Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toenails Are For Sissies

Toenails are for sissies
Image from flickr.

It's ironic that I never lost a toenail after a half marathon, but I'm probably going to lose at least 2 after one hike.  I need new boots.  They didn't rub any blisters except under my toenails.  My feet must have swollen and my toes started striking the top of the boots and I didn't even notice because my knee was hurting.  Around mile 13 the other hikers started taking my stuff to lighten my load because I was limping.  It turned into a contest to see who could carry the most.  The winner actually took my pack and strapped it to his, carrying 2 packs the last six miles.  I expected people to be saying, "Don't invite her again."  Instead, I've gotten emails asking if my knee was better and hoping I'd make another hike soon.  I did have a lot of fun, despite limping the last 3 hours. 

One hiker sent this to everyone (I changed the other's names to initials):        
The results from the "Quien es mas macho(a)?" contest from the 2/20-21 Lone Star backpacking trip are now in. Apparentely there is a three-way tie between WB. ("El Burro" aka "I'm tired of being Mr. Donkey" aka "The crazy backpackin Cajun"), GS.("I can carry what-ever-the-F you strap to my back, regardless of how it is attached"- sorry G, you missed out on the "mr Donkey" story) and most importantly Jennifer D. ("The Pain blocker" -- who hiked 20 miles with severe patellar tendonitis). You guys and gal carry the torch. Runners up were C ("Bloody Toes" aka "pyro"), K ("Forgot my Boots") and K2 ("The Water Carrier"). Fyi, these results were a very close call.

It was only severe the last 7 miles.  I'll post the entire story soon.  I spent the last 4 days on the couch.  I limped in to school today because I had a Humanities test.  I just realized I missed a Spanish test and don't think I'll get a makeup.  If I do get one but have to take it tomorrow, I'm not prepared.  I'm wondering if I make A's on all the other tests I can still pass?  Maybe I'll hang in until the next test and decide if I need to drop.  I'll talk to my professor tomorrow. 

I'll heal soon.  I'll get new shoes, hiking poles, tape for my knees, and try again.

14 comments:

Poppy said...

I wish I were as determined as you are ... :)

Brian Miller said...

wow. my wife was a ballerina for 18 years. during performances i used to have to drill her toenails to release the pressure to keep from losing them...

Sage said...

I have been lucky and have never lost a toenail hiking--but you have to keep the clipped and short. There was a woman on the AT who'd lost seven and I couldn't see how she kept hiking. Hang in there. THe poles should help your knees. Did you have much downhill? That's where toes have a problem because you're pushed forward in your boots? It's also tougher on the knees.

Vince said...

hard luck. But one of the problems with the high laced boot is that it is not snug on the leg and back of the foot. Basically ones foot is not snug to the heel of the boot allowing it to slide forward with each step. A trick, is to get two sets of laces. one to the point where a shoe finishes the second up the leg. you simply cannot draw the lace tight where it is needed when what you have is a yard and a half of the stuff.

Amanda said...

Yeouch! I'm glad you're recovering but... EEEK!!! It hurts just thinking about it. Awesome how you made it to the end though -- that's great :D

Tallshag said...

In the past I have found that a good pair of high-top basketball shoes works just as well as boots for hiking, assuming the trail is dry and not too rocky. They're lighter and have a lot more 'give' to them.

You might try breaking in those boots more by wearing them to class and around town before you give up and buy another pair.

buffalodick said...

I have drilled holes in thumbnails hit with a hammer (my left hand hates my right hand) and I have lost toenails when younger and ran long distances.. they grow back, and if they don't- you really don't need them, you know..

Rebecca S. said...

The hike sounds like it was worth doing socially, anyhow! Nice people, I mean. Hope you can make up the Spanish test...

Jen said...

@Poppy: I didn't have much choice.

@Brian Miller: I've heard toe shoes are more comfortable now. I wonder if ballerinas still have to do that?

@Sage: One of the women let me borrow her poles and they made a huge difference. I need to find out which kind she has because that's what I want. It was about equal down and uphill. Downhill is what hurt.

@Vince: Thanks. I'll try the two sets of laces next time. I think someone else mentioned that as well.

@Amanda: The toe that is most injured is the one that didn't hurt. How crazy is that? Thinking about it is always worse...

@Tallshag: If the trails were dry I would have worn a retired pair of running shoes. Don't forget Houston used to be a swamp...When toes turn black and blister and nails fall off it's because the shoes don't fit.

@buffalodick: Toenails are optional,it's true. My feet will be very cute in sandals this summer.

@Rebecca S.: She didn't give the test until today so I didn't miss it after all!

buffalodick said...

Feet are what they are... I won't deny cute feet aren't...cute! Mine are not! My toes are longer than most peoples fingers...but if you need a coconut from a tree, I'm your man!

gayle said...

oh my goodness ...hope you are feeling better. Why did you miss the test? Was it because of the hike??

Heather said...

I am amazed you managed to finish. Good for you! I hope you don't lose a toenail because of it. So sweet of them to try to lighten your load.

goatman said...

I applaud your drive; to overcome the pain, wear and tear on the body to walk vast distances is truly to be admired.

The only long distance I ever wanted to walk was in Utah from a campground to the confluence of (I think) the Colorado and Green rivers. 6 miles each way and a camp overnight along the way -- so pack that water and edibles. The heat was incredible and I just wanted to sit in the shade and maybe write a deserty poem!

Unknown Mami said...

I'm glad everyone was so supportive.

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