Well, here's how my new year started. I was planning on doing a 2014 recap blog post, either a "top 10" or a "best of" or something along those lines. I had loose ideas in my head. I planned to highlight my 365 days of being uninjured as my biggest accomplishment. 2014 had started off with the New Year's 5K, and my bib # 180 was my symbol of things to come. I had high hopes for 2014, wishing for a complete "180" of my recent string of injury plagued years. And it worked! 2014 was a really solid year for me. Maybe my overall mileage wasn't too high, but I managed to squeeze in a marathon (you know, that one that ends in Boston!), a half iron triathlon, and lots of cross training and horseback riding.
I thought of these accomplishments this year on New Year's, when I went back and ran the same race about 40 seconds faster even though I was "taking it easy". That's a testament of a good year of training!
I was also very inspired by friend and club member Cort, who did a 365 day run streak in 2014. I wondered, could I do something like that? Realistically probably not, because I'm a well documented commitment-phobe, not to mention lazy. But, if I couldn't commit to 365 days, I wonder how long I could keep a streak going? So on January 2, I went for a run. I figured, what better time to start an informal streak than the beginning of the year. I wouldn't tell anyone. I wouldn't make a big thing about it and then be subject to pressure and nay-sayers. I'd just silently see how far I could make the streak.
The answer was 2. Or, 1.5 really. I ran 1.5 times before my run streak ended on a trail 3/4 of a mile from home, with me screaming and thrashing about like a lunatic in the pine grove. Proof:
I was pretty bummed out about this. I have been haunting poor Julia for a good 4 months to run with me. She finally was able to squeeze in an hour during my lunch break on a day I happened to be working from home, and we decided to go for a super easy trail run and just chit chat and catch up on life. We were having such a great time, until this happened. Later when I told my mother about what happened, she said, "poor Julia, she must have been so upset". Ummm, I think I was probably a little more upset!
After several minutes of me crying on the ground, Julia gingerly peeked at my ankle. It was bad. Immediately swollen and purple. I was blacking out from the pain and was overcome with nausea, but finally I got to my feet. We were thinking of ways I could get extracted from the trail, but eventually I was able to put some weight on my foot and declared I was able to walk home. It was a slow, painful, chilly walk back but we tried to think positive. I could bear weight on it, so it's not broken, right?
I spent the rest of the day with my foot elevated and iced, popped some serious Motrin, and tried to remain calm. I was actually kind of proud of myself for being such a grown up about it and not declaring my life to be over. I was really on the fence about going to the ER for x-rays, so I did my famous "let's just wait a day and see how it looks". I was pretty certain it was just a bad ankle sprain, but I did have some concern about a hairline fracture. In the middle of the night my foot swelled up much worse and I was unable to even walk to the bathroom, so that was pretty scary. More elevation, more ice, more Motrin. By the next morning it wasn't as bad so I figured I'm going in the right direction. Again, I felt like such a grown up for not flipping out. Julia called me, worried that I was actually underreacting to the injury. I continued to be on the fence about going to the ER, but decided to prep myself by showering and I'd think it over while I was in there. Well, thanks to a plumbing disaster my bathroom flooded with nothing you want to imagine, and I spent the afternoon cleaning up that nightmare. So I figured, "let's just wait a day and see how it looks".
After a few days the swelling has gone down quite a bit, I have some lovely coloring in various places, and I'm walking quite well. I have almost full range of motion, although it's still very tender to the touch. Running has quite obviously been out of the question but I have been able to cycle pretty well with minimal pain. The timing is a little bit of a nuisance because I had just booked a trip to Clearwater Florida for next weekend, to visit a friend and run the Clearwater Distance Classic 5 miler. I'm trying not to stress out about it too much. Obviously I very much want to be able to run the race, but it's not really life-altering if I miss it. Either way I'll be in Florida, and what do they say? A bad day in Florida beats a good day anywhere else, or something like that?
I haven't yet returned to the crash site to investigate, but honestly it was a very easy trail. I must have let my guard down and just stepped on a root or something uneven that caused the ankle to roll so severely. It's a historically weak ankle, so this is a clear sign that I need some serious ankle support once I get back out there.
So, my informal run streak officially ended at 2. On a positive note, I've set the bar pretty darn low, even for my standards. I guess I should just be happy it happened on day 2 and not day 363!