January 13, 2012

Help, my toenail is coming off!

Today's run: 6 miles in 49:44. This was an indoor track run, so I ran by feel. I tried to run a pace that felt medium-hard, but sustainable. I am still not a runner that ever thinks of any run as easy, but this run was sort of relaxed at points.

OK, I need your help, people of the interwebs. Back on the first weekend of November, I ran my first marathon in these new socks, CEP compression socks for women in a size 3 according to the calf measurement chart. The legs felt awesome, and I definitely was glad to have them that day to help my calves, as they were very crampy and sore the second half of the race and most likely would have been worse without these.



The bad news is that the foot portion of this sock was slightly too big, and because of that, extra fabric bunched around my big toe. It was very slight, but just enough to be noticeable. Well, in case you are wondering, 26.2 miles of extra fabric against your big toe causes you to lose a toenail.

The nail has changed colors over time, and stopped hurting not long after the race. So I have ignored it, until this week. Warning: the following is all details you won't want to know if you hate feet and talking about flaky toenails. So back to disgusting. Yesterday, over two months after the original incident, it finally started to pop off. I've lost toenails before playing soccer, but I wasn't as worried about them because I didn't have to run 26.2 miles(!) without a toenail. So because one corner of the toenail is hanging on (I didn't really test this fully because I am afraid to go for the full rip), I just left it in its partial cling-on state.

So here's where I need your help. The toenail is growing in underneath, and that weird non-toenail-but-harder-than-skin toe covering seems to be in place under the nail. Should I just go for ripping it all the way off, or should I just leave it alone until after my marathon next weekend?

And in case you don't want to vomit enough already, here's the visual.

One of these toenails is not like the others (to the Sesame Street song tune)

So again, the question is, would it add more toe protection for the marathon to leave it in place, yet slightly loose? Or would it be better to snatch it off and hide it under my kid's pillow?

9 comments:

  1. I'm no expert, but I had the same problem when I broke my pinky toe a few years ago. Mine also held on for dear life until I finally ripped it off. Is it uncomfortable underneath the nail or if there is pressure on the toe? Or does it feel normal? I think if you ripped it off the new nail might harden faster, plus it would give you a week to get used to. But like I said, I'm no expert!

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    1. It's not uncomfortable at all anymore. You are right. I just need to get up the nerve and go for it!

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  2. Well, I can't say I have had this happen.... The closest I got was having half of my big toenail turn black, but it never came off. (In fact, my husband claimed as far as black toenails went, it was pretty wimpy.) Of course, all that being said, I would think that if a marathon can cause the rubbing that causes lost toenails (which we all know it can), then isn't it almost a given that if you leave the toenail in place, it will come off sometime during the marathon anyway? I don't think you'd want that rattling around in your sock somewhere mid-race. Good luck with the decision!

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    1. Toenails rattling in socks for 26.2 miles actually sounds really bad!:) That definitely puts the problem in perspective. That sucker is out.

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  3. If it's loose, get the sucker off. Eww...

    Maybe you need to look into calf sleeves so that you get the compression without the sock issue...

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    1. I've definitely considered calf sleeves, but I read here http://www.nomeatathlete.com/cep-compression-socks-giveaway/ that you need compression on your foot too so that you don't have blood pooling and swelling in your feet and ankles. Have you ever had any issue with that?

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  4. Hi, I am am a new reader to your blog...and first off just wanted to say Congrats to you! Secondly, I have lost a few toenails over the last couple of years and each one I've treated differently but I did run in Nov with a hanging nail. I trimmed off the part that was not still embedded and put a waterproof bandaid around it. I also put a bandaid on the one adjacent to it to keep the bandaid from causing problems. The ones I've pulled out were painful until they healed. Good luck!
    Dawn

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    1. So glad you're here! Did your bandaid stay on through the race? I was wondering if that would be an option.

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  5. Yes my bandaids worked super! I didn't have any feet issues...which was amazing as I forgot to pack my socks and had to buy a pair at the convention. I think the trick was adding a bandaid to my other toe that rubbed next to it...although with that thinking all of my toes should have had one? But yes it did work.

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