or so it seemed yesterday as i ascended the backside of Flat Top. after 3 weeks in a boot to heal the tendonitis in my left ankle, i have spent this week testing it a bit. Tuesday i ran an easy mile and a half, followed by a couple hundred yards of barefoot running and yesterday headed up Flat Top.
i'm taking the 'shoes are evil' approach in trying to build my foot/arch strength. this is in direct opposition to what the doctor told me i should do, which is to always have my foot in a shoe with custom made orthotics. after much research i really believe that our feet are designed in such a way that they work best naturally, but years of 'supportive' footwear has softened them to the point that they don't know how to do this. by going barefoot as much as possible, wearing minimalist shoes, and barefoot running i think i can get them to perform better than they ever have. there is tons of info on this online. the bestselling book "Born to Run" is another good starting point for research on the subject, and is also a great read.
but back to Flat Top...about 15 minutes into the hike i noticed how deafeningly quiet it was. it was surreal and i wondered at why. then it hit me, there was no air traffic. typically planes are flying directly over the ridge line on their approach to the airport, passing overhead every 10-15 minutes. but i guess not on Thursdays.
it was magnificent. the sun was struggling to break through the clouds as a light wind blew in the 40˚ air. i strode strongly up the mountain, wondering how much of my fitness i had lost during my forced inactivity. not much in the way of cardio i discovered as i hit the top in a record time for me, 24 minutes. my previous best had been 28. the way down though was a different story as my quads turned to jello half way down and i was forced to walk because my stride was uncontrollable and sloppy. still managed to lop 30 seconds off my best time down with an overall time of 37:30.
report today is no tendon pain, praise God, only sore quads.