Friday, January 9, 2015

2015: End of my injury-free streak

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!


  1. I know this a pretty old now but yikes! That looks like an extremely painful sprain!!!! Did you cry when you rolled it?

    Your foot looks my moms did, she sprained her ankle for the very first time in her life just a little over a week ago. It was funny to, my mom and I have only been running/trail running for about a year now but a day or two before the sprain we were talking to my brother and he was saying one of us will eventually injure ourselves running on the trail right next to our house. He willed it! haha

    We out for our evening run, all went well and we were getting close to the house. Instead of going straight to the road we cut through the narrow trail that leads right onto the driveway. I turned the corner just in time to see my mom look down at her watch and unclip the mp3 player from her shorts and BAM... being distracted the transition off the trail onto our driveway, she stepped onto a large rock causing her ankle to roll, pop and she slammed knees first into the gravelly concrete. She hugged her leg and foot, writhed around and looked over at me with a agonizing look and yelled " I broke my ankle! Go get your brother now!!!" and started crying like a baby.... It was bad. Got my brother he came out, pulled her shoe and sock off. Painfully poked and moved her foot around and tried to reasure her that it was just a bad sprain not broken. He swept her right off the ground like nothing and carried her bridal style to the house to ice it for the night. Next day xrays and it was indeed just a bad sprain.

    Any ways sorry for the novel I typed up! How has your ankle been treating you?

    1. Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear about your mom! She's smarter than me, actually going to get checked out immediately. I waited 3 months. It's doing good now, the sprain is completely healed, but we discovered of all things I have an extra bone in the back of my ankle that got "nutcrackered" during the fall. That's what caused the injury to take so many months to heal, not the sprain itself. I've wisened up and wear an ankle brace on the trail now! Best of luck to your mom on a speedy recovery.

  2. Oh wow. What a way to start the year. Just looking at the picture is painful enough, let alone what you actually felt when that happened. It’s good that the swelling went down soon after, and that you were able to walk properly after a few days. Although, it would still be a good idea to have it checked, especially if you planned on joining runs with rigorous trails. Anyway, I hope it doesn’t happen again this year. We can just scratch those first 1 ½ runs, okay? Haha! Take care!

    Madalyn Oconnell @ SHC Denver

  3. Hope you're not exactly an injury-prone person, being an avid runner and all. Anyways, always remember to take good precaution whenever you go out. One of the worst things that can happen is to have something that keeps you from doing what you love. Keep safe!

    Natasha Shelton @ CCOE

  4. Oh my goodness, it sounds like your luck is like mine! I can go for months seemingly invincible, and then all of a sudden I have every accident possible. It doesn't matter how careful I am either, it just seems to happen. I tend to be very impatient and often don't allow myself sufficient time to heal properly before I get right back out there and start again, and I always end up regretting it when I do. Please do your body a favor and give yourself plenty of time to heal completely. Take care and best of luck to you!

    Modesto Culbertson @ DZ Law Group