Sharing Summer: 7/8-14 WRD

Bandit is out of the e-collar and seems to be mostly leaving the hot spot alone. We played tourist in our own town (sort of). The weather wasn’t quite as hot most of the week as I feared it would be. Not to mention new running shoes! It was a good week.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 Miles Easy, PB Toning (35 min)
  • Tuesday:  4 Hilly Miles, PB Toning (10 min), Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, 3 miles with 6 x 400/200, PB Toning (10 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, PB Toning (35 min)
  • Saturday: 6 mile LSD, Yoga (20 min), PB Abs (8 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Studio Yoga (60 min)

Mileage: 16 (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

New kick bounce

 

Monday
I’m not a fan of the shakeout run, but had to take advantage of the lovely weather before the heat returns. Had a very relaxing and relatively cool run at the park despite the late start.

Tested out the new Newtons Mr. Judy was able to find me on Ebay for a fantastic price. Not my preferred model, but second favorite. Rewarded with that fresh shoes speed.

All the rain, all the wildflowers

Tuesday
Knowing the weather was going to turn hot and humid again, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run in cooler, drier temps, even though it meant running 3 days in a row, which I don’t usually do. It was a hill run again (not hill repeats, just down the long hills outside my neighborhood), but nice & strong, despite getting out later than I wanted to.

The next day my body let me know it was enough with the running, for the moment, anyway. In fact, the day after my race last week (read about it here), my knee was unexpectedly tight. I taped it when I did my longish run with a slower friend last week, and it’s been fine since. These hills didn’t bother it at all.

Thursday
A quick treadmill run in between meetings. 6 x 400m speed intervals with 200m recovery. Not something I really wanted to tackle outside midday on a hot day.

I thought it was a bird house; it’s a light

Saturday
Another hot day (at least the forecast), and I wanted to run Sunday, which will be cooler, but no one else did. I was pleasantly surprised that the path was mostly shady and there was a nice breeze so it was a good run after all.

Exploring Congress Park in Saratoga

 

Favorites of the week
In addition to running in the cooler, drier weather, we wanted to take advantage of it to get out somewhere and explore. It was a bit tricky with Bandit (he’s healing up well), so no hikes (plus he was still in the e collar).

All the ducks & cute ducklings

We bounced around a few ideas but settled on exploring a park in Saratoga Springs, which is roughly 30 miles north of us. We don’t go all that often, and track season (yes, that Saratoga) is about to start, so we wanted to get there before it gets overcrowded. We had a very nice time — human and dogs alike.

Today is last call for Skirt Sport’s end of the season sale here! It ends tonight at midnight. The Free Me Tank, which I’m wearing in the photo in the park above, is one of the items on sale. I don’t run in it — you absolutely can, but I have other Skirt Sports tops I prefer to run in — but I do wear it all the time in Summer. It’s a bit more forgiving than some of the more fitted Skirt Sports tops.

Anything fun non-running related this week?

Do you stick to a schedule, or move runs around because of the weather?

Did you race this week?  Tell us  about it!

Hot Spots: 7/1-7 WRD

Hot Spots refers to the awful hot, awfully humid weather this week — until today — and also, unfortunately, what developed with Bandit this week.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing running, “training”, and staying active.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 Miles Easy, PB Toning (35 min)
  • Tuesday:  Dogwalk, 3 Miles Easy with 4 x 20ish sec strides, Pilates for Runners (25 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Vinyasa Yoga (60 min)
  • Thursday: Firecracker 4, PB Toning (10 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga Booty Ballet (35 min)
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, Yoga for Knees (30 min), Pilates (20 min)
  • Sunday: 6 mile LSD, Yoga? Strength Training?

Mileage: 16 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Trained around the time my race would take place on Thursday

Monday
I was juggling lots of stuff and oh-so-tempted to hop on the treadmill later in the day as it got warmer, but in the end I got out in the morning to the Park for an easy 3 miles.

Tuesday
I definitely didn’t want to tackle big hills a couple of days before my race, but I chose a route in my neighborhood with some small, rolling hills — cause, you know, hilly race coming up. Lots of cloud cover so it actually felt fairly comfortable and was another nice, consistent run.

Did 4 strides at the end to remind my legs they could go fast and called it a day.

Patriotic Fourth of July Race

Thursday
Seriously, why is July 4th always so damn hot? Firecracker 4 is always a tough race, and this year was no different. Good friends always make it better though. I’ll recap it on Tuesday.

Perfect Summer running weather with Running Buddy D

Sunday
While most of our group ran Saturday, which was just godawfully humid and hot, Running Buddy D and I agreed Sunday looked much better. It was — 10 degrees cooler and far less humid. We enjoyed perfect Summer running weather!

Favorites of the week
I discovered PUR Precious Metals Shimmering Dry Elixer at Ulta. It’s a combination of oils with some glitter in it, basically. It is in liquid form but dries very quickly on the skin. I’ve been using oil instead of a moisturizer on  my skin for a while, but had finished what I had. I like the fact that it’s dry pretty much instantly.

Speaking of shimmer, there’s also BARE Republic Sparkling Rose sunscreen. Years ago I’d used a natural sunscreen with shimmer that I really loved, but eventually it was discontinued. So I was happy to finally find another one that’s similar.

I can’t get up the stairs with this thing on my head!

Not loving? Bandit developed a hot spot, which is basically where they gnaw at something that’s bothering them until they’ve removed all the fur and create a sore.

Why? Why did you do this to me?

It started small one day, actually seemed better the next, and then on the fourth was much worse (of course, on a holiday).

It did make him super snuggly

We took him to the vet the next day, and they were able to treat it without muzzling him or getting bitten (he’s not an easy dog at the vet even when he feels good), and now he is wearing the cone of shame (and not too happy about it poor guy). We had to get the softer version because the plastic one from the vet really made him miserable, but he can still get at the hot spot, so we also need to keep a close eye on him and stop him whenever he tries to gnaw at himself (the softer collar helps, but doesn’t completely prevent him from reaching it). Fun times.

Lion King. Mr. Judy’s attempt to keep him from getting at the sore

I’ve written about how Bandit is not a snuggly dog, except when he wants something — food or to go out, usually. Well, he’s definitely been more snuggly now, but of course you don’t want it that way. Poor guy is so uncomfortable. We are also not getting a huge amount of sleep, keeping an ear out for if he’s gnawing on himself under the covers (or him asking to go out at 2 am).

Mr. Judy’s adjustment to his collar seems to be working, or the meds are; whichever, he doesn’t seem quite as sad today (and therefore less snuggly) or trying to get at it as much. Bandit is about 11. We’ve had him 3 years (the 3rd was actually his adoptiversary). This is the first time he’s ever had a hot spot.

Bandit goes through periods where he doesn’t eat well, and he had actually just gone through one shortly before all this happened. Normally he eats great, but he can still be picky. Thankfully he’s taking the meds in with his food just fine (vet said that was ok). I was really worried he wouldn’t.

If you had a heat wave, has it broken?

If you ran a 4th themed race, how did it go?

If you have a dog, have they ever had hot spots?  Chester got them when we lived in TX, but nowhere near as bad as this. Totally bizarre.

I Will Always Love You: June 2019

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Now who doesn’t love this Whitney Houston song? Such a wonderful voice, such a sad ending to her life. My June was not sad, though; in fact, there were lots of fun times! June was about coming back to running — on my terms. Running how and when I want, something we all need to do sometimes to remind ourselves about why we fell in love with running in the first place.

There was fun with friends volunteering at a race
There was a Women’s 5k with friends and a solo Trail 5k

Getting in scheduled runs
Still no big goals in sight, still listening to my body and running when, how, and for how long I want to.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
I haven’t gotten back to writing down pre and post run stuff, which is helpful, but I’m still recording my runs. I think that it helps that my planner, journal, and running journal are all one and the same.

Grade Earned: A-

Dynamic Warmup
Running almost completely outside, so in general I’ve gotten back to doing dynamic warmups. Things do get a little tricky as it warms up — you don’t want to warm up in the Winter because it’s too cold (and you need it the most!), and then in the Summer you procrastinate too long, it’s too hot, and you just want to get out there (yup, that happened just yesterday and there was zero warmup).

Grade Earned: B

Foam Rolling
Still rolling, rolling, rolling. Sliding just a tiny bit on PT exercises for my foot (it’s been almost a year!), but it let’s me know when I’ve ignored it for too long.

Grade Earned: A-

Summer treats are in full swing but so far not too far out of hand

Nutrition
I started out the month really strong, seeing a number on the scale I haven’t seen in a few years — and then I got just a little bit off course towards the middle of the month. Next month I plan to give my body a break and just maintain my weight, but I’d like to be maintaining a little lower than where I am right now.

It’s really easy to get loosey goosey with eating when the scale is giving you good reports — I’m still motivated, though, so I’ll tighten things up just a bit. Well, maybe!

Grade Earned: B+

Support

  • Massage? I actually had a really good (free!) massage after Freihofers.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? Why yes I did.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? We are definitely approaching the tipping point there.

Grade Earned: B+

First hike in a long time!

Cross Training
Pilates, Yoga, and strength training, oh my — once I was feeling better! More time on the stationary bike. Unfortunately my shoulder started to complain towards the end of the month, so I wasn’t able to progress my strength training as much as I wanted to. Shoulder is fine now, but ST is still a bit lacking. We even got in one short hike in between all the rain!

And all the waterfalls

Grade Earned: A+

June 2019  gets  . . . 
. . . a A-. 2 races. Fun with friends. Short hike. Maintaining my weight. No injuries.

June Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. Y. A little side tracked but mostly doing good.
    • Strength train 2 – 3x week. Y. Definitely more like twice a week, and usually not too long, but you gotta start somewhere.
    • Start extending my weekend runs. Y. Hanging around 5-6 miles. It’s been a little hard balancing life lately!
    • Continue practicing Yoga. Y. Still enjoying my studio classes & home practice.
    • Foam roll almost daily. I’d really like to say daily, but I just know that won’t happen. 
    • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is maintaining fairly well, but definitely need to tighten up my eating just a smidge.
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Y/N. I’ve been busy, and while I haven’t completely let it go, the weeks I wing it more generally don’t turn out as well with healthy eating. On the other hand, I even prepped some Mason Jar salads towards the end of the month & that was a life saver!
    • A short race? Y. In addition to Freihofers 5k, which kicked off the month, I also ran a trail 5k.

Which leads me to July Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. Whenever I start skipping it, my feet remind me they still  need it.
    • Strength train 2 – 3x week. Muscles atrophy as we age if we don’t use them, folks.
    • Start extending my weekend runs. Maintain about a 6 mile long run once a week. Ok to go a little longer if I’m feeling it — ok not to if I’m not feeling it.
    • Continue practicing Yoga. Yoga just makes me feel good.
    • Foam roll almost daily. I’d really like to say daily, but I just know that won’t happen. 
    • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. So far, for the first time in my life, this is working for me. I spent so many years carefully tracking all my food — I’m okay with doing it again,too, if I get off track — but all those years of tracking have given me a pretty good idea of what healthy eating looks like — that’s really the point of tracking!
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan. 
    • Annual Fourth of July race. Looks like it will be just me and one friend (actually, 2 other friends are signed up) this year. It also looks to be the hottest day of the year so far, but the tradition will (most likely) go on (and we’ll end on a little Celine Dion).

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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The Heat is On!: 6/24-30 WRD

The calendar said Summer and gosh darned if the thermometer didn’t say it too with a little heat wave this week.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing running, “training”, and staying active.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  4 Miles Easy, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min), Barreflow (45 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min), 3ish trail miles very easy
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, 2.5 TM miles, Yoga for Sleep (10 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk/easy hike
  • Saturday: 6 mile LSD, Yoga (20 min), PB Toning (25 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Studio Yoga (60 min)

Mileage: 15ish (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

It wasn’t just water from my cooling towel that made my top wet!

Monday
I chose to go out later, even though I knew it would warm up quickly — next Thursday I have my annual 4th of July race, and so I went out at the same time as that starts. Tackled the hill by my house again — probably not the wisest move after a 5k yesterday — but whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

3 skirt sisters before a trail run (part of a group run)

Wednesday
There was rain on the radar. There were nasty clouds on the drive to the park (same one I ran my trail 5k on Sunday, read about that here) . . . and yet, not a drop of rain to cool us down. There was lots of fun, and the odd coincidence of lining up next to the same woman beside me at Barreflow the night before.

I brought up the BOTP running with a friend who is doing heart rate training; we saw both hares & turtles (literally!). Glad I decided to go.

Thursday
As the title says, Summer soared this week (not necessarily in a good way). While friends were out trail running this evening, I took to my treadmill for a short speed workout in the afternoon. 5 x 400/200 recovery. Definitely felt no need to torture myself with almost 90F temps outside.

Looks peaceful, right? It was, but holy humidity!

Saturday
A group run by the river. It was definitely a slogfest. I got to run with other for a small portion of this run, but mostly I was on my own, with a big slow down around miles 4 and 5. Oddly enough the last mile was my fastest. No doubt because I was definitely ready for this run to be over!

Favorites of the week
I keep forgetting to share this book I won in Wendy @ Takingthelongwayhome‘s giveaway a few weeks back — thanks, Wendy! We also titled our blog posts the same thing today.

Photographer in the wild captured

For years we’ve passed a sign to Stuyvesant Falls on the way to my folks. Since I love all waterfalls, one time I googled it. Yes, indeed, it was a pretty good size man made falls.

Skirt Sport’s Cool It Top definitely helped me stay cool on this very hot day

So after going out for a hike to High Falls, which was pleasant (although very buggy), Stuyvesant Falls was on the way home and we finally stopped to see if we could find them, and find them we did (see above).

This was a very hot day. We did our hike in the morning, before it got too bad — I worried a little about Lola, but the trails were shady and she was fine. The long sleeve tee? It’s Skirt Sport’s Cool It Top — I must say it lived up to its name. I will admit I haven’t worn it on a hot run yet, but I was very comfortable even though it was 85F with a real feel of 95F by the time we were done. It also serves as sun protection.

What’s your favorite piece of running clothes when the temps soar?

Do you go braless when it’s hot? I don’t. Not so much about body image, although I will admit there is that — but more because of protection from sun damage.

Anything fun not running related this week? 

Solo not so Solo running: 6/17-23 WRD

We’re still getting plenty of rain — it rained almost every day this week (except today) but boy with the arrival of Summer it sure warmed up in a hurry. Another good week of running, and even a short trail race thrown in today for fun. The first time in many years that I headed out to knowing no one, but I still managed to find someone I knew slightly and chat with a variety of people at this family friendly race — finally got to try out Dodge the Deer.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing running, “training”, and staying active.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Back Yoga (30 min), 4 Miles Easy, PB Toning (20 min)
  • Tuesday:  Yoga (30 min), took mom to dr’s tests
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy with 7 x 20 sec strides, Yoga (40 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min), PB ST (10 min)
  • Friday: 5 mile long-ish run
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min)
  • Sunday: Dodge the Deer 5k, Yoga (30 min), hopefully some ST, I need it . . .

Mileage: 15.1 (-3.1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Run past here many times, but first time I really paused to look at the pretty scene

Monday
Another beautiful Monday! What’s up with that? Don’t get too jealous, it poured on Sunday, and Tuesday is supposed to be rainy and I have a long day in the car. Tackled the long hill near my neighborhood again. Downhill going out, uphill coming back. There were multiple stops for crossing the road, traffic lights, and trying to get photos of the hill. All in all a nice strong run though.

Stretching with chair pose post run

Wednesday
Tuesday was predictably exhausting, so I’d already decided to give myself grace and not run if I didn’t feel like it. Except I did! And so, so happy that I did. I was trying to decide whether or not to do hill repeats, or 400s, but didn’t really feel like pushing hard.

I decided instead to do an easy run through my neighborhood, tackling multiple small hills, then end with strides. It was a really strong run for me and happy for the cloud cover that kept things relatively cool (and a nice little compliment I share below).

Looks so pretty, but darn sun made it so humid

Friday
In an effort to miss the cool rain, I waited to long to get out there. The first 3 miles were still overcast and strong and consistent. The last 2 miles were consistent, too, actually — but a lot slower. The humidity had risen and the sun was trying to peak out. Happy that I had decided on just 5 because I was ready to be done. Shoulda gotten out earlier & gotten wet!

Through the nice shady trails at Dodge the Deer

Sunday
I tried to convince friends to come to this trail race with me, but many were traveling or had prior plans. I’ll recap it in a while, but suffice it to say that it was a beautiful day to race (if a tad late start at 10 am on a warm day), and even though I went knowing no one, I still found people to chat with. Runners are the best!

Favorites of the week
So I’m doing my strides in front of my house, which is at the top of a small hill — it may be cheating but I enjoy it. A woman was walking by, and she was like “didn’t you just run by me?”.

So I said yes, and we got to chatting. Talking about running (which she doesn’t although she wants to, my guess is she’s quite a few years older than me), dogs, cats, etc. As we parted she told me how great I looked and that I didn’t look a day over 40 — I happen to be 57. I guess she couldn’t see the gray hair under the visor!

But wait, there’s more! Later when I was walking the dogs, I saw what I believe to be her house — I asked which house she came from. That’s the house that, many years ago, I’d been walking the dogs when someone drove away, then backed up . . . and asked me not to let my dogs go on his lawn in the future; although they actually hadn’t done anything.

Apparently they’d had a dog at one time, but he doesn’t want another one. She was so nice . . . he so wasn’t!

Do you go to races alone a lot, or do you always go in a group?

Would you do hill repeats and speed work if you weren’t seriously training for something? 

Last compliment you got: and go __________? 

“I Can’t”: What Does it Mean?

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“I Can’t” has many meanings. Can’t simply means can not. According to Merriam Webster, can is defined as:

be physically or mentally able to

That is just one of the many definitions of the verb can; so can’t means that you are not physically or mentally able to. We say can’t all the time. We often believe that we are physically unable to, but usually there’s a deeper meaning there – a mental reason we believe we cannot.

I’m looking at a couple of translations of can’t.

Fairytales and Fitness

I don’t want to
How many times have you heard from people that they can’t run? Either they tried, and it’s too hard, or they can’t because they’re too old, too heavy, too busy, and so on.

What they really mean is they don’t want to look foolish, they don’t want to give up something to invest the time in learning to run, they don’t want other people to be laughing at them.

Turn can’t into can: if you want something badly enough, you will prioritize it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you — besides, most people are far too busy worrying about how you are thinking about them to pay you much mind. Don’t ever say can’t until you’ve actually tried something — if you truly can’t, or you find out you truly don’t want to — there’s no shame in that. The shame is in the not trying.

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Was I afraid to tackle something longer than 13.1? Especially with a time limit? In summer? A really hot & humid summer? Of course I was. But I never thought I can’t — and guess what — I could!

I’m afraid to
It’s so easy to ignore that fearful voice inside by simply saying you can’t. What are you truly afraid of? Hurting yourself? Join a beginner runner group or hire yourself a trainer/coach. Being last? It’s possible, of course, but chances are pretty good you won’t be (spoiler alert: in most races the walkers are the last people, and they’re usually having a pretty good time). Looking foolish? Read a few blogs, books, and magazines about running. You might still look foolish, but at least you’re unlikely to make as many rookie mistakes.

Turn can’t into can: as Nike says so wisely: Just do it. Feel the fear, and just do it anyway. I guarantee you you will feel so empowered by conquering your fears.

Can’t crops up in all areas of life
Of course this advice applies to all life, not just running. Changing careers. Moving. Starting a family. Losing weight. If you believe you can’t? Guess what: you probably won’t. But what if you stopped listening to the stories you tell yourself and believe you can?

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
— Walt Disney

When in your life have you used “I can’t”?

How did that work out for you? Do you regret it?

What will you start telling yourself you can do?

Black Toenails 101

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I ran for roughly 10 years and kept all my toenails . . . until I didn’t. Although there are causes for black toenails (and we’ll get into that), much like chafing, it can be totally random.

What is a black toenail?
Black toenails can have many causes, but for runners, it’s usually caused by blood underneath the nail (technically a subungual hematoma). That blood puts a great deal of pressure on the toenail, and it can be very painful.

I was lucky: although I felt some pain, it wasn’t horrible, and I just assumed that it was a blister. It wasn’t until after I stopped running that it got really painful, but thankfully by the next morning it didn’t bother me that much.

What causes a black toenail?
The most common cause is repetitive trauma to the nail, either from the top of your shoe rubbing it or from your toenail slamming into the front of your shoe. In my case, I was wearing shoes I’d already worn in another half marathon (a steep downhill race, no less) with no issues.

The downhill race was much hotter, but also much less humid. Your feet do swell as you run, and more humid conditions will make them swell more — still, it was a pretty big shock to me when I took my shoes off.

How to treat black toenails
Follow Hippocrates advice: first do no harm. Leave it alone. Depending on the severity of the hematoma, there’s a chance that you’ll keep the nails — but most likely at some point the toenail will detach from the nail bed and you’ll lose it.

That’s what happened to me. I left it alone. I hoped I’d keep the nail, but I didn’t. It actually took almost a month before it fell off. It felt fine, was still black, and then one day it was just barely hanging on. I didn’t want to pull it, so I ended up just snipping the few remaining points that were hanging on.

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What if it’s really, really painful?
It will be really, really painful the day it occurs; afterwards the pain should decrease rapidly. If it’s still really painful, or if you see signs of infection (redness, hot to the touch), then it’s time to seek a doctor’s help.

How can I avoid black toenails?
The first thing you can do is make sure your shoes fit properly. Even if you’ve been fitted for running shoes in the past, it’s not a bad idea to get fitted every year. Your foot can change — even gaining or losing weight can cause changes.

Keep your toenails trimmed — although don’t do it in the days right before a race — those sharp toenail corners can cause problems, too. A week or two before your race (depending on how fast your nails grow) make sure they’re clipped (I always do this!).

Increase training distance gradually so that your toes can adjust to the new distance.

Don’t run faster than your prescribed training paces and much like distance, increase pace gradually.

Will my toenail grow back?
In a word: yup. I was quite surprised that when my toenail finally detached, roughly a month later, there was already a new (tiny) toenail underneath it.

Black Toenails: Final Thoughts
Most runners who run longer distances will get a toenail at some point in their running career — maybe many. Some lucky runners will never lose one (I was in that camp for a long time!).

You know how they say pain is temporary and PRs are forever? The pain of a black toenail is also temporary. It may even signal a PR for you, or a new longer distance for you (sadly, neither was the case for me).

You can definitely take steps to avoid black toenails, but much like anything in life, they’re unpredictable, so forewarned is forearmed.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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