Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February: in like a jerk, out like awesome

T. S. Eliot was wrong.  February is the cruelest month.  The past 4 weeks, I've been battling peroneal tendonitis, an overuse injury to the tendon that goes around the back of the ankle bone and connects to the little toe bone.  In an effort to fix that, I wore some new shoes, the Saucony Kinvaras, which are a less supportive shoe that didn't bother my tendon.  But these shoes put a huge strain on my calves, and I strained/pulled/jacked up my soleus muscle, which is the deep calf muscle near the bone on the backside of the calf, a muscle that's difficult to stretch and massage.

Location of pain and swelling in Peroneal Tendonitis

Running is how I escape the blues of going weeks without seeing the sun, and with my respite gone, I returned to the pool and to the bike to maintain aerobic fitness.  Turns out that I've actually really missed biking and swimming!  So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Finally at the end of February my calves and ankles were making real progress, and I was ready to launch my plan of fun.  I'd asked folks on beginnertriathlete, this triathlon website Alaina and I area  part of, where to go within 6 hours driving time from Ann Arbor if we wanted the hilliest running trails and biking roads in the country.  The answer: Red River Gorge in KY.  And so our Eastern Kentucky trip was born.  I had a long weekend already taken off and found a cabin near Red River Gorge picked out, so after Alaina bargained with the owner for a free Friday night, the three of us including Cody were off to tropical Kentucky.

The porch

Arriving Friday night on some DARK and twisty roads, we found other cabin renters drinking beers around a fire and hanging out in their hot tub. Good vibes.  The cabin was even better than we expected, a cozy abode built of natural wood with a fireplace already going when we arrived.  After a nightcap, all three of us were asleep in the king sized bed and ready for adventure the next day.