A week out east with lots of rest, fruits and veggies has left my body ready to resume the journey of training for next summer with one disconcerting exception: shortly after Lily's mom coached us through some 拍打功 (somewhat akin to pai da qi gong), I developed a pain in my right knee around the lateral minuscus.
Historically this joint has suffered some notable trauma, which began with a possible ACL-related injury in high school. In 2010 during the SB6K, I ran over 200 miles after banging it hard against a fallen spruce near the summit of Mt. Guyot... Probably not the smartest thing to do. It remained swollen for a week or two after the attempt.
Whether the mechanism of this most recent injury is the delayed wear and tear from many icy miles at ALTAR, or a blockage of stagnant qi, I'm doing my best to proceed with caution and optimism at this point. It's frustrating to not be able to fully capitalize on the remaining holiday for training, but Uwharrie and I still got out on this cold, rainy New Years Day to hike 6 miles in our backyard AKA Bracken Mountain.
More than ever, the 5 oz. pair of newly reworked carbon fiber poles were a welcome addition on the slippery terrain. Not once did I feel my knee on the hike. Here's a pic showing the improved handles and tips (the tips have already been used for 400 miles) fashioned from parts acquired at the local hardware store: