FOOT CARE: PEDICURES FOR RUNNERS
I forced myself to get a pedicure last week. I had planned to wait until beach and flip-flop season in June or July to clean up my feet. However, a spur of the moment opportunity to see a beloved friend at a conference with an outdoor hotel pool caused me to consider improving the condition of my toes. What if we went swimming and their horrible appearance was revealed?
All winter (gross alert: this could be disgusting) I must have been hitting the toes of both feet against the top of the shoe box, such that repeatedly I was peeling off discolored, dead nails. The result was ugly, ugly, ugly. I seriously doubted that more than skin remained in the grungy bed of my worst nail.
The results were amazing. Okay, relatively amazing if the initial condition is considered. There was no reconstruction required. I received such a lift seeing that the situation was better than I had thought, and was re-energized knowing that running had not totally ruined my nails. I felt I had been 'cured'.*
The New York Times WELL.com blog ran an article about runners getting pedicures. The featured runner, Jackie Cartier, could have been me. Her mindset and situation matched mine almost exactly. The reason to read on is that this article and post are not about having pretty feet. It’s about foot health for running.
Last year in April a blog post discussed foot care for runners based on an article by coach Hal Higdon that included a recommendation for pedicures. This had been a shock to me, as I had always thought it would be harmful to smooth and soften skin that would need to re-form calluses.
The pedicure issue is only one component of foot health. Other issues include shoe fit, socks, keeping skin soft, fighting fungus, and strengthening toes. Scan these articles. Perhaps you are well informed and don’t need the help. Before reading about the topic last year, I thought I was.
*Note: The clear polish I chose was rejected by the pedicurist; she selected a bright color!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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