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Cost of Doing Business

***Warning hideous foot approaching*****

This past weekend I completed 2 races. One short one I more or less did because my boss asked me to, although it was local, well run and for a good cause. This was the Spring Sprint For Autism 5k. I ran 3 miles in 19:37 and would have probably finished at something like 19:55. However, the finish line was confusing so I stopped at the wrong place and walked a fair part of the last .1 before I realized my error. This was a huge grr moment for me (I paid 25$ for this race, hate screwing it up at cost), and jacked up my time significantly. On Sunday, I completed the delightful Florida Beach Halfathon in 1:39 38. Not my best half, but my nasty cold and the Florida heat got me, and I was happy to roll in sub 1:40 (Top 50, wohoo!), and happier still post race to chill at the beach with some running friends.

One of these friends became the third person in recent weeks to point out the rather nasty nature of my right foot when I changed into my post race flip flops.  They are quite noticeably gross, and it doesnt take a runner to notice them. The left side is caked with an improperly treated blood blister which has deteriorated into peeling pieces of hardened skin. The 2nd toe (next to the big toe) has a huge black thick toenail on it and is starting to develop another blood blister on it. It also appears to be drifting off course for a lack of a better way to say it. Any time I wear my flip flops all of these rather nasty runners delights are visible, it just takes honest people who you know,  to comment about them.

I should state before I go any further that none of these visible “wounds” physically bothers me at all. I mean that. I feel no pain with regards to either. Not while I run, not while I lift, not while I spin, and not while I go about my day to day experiences at all. They cause me zero pain.

In fact I didnt even know I had the blood blister until after I took of my running shoes following the Gainesville marathon. At that point it was huge and bright red, and frightening. I dont know where it came from. The first hilly distance race I ran, poor striking and running gait, not tying my shoelaces correctly, first race in new shoes, bad sock choice- all or none of those things could have done it.

The toenail has been festering for some time. I had them on both of my feet but managed to trim it off the left. The one on the right has gotten so thick I dont think pliers could get it off. Its nice and dark and black. I know “runner’s toenail” is common, but Im pretty sure its supposed to fall off or go away or something. It hasnt.

When my friend Becky saw my maladies post race even she – a running and capoeira veteran of many years – was a bit grossed and concerned. She gave me helpful runners suggestions for dealing with them which I will employ since they are low cost. Thankfully she didnt say what she really knew she should. Neither did my teaching friend this morning when she saw them. My mother on the other hand has been saying it for weekes. Everyone’s least favorite medical related expression -“You should get that checked out”.

The blackened toenail doesnt ail me, but its level of grossness is concerning to me

I cringe when I hear that. I dont feel like going to a doctor, and then have them refer me to a specialist. I have a busy life and I dont want to spend more time at places I dont want to drive or go to. I really dont want to pay the co-pay to the first doctor to refer me to the foot specialist to whom I would have to pay an additional copay. I also dont want to risk the possibility of “follow up” appointments and tests and whatever else costs may come up. I dont want to pay for whatever ointments or devices they want me to use to protect against…whatever. You see my point? However this is an interesting point for me.

Preventive care is important to well…prevent injuries. Any good athlete knows that they should always expend the extra effort to make sure their body is functioning on all cylinders and do whatever is necessary to keep them there. Part of that is getting problems in check before they become colossal. I agree with this whole philosophy. This doesnt even get into how physically unappealing it looks to someone who wears flip flops often and is well… hopelessly single

This is really attractive. Imagine it bright, pulsing red like it was at the beginning

The problem is I just cant afford it right now. I have decent insurance but even if the doctor notices something small that they may want to fix- its going to cost me money that I could use elsewhere in my life. So I am leaving it unaddressed for now-at least medically speaking. Its a risk for sure I know, but it doesnt weigh on my mind that much. As my life goes now financially and logistically, I can only fix big problems that are essential to core areas of where I am headed. Smaller stuff gets addressed in due course, and down the line stuff rarely gets noticed. Run the mile thats in front of you in runners speak I guess.  Im lucky I notice extra stuff like this at all. In this case its only because its so grossly visible that this one became apparent. But there is no pain, so I just have to leave it alone. Running battle scars for now. Or as I told my friend Heidi this morning, when you are a runner, just the cost of doing business. Ugly and probably not healthy skin on my feet.

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day


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