When Disaster Strikes


Last week when I smashed my big toe in pole class, I began my regularly scheduled injury protocol:

It all starts with Shutdown Mode:

  1. Web MD that shit. Because self diagnosing. Strained/hyperextended big toe? I’m definitely dying. Web MD says so.
  2. Cease all unnecessary activities. Unnecessary activities might include (but are certainly not limited to) cleaning, laundry, cooking, showering, etc. Anything that doesn’t involve me laying on my couch surfing the Internet (for shutdown mode step #1 of course) and watching copious amounts of TV/Netflix should be cut right out of my schedule.
  3. Eat all of the food. Luckily, I’ve been on a healthy eating kick so there isn’t anything unhealthy hanging around my house. But I ate all of the healthy “snacks” I’ve been hoarding in mass quantities. I got my final box from Graze and ate the whole thing in one sitting. Eight snacks and zero fucks. Winning.
  4. I get cranky and go to the dark place. You know, everything sucks. Woe is me. I stop texting and calling people. My husband will tell you that this phase is probably his least favorite.
  5. I stop blogging. Sorry for this one. I just feel like if I write about it, it makes it real. I need a hot minute before I come to terms with reality.

Then, when I realize it IS real, I do what most normal people do:

  1. OD on NSAIDS: It’s my hope that whatever the issue is will clear up if I can get the inflammation down quickly and increase circulation to the area. I take 800mg of ibuprofen (or use a Flector patch), which people seem to think is a lot but that’s actually the dose for ibuprofen to act as an anti-inflammatory.
  2. Ice: I’m not above taking my ice pack out of my lunch box at work, strapping it to my affected appendage with a hair tie and carrying on with my day. As a matter of fact, I’m doing it right now.
  3. Foam Rolling/Stretching: Most likely if I’d been doing this all along, whatever the injury is would not have occurred in the first place (not the case with my recent toe trauma, but still something I decide to start doing regularly when injured). Why not start now and hope for a miracle?
  4. Massage and chiropractor: Also not helpful for my recent toe trauma but an avenue I typically pursue when injured. I usually try these guys before heading to a doctor.
  5. TENS Unit: A chiropractor gave me an e-stim machine so I whip that sucker out and try electrocuting myself when things are looking particularly bleak.

If none of that helps, I then proceed to start with my “voodoo shit”, as my husband likes to call it:

  1. Turmeric: I down turmeric supplements. I’m a regular turmeric user anyway, so I just increase my dosage. Does that make me sound like an addict? How my skin is not turning yellow at this point is beyond me.
  2. Bone Broth: I make a batch of bone broth. As the saying goes, “Good broth resurrects the dead”. Good broth resurrects my toe? Sure, let’s try it.
  3. Collagen shots: This is new for me. My sister in law is an esthetician and swears by this. It’s a mixture of powdered collagen, filtered water, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, fresh lemon juice. I was thinking of adding some turmeric to the next batch (because turmeric). It’s thought that collagen assists with wound healing and reduces inflammation…so…
    “Bottoms up
    Let’s go round two
    Shots shots shots shots shots shots
    Shots shots shots shots shots
    Shots shots shots shots shots
  4. Essential Oils are supposed to work miracles. I like mixing peppermint oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and lavender and rub it on the affected area. I use something like 10 drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil (like coconut, almond, or olive oil works) and massage it into the area. Bonus: you smell pretty, which helps offset the not showering from shutdown mode #2.
  5. Homeopathy: My go-to homeopathic remedies are Arnica, Ruta Graveolens, and Rhus Tox. I will use the pellets or arnica cream. Plus the little pellets taste like candy. So at worst, you get to eat little sugary tasting pellets.
  6. Tart Cherry Juice: supposedly, it’s like a magical elixir for inflammation. Down the hatch. Nom nom nom.
  7. Accupuncture: Haven’t gone this route for my toe yet but I have used this in the past. Being a human pin cushion is an interesting experience, and I love the girl I go to. Maybe I’ll try to get in EARLY next week, or immediately after Boston. Not something you want to do right before a race because it does make you sore.

And when all hope seems lost things are looking particularly dismal, I ask the big dogs for help:


You have St. Jude on the left, the patron saint of hopeless causes (like please let me wake up and find no pain in my toe), and St. Raphael on the right – he’s the archangel known as a supreme healer. Hey, I’m Catholic. I like the saints. Did you know St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes? He’s a boss, too ♥

I guess at that point, I should really go to a doctor. If it’s a running related injury like my Achilles or my calf, I absolutely go. If it’s something caused by running, I like to try to get some insight and get in for some PT if possible. In the case of my toe, there really isn’t anything they can do, so voodoo and prayers!

Any weird rituals that you hope will magically cure you when disaster strikes?


40 Replies to “When Disaster Strikes”

  1. Is it affecting your running a lot? Man, that sucks. My weird ritual is more like a non ritual – I leave it the hell alone because I’m so afraid I’m going to make it worse. But I’ve also never had a real running injury. When I had such bad calf tightness I couldn’t run for a week, I had the most luck just leaving it alone and letting it heal itself. The heating pad also helped. My fingers are crossed for you!!

    1. Thanks, Hanna! It actually still doesn’t bug me too much running, it’s more how it feels in everyday life that is annoying me right now. It’s been feeling noticeably better each day, sometimes a little more sore after a hard run. Easy runs don’t aggravate it, and yesterday was my last tempo run so that’s all I have left now 🙂

  2. Oh man, step one had me laughing so hard because that’s totally me! Thankfully I haven’t had too many serious injuries, so I haven’t actually developed a “routine” for dealing with them. Mostly panic, haha! I hope that toe is doing better.

    1. Hehe! It was supposed to be funny. I hope I didn’t come off as bummed or negative because I’m actually in a good place with my toe. But I was messaging you the other day about my voodoo shit and I thought, this might be a funny post!! As for the turmeric, this is the brand I like:


      I tried another brand and noticed no change. I started these back in January and for all of the tempo runs, track workouts, and races I’ve done I have not felt sore. Tired legs – yes – but actual lactic acid build up and stiff legs, not once. I really think it is from the turmeric. I typically take 2 capsules daily, which ends up being 800 mg (I think). But with my toe, I’ve been taking about twice that. You can’t really OD but you can turn yellow. I kind of want to turn yellow. I think it would be a little funny.

  3. I was going to ask how it is feeling but I read your response to a previous comment. I definitely stretch and do strength stuff for injury prevention. When I feel an injury coming on, I get very scared and I take a couple days off running. Then I ease back in.

    1. Ahhh, so you do the thing that smart people do. You are wise. Dammit. I want to be like you when I grow up!

      It is what it is – doesn’t feel bad running! A little sore today since I did my tempo yesterday, but no worse for the wear. Better than it was a week ago, so that’s progress!

  4. I’m similar that I do not like to be on the internet and just avoid it when disaster strikes. It’s better for me to get off than to be negative towards others. I’m glad you are able to run though.

    1. I think that’s what it is for me. I have something going on, but I don’t want to bring others down. I was worried last week about it affecting my stride and hurting while running, but now that I know it doesn’t I feel better about it. Still wish I had nothing going on, but I am thankful I can run!

  5. Okay, I’ll be honest, I probably would do everything on your list! I’ve had some SI Joint pain and have been putting off going to back to PT but managed to see my Dr. this week for other things. She’s confident it will go back to normal and I booked a massage for Monday. However, today it’s feeling better than it has in days!
    Glad you can run pain free but sure hope this passes soon for you.

  6. Hahaha, I love your “cease all unnecessary activities” the most. Possible injury means I get to be a lazy bum about everything…BUT I won’t stop running!! At least until someone actually tells me I can’t run lol. I tend to just do the normal stuff with a bit of the “woe is me” and “eat all the food” thrown in there. Hope the toe is doing much much better this week!!

  7. “Voodoo shit.” Love it! I have one voodoo solution that worked once, so I try it for every injury. Once, my foot started hurting… like, a deep but sharp pain that also ached when I wasn’t running. I could not figure it out. It came on pretty quickly and really HURT. My dad suggested I wrap one piece of athletic tape right around the arch of my foot. He said he had similar pain once in junior high and that cleared it right up.

    So I tried it, and it was magic! I went from barely being able to take kids to the zoo because of all the standing and walking (I was a nanny) to being able to run my regular six mile route exactly one week later with no pain at all. It’s never come back!

    I was wondering if you were Catholic because you mentioned not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. I’m Episcopalian, so we’ve got some of the pomp and circumstance, but we don’t focus on the saints too much. It’s a bummer because I find all the “patron saint of this or that” really interesting… I like hearing all the explanations as to who is a saint of what and why.

    1. Whoa, that is CRAZY how awesome that worked! I wonder if it was like a plantar fasciitis thing and you stabilized it by taping it? INSANE! I love hearing things like that! You could totally pray to some saints! I am Catholic, but sometimes I really like traditions from other religions. When I was really into yoga, I was really into the hindu deities. I found them interesting and wanted to know more about them. Check out St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes. He’s my main man, especially before a race!!!!

      1. I will definitely check out St. Sebastian… I love all the backstories of the saints! They are always so interesting!

        I think the taping was a stabilization thing… it reminded me of how athletic socks often have a band of slightly tighter material right around the arch of the foot, but about 10 times more extreme!

  8. You’re too funny!!! I def went into deep dark depression mode when I had my DNF at Phoenix last year and surprisingly did better this time around when I had my stress fracture(s). I actually continued reading blogs b/c it motivated to do other things and still be somewhat in shape for when I did come back (I think in your case, you’re so badass you wouldn’t need to do that, lol!) I hope ALL your remedies help and that that big toe heals quickly!! Love ya, amiga!

    1. Thanks, sista!!! I was in a pretty bad place a few times a few years back with stress fractures. I was really upset last year with my Achilles, too. I was totally in the dark place with that one until one day I said, “Snap out of this!” Its funny, once I did that it started to feel better!! I think sometimes attitude has a lot to do with the healing process!

  9. Lololol, this is amazing. I love tart cherry juice for the anti-inflammation – my mom and I also use a lot of ginger (make it into a tea by simmering it in water for an hour) b/c it’s supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory. Turmeric though, huh? I had never heard of that one before, but I may have to try! I hope the toe feels better soon! 🙂

    1. I bought some tart cherry juice this weekend! Ohhh yes, turmeric is my absolute favorite! I take that twice daily on a regular basis and notice a huge difference in my recovery. I don’t get sore very often!

  10. I love, love, love acupuncture. I think it is amazing. Collagen shots? Hmm. I used to drink two shots of apple cider vinegar a day for a long time. Totally gross. But whatever. One awesome anti-inflammatory is tart cherry juice. You can buy a concentrated version at Whole Foods from a vineyard in the Traverse City area, Stanton Orchards. It is pricey $25 a bottle. But you just do a small shot once or twice a day. I like it straight (its like cherry syrup). Rock thinks it is too much so he cuts it with some sparkling water. It makes for a great mocktail too!

    1. Ha, I actually love the apple cider vinegar shots! That is very similar to what this is, you just add the powdered collagen to it. I bought into that one pretty easily because of my experience with the paleo diet and using bone broth – similar philosophy. I don’t know if I feel a difference using it but I can’t imagine it’s hurting anything! They sell a concentrated version of cherry juice like you mentioned here too. I need to buy that. I bought some organic “Just Tart Cherry Juice” and have been sipping on that. Like you, I would like the strong taste plain. I even liked straight up apple cider vinegar shots. I’m a weirdo!

  11. I absolutely SWEAR by tart cherry!!! I recently switched to taking the supplement instead of drinking the juice and it works just as well. I’ve even gotten several friends and clients taking it. They swear by it. So that’s my voodoo lol And rock on St.Jude! You know those saints are the real deal. I’m raising funds for the St.Jude children’s hospital while training for this Nashville marathon. 🙂 hoping your toe cooperates for you and that you have an incredible race!!! Not to far away now!!!

    1. Ohhh, I should get tart cherry supplements! That’s how I feel about turmeric – it’s my main voodoo that I really buy into. I think I would like the cherry supplements though. Ohhhhh yeah sister, love for St. Jude – he is THE BEST!!!! I love all of the saints, but I’m always asking him, Raphael, Sebastian and St. Anthony (because I lose EVERYTHING) for something!

  12. Great post. Thanks for all the info, some new tips for me. I try to stay away from NSAIDs but I’m a big fan of turmeric – so I just took a second one this am since I seem to have a little calf thing. Also arnica is a go-to and stays in my gym bag. Do you have a Roll Recovery R8 roller? Thing is awesome.

    1. YES! Another turmeric fan. Love it. I really believe in regular use of it for recovery during training in general. I don’t have one of those rollers but I hear I totally need one. I need to get on that!!!

  13. Ugh, this sucks. I’m glad you’re still able to run, but still….this sucks. I have no voodoo shit, no suggestions beyond what you already try. I admit that my usual MO is to continue through the pain like a moron. If the pain stops me from completing workouts, I go the super adult route of throwing shit against walls, crying, being rude to people for no reason and eating all the snacks.
    Hope it gets better soon!

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