Sorry for the lapse, when things get really busy in my life this blog is the first thing to suffer. I was super busy getting ready to go out of town, then I was out of town, then I was waiting to blog until I had some definitive answers about the pain in my ankle. But let’s back up a bit.
Training had been going well until a long run two weeks ago where things went seriously wrong. I was out of town and scheduled for the longest run of my training so far. I had chosen a path that was billed as flat and paved. As I walked out to get started I rolled my left ankle (the one the I badly sprained earlier in the year.) Regular readers know that my ankles are hyper-mobile and roll all the time so I wasn’t too worried. It felt a little bit sore but totally serviceable, so I decided to do the run.
The path was really hilly – way more climb than any run I’ve ever done in any run. A little more than 1/2 way through the run I started to feel a little pain on the front of my ankle. It didn’t really hurt that much and I really wanted to finish the run so I just ignored it, figuring I’d ice it later. I got home and iced it and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up and tried to stand up on it and, sitcom style, fell on my ass. It was super swollen, super painful, and I couldn’t flex the foot at all. Not good. I started RICEing and taking anti-inflammatories, hoping it would go away during the week I was out of town. It got better every day which seemed to indicate that it was healing and I made appointments with my physical therapist and massage therapist for as soon as I got back in town. After they worked on it, things felt even better.
I had an acupuncture appointment (affordable community acupuncture rocks!) and the swelling went way, way down. But there was still pain and I was starting to get worried so I made an appointment with a sports podiatrist. (I would also like to point out that if it weren’t for Obamacare removing the ability of insurance companies to deny care to fat people under the “pre-existing conditions” exemptions, none of this would have been possible.)
We started with an x-ray which didn’t show anything (though if it was a stress fracture, which is doubtful due to the location and type of pain – it would be too early to see on x-rays. ) We moved on the MRI, which I had on Friday, and the doctor’s appointment was today. I’m officially in the last six months before the IRONMAN so this timing is not…ideal.
To be very honest, on the way to the doctor’s office I wasn’t sure what I wanted to hear. I thought maybe I would be relieved if he told me that I couldn’t train. I’m in the third year of this two year project and it has been – to crib, as I have before, from Jerry Maguire – an up at dawn [and run all night,] pride swallowing siege. I am doing this to step out of my comfort zone and that has meant constant difficulty and challenges, frequent failure and, because some people are just terrible, ceaseless harassment from cyber bullies.
So right up until he said the words “ligament tear” I thought that I might want to hear him say words like ligament tear. Turns out that I did not, though I managed to make it out to the parking lot before the real tears started.
The good news is that it’s a partial tear. Two weeks immobilized in a boot (I’m going to start shopping for stickers to adorn it as soon as I post this) and then he’ll look at it again. Doctor is awesome – zero fat shaming, and pointed out repeatedly that this is a common issue with runners, and definitely not uncommon for anyone going from running super flat trails to doing lots of hills in one day.
I’m trying to stay positive, think about what I can do in terms of staying strong and conditioned so that if I get the go-ahead in two weeks I’ll be ready to jump back into training, and just trying not to be too depressed about this.