Off Season Woes


As December rolls in, I am in full on marathon recovery mode and ready to begin my off-season training. I’ve been researching cross training classes that would be beneficial to improving my speed and keep being brought back to the benefits of barre.

I’m fortunate enough to have a gym that offers this class and have previously taken it several times. I enjoy the class very much and find that it strengthens parts of my body that don’t normally get worked out. However, there is one major problem with me taking barre right now…you have to take your shoes and socks off.

Most runners will know why this could be a problem during marathon recovery. My feet are not exactly princess-like. I am missing a couple of toenails and haven’t had a pedicure in months. But, here’s where it gets tricky. I’ve been too embarrassed to get a pedicure given the state of my toenails. So, with the crazy amount of time it takes for them to grow back, how can I solve this problem?

I spoke with a salon owner who told me not to worry. She provided comfort in the fact that her salon technicians are well-trained and have seen it all. She advised me to speak with my doctor before coming in for if any wounds were still open. Given the fact that I am six weeks past the Chicago Marathon, I luckily have no open wounds. Just missing toenails!

So, I bucked up and went in for a pedicure. To my delight, the technician made no comments about the rough state of my feet. I left with 10 toenails, two of which were masterfully put on with the help of a no chip polish and now feel ready to conquer the next barre class.

My advice to those of you in the same situation is not to let the state of your feet keep you from taking a class that will help you to improve your running performance.

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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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