Monday, July 21, 2014

Trail Challenge and Foot Rest

My friend and I are currently doing a Trial Challenge that explores the different trails we have in our town.  While it is called a "challenge", all 7 trails featured in the program are very easy and short to do, as the event is targeted mainly for families with small children.  We still thought it would be fun since, hey us students never explore our own town, and we need the excuse to get outside this summer.  It is a bargain too, because for $3 a piece we each got a water bottle, a trail challenge T-shirt, a booklet with all the instruction, and an invitation to the end-of-summer party with a chance to enter a raffle if we finish at least 5 of the 7 trails by then.

Last Friday we did our first trail.  It was a short (0.8 mile), easy trail toward the south end of our town, tucked secretly behind some big ass mansions we didn't know existed.  The trail was very well maintained with signs on tree barks that guide the hikers.  It curves around the edge of the Connecticut River and offers a very nice view of the water.  The trail was covered with pine needles and moss, but all we got in terms of wild life was a squirrel and the voice of a very pretty-sounding bird, which suited me.

As a way to verify that you did each trail, at the midpoint of each trail is a sign with a symbol for you to copy down.  We found it nailed on a tree near the water.  It was a simple outline of an animal but it was hard to copy convincingly without anything to lean against on.  On our way back we took a short cut that led us to a cemetery that was actually very lovely and well maintained.  The trail was very short, so short that the way getting to and from the trail from our office took longer than walking the trail itself.  But it was a very nice start and we couldn't wait to explore the rest of the trails.

Despite the short and easy hike, and the fact that I was wearing my trail running shoes for the occasion, I was still stepping on uneven grounds and occasionally placed my right foot right on a tree root, and it seriously hurt my foot again.  It was an alarming pain that lasted through most of Friday night.  I don't even know what it is anymore.  It sort of emanates from the heel and spread to the rest of the mid foot, and the pain comes in waves.  I iced my foot and it only moderately helped.  I stayed home for most of Saturday, but the foot still hurt on Sunday so that I gave up on running on Sunday.  Just like plantar fasciitis the pain sometimes goes away after walking or running for a bit, but we all know that it doesn't mean it's actually getting better.  I'm still debating whether I want to go see someone, and I'm kind of reserved on the idea because I really don't know how to describe what I have, and I fear what their solution might be.  I don't think any bones are broken but I certainly don't want surgery, and I don't want them to tell me that I have to rest and not run for an extended period of time (granted I didn't run at all last week, mostly due to laziness).  I still want to do a half-marathon in October but I really haven't been training at all, and my reluctance to train seriously is largely due to the foot.  Perhaps if I get it checked out I would make better informed decisions, as the deadline for registering for the half is approaching.  I just don't want to look like a loser and having to tell people that I hurt myself from not-very-serious running or worse, having to be on crutches or something.  We'll see, maybe I will make an appointment to see someone.

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