Swim: 0 m/96,745 m
Bike: 9.9/933.7 miles
Run: 6/309.3 miles
Well, it finally happened – I got injured. Let me quickly clarify that it’s nothing too bad and I expect to be running again before too long. I twisted my ankle during Monday’s speed session on the treadmill and it’s been pretty sore since then. I called off my planned 5-mile tempo run yesterday and am about 95% sure that I’ll also be skipping my 9-mile long run this weekend. If that happens I’ll also probably pass on next Monday’s speed session since the fast, hard running is what’s most likely to make things worse.
I’ve been very fortunate to have avoided injury this year despite some pretty intense training. I’ve been running harder than ever and have somehow made it this far without anything more than the soreness that can be expected from hard effort. I think part of it is that I’ve kept my miles relatively low even as the intensity increases, and allowed plenty of time between sessions for my body to recover.
In fact, I haven’t had a running injury in four years, since the last time I trained for a marathon and got a pretty bad case of ITB a month before the race (I still ran and finished in just over 4 hours). And it’s important to note that this current injury is not an overuse or fatigue injury, but something that resulted from a specific, ungraceful movement – twisting my ankle on the treadmill.
I don’t want to blow this out of proportion. I’m blogging about it to make a note of this week’s circumstances since I’m missing some workouts. It’s not like I’m hobbling around on crutches and looking at a 3-month recovery. In place of my tempo run yesterday I went on a hard ride in the neighborhood and had no pain. I even ran up and down my driveway to test out the ankle after the ride, and while there was no sharp pain I could still feel the injured area.
On the other hand, the ankle hurts enough at times to let me know there is something wrong. Thanks to the internet, I can see that my injury fits the description of a high-ankle strain. The pain is like a band around the top of my right ankle, particularly on the outside-front. I’ve read that these injuries can have re-injury rates of up to 70% because the pulled ligaments become loose and never return to their original tightness. I don’t think I’ve injured it that badly, but why take a chance with it?
I like to think of myself as someone who can handle a certain amount of discomfort. But at this point it’s not about being tough, it’s about being smart. My training has been going so well that I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it, so I think the smart thing to do is take a week off of running and then re-evaluate the situation – things are already feeling better after three days without running. It’s early enough in my training plan that missing a few runs isn’t going to have a big effect on the final outcome. And I can still ride and swim this week. Getting through the rest of the season is far more important than getting in every planned mile of running at this early stage.