I am certain that my ninja friend 50StateCanuck is shuddering at my title, but sometimes black isn’t the color I want to see. A couple of months ago, when marathon training was getting into full swing, I was stricken with Black Death Toe. One evening, a couple of days after my long run, I noticed a monstrous tiny bruised spot at the base of my toenail. <Insert IMMEDIATE and IRRATIONAL panic here> I know that many runners take great pride in their black toes, but I took great pride in never having one. I seriously fretted about this for DAYS (maybe even weeks). I even took pics every day for two weeks because I wanted to see if it was getting worse. (NO, I will NOT be posting a pic here today.) Trust me when I say that I overreacted, but if you’ve seen those horror pictures of black toenails, I know you completely understand!
I could not fathom why in the world I would be having this problem at that point in my training. I had really not changed anything except mileage. (OK, I know mileage can do it, but I’ve run this much before without incident.) Since I am an introvert by nature and quite obsessive, I gave this A LOT of thought (and worry!). But it was in my next long run that I actually formulated a theory. During that run, I could feel that gravel in the highway pavement through my shoes. I was getting close to my mileage threshold for them, but had not quite reached it, so they should not have broken down that easily and quickly. I came to the conclusion that I was not giving my shoes enough recovery time. I ordered 2 new pairs right away and began to rotate them.
I generally use one pair for the long run and the other pair for my shorter midweek runs, to give them ample recovery time. I think my diagnosis must have been spot on, because my shoes are comfy and I’m happy to report that I have had no further Black Toe issues.
Why am I posting about this today? I just removed my toe nail polish that I put on to keep me from looking at (and thinking about) the black spot. I ended up scrubbing and scrubbing this one place on my toe….then I remembered it was the black spot! LOL It really isn’t that black anymore and it isn’t big at all; no larger than a pencil eraser.
And now I can add “Surviving black toe” to my list of accomplishments. #winning
Happy Tuesday everyone!