Monday, June 9, 2014

Toe Nails - Shmoe Nails

Despite running a high volume of miles, I've always been fairly fortunate with injury.  Some of it is good genes, but I really do work at it as well.  I make sure to stretch a lot - especially post run, eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods, and most notably I pay close attention to my off days and recovery paces.  I want to make sure my 45 year old legs don't feel 65 after all the pounding.  But like all of you, the one thing I can't seem to avoid is the dreaded DEAD TOE NAIL ... AHHHHH!!!  (Over-dramatic effect)

When I first started running, I couldn't imagine a body part actually dying ... while still on my living body!  And the first time I lost a nail, it kind of freaked me out a little. The first one to go was the pointer toe on my right foot.  I lost it training for my first marathon.  I remember it was really painful.  But now days, it seems like I can damage one without even hardly noticing it.  Sure, it'll be sore for a few days, but when it finally turns completely black, I don't seem to feel it any more.

Typically runners lose toe nails because of shoes or socks being too tight.  I'm no exception.  I've kinda got the shoe thing figured out by now, and don't really have shoe tightness.  But some days I seem to accidentally gird my socks up a little too much, and when I get home, I notice the dying process beginning.  The unfortunate soldier will at first be red and painful to touch.  After a few days of that, it will inevitablly turn black, and finally just a crusty yellowish-brown as the new nail begins to grown in underneath it.

Right now, 4 out of 11 toes have some sort of an issue.  The most painful one is the little toe on the right foot.  Sometimes it curls completely under my foot and I actually step on while I'm running.  It's done that since I was a kid.  I think I might have banged it on a chair or table leg and broken it when I was younger, and it just stayed deformed.  That one kinda gets y attention right now, but the others are simply good dinner conversation starters.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.  If I were creepy, I'd say, "Hey, I'd love to see your weird feet photos!"  But honestly, I'm fine with you keeping them to yourselves.  Have a great week!
... be great today!

19 comments:

  1. I've managed to get away without too many toenail incidents - maybe because I don't do as many k's as you. I have one deformed nail and that's it. No black nails ever. And my feet are a darned-sight prettier than yours - no offence.

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    1. No offense taken, you obviously have many physical features that are more appealing than mine!

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  2. HA!! I was studying mine over the weekend. The can of beer I was drinking matched my toe nail polish and I thought I'd take a picture and post to FB because that would both amuse and gross people out. Well it actually grossed me out (and that is hard to do). At present I have all my toe nails, they are in sad shape, hence the polish, hides the color. However the right foot second toe is soon to go permanently... sigh. I have a 'fat' right foot, from tripping over some sort of farm implement in my childhood, the 'fat' is the scar tissue from the resulting damage. No visible tendons or veins, does not look like the foot of a thinish person or a runner. Deffo the runner/biker tan is there, getting more and more pronounced by the day... oh well... nice to talk feet with someone who gets it...

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    1. Ha, yeah - when you say "dead toenail" to a non runner, they kinda freak out

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  3. I had my little toenail on the right foot permanently removed, kept getting blood blisters under the nail, totally happy with that decision. Sad thing is, that toe nail area now looks better than the other 9. Have you had the pleasure yet of using a paperclip and lighter to burn a hole in your nail to relieve pressure? Not nearly as bad as it sounds and makes for a great story.

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    1. Yeah, the first one was really painful and I had to split it with a razor blade or something (can't remember now) to relieve the pressure - you're right, it wasn't bad, and once I did it felt so much better and started healing

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  4. My toenails...sigh. Sandals are kind of a thing of the past for me. I can't even imagine going for a pedicure.

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    1. Eh, I wear sandals anyway - Michael makes fun how look

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  5. by my count, you have 10 toes, not 11. ;) Kristen

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  7. Yeah, my nails are a mess. Luckily I can resort to dark nail polish colors and pretend nothing ever happened (until the nail actually falls off, then I'm out of luck).

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    1. Actually when they're black, they look really cool

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  8. Nice post! I've had strange colors of toenails and lost all of them at some point. Years of ultra running is not the best for toenails, but I still have all 10. I know many runners who end up missing some permanently after they lose them over and over again. I might just post some of my favorite pics of mine. :)

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    1. I'll guarantee you are probably the King of dead toenails!

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  9. Oh my, you need to wear bigger shoes, or don't lace them so tight! Though with how many miles you run, probably hard to avoid having this happen. I've only lost 1 toenail ever, and right now my toes look basically perfect except for 1 toenail on right foot that is impacted a bit, but I try to keep them looking okay lol

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    1. I think it's my socks more than anything, plus when my feet are extremely wet, they seem to slip a little which doesn't help

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  11. I keep mine painted for this very reason, although guys don't have this luxury, do they, LOL!!!

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