No, I'm not talking about the economic situation here, there are far more qualified people to discuss this on untold numbers of websites & blogs. No, what I'm talking about today is the unfortunate action my toenails are taking. Now, I've knows quite a number of people to actually lose toenails - my SIL is among those ranks - but it occurs to me to wonder how many people have receding toenails. It also occurs to me to wonder exactly how far my toenails will recede before just giving up the ghost altogether. It's been a slow, morbidly fascinating journey into toenaillessness.
I have been watching the deterioration of my toenails over many months now and today in an effort to take stock and try to keep them from snagging or tearing, I clipped & filed them down to where the quick(I use the term loosely) currently resides on each toe. Right now I have at least 5 toenails (yikes, I just realized that's 50% of my toes!) that are in various stages of decline. A couple of them have started to work loose at the sides, but all of them are much smaller toenails than they ever used to be before I started running.
What I do find surprising about this is that it is my middle toes on each foot that are battling to retain their nails. I always figured that if I lost a nail it would be on one of my pinky toes as they are seemingly the most susceptible to abuse and my ugly little pinky toes tend to curl under, which I would think would put even more stress on them. My middle toes are unremarkable. None of them are longer than my big toe and I always just figured they hung out there in the middle and played only supporting roles in my ability to balance and propel myself forward. However, if the nails are any indication, this is anything but the case.
I guess I should be grateful in some ways. My toenails are not going through any kind of catastrophic event where they come loose quickly (and painfully). They're not bleeding, they're not painful at all, and for the most part they've stopped blistering. Still, I have to wonder if the receding toenail(s) is enough to be able to wear the "Toenails are for Sissies" t-shirt as a badge of honor. Technically, I still have all 10 nails, they just cover significantly less area than they once did. Hmph.
Monday's (Long) Run (although it wasn't pretty, after last week's back incident, I guess I should just be thankful to be able to run a long run at all!)