I gots 'em.
Let's start at the beginning; they've never been pretty. They are a ridiculously large size 10 for my meager height of only 5'6". My toes are more like fingers, with multiple, knobby knuckles (tuckles?). And the heels have been granted no favors, living in this dry, dry desert of ours. It's not uncommon for at least one heel to crack mid-July due to heat, dryness, and ill-fitting flip-flops.
So before running began, I was working with maybe a 3 out of 10, in terms of beauty. I can assure you, no one has ever told me I have pretty feet. But after a miserable pregnancy that pushed my dogs to a whooping size 10.5, shoe shopping is akin to going to the dentist. And I HATE the dentist.
Add running in, and well, we have a hot mess on our hands, just south of my ankles.
It all started after the St. Patrick's Day race. I had the bright idea to trim my toenails the night before the race, due to my serious phobia of losing a nail. Alas, I trimmed them too short. After 7.1 miles of of toe-slamming in the fronts of my shoes, I came home to find large, pink, fluid-filled blisters on the fronts of each toe. Gross and painful. And rather unsightly.
The St. Patrick's Day race produced more than a lot of ugly toes; it also spelled the death of my first-ever pair of real running shoes. They say you should put no more than 500 miles on a pair, and by mid-March, my shoes were ready to say good-bye. In addition to being caked in red mud, the mesh on the front was ripping and the support was no longer there. With a heavy heart, Brian and I dropped my shoes in the garbage in the laundry room and stood silent for a moment. It was a fitting end to a great pair of shoes.
I purchased another pair quickly, but my feet must have been swollen the day I bought them, since they were way too large for me. I only wore them three times, but each time, I literally felt like I was wearing over-sized clown shoes that shook with each step. Cue the trip back to the shoe store, and enter in pair of shoes #3.
(thankfully, most good running stores offer a 10- or 30-day money back/exchange guarantee with the purchase of new shoes. Thank you, Nice Man at Performance Footwear on the corner of Ft. Apache and Sahara Ave for being so patient with me, my feet, and my talkative child.)
The latest pair is a winner, except I decided to "cool-it-up" by purchasing a pair of what I thought were stealth black running socks. I imagined myself something of a ninja runner. After my eight-mile run two weeks ago, I realized my ninja socks had a faulty seam on the left foot, which pressed against my little toe for eight agonizing miles. Never one to admit defeat, I wore the socks again this past weekend for a 10.5 mile run, telling myself it was user error. If I just wiggle the seam around a little to the right, just jostled the sock to the left, and only ran on the inside part of my foot, the socks are not a problem.
So now the left side of my foot, starting with my baby toe, was mostly numb for two days afterwards. I did yet another run this morning (only five miles) with thicker socks, and there was no problem.
Stupid ninja socks.
However, I am still left with a swollen purple toe to match my toe-front pink blisters.
Let's not even get started on my lack-of a pedicure. And quite frankly, I'm not going to let anyone touch my feet until after the Summerlin half marathon, out of fear of another toe-saster-blister-gate incident.
I'm planning to wear open-toe sandals tomorrow night to a function, and at this point, I don't care what my feet look like. I could pretty-it up and say my ugly feet are like battle scars and I should show them off proudly, but let's face it, they are just simply ugly feet.
And I'm okay with that.
The Summerlin Half-Marathon is this Saturday, April 14th. In honor of the race, each blog entry this week will be dedicated to running. Happy reading!