On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Foot issues: one gross, one not

I'll start with the non-gross issue so that those of you bothered by feet can opt out of my second foot-related topic.

According to runblogger, Saucony is slowly changing the drop on their 12mm shoes to an 8mm differential. As most of you know, that number refers to the difference in height between the forefoot and the heel of the shoe. Most of us, myself included, do our long runs (or all of our runs) in big, clunky shoes with a 12mm drop. With their elevated heel, these shoes foster a heel strike. However, lately the increase in minimalist footwear has meant that zero-drop shoes (or close to it) are becoming much more mainstream. If you didn't click the link, basically what Saucony's representatives said was that the 12mm figure wasn't based on any scientific evidence but was just one of those "because it's the way we've always done it" sorts of things. Their wear testers seem to like the lower heel.

This could be a game-changing move if other companies follow their lead.

I'll try it. But that won't surprise you since I'll try any fad.

If you tell me you're shocked to see me in my new Brooks Pure Cadence, I will call you a liar.

Next, the gross part. A few days ago, I noticed that the toenail was loosening from the nail bed on the second toe on my left foot. (Turn back now if that sentence made you at all queasy; it will only get worse.) Yeah, yeah, yawn, common occurrence. Soon the cycle of (toenail) life will continue as the toenail falls off and then regrows itself again. I don't even have a left big toenail anymore because it fell off so often that it stopped growing back. So I did what I usually do in this situation, which is to trim off as much of the excess toenail as I can without cutting into anything.

Well. While I was walking around the other day, I noticed the toe was tender. I got home and I took my shoes and socks off and found that the toe was slightly pink. I kind of pressed on it a bit to see where it hurt and puss gushed out. Yep. Ingrown toenail. A few days before a marathon. I swear I didn't cut the nail too short and the skin was never broken (except obviously I must have and it was). I'm soaking it and using tons of neosporin and keeping my fingers crossed.

It's always something, isn't it?

And no, you don't want to see any pictures. It's just a pink toe at this point, anyway. An angry, mean, race-ruining pink toe.

I'm also dying of a cold and I've spent more time thinking about what to wear on Sunday than I have on, you know, like work and stuff. So yeah, it might be taper time.


  1. Oh, noes! Poor toe. I hope it magically heals within the next 3.7 hours.

  2. OH I HATE IT when blogs post pictures of their messed up toenails, sometimes with blood! Who wants to see that crap? I have my own weird toenail to look at, thank you very much. And you know? Toenails don't even bother me that much, but put it on a picture where it's 5 times its real size and ew.

    And yeah, I totally noticed the shoes. How do you like them?

  3. AGREED ABOUT THE PHOTOS. And thank you, Majo. I think it's going to be okay. I'll live, at least! It seems to be improving, and it doesn't hurt to walk/run (at least it's not my big toe!).

    I think I like the shoes. Tentatively. Post-races I'm looking forward to wearing them much more so I should have a full report in a bit.

  4. I am guilty of posting a photo of my messed up toe, but my fb friends asked for it! Do you want me to call you a toe truck? (hah Jeff's joke, and I guess the joke is better spoken than written).

  5. I really hate that I laughed at that.

    Here's the thing about foot photos, though: I could take a photo of my "good" foot, and close up, it would still look gross. My best idea ever, though, was to paint my toenails black. Now I can't tell the bad ones from the good ones.

  6. I posted a pic of a foot blister once. Because it was so comical looking...it didn't look real. It looked like a red grape.

    How do you like the PureCadence? Everyone seems to love them!

  7. I had my first-ever red grape blister a while ago. I agree, it was picturesque.

    I think I like the Pure Cadence? I've only put about 20 miles on them, though, so I can't say for sure.

  8. EWWWWWW. I'm glad you didn't tell me about this last night.

  9. SEXY. I've never had an ingrown, but I've had lost of black nails and bloody socks. Running badge of badassery?

  10. ahhh my big toenail is slowly on the verge of RIP too.

    oh running.

  11. My injuries never look impressive in photos, so I stick with vivid descriptions and let people imagine the grossness. Like a horror movie, sometimes the scariest parts are the ones you can only hear.