So you weren’t too put off by my tale of piggybacking piggies and socks that fit like a glove? Okay, then. Where were we?



Medicinal tic tacs.

When we last left my toes, things were hunky-dory. Injinji socks had solved my problem. Little did I know, yet another problem was waiting just around the corner. Or should I say on the back of a truck.

But like a Tarantino film, let’s throw linear story structure out the window. We’ll start in the here & now… or how about November 2013. I was at the podiatrist getting fit for new shoe inserts. As part of the check-up, they took x-rays of good ‘ole lefty and righty.

So, my foot doc took a look at my right foot x-ray and said something that no one wants to hear roll of their physician’s tongue. “Oh, that’s not good.”


“What’s not good,” I asked, mildly freaked out. The doctor tempered his initial statement by replying “Well, it’s not that bad. Really.”

Apparently he might need to work on that bedside (or chairside) manner a smidgen.

“You’ve got the start of arthritis in your right big toe.”

Arthritis. The word sounded odd when I heard it in reference to me. I mean arthritis was always a grandma/grandpa condition to me. Something that “Meemaw” would mention from time to time as she popped a Motrin to help her aching hands.

I’m a marathon runner and my foot wasn’t hurting me in the least. And since my left foot had no traces of the big “A” (nor any of the other piggies for that matter), what the hell was going on?

“Have you suffered trauma or injured your foot in the last few years.”

“Of course not, I…” And then it hit me.

Beach cabana

The culprit.

Flash back Tarantino-style to September 2009. I was on vacation with my family in Destin, Florida and excited that the Chicago Marathon was just three weeks away. Clad in flip-flops, I was unloading a folded beach cabana from the back of my brother’s truck when it slipped from my hands and came crashing down right on my big toe. Blood went squirting from under the nail and I thought I had broken it.


In an instant my marathon aspirations seemed to be crushed (like my friggin’ toe). But after a few minutes of hobbling and cursing, everything seemed to be pretty much okay. And a day or so later, you wouldn’t have known I’d hurt it at all.

As it turns out, I did hurt it… it was just time-delayed. That instance of trauma was probably enough to start the A-train in motion. And as I learned, once that train leaves the station, it can’t go in reverse. The best you can do is stop it in its tracks for the time being or slow it down.

Cut back to the present and the doc asked me if it the toe ever hurts. I let him know that if he hadn’t told me, I’d never know I had any problem at all. In doc speak he reassured me if that is the case I could go a long long time and never have any pain.

He didn’t prescribe any treatment, exercises or medication, just for me to be aware of it. Oh, I’m definitely aware of it. Of course now any time I get a sensation in that big toe I freak out a little bit.

Plank position

No-no for the big toe.

The only restriction I have is I was advised to refrain from bending my big toe upward (like when you prop yourself on you toes for planks or push-ups). As a result I now support my right foot whenever I do those exercises. That’s fine; planks hurt anyway.

So now I have a potentially progressive condition that I can’t magically remedy with a pair of socks. The good news is I’m aware of it and can work to limit any future damage. And as the doc said, since it doesn’t hurt I could run for several decades without a problem.

Just like the starting bone spurs he found on each of my heels.


Don’t worry; the spurs don’t hurt either (fingers crossed).

And that’s a wrap on toes (for now at least).

Coming Soon- The Freaky Foot Chronicles: Chapter 2- “Golden Arches”

Run on!

(Anyone else have toe problems they want to share or gross everyone out?)

Posted on January 28, 2014, in Freaky Foot, General, Injuries and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. That stinks! Good Luck with your feet. My issues seems small in comparison. My middle three toes on each foot keep losing the nail. It’s the result of wearing shoes too small while running a marathon.

    • Thanks for the note and for reading. It is what it is. We all have our bumps and bruises and quirks and issues. Fortunately they haven’t detracted from my running.

      Oh, and that’s no everything. There will be a Freak Foot Chronicles: Chapter 2 in the upcoming weeks.

      I’ve lost my share of toenails too; just think of them as a “badge of courage.”

  2. Overlapping piggies ain’t nothin’. My feet have been SCREWED! Twice! 😉

  3. You may have goofy toes, but my scars are better. LOL

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