I don't normally run with my phone on me, but this morning, I ran on very sparsely populated country roads so I tucked it into my back pocket for safety reasons. I figured that since I had it on me, I would snap a few photos and actually update my blog for once. I didn't start taking photos until the second half of my run, figuring that if I took photos during the first four miles, I would never finish.
I've only ever done this route once. It was the last long run before my first half marathon and it was miserable. One, it was hillier than I realized and way back then, I used to avoid hills. I didn't realize that hills made you a stronger runner, even if they seemed miserable at the time, so I died on all the hills that day. Two, I got freaked out because a car pulled ahead of me and stopped, so I had to alter my route and run toward the nearest house and that threw me off. It's a really pretty, somewhat challenging route, though, so I wanted to try it again.
It starts out hilly for the first mile. A lot of up and down hills, which can be kind of scary on a country road because there aren't shoulders and some of them are blind hills. Fortunately, I saw a grand total of two cars, so I didn't have much to worry about.
After the first mile, it's just flat but there's still no shoulder and the uneven road prevents a challenge. My hips were feeling it.
I saw lots of horses
and pretty views.
I haven't run this far in months, so I just took it slow and steady. My feet are a little sore right now, but they aren't too bad. I am hopeful that I can keep these longer runs up because I miss them. I do notice they're harder on my body than they used to be, but I'm also not used to them anymore. 8 miles today felt much easier than 7 miles last week, though, so I have hope that I'll get there.
Every so often, people google search and find the sesamoiditis post that I wrote in January and ask for an update, so I suppose I should give one. In terms of sesamoiditis issues with my feet, I would say they're about 97% healed, which is AMAZING considering where I was back in the winter. Running in the Altras really helped my sesamoids. I actually wore nothing but the Altra Intuitions for months, whether it was running in them or wearing them to work. It severely limited my wardrobe, but it was the only thing that didn't leave my feet in crippling pain. Unfortunately, when my sesamoids were at their worst, I developed a secondary case of plantar fasciitis from offloading weight and walking funny. Were it not for that, I feel like I could've kept running in the Altras, but a side effect of zero drop shoes is that your calves get tight as you're adjusting to them. Tight calves irritate plantar fasciitis, so as the shoes were helping my sesamoids, my heels were getting worse. I tried to run again in my old Brooks and they felt great on my heels, but my sesamoids flared up again. Basically, I needed a Frankenstein's monster concoction between my old shoes and my new shoes where I could attach the front of my Altras to the back of my Brooks, but that wasn't an option. A whole lot of google searching later and I came across some good things on Neutral New Balance shoes. Happily, they were only $49 on Amazon, so I figured I would give them a shot.
Fortunately, they've worked really well. They've got less of a drop, which is good for sesamoiditis, but they still have a slightly built up heel so my plantar fasciitis doesn't get completely painful. Every so often, I'll step down funny and feel a flare up in my sesamoids. The plantar fasciitis is kind of on-going battle in that I have to roll my feet out and ice them all the time, but I'm still able to run. And really, the fact that I'm this far healed from the sesamoiditis is amazing to me because back in December, I could hardly walk because the pain was so crippling. So yes, there IS hope that if you're suffering from this, you can and will heal and run again!