Not-So-Purple Toenail

I have been fascinated by my toenail’s process. I don’t think its following the normal curve.

Sunday, it really looked like I was going to lose the thing:  entire nail bed was dark purple, lots of fluid under the nail, painful to touch with some play in the nail. On Monday, I had drainage (basically, like blister fluid with a slight tinge of blood) from the left-hand side of the nail, the place where it had originally been a bit sore after my long run the week before. However, wearing a shoe was fine, running not a problem, and in general, it was a whole lot more comfortable that it had been. I just wiped it down with alcohol periodically. Yesterday, no more draining and no more giant blister under the nail.  The toenail seems to be stuck back on.

Today, it looks almost completely normal. If I push on the nail, it’s a bit sore in spots (I still wouldn’t want to bump it again, especially like I did Thursday). So I’m wondering if this means I’ll get to keep the nail. If it weren’t for Palo Duro 50K coming up in just over a week, I wouldn’t care one way or another.

When I did my first marathon back in ’00, I wound up with a purple and black right big toenail. I was really excited by losing a toe nail — badge of honor! I’m a real marathoner now! Only serious runners lose toe nails! 

What happened was the middle part of that nail died and nothing else, creating a totally detached, discolored section in the middle of my big toe. It’s irritating; stuff gets under there after a muddy run. Cold weather will make that spot ache.

I sure hope I don’t have this experience with the left one!

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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