Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Small Victories, Blisters, and Pestilence

Better late than never, a report on Friday's run...Friday's 15 mile training run was AWESOME! No, I'm not being sarcastic. It seems my feelings of death during the 14 miler the previous week were due to the intense heat, not my inability to run. I left extra early on Friday morning with the expectation of getting in about 5 miles before the sun rose. The weather was uncharacteristically cool and even the humidity was bearable. My legs felt unbelievably fresh and light. The best part was that the when sunrise rolled around, it turned out to be an overcast, gray day. No direct sunlight! There was a soft breeze, and at certain points in the run, it sprinkled a little. And, 10 miles into a 15 mile run, a little rain is a welcome treat. I wasn't breaking any land speed records for sure. I took it slow and stopped to fill my hand-held water bottle at every fountain I encountered. Between mile 10 and mile 14, there aren't any fountains, so I stopped at Starbucks, dripping with sweat in line with people in suits, to buy some bottled water. Girl's gotta do what she's gotta do! Somewhere around mile 12, I became conscious that the seam of my sock was rubbing against toenail of my second toe. I crossed my fingers that I wasn't getting a massive blister and kept going...I finished strong. Tired, but so happy that I didn't feel horrible like I had the week before.

When I got around to checking out my feet, there were blisters in other places, but no rubbed spots around the cuticle of my second toe. It was tender, so I wondered if I'd managed to bruise it somehow. I didn't really think any more about it until Saturday evening when I took my shoes in the hotel room. My toe was throbbing under the nail. I grabbed some nail clippers to see if maybe the pain was from the nail poking the skin or something. On closer inspection, there was a huge blister under my nail. Just regular, not blood blister. I drained it, but my toe was still really tender. The only way I can really describe it would be a strange pressure under the nail near my cuticle. I ended up wearing flip flops for the rest of the trip. It was a great trip by the way...Here's a picture of me with my mom and sisters when we arrived at our hotel:

This morning was my first attempt at running since the problem started. The toe wasn't bothering me when I got up, so I decided to go ahead and run without figuring out how to wrap it with gauze and athletic tape. OUCH! Running up or down hill was extremely uncomfortable. I will definitely put some padding between me and my shoe for the next run. Hopefully this clears up quickly (and my toenail stays ON)!

Another experience from this morning...I had a flashback to the scariest summer of my life. I was around 5th or 6th grade age when one summer the area I lived in experienced a visit from the 7 year cicadas (ugly flying bugs the size of golf balls). They were gross on their own, swarming all over bushes and trees, but they joined forces with some other variety of cicada (13 year maybe?). I lived in terror for the few weeks that they were around. I specifically remember going to the local library and my mom having to force me from  the car because the bushes near the door were covered in the little beasts. A few weeks later, they were nothing but a bunch of shells stuck on trees and bushes. What does that have to do with this morning? While the experience of my childhood was a plague of biblical proportions, I believe they're baaaaaack. I encountered 7 on my run this morning. Seven! They would be sitting on the sidewalk looking like dead leaves until my feet got near them at which time they'd dive bomb my head. So, there were also 7 flailing dances and screams like a little girl on my part. I went so far as to make a detour to the other side of the road to avoid a particularly large one after it didn't seem phased by the stream from my water bottle. At least it was early...I think only a couple of people saw my performance. Nature...gotta love it.

Anyway, this week is a step back week in my training plan. Mid week runs are the same length, but my long run is a mere 11 miles on Saturday. Ah, relaxation!
Any readers have tips or tricks to avoid blisters and toenail trauma? Please share!


  1. I've been using body glide on my feet in blister prone areas, in addition to making sure I dont run in cotton socks. Great job on the run!

  2. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Josh