Friday Five | Things that make you go hmmm…

There are definitely a few “things that make me go hmmm…” when it comes to running and fitness in general, don’t you agree?

1. How to prevent toe blisters

I’ve asked for some advice on Instagram yesterday but didn’t get a lot of responses, so I am asking here again: what’s your best advice to prevent toe blisters, primarily on the toes next to the big ones.

Just FYI, I tried a lot of things already, but I still get blisters on the tip of my toes every so often and it’s not fun. And no, the second toe is not really longer than my big toe (just about the same length). Here is what I’ve fiddled with so far: I got fitted for shoes and bought all my shoes at the running store. I am wearing shoes a size bigger than my usual size (first sized up ½ size, then sized up again). I have run in Brooks (Ghost and Ravenna) and Asics (Gel-Cumulus). I have invested in good running socks. I have tried relacing my shoes different ways. I have tried vaseline. Except for trying other shoes (someone suggested Nike or Adidas), do you have any other suggestions?

And yes, the Asics need to be replaced, but that’s why I am investigating before buying a new pair of shoes.

2. Women who come to the gym all dolled up

If a woman comes to the gym at 5 am in the morning with full makeup, I can’t take them seriously. I am sorry. Are they trying to meet someone at the gym? Do they not sweat? Do they feel like they have to “put on their face” for a workout? Do they not have time to do their makeup after they work out? Just curious.

[bctt tweet=”What makes you go hmm…? #FridayFive ” username=”san_in_ca”]

3. Guys and grunting noises

On that same note, what is it with guys at the gym that ‘grunt’ with every lift they do? Do they think it’s sexy? Do they think we want to hear this so we know how hard they’re working out? I don’t get it.

4. Running etiquette

When I am out running around the neighborhood, I’ve encountered friendly runners, who smile, wave or nod when they pass you, and grumpy runners, who stare straight ahead and don’t even acknowledge you. I always try to be one of the former, because I feel like we’re in this together and I always feel encouraged when other people acknowledge me (and my struggles, ha!), too.  Definitely makes me wonder what you guys think?

5. Imposter syndrome, it’s a thing

Ok, I admit that this last one is kinda silly, but I also think that I can’t be the only one having these kinds of thoughts. I still struggle with imposter syndrome every once in a while, when it comes to running.

I’d call myself a ‘middle of the pack’-runner. I am not particularly fast, but also not the slowest. I cheer on other runners’ accomplishments and successes and am a HUGE advocate of the phrase “if you lace up your shoes and set one foot in front of the other, you’re a runner”.

But I still sometimes feel like I don’t know where I fit in. I compare myself to the fast runners and think ‘that will never be you’, I look at the runners with a huge weight loss journey and think ‘I don’t have this kind of accomplishment to show for”. I’ve always been semi-athletic and just picked up running a few years ago as my main form of exercise. That’s it. Nothing spectacular to report here. This kind of thinking definitely makes me go hmmm… sometimes.

What makes you go hmmm…?

I’m linking up with  Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 Linkup

  1. What makes me go hmmm is how there could be so many Eagles fans the Panthers stadium last night. Also …

    Workout makeup: As a coach of girls, I’ve found that some will go full-on makeup and some go natural. My hypothesis is that it has to to with comfort level. We’re at our best when we’re most comfortable. If that means mascara and foundation, then so be it. It can also be not a stitch of makeup at all.

    Guys grunting: This doesn’t end at the dumbells. They grunt and groan in the locker room, too. I think it’s a cro magnon thing for attracting a mate.

    1. Mmh, you gave me something to think about… comfort level. I am guessing that might be especially important for younger girls… I definitely wear mascara and foundation during the day, but I just don’t want it to run off my face while I exercise LOL

  2. Working out in full make up? Well, I would never – but that might because I barely put any make up on ever. I’m just too lazy. And let’s be real, if you have to “redo” it after the workout what’s the point in putting it on before?

    What makes me go hmmmm? Well, just this last weekend we had a dog sitter staying at our house while enjoying a few days away from home. I had left a few written “instructions” and on that note it says “please feel free to eat whatever you’ll find in the fridge – that might not be much, ’cause I don’t go grocery shopping before a trip”. But I had gotten her some bagels, cream cheese and nutella.
    back home I realized that not only our fridge was “empty” – she also enjoyed our wine, my homemade ice cream and quite a few frozen meals from Trader Joes that I had for “emergency”. The dog sitter also washed her clothes at my house…… we were only gone for 5 days.
    I’m not mad about all of this ’cause I told her to feel comfortable at my house – it just makes me go hmmmm.

    1. I wouldn’t want half my face to ‘run off’ when I sweat during my workouts (which I do quite a bit) LOL so I put (light) makeup on AFTER.

      Ha, I had to chuckle about your dog sitter experience… I mean, you did tell her to “feel like home”… but I would never completely empty someone else’s fridge (freezer AND pantry!). LOL

  3. Re girls in make up: it is totally about comfort level. My SisIL wears make up to the gym (and to run half marathons) because if she’s going to stare at herself in the mirror to watch her form (or take start line photos) she wants to be happy with how she looks. I’ve gone in make up because it’s at the end of the day and I’m too lazy to take it off before going in.

    Re grunting: some grunting is natural and doesn’t bug me. I’ve definitely grunted to finish a hard set/rep. Excessive grunting probably stems from that – they want to think they’re really straining.

    Re imposter syndrome: oh man this is what was killing me right before the race. Because I’m on the slow end of the spectrum. Most people who say they ‘aren’t fast’ run 1-2 minutes/mile faster than me. So then I question what I’m doing and why. I have to remind myself that slow or not, I’m out there doing it. And there are people slower than me out there doing it too. I’m not running to be faster than anyone, I run for my mental and physical health. But, it’s still hard because of course I wish that I naturally ran faster. Haha, don’t we all?

    1. Mmh, does your SIL have water-proof makeup for the gym… I mean, my concern with full make up would be that half my face is going to ‘run off’ during exercise (because I sweat so much). I would find that more uncomfortable than not wearing makeup, but I guess to each their own ;)

      Right, imposter syndrome is real… but I am trying to remind myself too that the only person I can really compete with is myself and if I go out logging miles, than I am a runner!

    2. Mmh, does your SIL have water-proof makeup for the gym… I mean, my concern with full make up would be that half my face is going to ‘run off’ during exercise (because I sweat so much). I would find that more uncomfortable than not wearing makeup, but I guess to each their own ;)

      Right, imposter syndrome is real… but I am trying to remind myself too that the only person I can really compete with is myself and if I go out logging miles, then I am a runner!

  4. Thanks for linking up!

    I too have tried everything to prevent blisters. The best thing for me was putting deodorant on my toes! Got that tip from another blogger and it got me through my last half marathon blister free!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I tried vaseline, but maybe deodorant is different. I’ll give this a try!

  5. I’m not a runner, but I think it’s common to have impostor syndrome with certain things. But hey, if you’re enjoying it, then good! We shouldn’t worry about the rest, right?

    I used to get blisters all the time just from walking. I’m really not sure what to do about that, but if you get any advice, I’d love to hear it!


    1. You’re totally right… imposter syndrome is silly and while we might all experience it at times, we should really worry about it too much.

  6. What a fun post! I have many things that leave me scratching my head, too—especially girls dolled up to go to the gym. Noticed one the other day and I swear, she had fake lashes on. More power to her I guess, I’m just not sure I see the point?! Then again, I rarely wear makeup ever as it is ;)

    I don’t have any advice for running shoes but think that encouraging your fellow athletes whether by giving a nod or quick smile is a nice form of camaraderie :)

    1. To each their own, right? :)

  7. Working out all dressed up is a puzzler to me as well! I am guessing they are the folks who come to the gym so someone sees them more than anything else!

    1. That could be it… people in full makeup come to the gym to be seen rather than to focus on their workout! :)

  8. About the toe blisters….I almost always get “clear” blisters (never blood blisters) on the tips of my toes right near the toe nail…and I think it’s from gripping my toes. I also wear shoes a size up and wool socks, and that’s the only solution I can come up with. Somehow, I grip my toes when I run, and it puts a weird pressure right at the edge of my toe nail (and it’s on the first toe…right next to my big toe), usually on both feet. Those toes are shorter than my big toes as well, so I know the toe length is not the problem. Fun!!

    1. Mmh, I have to try and pay attention if I ‘grip my toes’ as well… I haven’t noticed it, but maybe I do the same? My blisters are right by the toe nail, too.

  9. I don’t get the makeup thing either. Usually, my morning workout helps me get rid of the last bit of mascara that my eye makeup remover and face wash left behind. I finish up looking like a very wet raccoon. I’m sure I’m so attractive. lol

    I don’t know what to tell you about the blisters. That’s interesting. hmmmm…..

    1. Haha, I sometimes notice leftover mascara after my workouts, too… so attractive LOL

  10. The only thing I can recommend would be using deodorant between your toes and Trail Toes. But if you’re getting blisters on the tips then I don’t know what to tell you — because I get them, too! They don’t hurt so I’m guessing yours don’t either?

    1. No, most of the time the blisters don’t hurt (I get them on the tip of my toes), but it’s just annoying and doesn’t look very nice ;) I’ll try the deodorant trick.

  11. So many. Yes, working out in full makeup is counterproductive. Really bad for the skin. haha.

    1. Right? That’s what I was thinking… doesn’t that make you break out with all the sweat that is running off your face, too?

  12. I’ve never understood women who do their hair and makeup before going to the gym. Unless you are filming a professional fitness video… These are all interesting thoughts. I prefer to work out alone at my home because I’m an introvert and I do mainly yoga, which can be done anywhere. I’ve never thought about the etiquette of exercise like that.

    1. Ok, I can understand hair and makeup if you’re filming a professional exercise video… I guess? ;)


    1. I can understand that you might work out with makeup if you go to the gym AFTER work… I probably wouldn’t bother taking it off beforehand, but then again, I wear light makeup to begin with, so you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference ;)

  14. I use vaseline to prevent chafing/blisters on my feet and it is a moisturizer too :) Helps keep my feet looking pretty between pedicures. I used the scale at the fitness center and quickly found it is broken. They almost always are, right? Makes me wonder if people are breaking them on purpose?

    1. Why is the scale always broken at the gym? It’s a mystery to me too!

  15. So here’s the weird thing about shoes that puzzles me: the first time I was measured at a shoe store, they just said I need a size 8 – makes sense because that’s what I wear. I started getting black toenails – I wore Nike, Adidas, and Newton. I switched up to 8.5 or 9 in Saucony. After consulting with a podiatrist. I got more black toenails. Then I went to a different shoe store and the guy said my size is a 7 so I need an 8. I thought that was weird because I’ve always worn a size 8 in all shoes. But that makes sense because you don’t want any of your shoes to be tight. My foot size is a 7 and my shoe size is an 8 I guess? He fitted me in Brooks Launch – I was looking for a lighter shoe. Then I got a pair of Saucony for marathon training and went back to 8. The black toenails fell off and I haven’t had any issues since. So the takeaway is wear your normal size (unless you just wear very tight shoes normally in which case, how do you walk?). Also, I will add that they – being shoe stores and podiatrists – always told me I overpronate and I need stability shoes. I developed a case of tendinitis in my left foot and ended up switching to custom orthotics and neutral shoes. After a couple of seasons, I ditched the orthotics, kept the neutral shoes (my go to shoes are now Brooks Ghost and Launch) and just changed my running form. I haven’t had tendinitis or IT band issues since. And I’m currently putting in about 40-50 miles/week. So I’d say play around with your running form and try different brands until you find something that works. However, I will say that my blisters have always “turned to” calluses. I know it doesn’t work that way but they just seem to go away and then I get thickened skin. Makes for unsightly feet but no pain.

    As for imposter syndrome, I think everyone feels that way. I feel that way in most aspects of my life but oddly enough, running isn’t one of them – anymore. I guess it’s because I run so much, I’m in a running club, I cross-train, I read books and listen to podcasts related to running. It’s my drug and my therapy. I’ll never be an elite – most of us just don’t have the genetics, but I’m out there doing something that most Americans don’t event want to think about doing. So I won’t tell you to stop feeling a certain way because you can’t help how you feel. But you ARE a runner.

    1. Thanks for your insights… I have definitely considered sizing my running shoes down again… maybe I am sliding around too much? But then someone said maybe I need a shoe with bigger toe box? I guess there is no “one size fits all”-answer here. I need to keep trying different things. I am in the market for new shoes, so maybe I’ll try something different.

  16. I wish I had some blister advice, but I’ve got nothing. I also don’t understand going to the gym in make-up. I sweat a lot, and I can’t imagine it would be pretty to have mascara running down my face. The grunting just makes me laugh. And I definitely think you should always say hi or at least smile at a passing runner. I do.

    1. Yes! I sweat a lot too and it wouldn’t be a nice sight to have my mascara running down my face ;)

      Thank you for supporting my thoughts on running etiquette and that runners should greet each other. I feel like it’s just common kindness.

  17. I never put on make-up before a workout, but I used to shower before my weekend long runs — I think it helped me wake up, but now I just run in a sleepy fog for the first mile. ;-)

    1. I ALWAYS run in a sleepy fog for the first mile LOL

  18. I would try sizing up a half size if you aren’t already? That should give you more room in the toe box. I used body glide and would put it between all my toes when I was marathon training. I didn’t have trouble with blisters when half marathon training, though, so it sucks that you are dealing with them as they are painful and take forever to heal!

    I don’t understand full make up for a morning workout. I am just so low maintenance!

    1. I tried both sizing up 1/2 and a full size in my running shoes, but same problem. Now I am thinking maybe I should size down again. I will play around more with vaseline/deodorant/glide and see if that makes a difference. I have done it before but maybe not consistently enough?

  19. OMG, so many things to comment on right now.

    I have no advice on toe blisters, but I get them too, usually on my third and fourth toes. They’re usually right around the nail, and they’re usually got in a day, but they still aren’t fun. I also managed to bruise my toenail on my last half and I’m waiting to see what happens. I really hope I don’t lose the toenail, but it was black and gross for a while.

    The grunting makes me crazy. Absolutely crazy.

    I wave or smile at every other runner I pass by and I get grumpy when they don’t do the same. We’re a community of runners, dammit, how hard is it to wave or make some sort of sign of acknowledgement! Also, I do this when I travel too, and it’s been neat to see how friendliness of runners varies in different places.

    I still struggle when I call myself a runner. One of the first times I ever did was on a flight, and I saw down with my runner’s world and the man next to me asked me if I was a runner and I hesitated and then said yes and we spent the next four hours talking about ALL THE RUNNING THINGS, but it was weird and hard to call myself a runner because I don’t run 7-minute miles or marathons. But I am a runner. Fast or slow, long or short distances, we’re runners.

    1. Yes, my blisters are right around the nail too… they usually don’t hurt and go away pretty quickly, but I feel like I have blisters there constantly!

      I am so glad to hear you wave or smile at other runners, too. Sometimes I feel like an idiot when they don’t smile or wave back, but then I am trying to tell myself that it’s THEIR problem if they want to be grumpy, not mine ;)
      It’s interesting that you say that the friendliness of runners varies in different places. I have to pay more attention to that.

      Do you remember when I talked to you about how I felt like I couldn’t call myself a runner? I am relieved to hear that you still struggle with this sometimes (although you DEFINITELY are a runner!).

  20. Best advice I ever read about blisters, deodorant on toes. I started using it 6 months ago, and haven’t had a blister since, not exaggerating at all.

    I was having the same thoughts on being a runner the other day… I haven’t lost a lot of weight, and I’m not fast… and some days I’m lazy about just running. I don’t have all the fancy socks and all the inspirational bracelets, but I still run.

    1. I’ve heard the deodorant advice a few times now… should probably see if that works for me, too ;) Thanks.

      I love what you said about not feeling like a runner some days, but we are runners, damnit!

Comments are closed.