Hurts so good…

My mom and I went to get our nails done last night.

Pretty piggies, no?

Like many women, I enjoy this stereotypical girl activity not only for the massage and pampering aspect of it but also for the pretty polish.  However, like far fewer women out there, I have ulterior motives when it comes to that pretty polish – sure it’s a festive fashion statement but it also does a phenomenal job of covering up blackened toenails.

Yes, you read that right: blackened toenails.  As a distance runner, I get these quite frequently.  They’re generally a sign that I’ve been increasing mileage and sometimes indicate that I might need to size up in a particular shoe.  I once drastically increased my mileage over a short time span in shoes that were just a touch too small and I walked – more like hobbled – away with two bruised toenails and five with blisters under the nail.  Yes, I popped them – rubbing alcohol and a safety-pin are all ya need – and yes, three of those seven injured nails did eventually fall off. 

Here’s the weird part, people: I liked it.

Call me a masochist, but that’s not the only disgusting and painful thing that I like about running.  For instance: chafing?  Ew.  Ow.  For the love of Pete, it burns!  But…  YES.  Bring it on.

And sweating?  Oh, yeah.  There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a good sweat.  Especially the fine crust of salt that forms as the sweat starts to dry.  It’s like I just took a dip in the Dead Sea.

A trip here is definitely on my short list.

I don’t even need to get into the physical pain pleasure that comes with running itself – sore muscles, labored breathing, blissful exhaustion – namely because I already have. 

**Now is when you are supposed to scroll through all my earlier posts to find those previous mentions.  Hey, I’m not above shameless self-promotion.  Why else would I have a blog?**

So, why do I, along with the vast majority of runners out there, derive such pleasure from such pain?

There’s a very interesting scientific theory behind it that I largely agree with but, for me personally, there is a much simpler explanation.

Feeling running-related pain in all its various manifestations makes me feel like a bad-a**.  It makes me feel tough.  It makes me feel strong.  It makes me feel like I’m capable of heroic feats.  It makes me feel like Beatrix Kiddo.

Bada** Mother.

I realize that I’m not superhuman and pain/injury might occasionally get me down.  But don’t EVER count me out.

I’ll just put polish on those bruised nails and revel that it hurts so good.  🙂

What makes you “hurt so good?”

Do you wear exercise related injuries like badges of honor?

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Categories: Injuries, Runner's High, Running | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Hurts so good…

  1. marie

    you summed up my love affiar…. with running. I’ll never forget finishing my first half marathon and discovering that surprising feeling of salt crystals on my forehead as i was about to get into the shower. HURTS SO GOOD. and blackened toenails? i’ve had one-per-half marathon that i’ve run, and blisters? too many to count!! it’s the chafing that always is the worst, though! i find that those little round band-aids do wonders on the girls. (if ya know what i mean) 🙂 🙂

  2. Mom

    Can’t say having both big toenails removed after walking a half marathon “hurt so GOOD”…but I am happy that I “walked the walk”!!

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