I’d been working up to being able to run higher mileage all year, but since I seem to have a bad case of One Damn Thing After Another (currently the right foot/ankle, and after Friday, my right knee), I was forced to do some significant hiking for the Lick Brook & Treman FLT course on July 23rd, where I ran 3.5 miles with @crosby.woods and then hiked the rest, and then again today, when I wanted to get the Brookton Hill & Dale course done before we leave for vacation for a week. There was time to do it after we got back, but not much, and I saw no reason I’d necessarily be able to run it then either.
So I got up early and started a little after 8 AM. I opted for the clockwise direction, which provided nice shade for the first 5 miles, though much of Coddington and Middaugh were in full sun. Going up Vandemark was particularly scenic, though the entire course was pretty. I didn’t see any other Challengers out there, but a few drivers waved enthusiastically enough that I thought they might have recognized the shirt.
Rather than run first and potentially have to hobble the rest, I started off walking, with the plan that I’d run the last 3 miles if I was feeling OK. I’d worn some old double-layer Wright Socks that had holes in one layer and the left one started to give me a blister on my heel within the first mile. It took a few stops and fiddling to figure out what was happening, but once I switched socks, it didn’t get worse. Still, I felt it on each left foot strike unless I scuffed slightly so my foot moved forward in the shoe. Once I hit 7.5 miles, I started to jog, which did nice things to my pace per mile (about 15:00 for walking, but 16:00-something due to the stops, but dropped to 13:40 by the end). The right foot/ankle held up OK for the running, but my right knee started to hurt toward the end, particularly with camber on Brooktondale Road at the end.
I enjoyed being out there, but I would have been much happier without the left heel blister and if my right knee hadn’t started to hurt during the run part. Luckily, I have some Hydro-Seal blister bandages, which are fabulous, and I’m hoping the knee chills out with a few days off such that I can do the group runs on the 13th and 14th to finish off the Challenge for the year.
And the socks went in the garbage as soon as I got home.
I approve highly of chocolate to celebrate finishing the Challenge but was more in need of chocolate milk than a chocolate bar.