As I am wont to do lately, I headed to nearby Kains Woods. My plan was to walk there, run 5K in the woods and then walk back. It was in the teens here in London and was simply a great day to get out for a walk/run and a lot of other people had the same idea. This is one of the best parts about running here---meeting other people, even if only very briefly. It's just not quite the same as running into people out on a neighbourhood road or sidewalk where you meet people on their way to work, or the store, or school. In the forest, you're all there for essentially the same reason, to get away from it all, and it becomes a bit of a bonding sort of thing.
One of the last times I had spent any great amount of time running through Kains, I had kind of overdone it a touch and had attempted some 10K runs I was not prepared for. Nasty, nasty cramps ensued afterwards. I gave it a couple of days of rest and then tried a shorter distance but found my left quad seizing up after only about a kilometer and a half. Then I got sick. This gave my old legs the recovery time they needed, although I did make it out for a couple of long walks.
I also brought up the subject of cramping with my chiro, and she suggested starting on a regular dose of essential fatty acids and magnesium. This I've done. My family doctor, after recent bloodwork, suggested iron, which I've also done.
So yesterday I walked about 2 and half K til I got to Kains and then I started running. The wooded part of the trail is about 4 and a half K so my plan was to run to the end of it and then turn around and start running back, til my Garmin had me at 5K.
About a hundred meters into the run, I developed a sharp pain in my right ankle, so sharp that I had to stop and hop a little. I imagined the bones and tendons in my ankle having the following conversation---Hey, what the hell is he doing?! Get out of my way, tendon, you're pissing me off! Up yours, bone, keep it up and you're gonna make me snap! What, is he RUNNING again? Oh crap! Okay...let's just see if we can get him through this ONE MORE TIME.....And at this point, things down there more or less got back to normal!
|Now look up, look WAY up...and you'll see a couple of bald eagles!|
The rest of my run was uneventful. Passed about 20 people out walking in the opposite direction and then, when we all turned around and headed back, I passed them again. Once I hit 5K, I stopped running and then walked the rest of the way. By the time I made it out of the woods, my legs were feeling it. Yesterday evening, however, cramps were really not an issue so I don't know whether it was the new vitamins or me just being a little more mindful. What I really need to realize is that running through a forest takes more of a toll than on the streets. I'll need to remember this. In the meantime, here's a bit of a photo dump from yesterday!
|Sometimes hard to see the trail this time of year!|
|The ever-present Thames River|
|I've walked past this dozens of times and must have thought it was|
a large rock or something. Closer inspection tells me it was some
sort of a man-made thing at one time.
|On the other side of the river, you can catch a glimpse of the|
London Hunt and Country Club (careful how you say that!)
|Brand new boardwalk! They treat us well, in Kains Woods!|
|Long out of the woods now---this tunnel takes me under a busy road.|
I generally try not to go "into the light" but this is one of the exceptions