Let’s rewind back to September.
After struggling all year to feel like my old self, I was finally hitting numbers I wanted to see during my training runs. I felt like my consistency and patience was playing off when I executed a nearly perfect training run at the Bronx 10-Miler. The plan was to run a strong race at Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn, then build upon that race experience to hopefully PR at the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.
The week after the Bronx 10-miler was scheduled as a taper week in preparation for Brooklyn RnR. On Tuesday, I took the day off from work to run a few errands that included getting a much needed haircut in the Meatpacking District. Wearing a new pair of slip-on sneakers I managed to accumulate painful blisters on both heels while running around all day.
When my band-aids were no longer helping to reduce the blister pain, I popped into a Duane Reade to see what else I could purchase to alleviate the situation.
These blisters were so painful! It feels weird that something so insignificant could be so painful!
Anyhow, I purchased a product, but decided to not use it since I wasn’t sure anything was going to help at this point.
By Friday, the blisters were feeling better. I wasn’t thinking much about them as I threw on a pair of sneakers to head out to meet with clients. For some reason these sneakers, that I wore quite often re-aggrevated the blisters. Since I was short on time, I couldn’t go home and change shoes.
Once I was done meeting with clients, the blister situation was bad.
**Here’s where I made the mistake that cost me**
I just needed relief, so I used the blister product I purchased on Tuesday and went about my work day. By early evening the blisters were feverish, but I didn’t think much about it. I went to a Soul Cycle class and on my walk home in the rain, I kept thinking about how wimpy I was being about these dumb blisters.
It turns out I wasn’t being wimpy at all. My left ankle (my good one) was swollen and red.
Like any good google doctor, I found a running forum discussing how infected blisters had sidelined people for months after being hospitalized! That was the only scare I needed, to rush myself to City MD.
Turns out I had cellulitis in both ankles. Luckily, I caught it pretty early on and was given a hefty dose of antibiotics and strict instructions not to workout or wear shoes for at least a full week. This meant missing out on RnR Brooklyn, a race I had looked forward to all year.
I had never even heard of cellulitis! Since getting the infection, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about hospitalizations and about symptoms that linger well after the infection is gone.
Here’s what I learned:
#1) Cellulitis has nothing to do with cellulite.
#2) My doctor at City MD said to never use products like what I used (a Compeed bandage) on blisters. They are a factory for breeding germs that cause infections.
#3) Although I get blisters regularly, I should never dismiss them as “just a blister”.
#4) Always clean your wounds!