Toe striking is dangerous

I am not talking about running form. Ha, fooled you!

No, I am talking about literally striking my toe. With a spiky shovel, while trying to uproot a weed like this one.

(That is a six-foot fence.)

I’m not sure exactly what happened. I was hacking desperately, I guess, when I somehow struck the edge of the spade directly on top of my foot. It didn’t really hurt, but as I showered off that evening, I made a grisly discovery: big toe, cracked across the bottom, half peeled off.

I will spare you a foot photo because that would be disgusting, but here is a picture of the shoe I was wearing at the time, which now has a permanent crease where the blow landed.

Proof that PureFlows are not made for toe striking. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Anyway, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve shed a toenail, but here is my dilemma. I have an appointment for a pedicure this afternoon (because it’s MAH BIRTHDAY!) and I’m not sure what I should have them do with it. It’s still hanging half on. Whenever I’ve lost a toenail from running, it has worked its way off slowly and there has always been a new baby nail grown in underneath by the time the old one fell off. I don’t think that’s the case here.

I’m not really worried about pain (it doesn’t hurt at all) or infection (I’ve been drenching it in sweat and dirt for the last two weeks) but more about the inevitable awkward interaction when I have to explain the situation to the nail tech. Such interactions are awkward for me anyway, even without a freaky cracked toenail to discuss.

So that’s my dilemma of the day. Suggestions?

Fortunately, the toenail situation hasn’t stopped me from running and working out.

Last Saturday morning, I did my first double-digit run since April. 10 miles at 8:30 pace, which is downright speedy for me at the moment. Full credit to my running group for that one…there is no way I would have run that pace on my own. Or awoken at 6 AM to do so.

Then, yesterday, I did my first track workout in a month. I didn’t really intend to take a break from the track, but random things kept conflicting with Tuesday night workouts. Last night, I finally made it back out there, and was rewarded with a mercifully cool (uh, sub-90-degree) and cloudy evening.

Faith and I celebrated with mile repeats.

As we rounded the first curve, we had a brief conference about goal pace. We both kind of simultaneously threw out 6:45, which sounded reasonable and challenging. The last time I did mile repeats was a solo effort back in February, when I did four of them in 6:51, 6:47, 6:42, and 6:39. Last night’s workout was only three, but with the summer heat and my lack of recent hard efforts, just getting under 7 seemed daunting.

That went out the window when we came through the first 400 in 91 seconds.

New goal: slow down a little and focus on running even splits.

Faith and I ran in lockstep, swapping the inside position every few laps, and finished the three repeats in 6:32, 6:33, and 6:34.

That’s faster than expected, obviously. And I was pretty happy about that. I’m sure it helped to have company.

Final tally for the month of July:

This time last summer, I was thinking about cracking 2000 miles for the year. Obviously that’s not going to happen this year. And I am totally okay with that. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER doing lower mileage in the summertime down here. I spent way too much of last summer hating life because I was trying to grind out 40+ mile weeks in the heat and humidity. Stupid. This is much better. And while my endurance has suffered, overall I’m in better shape than I’ve been in for a while.

Although I’m definitely looking forward to picking it up again this fall. Endurance can and will be rebuilt!

Assuming I can keep myself free of DIY-induced injuries.

7 responses to “Toe striking is dangerous

  1. Happy birthday! I got you a card and everything, picked up out of town because i saw it and thought of you. I knew you were an August baby….but wasn’t sure on the day. You just had to be early in the month, didn’t you?! Oh well, it’ll be belated!

    Don’t worry about the nail tech – I guarantee she’s seen worse! If it were me, id laugh it off early with a comment on how you hit your toe – no further explanation necessary. An ultimate wish is to learn vietnamese to eavesdrop on what my nail techs are saying.

  2. I’ve injured myself doing yardwork far more than running. I go at those weedy trees with a vengeance!

    Is it that much hotter in Atlanta than Raleigh?

    • That is a good question. I looked up average temps for July in both:

      Raleigh: high 90/low 69

      Atlanta: high 89/low 71

      I would say that seems about right…they seem about the same to me. I’m honestly surprised that the average highs are that low in both cities though…it seems like both this summer and last, there were a lot more days in the upper 90s.

  3. Happy birthday! I unfortunately have no solution to the toenail dilemma, because I kick too much when I get pedicures and ultimately feel guilty and not at all relaxed and thus have stopped getting them completely, but I also suspect any person who’s accustomed to looking to feet has seen worse.

  4. Happy birthday! What happened at the pedicure? Last time I went the lady said “I can tell you’re a runner. ” whomp whomp whomp

  5. I want to know about the pedicure, too, bec I have been avoiding getting one since I am currently missing two nails. And: y’all did 6.30s? WTF is wrong with me that I can hardly make a 90 second 400? Boo! I need to run with you and Faith (tho will miss track next week)! Post pic of toes, please. And Happy Birthday! : )