Look away now..Runners Feet Ain’t Pretty!

May 20, 2010

Training


Apart from the aches and pains I was expecting to get after running 26.2 miles of Virgin London Marathon, I also picked up a blister or two.  I felt this one, on my big toe,  coming up as I was running..but not the ones on the tips of my toes, that I found later!  I had all sorts of conflicting advice about whether to pop blisters or not but in the end I decided to leave well alone and let nature do its thing.

Out of curiosity, the pretty pink nail varnish went and the ghastly reality of bruised and blackened toe nails appeared.  I’d like to say my toes looked worse than they felt…but that would be a whopping great fib..they hurt like hell!  How do dogs and children manage to step on your toes only when they’re throbbing and feeling as though they’re about to drop off??!  A couple of friends have said “Ooh, you should get those looked at” but, to be honest, the thought of anyone going anywhere near my feet at the moment brings me out in a cold sweat.  You see, I’m not a squeamish person at all – I like to think I can, and have, handled all manor of gory situations, illnesses, blood, guts and nastiness but when it comes to the thought of toenails falling off..well, lets just say, I’d rather not think about the state my toes will be in minus their nails …. eeeurrgh! <shudders>

This is how my toes were faring 10 days after running my first marathon.  As you can see, the blisters have gone down, but that’s it for positive news.  Initially, I used a combination of Arnica (both in tablet and cream form) and good old Savlon, to help deal with the bruising and prevent any infections under the nails as they started to lift off.  Eeeww… see, I did tell you to look away if you’re of a sensitive disposition!!

3 weeks on and the good news is that I think everything is healing the way it should.  However, it’s pretty obvious that, whilst things are healing, the only thing that is keeping my toenails on is the hard skin formed by blisters.  The smaller toenails look as though they’re the first ones that are going to fall off.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered a lovely new foot balm that is doing wonders for the bits of my feet that aren’t in any danger of falling off!  Pretty Feet Luxury Balm, from Kitty of Devon, is just what my feet need at the moment.  Hand-made and from 100% natural ingredients, it has a deliciously uplifting scent of Peppermint and Tea Tree oil.  The balm looks semi-solid in its jar but turns to soft butter once in contact with my skin.  I like the way that a little, of this luxury balm, goes a long way.  It’s very soothing and has really started to make a difference to my poor old tootsies!  …and no, I’m not being paid to say this :)  Have a look at Kitty’s full range of 100% natural hand-made skin care products




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20 Responses to “Look away now..Runners Feet Ain’t Pretty!”

  1. Mary Lou Kayser Says:

    Hi Joanna,
    While I am not a marathon runner, I do know what it’s like to get big fat blisters on my feet! You see, back in January of this year, I started barefoot running. Now you need to understand something about me — I am NOT a runner. Love to walk, can walk for miles, but running? No thanks! But for some reason, that all changed when I hopped on the treadmill on January 1st with no shoes on and ran for 30 minutes. It was unbelievable. Like I was flying! I have been running barefoot ever since, but as you can imagine, my soft virgin feet developed some pretty hefty blisters on the pads. Now they are gone and replaced with thickened skin. But they were big and they hurt for a bit! Wish I’d known about this magic balm you’ve discovered, although I don’t know if it’s available here in the states.
    Anyway, I am enjoying your blog! :)
    Mary Lou

    Reply

  2. Joanna Says:

    Hi Mary Lou,

    Bare-foot running sounds interesting – I was reading about it only last week! I’ll bet those blisters took a bit of getting used to. I checked today, Pretty Feet Luxury Balm ships to the US .. I’m not involved in the company in any way so pleased to give an honest review.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and wishing you all the best for continued happy running!

    Joanna :)

    Reply

  3. Nelson Says:

    Interesting post. Unlike Mary, I don’t have “soft Virgin Feet”. My feet have been around for almost 7 decades and they need all the pampering they can get. Running, never happen. “These Feet were made for Walking”

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Hi Nelson,

      Thanks for stopping by. Whether it’s walking or running, I suspect we may be heading in the same direction!

      Take care of those feet :)

      Joanna

      Reply

  4. Christine Casey Says:

    Hi Joanna ~ It wasn’t until I read your blog realized that I too had toenails come off from running injury. (Mine were from the second big toes though.) This all happened before I knew that it is best to have proper fitting running shoes, and the ones I was using at the time did not keep my feet from moving in the shoe, thus my toes pounding back and forth against the point of the shoes. And, you’re not kidding…it hurt for a few weeks, and could not imagine anything touching them without pain! Thank you for sharing ;-) BTW, how did you do in the marathon? Christine

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Thanks for the empathy Christine :) I’m at a bit of a loss as to know what’s caused the problem as I have properly fitted running shoes from a great store that does gait analysis too. Guess they’ll just have to be ‘badges of honour’! Totally hooked on marathon running now (check out a few posts back & videos) I ran the Virgin London Marathon in 05:10:01 ..not bad for a first effort and being on crutches 5 weeks before! Fantastic to do something so empowering and raise so much money for Macmillan Cancer Support .. I’m going to keep up the running and the fundraising :)
      Take care
      Joanna

      Reply

  5. Tama Says:

    Oh, I remember my feet looking the same way. I used to run, now I walk. Don’t think my bod and feet are made to run barefoot. Have no desire to do that.

    The foot balm sounds wonderful. Tea tree and peppermint works wonders.

    Congrats. on finishing your marathon,

    Tamara

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Tamara, thanks so much for your kind comments – have to say I’m curious about barefoot running but for the time being I’m sticking to running shoes..not sure my feet could cope with more injuries and blisters! The balm really is lovely and the fragrance of tea tree and peppermint is a real favourite of mine…very calming and relaxing… yet refreshing too.
      Whilst I initially thought this blog would just catalog my training, running and fundraising for the Virgin London Marathon 2010 .. I’ve realised I’ve gained so much that I need to keep going … they say ‘life is a marathon’ ..well, I think for me it’s going to be a series of marathons so that I can help raise more money for charity. Watch this space :)

      Best wishes
      Joanna

      Reply

  6. Bill Hartman Says:

    Joanna,

    I have ran a number of 13.1 minis and have never had the first blister. Don’t think I will attempt a “Full” if that is what I can expect. LOL Only a runner can really understand what you go through.

    Bill

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for stopping by ..great to hear from you..a fellow runner! I suspect I need to train harder .. being on crutches only weeks before the London Marathon probably didn’t help .. I don’t think my toes knew what hit them (literally!) :) Still, you live and learn and it hasn’t put me off..so, Bring It On!!!

      Joanna

      Reply

  7. Lori Robertson Says:

    Joanna, this was a very interesting post and even though I am not a marathon runner I found running barefoot may be kind of fun, hopefully I won’t get blisters but who knows. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Lori

    Reply

  8. Val Wilcox Says:

    Joanna,
    You are so dedicated to move through this kind of discomfort and pain. I’m not a runner, yet I have had a major injury to my foot, so I understand your comments about pain. I applaud you for staying on task with your running career.

    Val :)

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Val, you’re very kind to get in touch. You poor thing..I hope you are on the road to recovery. Your kind words mean a lot, thank you.

      Joanna

      Reply

  9. rebeccahappy Says:

    I amnot a runner but last fall I had the opportunity to attend on of the TEDx events in my town. Ray Zehab who went from couch potato to adventure runner talked about some of the trials his feet would go through on his extreme hikes. When they did the Sahara and Antarctica they would have to syringe the pus out of the blisters so they could continue the next day. Pretty gross stuff. I don’t remember what they did for care but they would certainly grease up their feet.

    Reply

  10. Lesly Federici Says:

    Well. I am not a runner (I admire you) but I’m glad you found some relief! Our feet in general take a beating! And thank you for posting a comment on my blog :-)

    Reply

  11. Chris White Says:

    Oh Joanna! I’m totally freaked out at the sound of your nails failling off!!

    Your feet look like what happens to your fingernail when you slam it in the door. AAaaa!!

    Ok I’ll leave your nail alone. But anyway I loved this post, I think because my fear made it so irresistible! Anyway, hopefully we’re be in the same group again next week! Your site is a breathe of fresh air!

    Thanks for the enlightenment!

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to stop by and post a comment. I had a feeling the title of the article would prove to tempting for some ;) Unfortunately, my nails got worse and I’ve just had a few removed this week! … eeeewwww!

      Great to hear you like my site … you’re welcome here any time!

      Best wishes
      Joanna :)

      Reply

  12. warriorwoman Says:

    Oooh yuck that’s not nice at all.
    My usual asics have a tendency to rip my toe nails off if I run too far which is part of the reason I’ve been encouraged to start running in minimal running shoes – there’s usually loads more room for the toes to wiggle.

    Reply

    • Joanna Says:

      Thanks for visiting! Yeah the toes do look a bit grim .. unfortunately, they got even worse and I lost my toenails.. but I think I can see some new nail starting to grow now. The minimal running shoes have attracted my attention for exactly the reason you state … more wiggle room! Which ones do you think are the best you’ve tried so far? I’m eager to try a pair but seem spoilt for choice.

      Reply

  13. Angela Arnold Says:

    Hi, Joanna,
    I absolutely love your blog, and I enjoyed your post. If fact, I recently had a long conversation with a cosmetologist as she gave me a pedicure. She mentioned that the worst feet she had seen are the feet of dancers (especially ballet dancers). Next worst were skiers. All of their toes are black. I recently heard that there is an upsurge in barefoot runners. Well, anyway, it’s good to know that their is help available. Thanks for the informative post.

    Reply

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