March 03, 2021

Breaking the Streak (gross photo warning)

(I needed a filler photo above so that the thumbnail photo for this post isn't the gross pic you'll see later!)

It had to happen sooner or later... I just wish it had been later instead of, well, yesterday.

I broke my five-mile-a-day walking streak! On Monday, I completed Day 225. At that point, I was pretty sure it was going to be the end, but I hoped I'd be able to walk yesterday (and do the C25K workout). Ultimately, I decided not to do it. Out of all the things to stop me from continuing my streak, I never imagined it would be THIS that stopped me...

A week ago Sunday, which was my first C25K workout, I decided to wear a pair of Brooks Ghosts that I had retired. They were the shoes I was used to running in, and they still had a little tread left on the bottoms--I figured that would be a good choice to start the C25K with. 

Since I've gained weight, my feet have gotten bigger. My feet went down a size and a half when I lost 125 pounds; apparently, my feet have grown half a size in the last couple of years. I could feel that the Ghosts were smaller, but I didn't think much of it. I just decided that if I should order another pair, I would go up to a size 10 instead of a 9.5.

I started my C25K workout on the treadmill and felt great. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel a hot spot on the bottom of my big toe. I didn't want to get a blister, so I knew I wouldn't be wearing those shoes again. I *should* have stopped the treadmill and changed out my shoes. I didn't do that, and it ultimately led to the breaking of my walk streak.

Warning: I'm going to talk about a really gross blister, so if you don't want to read about that, turn around now ;)

I developed a blister during that five mile run/walk. I drained it, but left the skin there. I remember Dr. Oz saying that you should drain blisters but leave the skin there, that it's your body's natural form of a bandaid. (Speaking of bandaids, I couldn't wear a blister bandaid because I had a bad reaction to one a few months ago.)

On Monday, it was still hurting, but I did my five-mile walk anyways (in different shoes, of course). It was really hurting when I was done, and I saw that the blister had filled up again (the typical clear water-like fluid... it wasn't infected). Again, I poked a small hole in it and drained it, leaving the skin in-tact.

On Tuesday, I did my C25K workout. Same thing happened again. This went on all week. My blister wasn't healing because of the location of it. It's on the underside of my left big toe, at the base of my toe, very close to the second toe on that foot. (There is a photo below)

Jerry told me that it needs to dry out and that I should just remove the flap of skin. On Saturday, it took me three tries to get in all five miles because my foot hurt so bad. I finally decided to cut away the dead skin to expose the skin underneath and hopefully get it to heal. 

Gross photo warning! 

When I cut the skin away, I was horrified to see that there were blisters UNDERNEATH that blister. I drained those as well. Here is a photo of it after draining everything... you can see I'm not exaggerating the pain this caused on my walks.

I didn't wear socks all day or night (which, if you know me, is never something I would do--I ALWAYS wear socks--because feet gross me out, and I can't stand being barefoot). Thankfully, the blister started to form a scab.

I walked five miles on Sunday and it basically just reopened the blisters. On Monday, I just couldn't decide what to do. I didn't want to break my walking streak, but I just wanted the stupid blister to heal. I knew that the only way for it to heal would be to stop walking on it for a few days. I completed my walk Monday and saw that there was blood on the bottom of my sock where the blister was. I drained the blister and went barefoot again.

Yesterday, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I was debating with myself--I knew I could suffer through it if I wanted, but when would it end? The walking would likely keep irritating the blister day after day, if it didn't end up infected.

The main reason I didn't want to quit my streak wasn't just because I had a long streak going--it was because I was worried about it totally derailing all of my other efforts. I've been working really hard on my eating habits, sleeping habits, mental health, etc., actually making some progress, and I was afraid that "quitting" the streak would make me give up on other habits as well.

Jerry suggested that I do stretches or something in place of the walking. When he said that, I immediately thought about my bike. I decided that I could continue my five-mile-a-day streak, but I could do it with my bike instead of on foot, allowing my foot to heal. Even though riding my bike five miles only takes about 30 minutes instead of the 90 minutes it takes to walk, I would feel just as accomplished. It's more about the discipline of doing it every day than anything.

So, yesterday I didn't do my walk. I rode my bike five miles and felt great. My foot was SO grateful. I was supposed to do the C25K workout yesterday, but I put that on hold. I'm going to wait until my blister is healed before the next C25K workout or another walk. Hopefully it won't take more than a few days, but I'm willing to wait until I'm sure the blister is gone for good.

I actually feel REALLY good about the decision to end the streak. I don't feel like I "quit", and I certainly gave it my all. I can't believe that a stupid blister is what led to breaking the streak, but in a way, I think it was a blessing in disguise. I rode my bike yesterday and today, and I felt like it was a good workout. My heart rate actually got up higher than it does for my run/walk workouts and I could feel different muscles working in my legs. I prefer to walk or run, but bike riding isn't bad!

I compared my heart rate for three activities, and I thought it was really interesting! This shows the heart rate zones for straight up walking (at a brisk pace--16:10 per mile), versus a Couch to 5K walk/run, versus a bike ride:

Where to go from here? I'm going to ride my bike five miles a day until my blister heals. After that, I'll continue with the C25K workouts. On those days, I'll add some mileage with either a walk or a bike ride to complete five miles total. On the days I don't have C25K, I'll either walk or ride my bike (or a combination) for five miles. So basically, I'm going to continue to get in five miles a day, but I am adding in bike riding to the mix. With those terms, my bike ride today completed Day 227 of a five-mile-a-day streak.

Most impressive to me, though, is that I didn't just "quit". I found an alternative that made me feel just as good and that allows me to take care of my body. My Affirmators! card on Sunday actually helped me with the decision. I have to learn to go with the flow, and be able to handle things that come up unexpectedly. I've been in a really good mood the last few days (which is interesting, considering what happened all week with my foot) but I'll write about that later--probably tomorrow.


  1. Love your blog..Look for Toe Caps on Amazon. They look like little toe condoms but they make blisters bearable.... I've had some nasty ones from marathon training in the hot summer months. It's a game changer.

  2. I wouldn't think of it as breaking a streak just because you're not walking. You're keeping up with an exercise streak, and that's great! So you haven't broken a streak at all. I had a pinch callus on one toe, and with the winter weather I couldn't run outside anyway. On days I would have run, I just used my exercise bike. Same thing--I was still moving my body, I hadn't stopped doing that.

  3. You should check out Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds Workouts. Each workout is the equivalent of a 1, 2, 3 or 4 mile walk. I use them when I can't get outside to walk.

  4. You're so funny! That picture isn't gross at all. I got my Affirmator cards and LOVE THEM! I'm taking them to work and will hang one on the board for all to read, then keep changing them. Just hope an anal co-worker doesn't throw it away.

  5. I think its still a streak! At this point its like an exercise streak or, like you said, a 5 mile a day streak! I don't think there's any reason to classify it as breaking your streak! I feel so bad for your foot! I hope it heals quickly!

  6. You have not broken your streak. You road a bike, which is probably good from a cross-training perspective, and it allowed an injury to heal. Heal your blister, and keep focusing on your GOOD behaviors.

  7. This type of blister on blisters thing happened to me the first time I went to NYC in the same place. My ex-husband and his friend thought I was just complaining about all the walking and I was like "no, something is wrong." We finally got back to our friend's apartment and I was horrified to find blisters layered on top of blisters from walking around all day. I know you are in some pain! I hope it heals quickly because it is so painful and in such an awkward spot.

  8. I agree! You’ve still got a streak going—You’re still going 5 miles everyday, just on a different mode of transportation! I’ve gotten back on track as of Monday. Trying to
    Walk 100 miles in March as part of Prostate Cancer
    Awareness campaign. Down 3 lbs since Tuesday. I didn’t get on scale Monday morning—I just couldn’t bear to see how much I’d gained. A year ago I was at my WW Lifetime weight! I was attending weekly meetings, and staying motivated to maintain my lifetime weight which I had attained on Sept. 20, 2019. I swear the once in 100 years Pandemic was a conspiracy to make sure I didn’t maintain. Instead I used it as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted—And lots of it! Long story short: I gained almost 100 lbs back. I’m higher than I was when I first joined WW on 1/31/2019! BUT not as high as I was when I originally started my weight loss journey in Dec. of 2009. The “AHA” moment came when I noticed a very sore rash I developed in my pannicilum (is that’s what it called? it’s where my lower belly fat folds down over my abdomen—talk
    About GROSS!) This reminded me of my 328-lb. days and I realized I couldn’t keep going this way. The 100 miles in March was also a good excuse to start moving again. Hopefully I can get this gain off before my nephew’s wedding in November. I’m embarrassed to go out and see anyone because of my massive regain—even to go to my doctor! And at 70, I really need to see her. I’m probably flirting with diabetes and high blood pressure again. Plus there’s my hubs, who’s been fighting Prostate cancer for 8 years and is now on chemotherapy as a last treatment option. I really need to lose this weight so I can take care of him. So I’ve gots lots of reasons to lose the weight, and as of today (Day 4 of being back on track) I feel determined. I can do this!! I WILL do this!! But what a struggle it continues to be.

  9. I vote with the others -- totally still a streak! 5 miles is 5 miles! ❤️

  10. I vote that you can frame this however works for you! I love that you continue to find your way. One size never fits all. Bummer about the blister, but that will heal.


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