Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feet, feet, feet!

This week at the Runners' Lounge Take it and Run Thursday, it's all about feet.

Oh, how I can talk about feet . . .

Being a runner means that I have some less than attractive feet. I mean, they're fine. It's not like people have to avert their eyes quickly after catching a glimpse of them. But, they just aren't the prettiest feet going. I have a bunion on my right foot, which has been a nagging problem for about 15 years, but has never been bad enough to do anything serious about. And I have toenails that are often black, in the process of falling off or just starting to grow back after having fallen off. So, really, not the most attractive feet.

Yesterday, one of my left toenails fell off. Don't worry, it didn't hurt. And it doesn't freak me out anymore. I'm used to it.

On Tuesday, I ran into some hamstring trouble, which I now believe was the result of a bunion flare-up. The bunion was causing some pain, so I'm sure I altered my stride and now I'm paying the price in the form of a sore hammie (both the ham and the bunion are feeling significantly better today, though).

Anyway, with healthy, injury-free feet being integral for running success, I've learned a few things along the way to keep my feet feeling as good as possible:

  • Wear the right running shoes for your running style, and make sure they fit. I've made the mistake of squeezing into too-small sneaks and, believe me, it is no good.
  • Don't walk around barefoot or in slippers. I wear Birkenstocks around the house, to fully support my arch and let my toes move about freely.
  • If you have a bunion, take steps to minimize the pain as frequently as possible. I do big-toe adductors and toe extensors, two exercises I picked up from Runner's World. They work.
  • Keep your feet and calves well-stretched. And massaged. I give my feet a nice rub-down when they need it and it really helps!
Now, one thing I haven't figured out is how to change the fate of my toenails. I've tried many different things, without much success, so I've mostly written the problem off to something I'll just have to live with.

Of course, I'm very open to tips and suggestions on the toenail thing if you have them!

8 comments:

Mark Salinas said...

I have the nastiest feet in the world. My tips? Wear socks...hide them! :)

tfh said...

Ah, toenails. My motto is: hey, they'll grow back. And it is liberating to realize how little you really need them.

Sorry about the bunion, though. Hope it remains not serious enough to need to do anything about it.

Betsy said...

I keep my toenails cut really short, which I think is what keeps them from falling off.

Andrew is getting fit said...

Amputate the toes! ;)

barefootrunner said...

Allowing your arches to support themselves (as nature designed) will build stronger feet and tendons. So DO walk around barefoot whenever possible, and incorporate barefoot running into your training whenever possible, just start slowly with short runs. Best of luck!

carla said...

thats why I wanna be a runner.


I always have notsonicefeet (as evidenced by the SAD fact my Toddler called me boo boo foot the other day. I resisted the urge to explain to her that they were merely DRY no matter what I do yada yada yada :))

Miz.

Lily on the Road said...

Great advice!

Yes I wear Mephisto's at all times. I tried the barefoot thing and damaged my nevicular bone, so, support shoes at all times for this chick...

janey10021 said...

For bunions, wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Go roomy and comfortable. Pick shoes that have a wide toe and skip those with high heels or pointed toes. Also, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions. I use SmartToes Toe Stretchers for bunion treatment and hammer toe treatment. The unique design helps straighten and align your toes and feet and provide relief for bunion and hammer toe.

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