Monday as I left work, a glorious Spring day greeted me. And I knew just the place I wanted to go for a run: Quittie Park.
Quittie Park is this little strip of quietude that runs just under US Route 422 in Annville PA. You'd never know it was there unless, like me, you accidentally turned down the street just to make a U-turn, which is what Claire and I did a few weeks ago. Driving along, I'd missed wherever it was we were going, and turned down this little alley of a street and discovered a bit of paradise squeezed in between townhouses and farm fields and a little college town.
Since discovering Quittie Park (full name: Quittipahilla Park, after the Q Creek...but everyone says "Quittie"), Claire and I have been a couple of times, walking the nice path along the creek, sitting at the picnic tables, exploring beneath the trees, enjoying the violets and crocuses and other early spring flowers.
And so, Monday, I knew I wanted to run there. I thought I'd get a nice, easy 2 mile run out and back along the creek path...I had figured the path was about a mile long, because it took Claire and I about a half an hour to walk it. But, apparently, a 30 minute pace for a 4 year old does not equal a mile. More like half a mile. So, I just ran up and down the creek path, passing the same two nice ladies with their two dogs, one a shaggy white dog named Bailey, very sweet.
The advantage of running without a four year old was that I was able to explore a few of the paths that lead away from the creek (Claire likes to throw sticks into the water and make wishes, so we rarely leave the banks). There was a decent hill that I ran up and down, too, and all in all I was running along at Quittie Park for about 37 minutes. A perfectly lovely run.
I felt great during and after the run. Strong legs, strong lungs. But, later that night, after sitting for a while, my calves and Achilles felt SO tight. And I started to realize that I've been having this problem with tightness ever since I came back from Disney. While at Disney and all the miles I walked, I'd feel a tightness at the end of the day, but was so tired, I just didn't stretch. Silly. I should know better. Now, when I wake up in the morning, my Achilles are so tight, that I walk with a hobble, like my calf muscle got about an inch shorter. Walking down the stairs is tough. After consulting my running mommas and the internet, I've diagnosed myself with Achilles Tendonitis, a very mild case (there's no pain or inflammation, just the tightness), but nonetheless, there it is.
So, the Quittie Park Run will be my last one for a week or two. I've got to rest those tricky Achilles or risk hurting them more. And, all the stretching I've been doing recently will help, so more Yoga it is. I've been diligent about stretching a few times a day, now, in addition to the Yoga routine.
Every runner hates to be sidelined and I'm hating it all the more because I've just newly recommitted myself to running consistently. I'm thinking, though, that I can focus on Yoga and core exercises, which really will just make me a stronger - and hopefully less injury-prone - runner.
I guess I'll have more time to enjoy the voilets, not just run by them!