Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wood Ticks Galore

I ran in the park again, on the grass trails, in the morning this time. 65 degrees and clear, little wind, already a beautiful day.

Last Friday I came home from the grass trails with a dozen ticks in my shoes and a couple crawling on my legs; this morning not so many but at least three. I don’t think these are the tiny deer ticks that spread Lyme disease and babesiosis, but the larger American Dog ticks (wood ticks) familiar to most Minnesotans. They can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other infections, but mostly they are creepy and gross. Either way, no one wants them to latch on and feed so we do inspect ourselves. We often see these in the spring, but I don’t recall so many, or so late in the spring.

After each run I left my running shoes and socks outside on a wooden table for a while, where the ticks crawled out of the shoes and up onto the shoelaces, as if they were blades of grass, ready to latch onto the first passerby. Indeed, when I put my finger near a tick it quickly reached out two of its eight legs, glommed on, and crawled up my hand. Another of nature’s marvels. Yuck.

The run went OK or better until the very end. I was formulating the log post in my mind, something like “finally pain-free,” when the right knee suddenly howled, hurting even more when I finished the run and started walking. I’m not positive that this pain was the diagnosed patellofemoral syndrome, though, because it was at the lower right corner of the kneecap, whereas more recently the PFS had been more in the center of the kneecap.

Oh well, that “pain-free” headline will have to wait. I’ll keep doing the therapy, and running, and will put up with the pain as long as it’s manageable.

4.8 miles in about 52 minutes (I forgot my watch), pace about 10:50. It’s good enough - I stopped briefly a couple of times to take pictures, and didn’t stop my watch.

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