Well, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling pretty good, all things considered. Sure, I'm still a little stiff the day after a long run, but this is the least hurty I've been in years. And it's no mystery to me as to why this is happening - I've been using my BFF Buffer often, and it's made a world of difference. Before I run, I use it on the sides of my heels, my Achilles, and my calves, and the tightness that I usually feel when I start running has almost completely dissipated. My calves used to be really knotted up and very tight, which pulled my Achilles tendon, which then pulled my plantar fascia ligament...it was a vicious circle, and while I'm still not completely free of it, I'm feeling much, MUCH better.
I used to take Motrin on a daily basis to try and reduce the inflammation and pain, but I haven't needed to do that in months. After years of trying everything, from foam rolling to using The Stick, from massages to chiropractor visits, I'm very pleasantly surprised that our somewhat spur-of-the-moment purchase last April has not only lived up to its hype, it's surpassed my expectations. I wish I could have an Oprah moment and bestow one to each of you, but sadly, I don't have Oprah money. You can order one here and use the code "JOURNEY15" for a 15% discount - it's still expensive, but out of all the things I've tried, I'm still sold on this product and cannot recommend it enough if you're hurting like I was.
So, speaking of running, we had another seven miler on Saturday. This is the fourth time I've run seven miles since July, and I am surprised to realize that this distance barely registers anymore. Now, I'm not saying that seven miles is a piece of cake to run, because it's still SEVEN FREAKING MILES, but it's not horrible...despite the fact that our weather continues to be hot and humid, which makes running extra challenging. Loretta was still on the mend, so it was just CC and I doing this run together. We were renegades and did the route opposite from everyone else - it's not that we didn't want to run with everyone, but if you go one direction, it's almost all uphill - well, not always hills, but just a continual rising of elevation. So we chose to go the other way, and while we had several hills, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was the one who created this particular route two years ago for our running club, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it works better one direction over the other, so it was a no-brainer for us. And we still got to see our running club peeps as we passed by them going the opposite direction, which is always fun.
It was a little weird to see quite a few unknown-to-us runners out as we were running - unusual, really - but I finally realized that people were in town for the Aggie football game, and they were getting their run in beforehand. The miles went by fairly quickly and before long we were at mile three, where we each had some fuel (Salted Caramel GU for me, yum). We turned into the fancy neighborhood just as the sun was rising, and right around mile five, stopped to take a couple of pictures:
Sunrise through the trees...
It was a little foggy here (hot fog, yay) - we liked the look of the lacy tree on the right with the fog and sunrise.
I will say, I've seen more sunrises in the last few years than I have in my entire life, all thanks to running. Anyway, we finished strong and felt good, which is all one can hope for when it's 72 degrees and 94% humidity. Afterward, we went to Blue Baker, where we were spoiled once again:
Buttery pecan bar on the left, fudge brownie on the right!
They are so nice to us, especially in light of how sweaty we are when we come in. We try to sit away from the other customers, at least - hey, we're considerate! CC brought Loretta to breakfast so we got a chance to catch up...hopefully she'll be back to running with us very soon.
Early Monday morning, Jeff and I were out for our usual run through the neighborhood behind ours, when a big angry dog came out from behind a house, barking and charging at us. In all my years of running, I've never had this happen. We stopped, and he kept coming at us, which was scary. Jeff was yelling at him to get back, while I was trying to calm both of them down, but that dog wasn't giving up. We obviously couldn't keep running, as it would have taken that as a sign to keep chasing us, so we were stuck; we were less than half a mile away from our house, but the dog was between us and the street that we needed to turn down in order to get to there.
Luckily, a college student came out of another house to get into her truck, so I called over to her, asking if she could give us a ride back to our house - turns out she was a nursing student. I joked with her that she had a head start on the day, with saving two lives already. Thankfully this ended without getting attacked, but it has made me wonder if I shouldn't be carrying pepper spray with me. I was given some last year, but I've never taken it out of the package:
I hate to think about having to use this...but I also don't want to be hurt.
The dog incident unnerved me enough that ended up running with Julia at the park yesterday - just in case that dog was still loose, I didn't want to have another encounter with him so soon. I'll bring the pepper spray with me on Monday, which will be the next time I run through that neighborhood...but I sure hope I won't have to use it.