A badge of honour so say some, my right foot's big toenail ran into trouble at last year's Calgary Marathon. Here it is a couple of weeks later, being inspected by a cat at a bookstore in Seoul, Korea.
My toe became swollen right after the race, bled underneath the nail and became detached. Advised to leave well alone, I did. The new one has slowly grown behind, and partially over it.
On the eve of my first 50k exactly a year later, the old nail is just about gone, no longer a double nail. What's waiting for me next? Just like the race itself, it's a mystery. In a race, we all experience many sensations, including discovering something unknown of oneself.
"No race begins at the startline," as Haile Gebrselassie once said. Toenail trouble or not, it will confirm another of the great man's adages, "running gives you everything".