IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Who Needs Pretty Toes Anyway?

I remember it like it was yesterday, with the same nostalgia of recollecting when my child lost his first tooth. It was the day I lost my first toenail. 

The first toenail I lost to running was a little over a year ago when I was training for the IMT DMM and I felt like it was a rite of passage; like I had reached some running milestone that officially made me part of the culture. I have since lost three toenails and it looks like I will soon lose another. Who needs pretty toes anyway? My toes are always too sore to get pedicures so as long as I'm running, my feet must endure a little loss of pride.

I know some runners who don't really have toenail issues, and for me, I am only bothered when I run more than 15 miles per week. I have researched it some and since my second toe is just slightly longer than my big toe when fully extended, my poor second toe has to take the brunt of my body weight with each step I take. This is actually called Morton's Toe which causes Runner's Toe and thank goodness I only have a mild case because some of the pictures of this condition look quite irregular. I am somewhat concerned because this the 3rd time I will lose the nail from this specific toe, and I just keep wondering if there is a point where it won't grow back. 

Part of the reason my toes have been tested is because not only have I been running over 30 miles per week this summer, but I have been trying hard to work on pace. I really want to PR in the KC Half, and then just finish respectfully in the IMT DMM. Notice my beautiful negative splits above!

Although I am still working on those longer-ish runs with quicker splits, my sore toes have interrupted my completing all of the longer runs from my training plan this past week. In fact, just walking around the house recently has been hard; if one of my children accidentally step on my unprotected toes, tears immediately come to my eyes and it takes everything in me to hold back a yelp of pain. I did take a few extra rest days this week and finally woke up these last few days with less pain, less swelling and more bruising (which means healing). This is a very good sign that I can get back on track with those long runs very soon. Even taking off a few days this week, I still ran 110 miles this month, so I was content with that.

How is your training going? Do your toes ever trip you up, or have they prevented you from running when you wanted to? What tips do you have for runners with toe problems? Comment below!

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