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Thursday, 18 October 2012

The No Toenails Club: The Glamourous Side of Marathon Running

A little while ago, I was feeling rather smug about being a black toenail virgin despite having run for a little over 2 years now. “It must be my well-fitting shoes” I thought. Or my nice running-style. Or maybe I’m just blessed to have securely attached toenails.

Nope. It was a far more simple reason. I just hadn’t run a marathon yet.

Let’s just say the marathon opened my eyes. Or to put it into a running context – it popped my blisters.

As I crossed the finishing line at Liverpool I could feel something wrong in the end of my sock.There was something not quite where it should be. I hadn’t stashed any spare change in the end of my sock ... yet there was something a little ‘flappy’ going on in there.

My feet were sore and I desperately wanted to remove my trainers but I wasn’t quite sure that I was ready for the no-doubt-detached toenail to come flying out followed by an inevitable shower of gore and pus and special effects mayhem that horror films had prepared me for...

I gingerly made my way back to the hotel room and with a delicate touch removed my trainers ...then my socks ...

But incredibly... at first glance all appeared fine ...


Although what is that?



And that?



And THAT?



To sum up:

  • 1 toenail making a bid for freedom on the right foot.
  • 1 toenail making a bid for freedom on the left foot. (Maybe they’re making plans to elope together)
  • Giant manky blisters between the first and second toes on my left foot.
  • Blood blisters on the 3rd toes of each foot.
  • Some sort of mutant footpad blister on my left foot.
  • Small pea sized blisters on pretty much every toe.


I am so relieved right now that I did an Autumn marathon and do not have to reveal these feety horrors to the world outside for at least another 7 months until summer is here. I am also relieved that I gave myself some sort of bizarre attempt at a French pedicure (complete with revolting ‘Dead Flesh Pink’ nail varnish) before the marathon so at least I can’t see what revolting shades of purple my toenails now are. See. There IS a time and a place for ‘Dead Flesh Pink’ coloured nail varnish.

However, I have been given some good tips to counteract the horror of revealing nail-less toes to the world: (Tips courtesy of @Jens_Itchy_Feet , @joolz_123 and by @GirlyRunner1)

  1. Superglue is NOT just for sticking vases, toys and shoes back together. It can also be used to fix detached toenails back onto the appropriate appendage. A la false toenails. But using real toenails. In fact, the originals. 
  2. Nail varnish is not just for nails. It can be used on skin until the appropriate nail has grown back. To disguise the fact that the owner of the varnished digit is in fact nail-less. Although I have it on good authority that it does tend to wear off quickly so might be worth keeping a sharpie in the handbag to cover any tell tale gaps that might appear.

However, discount for pedicures might be one of the advantages of this state. Possibly on a buy 8 toenails, get 2 free kind of an offer.

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