|Just metres from the actual coordinates of the "incident".|
On a muddy post-Easter trail run this morning, a rather nasty ground-level, creeping vine "grabbed" my lower leg - no warning at all. It's tensile strength clearly outweighed my feeble attempt to break free - and almost resulted in a rather dramatic (and humbling) tumble. Carefully unwrapping the stealthy and unnecessarily hostile veridiplantae from just above the right ankle, I discovered it had left a bit of a "friction" mark. Oh well, a small price to pay for a good time out in the woods.
I had actually been thinking about another, more troublesome injury at the time, and had perhaps, simply failed to observe the natural hazard that lay in waiting. Of more concern than the creeping vine, has been a rather frustrating problem with both Achilles tendons this past month. Strange, inasmuch as I can't remember doing anything unusual to cause injury or aggravation. Some might say, clearly this is a consequence of minimalist / barefoot running. I don't think so since I've been happily running this way for almost two years now - without any problems at all. It's a bit of a mystery. In order to give them a chance to heal, I've been doing some indoor cycling for the past couple of weeks and running for a shorter period of time and then only a couple of times per week.
I remembered this morning that one way to possibly minimize injury while running can be to take care to maintain a relatively low heart rate. This ensures, especially on hills, that "over enthusiasm" doesn't lead to an injury or further aggravate a damaged muscle or tendon. I decided that I would not exceed 130 bpm, which means walking up some of the hills. Now I'm really holding my running partner back - but, thankfully, she's totally understanding. The good news is that in keeping an eye on the heart rate this morning, I did not experience the discomfort in the Achilles of the past weeks. This is clearly going to require some patience but it's worth a try.
As for the action of the "hostile vine", well, I'm sure it wasn't intentional.