The Ankle of Doom Rises Again

My earlier optimism regarding my sore ankle tendony thing has diminished slightly. I’ve been back to physical therapy a few times, and have been doing calf raises and stretching diligently.

One day, and all of my friends already know this because I was SO EXCITED I WOULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT, the physical therapist put a battery-operated band-aid with cortisone on my ankle. I could not believe this existed! Battery-operated band-aids?! And in lieu of a cortisone shot?! Genius! I flash back to having a 10 inch needle jabbed into my kneecap while marathon training in my 20’s. Like a jackhammer piercing the concrete of my cartilage.

1Actually that’s an exaggeration, and I don’t remember where the shot went (most likely not right in my kneecap), but it did suck. Cortisone band-aids do not suck. My ankle felt pretty good afterwards.

Overall, I’m managing well. The pain has diminished. PT is helping. I can still do my usual weekday workouts, and I feel great. It’s the long runs that are not cool.

I’ve been training for a half marathon in May, and I dread these runs.

I’m doing a super chill training plan, mostly due to burnout from last year but also due to not wanting to tax the doom ankle.

All of this plan’s weekly runs are easy and fun. The speedwork, for example, is to see if you can beat your 5k time from week to week. Even more fun, the first mile of that 5k has to be at 10-min mile pace. So fun. After doing so many seasons of lenghty, paced intervals and other speedwork, I love this little plan!

The weekend runs? Not fun. My ankle isn’t having it after a few miles, and it slows me way down. I walk a lot. And get bored. Thank god for podcasts.

On last weekend’s 10 mile run, for example, my ankle was tight before I ever started, and I couldn’t get going past about an 11-min per mile pace. It just wouldn’t loosen up.

Then, the park bathrooms I planned to visit at mile 4 were locked. The next bathroom was more than a mile away. NOOOOOOOOOOO.

I walked most of that distance. Then my doomed foot started cramping from the slow plodding, and I thought I’d have to crawl until that passed, and just overall… I can’t do that again next weekend.

I have the option of changing distances from half to 5K for the upcoming half. Obviously that’s the best choice.

But, as other runners know, making the smart call is always easier said than done and I’ll surely wait ’til the last possible minute to contact the race directors. Denial.

Beyond that, I’ve signed up for a trail running 5K series for the summer, which I’m massively excited about, in a way I’ve not been enthused about running lately. My husband and kids can do a lot of the races with me.

Perhaps the AoD brings with it silver linings.

Including new trail running shoes coming from Amazon any day now.

I’ve long thought trail running shoes were a marketing scam, but was told by my physical therapist they’d be a good idea, in my case. More stability on rough terrain. Sold.

I’m also trying a different brand of road running shoes, just to mix it up and see if that does anything. I’ve been wearing Asics Gel Cumulus for approximately 100 years, and they’re ugly. My new Nikes are flashy. (It’s the little things!)

So, to recap—ankle still doomed for long distance running. PT continues. I’m getting new shoes. And am excited about trying 5Ks on for size.

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