Today is your lucky day. I was planning to post pictures of my nasty mangled toe, but I decided it was too cruel to do to you kind folks who endure my pointless ramblings and provide me with so much encouragement and support! So thank you, and you're welcome.
You may be wondering what mangled toe I'm talking about. It's my left big toe, and it's the reason I haven't even attempted to run in the past month. The scary thing is that I don't even know when or how it happened!
When you're as klutzy as I am, it's not uncommon to notice suddenly bruises that you don't recall getting. I'm always tripping over, stepping on, or running into something! Most of these incidents don't even register in my brain unless/until an injury later appears. This one is a new low for me, though, because my toe is busted up pretty badly, so I must have banged it hard. It had to have hurt, seriously. But I didn't notice it until I woke up in the middle of the night with a crying baby. As I rocked him, it dawned on me that my toe was throbbing pretty intensely. I thought that was weird, but ignored the pain as best I could until I was asleep again.
The next morning, I took off my sock to identify the problem, and was surprised to see that my toenail was broken more than halfway across the middle, with some discoloration (bleeding?) underneath the bottom half of the nail. Um, ew. As far as busted toes go, it's not that bad (just google "busted toe" and you'll see how nasty this particular ailment can get!), but I'm squeamish enough that this is totally gross to me. I've tried to keep socks on 24/7 (except in the shower) while it heals so I don't have to look at it!
Healing is indeed happening, but it's happening really slowly. I've been afraid to run because I didn't want to increase pressure in the toe or risk the huge broken part of the nail being ripped off. Yes, I know that marathon runners often injure their toes worse than this and lose their nails in the course of their training or races, and it doesn't stop them. Does this make them better than me? Does it mean I'm a wimp? Yep, it sure does. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I might never take on the challenge of running a marathon precisely because I'm not tough enough to endure injuries like this and keep going. When it comes to blood and guts and pain, I'm a big ol' baby. I know this about myself, and I accept it as my cross to bear. Sometimes I have to tough it out through pain and yucky stuff (like c-section recovery! ick!), but the rest of the time I will avoid it whenever possible.
I hope to be able to attempt a slow jog sometime in the next couple of weeks. My current training program starts out with a few walking workouts, and I will just repeat that first week until the toe is ready to run. The first workout is scheduled for tonight! Here's hoping I still have a toenail by the end of it.