I came to the conclusion this morning, us big folk really should think long and hard before taking up running.
It’s not for the reasons you might think. It has nothing to do with the wear and tear on your joints. My knees and all feel far better than they ever did before I started running. It’s nothing to do with overdoing it, running has been so much better for me from a cardiovascular standpoint than I could think.
The real reason?
Yep. Those little things on the top front part of your toes? These things that, when your feet are pounding around step after step after thousands of steps are the primary point of contact against the front of your shoes for every one of those steps after steps after thousands of steps?
It’s not that toenails are any more of a problem for us big folk than anyone else. That’s just one of the facts of life when running. Your toenails kinda take on this reverse chisel affect, driving themselves into your toes step after step after thousands of steps.
Have I over done that thousands of steps thing yet? Anyone who’s gotten done with a long run and their toenail area is just aching would tell you I’m not overdoing it at all, maybe I’m even understating it a bit.
And yet most of you would say well, duh. That’s easily fixed: keep the toenails trimmed down and that will work. I’ve heard of runners who, and I’m not kidding about this, have had their toenails surgically removed for this very reason. Talk about dedication. Or insanity, I’m not sure which.
I have a handful of skinny readers. Maybe. Truth is I only have a handful of readers, period. Anyway, for you skinny folk, try this exercise out. You need a roll of duct tape and a couple of baskeballs. If you have volleyballs or soccer balls, those would work. Position those basketballs around gut level, side by side, and then strap them on really well with the duct tape. I mean really well, cuz those puppies aren’t going anywhere soon. Are they strapped on good and secure? Good. Now, bend over and try to trim your toenails.
See what I’m talking about?
You know when you’re on a long run and to the point of giving up because it’s getting tiring? This is the point where the old cliche is to push through. THAT is not pushing through. Pushing through is staying bent over long enough to successfully trim one toenail. That’s pretty literal actually. Then you sit up long enough to catch your breath, then try the next one. And don’t even get me started about the big toe.
The good news is, it’s getting easier. Slowly, very slowly. It’s not quite as easy as ripping off the duct tape to remove those basketballs. This gut didn’t get there as quickly as strapping those things on and won’t come off as quickly.
And oh, by the way, to those of you who strapped the basketballs on with duct tape: I do apologize, I should have warned you to wear a shirt underneath that. I really, really hope you didn’t duct tape that around skin. It’s really going to hurt coming off. I’m really sorry about that. If you did have a shirt on, if it got toe messed up by the duct tape let me know, I saw a store when running over the weekend that was selling T Shirts really, really cheap, I’ll try to find that place for you.
Now if you will excuse me I’ve got some deep breathing exercises to do related to getting these toenails trimmed down. I could just get a pedicure, but… it’s a guy thing I guess. Paying for a pedicure just doesn’t seem right.