With my race plans out the window I needed to come up with a plan B. The Ghost Train Race is just one week away so I decided to go for a training run on the Topsfield Linear Common/Danvers Rail Trail. All of my training to date has been in very hilly Lynn Woods. Getting at least one training run on terrain similar to the Ghost Train course made sense so plan B was settled.
As soon as I began running in Danvers, I knew I had make a mistake. Although I was aware the trail surface was finely crushed stone, I didn't realize how hard it would be. It almost felt like running on pavement. For someone with healthy feet that wouldn't be an issue, but I do not have healthy feet. Some would say I don't have pleasant smelling ones either but I digress.
Anyway, at exactly three miles and if on cue, my plantar fasciitis, Morton's neuromas and shin splits began playing, "Hell No You Don't" from their hit album, "Symphony Of Pain". I did my best to lower the volume on this wicked little tune but when my heel pain starting feeling like I stepped on a rusty nail I decided to surrender and stop running. That meant a three-plus mile walk of shame back to my car.
I planned to run to the Boxford Line. My feet had other plans.
Don't let the smooth surface fool you. It's as hard as, well, stone you dummy.
I tried to save my feet by taking a spur trail through Moore Woods to a vista overlooking a reservoir. These blow-downs turned me back. Damn you trees!
Calm waters offer the best moments for reflection. Sort of like people.
A vast marshland borders some of the trail.
I tried to save my feet for a second time by taking the swamp walk through the Choate Farm area. But ....
.... I was turned back yet again, this time by a submerged boardwalk. Coincidence or conspiracy? Hmm.