Saturday, May 21, 2011

Frederick HM Training and My Broken Feet

The first serious trouble I had in my run training was the blister underneath my toenail that I developed during my twelve mile training run, one week before the race.  I was worried about the final training runs and race day since this quite the injury, but I used my first aid skills to work through the issue.  After all, I was going to run the half marathon unless my toe was actually falling off.

For the first two days, Sunday and Monday, I kept my toe (the second toe on my left foot) double wrapped with band-aids with bacitracin to help prevent infection.  I skipped Pilates on Monday because I was worried about additional injury to the toe.  Starting on Tuesday I laid off the bacitracin and just double wrapped.  I found during my three mile training run that the band-aid going up and over my toe was rubbing other toes so I knew that wasn't going to work for race day.  For the remainder of the week I decided on one band-aid wrapped around my toe.  My Wednesday run I shortened from four to three miles because my toe was quite sore from Tuesday.  My Thursday three mile training run I dropped completely because I figured it was more important to rest my toe for the race than put in the final training run (this was a good decision).  I knew I was well-trained and ready to go.

My toe survived the race but I had additional aches in my feet from hot spots underneath my toes to additional blisters in those same spots to sore toes in general.  Since this is similar to what I experienced last year, I think I need a different brand of shoe; probably at least a different style since I'm a midfoot runner.  My current shoes do not have too much mileage on them so it's not that they are broken down, they're just not working for me at long distances.

After my shower I took a look at my toe and found that I would most definitely be losing my toenail.  The skin had already pulled away from the nail in most places, and I found I could raise my nail up just a little bit off my toe (that made my stomach flip a little).  So at this point it's all about managing my loose nail to make sure I don't rip it off suddenly.  And that means investing in the bulk size of band-aids and always having one on my toe except in the shower.  Every few days I check in with my toe to make sure there isn't anything funky going on (infection) or any freeloaders (debris).  So far so good.  It took my big toenail eight months to grow out so I'm giving this one three months due to it's relative size.

At some point the old nail is going to fall off, but I am certainly not going to force the issue.  It is protecting the new nail and skin below so the longer it sticks around the better.  If my nail was falling off due to infection or a fungus, that would probably be a different story.  But it's not so I am not going to try to yank it off.  I think I'll stick to home pedicures for the next several months; I am sure those women have seen it all when it comes to feet, but I don't need to wave this toe in their face.

So, here's to a new second toenail on my left foot!  Two weeks down, ten weeks to go.

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