If you will, allow me a moment of gratuitous self-adoration.
I have beautiful toes.
Before I started running, I would never have thought of my toes as something to brag about. I mean, if I'm going to brag about overlooked body parts, I'd draw your attention to something else. My eyelids, for example. I was once told I have outstanding eyelids. And my collar bones. I have collar bones that will knock your socks off.
But my toes? Honestly, I never even acknowledged I had toes before I started running. Unless, of course, I stubbed one. Then I made sure everybody within hearing distance knew not only that I had toes, but they were "$!*#!" toes at that.
I not only acknowledge my toes now, but am quite proud of the fact they are, in fact, beautiful. You would never know by looking at my toes that I am a long-distance runner. You'd never know by looking at my rear end that I'm a long-distance runner either, but that's a post for another day.
I'm especially humbly grateful for my beautiful toes after hearing horror stories about runners who-- and I say this in the nicest of ways-- have circus freak toes.
The morning of my marathon last summer, I sat next to a fellow runner on the bus ride to the starting line. We got to chatting and she shared with me one of those previously-mentioned toenail horror stories. My chin dropped to the floor as she told me how she ran this marathon last year and lost-- count' 'em-- five toenails.
FIVE toenails! After running a marathon, she found herself short of five rather important parts of her body!
This was not encouraging to me.
I'd brought along my economy-sized tube of Sports Slick and even though I'd already spread a layer the thickness of a filet mignon on my toes, I added a couple more layers just for good measure. Good news was that I didn't lose any toenails that day. Better news is that now, seven months post-marathon, the three toenails I had that turned black are pretty much back to normal.
Thank goodness for red nail polish, preserving my beautiful toes status for another day.