Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snappy Answers to Common Questions from Long Distance Runners

You will need the following toolkit:

A voice.
A straight pin or safety pin.
A handful of cotton swabs.
Adhesive bandages.
A bottle of hydrogen peroxide that is less than 10 years old.

Q: What do I do about this blister on my (insert part of foot rubbing raw on sneaker) ?

A: Get your toolkit. Swab the blister with HP. Swab the pin with HP. Stick the blister with the pin and drain the fluid. Swab the former blister with HP. Cover with adhesive bandage.

Q: What do I do about this bruise under my toenail ?

A: Toolkit :-) Swab under the top of the nail with HP. Swab the pin with HP. Slowly, carefully slide the pin under the nail, between the nail and the bed. Press down on your angry nail to drain the fluid out from under it. Swab under top edge of the nail again with HP. I know, EEEEWWWWWW. But what you have is in effect a blister under your toenail, and if you leave it alone without draining it, it will hurt a lot and it will eventually cause your nail to lift away from the nailbed and fall off. Which isn't fatal or even horribly painful, but it is extremely unattractive.

To prevent toenail bruising, wear thinner socks or larger shoes or shoes with a larger toebox to minimize toe friction. Also, take note as to whether you are digging or clawing your toes down during your stride. Wiggle them loose from time to time. They get tense when you're working hard on those miles, after all.

Q: What do I do about the bee sting I got in the car on my way home from the long run ?

A: Time to employ your voice tool.  Yell, "OW!" really loud, because I don't care who you are, bee stings hurt a real whole lot. Scrape the stinger out sideways ASAP. Smush the bee and put it out of its misery, it's dying without its stinger anyway. Since you were driving to Starbucks on the way home, pull in and use your voice again to ask the nice person at the counter for a couple of ice cubes (before or after you order your coffee, up to you) because you just got stung by a bee. This will distract him or her from commenting on what a sweaty, rancid-smelling mess you are after having run a dozen or so miles in the nearly-90 degree Savannah morning heat. See, LD runners have quite enough unattractiveness going, thank you. Put the ice on your rapidly swelling, just stung body part to provide a cooling analgesic effect and reduce the swelling. If you are allergic, forget everything in this paragraph after, "Scrape the stinger..." and get an epi-pen stuck in you ASAP.

Nope, I do not know when the bee got in.

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