16k: A Pretty, Rough Day

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My family went out of town on Easter and I found myself with some time to hike. I hadn’t brought any “gear” but I was wearing my magic shoes and sufficient clothing to get some decent trail time. So with a bottled water in hand, off I went.

About 80 minutes later I hit the 5 mile mark and figured I’d go a little farther to one of my favorite spots (see above), take a brief rest and cool off in the creek, and head back.  It was getting hot and there was less shade than I remembered and I knew I was risking “red head,” so I was a bit more focused on moving as I returned.

I made it back a little faster for a 16k (10 mile) round trip in 3 hours including breaks. That’s an average of 3.5 mph – so I wasn’t going slowly, but I wasn’t pushing it either. Other than being hot, a little sun burnt, and probably a bit dehydrated, I felt fine.

But I was about to not-to.

During this hike I kept having to adjust my left shoe because it didn’t feel quite right. I had stopped numerous times during the hike and moved the shoe tongue or tried a few different tie strategies. Nothing would relieve the discomfort, but it wasn’t serious so I just kept going. What started as a minor irritation at the top of my left foot was now seriously sore, so when I completed the trip, I took my shoe off to see what was going on. The sore area wasn’t too sensitive at first, but when I rubbed it the wrong way I had a pain spike that took my breath away.

I consulted my sister-in-law who runs and she said it might be “Foot Extensor Tendonitis.” The description sounded somewhat like what I was experiencing, and ice and massage did help. It still hurt the next day if I pressed the wrong way but it was basically gone by the third day.

What the heck? I thought I was passed this kind of thing! These are the same shoes I’ve done much longer and harder hikes in, and never had anything like this happen. The only thing different that I think of are the socks I wore. Instead of the weird toe liner with hiking socks, I just had on regular hikers. My right foot was 100% fine though.

Whatever it was, I need to find out because if I had to get up the next day and do it again I might not make it. I guess I’ll just see how I do next time. If I encounter the same problem, I may need to try some more advanced tying strategies. (Thanks sis!)

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