When black isn’t your color

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.

Obligatory Blog Photo The shoe on the left was my FAVORITE shoe of all time.  The one on the right was my then 8 year old's volleyball shoe, which was 1/2 size smaller than mine.
Obligatory Blog Photo
The shoe on the left was my FAVORITE shoe of all time. The one on the right was my then 8 year old’s volleyball shoe, which was 1/2 size smaller than mine.

And now I can add “Surviving black toe” to my list of accomplishments.  #winning

Happy Tuesday everyone!


War rooms and battle of the bracket

My son, Logan, is a gamer.  Last week, one of his friends was in town visiting family.  So Logan’s group of friends did what anyone would do: they moved in together.  And when I say moved in, I mean MOVED IN.  I would have laughed if I hadn’t been in such shock watching him carry the contents of his room to his truck.  He literally took his computer and 2 of his 3 monitors.

This is the "war room", as I affectionately call it.
The “war room”, as it is affectionately called.

The picture really doesn’t do it justice.  That computer is HUGE.  The fan alone is larger than my PC.  And, Logan scrimped and saved to buy all this on his own.  I should have included his chair in the pic, but I was trying to hurry before he came back in.  LOL. It literally looks like a pilot seat, and, according to Logan, is VERY comfortable.  (By the way, this may seem messy, but was post-cleaning.)

Most people know that, in addition to being obsessed about running, I am also obsessed with volleyball.  And while 99% of the country fills out Final Four brackets for Men’s collegiate basketball, I fill out Final Four brackets for Women’s collegiate volleyball.  I pour a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my bracket picks, but in the end ALWAYS end up picking with my emotions.  This usually means that half my bracket is trashed in the second round, although my final four picks are usually correct.  The hardest part is predicting the upsets, because the only guarantee is that there WILL be several of those!  I’ll do my best not to belly ache over my misses over the next 3 weeks, but I can not make any promises.

I ran yesterday.  Just a short 5 miles to burn off the crazy and see how much fitness I have lost (kidding, but not really).  My ITB was very well-behaved and didn’t gripe at me at all!  And while I am encouraged by that run, I am more encouraged by what I am feeling in my body.  First, much of the tightness around my hip and lower back is beginning to release.  This tells me that my ITB isn’t as tight as it was.  (Good sign.)  I have been foam rolling more effectively and I am having trouble finding the knot in the middle of my ITB.  (Another good sign.)  And finally, I really want to run.  It is becoming hard to stay inside.  (Maybe the best sign of all!)  The challenge has begun to shift from rehabbing my ITB to maintaining my fitness level without re-injury.  We all know my track record in that arena!

Seen on my run: beautiful Texas sunset
Seen on my run: beautiful Texas sunset

One things that is great about living in a small town is that you know basically everyone.  When one of those everyones happens to own a gift shop, for example, they can call you to say they have cute, reflective headbands for running.  I’m kind of excited to run in the dark again. 😉

Isn't this the cutest headband??
It even matches my reflective harness!

13 days until Dallas, but who is counting??

Happy Monday all!  Good luck getting in the post-Thanksgiving groove!