Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ankle Injury

This past week included two races, the Rock 'n Sole 1/2 marathon Sunday and the Bastille days 5k Thursday.  I had previously discussed rolling my ankle in a sewer grate during the Rock 'n Sole event on the Hoan Bridge.  During the 5k I caught a pot hole and rolled it again.  Milwaukee has a lot of freeze thaw action in the winter and some of its roads occasionally feature mountain trail challenges.  This is normally more of a concern when cycling but oddly caught up to me while running.

Going into the 5k I had no indication of ankle problems.  After rolling it with 1/2 mile to go it felt fine and I finished strong.  I woke up later in the night with a stiff swollen ankle with a limited range of motion.  Thankfully it is not worse. 

I can walk around and even have enough strength to make poor decisions like continuing to run on it.  The allure of pretending everything is fine and pressing ahead with the last weeks of my 1/2 marathon training plan is rather tempting but is pure self destructive folly.  I will be ending my training plan early to focus on rest, strength training, and establishing a new base.  There is plenty of running season left to smartly recover and pick up later. 

This past November I trained on a swollen ankle and succeeded in turning mild soreness into an immobilizing severe partial tear of what felt like everything in my foot.  It took weeks for swelling to go away, pain lingered for months, and 10 weeks passed before I ran again.  To complicate matters I did this at the beginning of a month long business trip to Spain.  This was very demoralizing to say the least.  It gets better though, a couple weeks later I ate a bad sandwich and ended up in the hospital with stomach worms.  I lost 15 lbs in less than a month and suffered a severe loss of fitness.  It took a lot of time to bounce back, by recognizing a need to modify training when required the loss to my fitness can be minimized.

I plan to avoid high impact activity for the next week and focus on swimming and cycling.  When my ankle feels better I will do some Bosu workouts and other strength training.  It is important to wear a wrap or brace around the injured joint to provide additional support.  When I feel strong enough I will start putting in running miles again at a higher frequency and lower volume than before my injury.  I hope to be starting a new 1/2 marathon training plan in 4 to 6 weeks.                 

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