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So, we all know how Alabama turned out. Well…I’ve been nursing this L foot and it is plantar fasciitis, but I actually went to the foot doctor and did the whole wrap and support, but I was supposed to throw away my support 2 weeks ago. I couldn’t bring myself to do it; because I was afraid it would hurt too much to run in NC. So…I decided to schedule a trail run in hopes that the softness of the terrain would give my foot a little help. This run looked beautiful and I intended to run with my brace on. It was run at the National White Water Training Center in Charlotte, NC on their mountain bike trails. We drove on Friday, it was about 13 hours, it wasn’t actually a bad drive, but that last bit in the mountains when it was getting dark scared me. Brian drives very fast!!! We went to a seafood house and had some Salmon and salad and hush puppies and then we had a beer and got to bed around 10:30. I got up at 6 and was ready to go get my race packet at 7. The facility was 6-7 miles away, about a 15 min drive. We got there and I got my race packet and then started to wonder what I should wear on my feet. I talked with a guy that works there and he told me to just go down on the trail and check it out, I did and I needed to wear studded shoes, definitely. I am so glad I did!!! We were off at 9am and it was about 36 degrees, but I had on capris and a long sleeve with vented sides. Before long, that buff came off my head and so did the gloves. The terrain was uneven, dirt, clay, mud, rocks, a bit of water and a ton of roots. I have the advantage of wearing clear glasses now and my vision held out despite my dry eye. The trail was well marked and easy to follow, but as a single track, if you got stuck behind a slower person you had to search for a safe place to pass. I passed quite a lot of people who were slow or walking, a few passed me. I started to get a headache, maybe 3 miles in…oh, that’s the one thing I didn’t like…they didn’t have any mile markers so you couldn’t tell where you were. I started judging my distance by my water consumption, it was pretty accurate, I go through a bottle in 3-3.5 miles. I started to get a headache, like I said and I grabbed a power gel with caffeine and in 5 minutes the headache was gone. There were a ton of hills, switch backs, ruts, moguls and I ran them all. Late in the race I walked for maybe 15 paces, but it just feels so odd to walk after running for that long, so I picked it up, took my 2nd gel and it gave me the boost I needed to get to the finish line. I ran across easily, seeing Brian near the end and trotted out to where the truck was. I sat on the tailgate and TOOK OFF MY SHOES. I was sure that the support brace had to have worked itself around my foot, but it was very nearly perfect and though my feet were tender in numerous spots I had absolutely NO BLISTERS!!! My new NB socks are obviously winners! Both my feet hurt, my L a little more than my R, but I felt that my first race back from my injury was successful. The crazy thing is this…I put 20 screws in the bottom of each shoe; I lost 10 off my L shoe and 14 off my R. My Stats: 180 of 258 overall, 53 of 94 women, 02:33:28, 11:48m/mile, 3rd of 4 in AG and most importantly, complete without much pain, NUMBER 23!!! Next - MISSISSIPPI!!!

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