I think we talked about this on another thread.
Yes, I have run without toenails. Probably all of us have at one time or another. Heck, it takes months to grow in new nails so I wouldn't stop running for that. But I will say that I never lost the big toenail, that might be a little different. I have a longer second toe (Morton's toe) so I lose that nail all the time - no biggie.
I'm with Mary -- I tend to lose the toenails on the 2nd toe a lot b/c they are longer than the big toes. When this has happened, I have taped them up a bit with just a little medical tape and they have been fine. In the beginning I suggest the tape b/c not having the nail there for protection bangs your (now nailess) toe against the top of the sneaker and can aggravate it a little. I've found that after a few days though, it's completely fine. Good luck!
Over the years I've lost a toenail or two training and running. I find the initial pain is from the blister under the nail be it a water or blood blister (black nail). For me, I just cut the toe nail back a bit and try to let the pressure (water or blood) out. Some folks do this with a steralized needle. Once the pressure is gone, the toe feels much better. The nail is dead. You can cut it off or have it removed. Doctors frown on us "do it yourselfers". However, once it's removed it's fine. I'll be running the next morning. Keep it clean. I use antibiotic cream on it for a bit of protection and keep an eye on it so it doesn't get infected. Like I said in another post, I'm running with 9 toenails even as we speak.
Plan your run and then run your plan.
YES! All the time! I have one toe on my left foot, second toe from the smallest. I dont usually lose it right away, turns black and then I cut it back. But I let it fall off naturally, keeping it clean and then its not too tender under it when it does fall off. Takes about 5 months for it to grow back. I continue to run, bike, hike, adventure race, all the above. I even paint in the nail in the summer with polish.
I found that Patrolium Jelly on the toes prevents blisters from forming under the nails. Since applicating to my toes and other "hot spots" I have very few blisters. I run anywhere from 25-50 miles per week, depending on what I am training for.
Watch this weekend I get a nasty blood blister. LOL.
"You don't stop running because you get old, you get old becasue you stop running"
Take care, Train hard and Train smart. Sincerely, Vincent