After the race Saturday, I noticed my two big toenails were black and my right pinky toe in total was black as well. That night I realized the pinky toe was simply one large blood blister; I drained it and let it heal. Today I decided to peal off the dead skin and let the next layer harden up. Well, when I cut the skin off, the toenail came freely with it; apparently it had detached on Saturday.
Based on the fact that long distance runners all seem to have these stories, I feel I've been silently inducted into the group. My friend from Boston who ran with me Saturday said she's lost toenails on both of her previous half marathons. Then I read a blog online where a guy said he once lost seven toenails after one of his marathons. I'm sure plenty of people will say things like "omg, that's gross," "are you kidding me?," and "you are an idiot," but for these people, it's a badge of honor, an endurable pain, and acceptable loss for what they gain by finishing the race. So from their point of view, it's official. I'm a distance runner.
Here's to hoping I don't make the mistake of wearing shoes that are too small again! One induction is enough. Barefoot runners would be yelling at me right now, but don't worry. I'll get around to your footwear soon enough.