Minimalist Marathon: How To Avoid Your Inner Weakling

Somewhere near mile 6 in the marathon, I saw a fan with my favorite sign: Toenails are for sissies. A blister the size of a wasp nest developed on my big toe sometime during the race; I did not know I had it until I showered my sweat-encrusted self. Two toenails were black as the night. I could feel one of them flipping up as I ran in training and near the end 26.2. 

Endurance athletes lose toenails. Avoid peephole high heels on date night for a while. I guess? Avoid hitting the pedicure salon to freak out the nail technician. Get over the idea of having "normal" feet. Be proud they chase pavement. Be blessed they still work.

After interval training on my mountain bike on the incline, this is my scene at the bottom of the climb. At the bottom, the horse and I stared at each other.

After interval training on my mountain bike on the incline, this is my scene at the bottom of the climb. At the bottom, the horse and I stared at each other.

Three weeks later and my toenails are still black, the wasp nest-like blister bursted on its own, and the training (for what, I don't know yet) has started back slowly. Cross training on a mountain bike, aqua running, playing volleyball, strength training, yoga, and running/biking incline intervals all eat up my active daily life. Running miles in Zen mode feels like a vacation, now.

Going into winter I am excited to try mountain biking in snow, cross country skiing, and maybe some downhill, in addition to hot yoga, aerial skills, and the usual cross training methods and whatever else I can pick up to diversify the fitness plan.  

How do you plan on hitting your stride when the cold comes...?