If you look closely at this picture, you can see it. There is only a slight discoloration of the two big toes and my feet are swollen. It looks so minor that you might miss it. I have the beginnings of black toenail on the two biggest toes. I wrote earlier about Black Toenail.
All those entries made it sound like such a common affair. The one thing they didn’t tell you:
It hurts like a MUTHA!!
I only have a minor version of Black Toenail. I won’t lose my nails, but the throbbing pain has made me unable to log any miles for three days. I feel completely unable to describe the constant feeling of my heartbeat coming through my toes. If anything brushes against them, they hurt: socks, my cat, even the sheets on the bed. Does that give you any idea of the pain? After being so obsessed about the Nike+ Challenges, it is killing me to take time off from running, but not nearly as much as the pain of just putting on a pair of socks. Not only are my toenails bruised, but my feet are very swollen. Those cute and fat little toes are usually much smaller.
Why did I get it?
I increased my mileage dramatically. Instead of slowly working up to six miles a day, I jumped in with the Level 3 group and started doing as many miles as my legs could handle. No muscle soreness means I can do more the next day, right? Nope. I felt as if my trusty Ryka shoes had betrayed me. I’ve never had this trouble before because I’ve always taken the slow and steady route to mileage increases. I thought that the only way to suffer from increased mileage was muscle soreness, but that repetitive movement can cause problems with your toenails. It’s not the shoes’ fault. It’s the fact that I ran WAY more than my body is used to. After so much weight training, my muscles could easily handle the increased mileage. Suddenly, my weakest link isn’t my muscles, but my abused toes.
You do NOT want to deal with black toenail!
No matter what the running websites say about how common it is, it REALLY hurts. Not only that, I’ve found that I am really vain about my feet. I never knew this until I was threatened with losing the nails. I had no idea that I put so much stock in how my feet look after a good pedicure. The risk of losing these nails has grounded me until they are healed.
Sandals seemed like a good idea…
I thought maybe I could keep on running by wearing my hiking sandals during workouts. Since I do my mileage on the treadmill, sandals at this time of year isn’t a problem. My feet are so swollen that I had to loosen all the adjustable straps. I was wearing my sandals everywhere. I thought that this black toenail thing wasn’t a big deal and I can just use sandals if I get it again. That was a great plan right up to the point where my exposed toe bashed into my other foot. The nail on the left foot broke down to the quick. It’s currently super-glued together and I’m hoping that I don’t have to deal with the cracked nail until it is able to grow out some more. Sandals are NOT the answer. They’re not even a good idea.
Steel-toed boots one size too big.
That’s what I’m looking for now. I need a pair of steel-toed boots in a size big enough to prevent my toes from having to touch any portion of the shoe. What am I doing for exercise? REST. That’s it. It is hard for me to do because I have to limit my food when I don’t exercise. Limiting my food can make me feel deprived and I worry that a binge is right around the corner. I have miles of walking to do at CES in two weeks. I have to get these feet healthy and ready to go, so I have no other option but to rest.