'Tis but a flesh wound

The expert advice is consistent as you circle in toward the date of your first half-marathon. Cut back on your long runs; let your legs recover. Mind your nutrition and hydration; nothing new on race day. Get some sleep.

But why does no one think to mention: Don't drop furniture on your foot.

Specifically, do not lift your loveseat, position your foot directly below its pointy, metal-tipped leg, then not merely drop but decisively thrust it downward squarely on the flesh of your big toe.

In preparation for YOUR half-marathon, I suggest you avoid this scenario. But should you need it, here's how to handle the aftermath.

  1. You know how when an injury is going to hurt something awful, for a few seconds it doesn't hurt at all? Don't stand there goofily staring at your wound thinking, "Wow, that looks really painful, wonder why it isn't bleeding?" Use those seconds to hobble toward whatever you'll use for compression and mop-up.

  2. Relish the pain when it kicks in. Get inside it. Memorize it. At mile 11, core fatigue and repetitive stress kicking in, you can say with informed confidence, "Myeh, could be worse." Oh, and curse a lot. Use your best curses. Now's the time. (If you, as I did, yelp out some entirely new category of filial disparagement, let me know. I like to trade those like baseball cards.)

  3. No matter how Pythonesquely the blood is removing itself from your appendage, resist the question, "Does this need stitches?" Unless you've nearly sliced something off, it probably doesn't. And you know damn well if you ask for stitches you'll get them, and then you won't be running again for days or weeks. Compression and cursing until the blood slows down enough to clean it up and get gauze on it.

  4. If in fact compression and gauze have controlled the bleeding, limp right back onto that horse, pardner. May I suggest bull-headed insistence on completing the three sets of plank and plank-pushups that you had promised your trainer you would do over the weekend. You will be gratified at how little your toe seems to hurt in comparison to your obliques.

There you have it. Today it looks like the tiniest Keebler elf has pressed a tiny cookie-cutter into my toe. No pain, just a little tingling on the morning run.

And I would be an unfaithful wretch if I didn't mention: if you are lucky enough to have a canine running partner, hug her and tell her she's a good dog for sitting close, positioning herself to block your injury from others' view, while you clutched your towel to your toe and waited it out.


Zoolander said...

Did you forget something? Drink lots of Beer! Happy St. Pats.

Ann Pai said...

Back at you, ZL. As I sit here w/my Irish Ale recovery beverage getting ready to write the next post.