Saturday, April 14, 2007

I wrote out a long soapbox post about my taxes, but after a long pause, I decided it was best not to post it.

Instead, all you get is this picture thrown at you. At least it's worth a thousand bucks.

I'm sure many can relate.


Backofpack said...

Around our house, it's worth a lot more than a thousand bucks!

I had a friend say to me yesterday, "well, at least when you have to pay, you know it's because you're making money." Eric and I always try to think about the infrastructure we are supporting when we write out that check. Both those thoughts help me feel better about paying. We took a hit this year because it was our first full year without our oldest as a dependent, and our younger son was too old for the child tax credit - ouch!

Bob Gentile said...

as I comment to this post I do believe this falls under a deduction for my taxes next year--hehe

from Mr.DEEEEEEEductTions!!

Lisa B said...

Yeah, I admit I thought about adding Steely as my dependent! I mean, he's my baby ya know. Big difference, I can see. Ouch!

The thing for me that I just can't reconcile in my head is that I am NOT eligible to deduct the interest I pay on my student loans. Big deal, you may think? Well, if you knew how MUCH I have in student loans and how much I pay each month in repayments, you would see just how big a deal it is. My loans are my BIGGEST expense by far...WAY more than my mortgage! The annual INTEREST alone is $10,000+, and that's just the loans whose interest could potentially be deducted.

There's something just NOT RIGHT about that part of the system.

And I could go on...but I'm going for a RUN instead. :)

Bob Gentile said...

hmmm that is BS,it really is a battle for Doctors, even Attorney's who come out in the Market place to pay back their student loans & also start a practice OR think about when to start a practice, not easy professions :-( very very competitive

and don't get me started on the insurance mess that is tied into the whole health care industry....OK now I need to go run :-)

Lisa B said...

Bob said: ..."and don't get me started on the insurance mess that is tied into the whole health care industry....OK now I need to go run :-)"

Ha! Well, now THAT'S a passionate topic - Health care tied to insurance. I completely agree. Don't get me started either... :)

Journey to a Centum said...

Yes indeedy, taxes do suck.

As an option one of our running friends husbands is having his ivy league medical education paid by working in public healthcare. I think it limits your short-term income potential. Seems like you will just shell it out in taxes anyway during the early years trying to establish your own practice.

I'm sure you could shed much more light on this option than I can.

Lisa B said...

Hi Eric,

Yea, I was going to join the military to help pay for my education. Then when I decided against that, I thought about working in an "underserved" area to help pay off loans. But I started medical school later than most, and by the time I was done with residency 8 years later, I was ready to get on with my life, take back the control. In fact, after a year of being employed, I decided I needed even more control (!). Now that I am self-employed, I can't imagine ever going "back."

That's why these self-employed years have been such a shock - I have learned that I am WAY at the mercy and control of Uncle Sam!

Oh well though, everybody is to one extent or another. Now, I've just got to learn how to be smarter for next year. :)

Backofpack said...

This is not on taxes, it's on toes!

I have some of those toe bandages, but they don't fit comfortably over my big toes. Eric Sachs put me in a normal fitting shoe (I always bought mens and a little too big) so now I don't have room for much bulk in the toe box. I've been having the missing nail problem since last summer. It's all bumpy and calloused where the nails should be, and on both second toes I have a constant blood blister scab kinda thing going on. Nasty. Eric won't hardly look. I can't quite imagine getting them permanantly removed...just read an article today on using lubricants - which I've been doing (aquaphor). Apparently that could be contributing to the problem. Here's the link:

The third paragraph is about lubricants - I might go a while without and see how I do. I also ordered some kineso tape today - should be easier to use than duct tape - reccomended by the happy feet guy.

Journey to a Centum said...

Well I'm sure that by next year you will have every concievable wrinkle ironed out with regard to taxes.

I just noticed that my Nathan Hydration system has a special pocket for a Lisa B. After reading your article on puking, dehydration, woozyness, etc. I'd like to take you along with me on WS 100. Thanks for that, I read the article a while back but as the date draws nearer the whole weight monitoring thing is of special concern as I've never monitored my weight during a run.

My goal is the finish line with as much fun as a person can have while doing a 100 mile event. Looks like I'll learn more at the Memorial Day training runs and the Wednesday first timers meeting the week of the race.

Do you really want to engage in the whole toe issue with Michelle? Her toes are knarly and she's not afraid to post them on her blog to gross out the "He-Men & Burly Woman" of ultra running.

Lisa B said...

You guys are hilarious!!

Michelle, if you are trying out lubes, try Hydropel. Everybody's got a favorite and this is mine. Amazing stuff. A little thicker (but you use less) than many of the others.

I'm not exactly clear where your blisters are, but if they are in the nail bed (where the nail grows out of the skin), then you may have a problem with the toenail way up under there. I did. When my nails were removed, the podiatrist kept poking and pulling under there until he finally pulled out a SECOND toenail that had started to grow under there. Ahh, so THAT was the problem! (part of it.)

In any case, John V rules and so does kinesio tape. Your toes will love the stuff. This is the tape I use. Expensive but so worth it.

Eric, I'm glad you liked the Fluid & Electrolytes 101 info. I checked out your blog and your races on the Maniac site. This is your first 100? at WS? That is awesome. It's going to be a nice dry year. But bring an extra bandana that you can wear over your nose in the high country b/c if it's that dry, the runners in front of you will be kicking up tons of dust. That's my lesson learned from WS '01 when someone told me to bring an extra bandana. It really helped.

Oh, and the toe issue. Really, I don't mind at all! I guess you haven't seen my "Permanent toenail removal" picture album. Yes, I documented the procedure. It's the most frequented album on my site! Morbid curiousity, I guess. Morbid peculiarity, I guess, to want to photo document it! :)

Best of luck in your training. The Memorial Day runs are the best thing you can do to prepare!

olga said...

Well, now I am not sure what to comment on: on taxes (hopefully done on time next year), on med system and such, or on toenail pictures...what I have problem with (toenails, not pictures).

Lisa B said...

Olga, this is the place where we can identify and pontificate about all the world's problems. So, comment as you wish!

Now SOLVING the problems?? I haven't stumbled across that blog yet. :)

Backofpack said...

I didn't want to see blood, I really didn't. Especially that thing he was dangling from the tweezers! I couldn't go backwards to get back here and comment - I had to go back to the original link because I didn't want to see that bloody stuff again!

I think you are one burly ultra runner for sure!

Lisa B said...

Sorry, BOP! :)
There's more in your blog comments.

Backofpack said...

Here are some pics for you!

June - The first to go:

September - Both the big toe nails are now gone, and the second toe nails too.

October - after my first marathon. Another of the worst - it's not even the one on the side, but instead the second toe. I made the mistake of taking the skin off that and had a hamburger toe for a while.

A couple weeks ago, the latest blister from YRCM. It actually went over the tip and around the side.

Journey to a Centum said...

Oh My God! Stop! Just stop! You girls are getting into a "Nasty Toe" contest. "Yeah I lost this one when I stubbed my toe on a rattlesnake up in the high desert.... For Pete's sake!Stop this madness!

Lisa B said...

BOP - can u resend the links. only the last one came through. and ouch! that one looks painful.

Backofpack said...

(He's such a wimp!)

Lucky for you, it's time for us to quit blogging and get to bed. Bet you wish we'd picked up a movie to entertain ourselves tonight!

Backofpack said...

I think you'll have to do a cut and paste:



October (Portland Marathon):

Bob Gentile said...

ummm wait did I miss something?? Lisa did U pull a Marshall Ulrich and have ur toenails removed?? or just the BIG toenail?? and it is permantly gone?

ya know I think if I really get into Ultra stuff I would entertain doing that... toenails are useless, I lost three toenails since Dec. they just piss me off :-(

OK geesh TAXES & TOENAILS & INSURANCE & HEALTH CARE wowwwww now ... I need a DRINK, running won't help this combo of topics to discuss PLEASE let's not combine them... I drank enough in my past life!

Lisa B said...

OK, Michelle, we'll just ignore Eric for now. :)

I was able to cut and paste the pics this time.

Few thoughts:
1. You've obviously tried lots of stuff and have received lots of advice.
2. I don't know what all you've tried or not.
3. Seems like you've got a mechanical issue underlying your left greater than right foot blisters and nail problems.
4. Descriptive - Left bunion, callouses on medial/inside big toes, problems seem worse on left than right.
5. You are an overpronator, left more than right, at least in the mid/forefoot. Corrected? Orthotics?
If not, you might want to get an eval for them. If so, start strengthening glut medius/hip external rotators (helps keep the knees "pointed forward" instead of inward and helps attenuate the "pronation cascade" - a term I just now made up).
6. Aquaphors and Hydropels won't address the underlying mechanical problem that is leading to the blister over your bunion or the trauma to the nail beds. But certainly they can help and are worth a try.
7. If the bunion is a spot that keeps giving you trouble, then you might want to "donut" the area to offload it a bit in addition to adding some Hydropel. (affix donut first, then add barrier)
8. You also might want to try filing your first 2 toenails REALLY thin (gradually) before your next race. This can reduce the nail-nail bed repetitive trauma (similar but not as good as removing the toenail completely.)
9. What does King John Vonhof suggest?

10. Must sleep now!

Lisa B said...


I had my big toenails removed a couple of years ago after failing every solution known to ultraman on how to prevent bad toenails. The problem was not the bruised toenails or the falling off, it was the new one that would grow back. It'd grow back straight down into the nailbed. After 3 surgical removals, the only reasonable thing to do - for me - was to PERMANENTLY remove the toenails. Painful, but the best thing I've ever done.

One of the years that Marshall and I climbed Mt. Whitney, we had a hilarious conversation about our (lack of) toenails and how painful the removal process was. Of course he had all 10 removed and I had only 2. The only other toenails that have given me trouble are the 2nd ones. I would remove those permanently too if it came to it, but right now, the problem is minor and manageable and the nail beds are still willing to produce nice new toenails in the rare instance that I lose one of those.

And no, DON'T DRINK over any of these worldly issues! Get it all out HERE! ....or just RUN.

Backofpack said...

I went to a podiatrist once - the one and only my insurance allowed at the time. He had orthotics made. They felt like golf balls under my arches and made me feel like my feet were tilted to the outside. After two or three adjustments, which he charged me for each time, and a bout of tendonitis up the outside of my right leg, I gave up on them. I saw a PT at an injury clinic and he had me stand in the orthotics on the ground and said my feet were tilted. He suggested I bag them. I realized that every time I visited the podiatrist, the only clients I saw were either elderly or very overweight. I don't think he knew what to do for a runner. I believe my current insurance will give me a referral to a local guy I've heard good things about, so maybe I'll give that a try.

I appreciate you putting time in on this - it really started out as a joke, comparing toe injuries and pictures. You picked up a lot from the photos! Two things though - I've only had the blister on my bunion that one time, and nobody has ever said that I overpronate. I currently am wearing the Asics Nimbus with superfeet insoles. The one thing the podiatrist said, and the shoe guys have said is that I have a high arch. As for the bunion, it usually doesn't hurt at all, but I do get occasional bouts of short-term pain from it. I've been thinking it's a baby bunion, but looking at the most recent picture, realize it might now be a grown-up. Darn!

By the way - my email is

Lisa B said...

BOP - Yes, good podiatrists are hard to find. I've been to about 6 this past year with good results from one. You may not be an overpronator but even a high arch doesn't preclude that. A person can supinate in the rear foot and overpronate in the midfoot. That's why a GOOD podiatrist is best. If you can't find a good one, there's no sense at all in going. At least that's been my personal experience. I own so many pairs of bad orthotics! These are my new ones that I'm working on though. You might want to look into them??? Totally different concept than the traditional casting: I'm not saying you need them; it's just a consideration.