Sos – running in beautiful rural France

We were lucky enough to vacation in France this year. We spent a few days in Paris and a few days with friends. They are in a tiny town in the southwest called Sos. It’s a 4.5 hour ride from Paris on the 190mph TGV train, and then an hour drive from Agen. It really is in the middle of nowhere…and it’s wonderful.

I got in a couple runs and it was a great way to see the scenery. They were sightseeing runs more than training runs. One hilly and one flat; the narrow roads were all mine.

Highlights included:

  • The hilly one showed me a fabulous view of the town from the next ridge. With the early morning sun at my back lighting the town with warm light, I wished I had the camera.
  • Bored cows whose heads came up in unison, in what I’m sure is their version of giddiness at this new excitement in their morning, heads slowly pivoting to follow my progress like 30 white-faced mimes.
  • A just-barely-not-turned ankle at the turnaround of an out-and-back run. Read: as far from home as possible. I was sure I was screwed but after a minute with the weight off it and a few minutes walking it wasn’t painful and got me home with no problems. It was very slightly swollen that night but, with no pain and no lingering inflammation, I feel lucky.

We were amazed at the number of runners we saw in Paris! I was hoping for an early morning, pre-crowds, run around Notre Dame and along the Seine but it didn’t work out.

60-minute NapTown run with Tim

It feels good to run long again! It’s been almost a year since I started having foot pain on long runs. I ended up bagging that marathon and a half Ironman later in the summer. I was bummin’.

Tim and I had a good hour this morning and I’m feeling good after it. My 10k PR, at the Camp Letts turkey trot, is only 2 minutes faster.

This is my first long run since losing 10 pounds and boy does it make a difference! Even at my fittest, long runs were usually over 10-min miles. I’m way less fit now but the mass reduction lets me keep up with Tim in the 9:15-9:40 range much easier! (He’s still waay faster. He PR’d in the 10k last year under 8 min/mile.)

First training run with Emily

Emily and I are aiming for a half-marathon together next spring, with a shorter-term goal of doing the Camp Letts turkey trot Thanksgiving Day. (I did this run last year with Tim and MJ. By “with” I mean I ran behind them at an ever-increasing interval.)

This is our first training run together and my first real run since hurting my foot in March. Here’s hoping for continued absence of pain. We’re starting very slow and plan to eventually work up to slow.

Team Williams knocks down Charlottesville Marathon!

Charlottesville Marathon

Charlottesville Marathon

Tim and Mackenzie both finished Charlottesville strong and feeling good. Mackenzie was the youngest participant and, reportedly, dropped her dad around the 23 mile mark (no mercy) and finished at 4:12. Tim very shortly after at 4:15. Fantastic! I’m happy they made it and had a great time in the process!

Official results here.

X-ray results

I got to the diagnostic center last weekend and just got a clean result from the xrays.

Three views reveal anatomic alignment and no acute skeletal abnormality.

That means either it’s not a stress fracture or it’s so minor that a real man wouldn’t even notice…er, I mean a regular xray won’t show it. Since the pain is way down, I’m going to pass on the higher-radiation bonescan that might show a really teeny fracture.

While the xray didn’t show a fracture…

There are mild degenerative changes in the first interphalangeal joint.

…apparently I have the beginnings of arthritis in my big toe. Joy.

Foot update

The foot is still painful and I haven’t run on it since the 16 miler. From friends’ descriptions it doesn’t sound like textbook plantar fasciitis and I’ve never had a stress fracture so I don’t know what it feels like. For the time being I’m not running on it and planning to see someone about it this week.

The pain is sharp but only when I roll forward on the ball of my foot. It does affect my walking gait and it would be too painful to run on. So far biking and swimming don’t bother it, so I can keep occupied.

I’m really bummed. Since this is such a critical period for my marathon on April 9th, it’s looking very unlikely right now.