In closing, let me take care of some old business. In my previous post, I mentioned how I failed to photograph the construction on the bridge at Aden Road. I passed by the site again today and am happy to share the scene with you, which includes a closure of one lane and some temporary traffic lights. Enjoy.