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North Texas

Helpful, Hurtful

Most of my runs are variations of a loop that incorporates a few trails in my town. A city park with shaded trails is roughly the halfway point, regardless of which direction I go (clockwise or counter-clockwise). That works out well because I hit up the drinking fountains once I get to the park, run a few trails, then get a little more water before leaving the park and heading home.

At the time of year most critical for water, the drinking fountains have been shut off to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, I’m trying to run routes that take almost two hours with nowhere to get water. It’s summer. It’s Texas.

Out of nowhere, a parent of two of my students sent a message to tell me about the bathrooms in his office complex, which are directly on my route! They don’t have a drinking fountain, but they have a sink, and that’s good enough. I started carrying a small pouch for water and stopped in a few times. It was a big help.

If you’re curious about the pouch, I took a single-serving trail mix bag and neatly cut across the top with scissors. You now have a plastic pouch that holds about 100 mL of water (~4 oz), and it easily rolls up and can be stuffed anywhere.

Ace Hardware is also along my running route, and they’re nice enough to offer local teachers a free fountain drink whenever they want (you don’t even have to buy anything!). I dropped in the other day and asked a manager if it’d be OK to jog in, fill up a cup of ice water or Gatorade, gulp it down, and run out. He acted like it was a silly question; of course it was OK!

The very next day, I got achilles tendonitis.

I’ve had the condition before, in the other ankle. Last time I got it, my tendon swelled to the point it was wider than the bony part of my ankle. Everything hurt, and even when not moving, I was dealing with some background amount of pain 100% of the time. I foolishly tried to train through it, off-and-on, and then attempted a marathon a month later. As one might guess, that made it worse. It took months before I fully recovered.

I’m taking some time off from running, ideally no more than a week. I have to choose between running and making my ankle worse, or not running and making my fitness level worse. Tough call. Either way, it’s a setback.

In the meantime, I’ll keep doing home exercises and probably start riding a bike on a daily basis. Hopefully I don’t get too far behind in training. It was coming along nicely until now.

Jul 16, 2020
from Misc

I am a carbon-based life form.


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