Caren Jew is skeptical, but I assure her that my feet feel fine when at 0646 we meet at Ken-Gar. Rule One of running with a good friend is "Always Tell the Truth!", and I promise her that if I sense any problems developing I'll speak up immediately. Earlier this week I experience sharp twinges in the left metatarsals on Sunday evening, following the 2009-11-01 - Potomac Heritage 50k 2009. Sensibly (for a change) I go to the doctor's office on Monday afternoon, by which time the sore foot feels entirely better. The physician who sees me wites, "Patient reports foot pain after running two marathons in the past two weekends."
"No," I correct her, "it was one marathon and one ultramarathon!" She laughs, and advises me to wear thicker socks and better-padded shoes, as well as to watch my gait. The x-rays come back looking fine, so on Thursday I do 20 miles with comrade Kate Abbott (2009-11-05 - Appalachian Trail and Canal Towpath). After that my left foot still feels good, but the right foot gets twingey, especially on the top and outside. Perhaps my trail shoe (Brooks "Adrenaline") is laced too tight?
I skip the Saturday morning MCRRC Candy Cane 5k race and by that afternoon the right foot seems much better, so a bit of begging by me kind Caren agrees to let me run with her. As usual our wide-ranging conversations are a delight and the miles flow by smoothly. We head upstream from Ken-Gar Park, starting our watches at milepost 7 of Rock Creek Trail. Just before milepost 9 the new Matthew Henson Trail beckons. We trot upstream, crossing Veirs Mill Rd and Georgia Av. The brisk morning air chills me in an unmentionable place, but I eventually warm up.
Caren has "The Eye": she spots a herd of well-camouflaged deer on the other side of Turkey Branch, then a Cooper's Hawk perched high above us in a bare tree. I peer and peer, and finally descry the creatures. We cross boardwalks and climb hills. At milepost 12 we turn back. Our outbound pace is a bit slower than 13 min/mi, including traffic delays and pauses to birdwatch. The return trip is faster, ~12.5 min/mi. I speculate about mindfulness meditation and its application to running, pain management, and self-improvement.