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My toe keeps haunting me…

Posted Dec 21 2011 12:20am

So ever since I started running regularly in 2008 my toes have bugged me.  Way back then I started out in a pair of shoes that didn’t fit quite right and I guess my big toenails were a touch too long and shazaam!  I wrecked a few toenails, most notably, the big toe of my left foot.  They healed but never really went 100% back to normal.  During my training and running of several half marathons that year, I did a real number on my toenails !

Ever since then, they’ve been easily susceptible to toenail problems, even though I have fixed the fit problem and do everything in my power to protect the nails during training.  I even went to a podiatrist about the issue a couple years ago.  He analyzed my gait and felt that the recurring injury might in fact be due to the “shape” of my toes and how they hit the pavement with each step. 

So far during this round of training I hadn’t had any problems at all.  Yay.  Until I went to Hawaii.  Yikes.  I accidentally jammed my toe on the car door and pulled up the nail on the big toe of my left foot!  Since it had been previously damaged, it just wasn’t tough enough to stay put when I jammed my toe.  Despite the lovely polish on my toes, you can see a bit of the damage.  Ouch!

314 What’s worse is that this happened in the parking lot right before my Maui Christmas 10k race!  Luckily, the toe didn’t bother me during the run.  See?  That’s not the face of someone who is running in pain…


I guess my shoes are enough to stabilize the toe and protect the nail from any further movement.  I tell you though, I was in some serious pain for the rest of the week trying to walk around in flip flops and bare feet!  My runners protected it nicely during the other runs I did that week, so phew, at least the injury wasn’t going to affect my running.

Anyhow, now that we’re home and the pain has subsided enough that I can actually touch my toe, I’ve done a bit of reconnaissance work and have determined exactly what happened.  Unfortunately it seems that I’ve actually detached about 90% of the nail – yeow!  Luckily it’s still “attached” at the base and on the right side, but for the most part, this piggy’s gonna fall off!  Great…

It’s not like I’m not used to having yucky runner’s toes, but I thought I was actually going to get away without losing any nails this time!  It’s lame that I’m losing one because of an accident, not because of training.  Oh well.  I saw a cute quote on the Running Room Facebook page the other day and it really holds true…

“You know you’re a runner when the number of toes and toenails on your foot are not the same!”

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